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Old 08-12-2014, 09:07 AM
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Seizures induced by exercise?...


Hi everyone

I've been diagnosed with epilepsy (partial seizures, temporal lobe) for about 2 years, unfortunately still no luck with controlling them (been on various dosages of tegretol carbamazepine, and currently on lamotrigine). After the last meeting with my neurologists, the discussion of the possibility of surgery has come up, but that's a different matter altogether.

I'm wondering if anyone else that suffers from partial seizure of the temperol lobe suffer them when participating in high(ish) intensity sports such as squash/football?

I seem to suffer from patterned seizures where I'd have a bout of seizures come on over the course of a few days (5-8 seizures), then I'd not have an issue for 4-5 weeks, before suffering another bout. That is without participating in any sort of sports...
If I play a high intensity sports, I'm almost guaranteed to have a seizure come on...
I'm also likely to have issues when I have a cold/flu, or feeling unwell for whenever reason.

This doesn't seem like a common occurrence? , does this sound normal?..

When discussing this with my neurologists, he does seem to give me a confused look, like that isn't normal..

Thanks ahead.
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:41 AM
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Hi Itr786, welcome to CWE!

All sorts of things that can potentially trigger seizures. It's different for every person, but triggers tend to take the form of a physical, physiological, emotional, and/or environmental stressor. Sometimes the trigger is primary (like flashing/fluorescent lights), and sometimes it's secondary if it causes things like fatigue or dehydration that in turn are triggering. That might be the case with exercise for you, though if the kind of football you play involves head or neck impact that could also be a factor.

As for illness or infection, those are known to lower seizure threshold, and some medications that treat them (like those containing ephedrine) can have a triggering effect as well.

You might be interested in the following threads:
http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/...sy-link-20765/
http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/...xercise-17635/
http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/...pilepsy-21262/
http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/...pilepsy-11720/
http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/...exercise-7974/
http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/...t-there-16028/
http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/...eizures-20110/
http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/...riggers-17295/

Best,
Nakamova
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:47 AM
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Thanks for the prompt reply. I'll look through the links. I couldn't find the search button on that forum, could someone direct me in the direction of it!?...

Some of the triggers you've mentioned definitely apply to me, it was just strange the way my Neurologist looks at me when mentioning it, like it's completely new to him!.

I'll be seeing an epilepsy specialist from now on, so hopefully he'll have a little more knowledge on the matter.
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:36 AM
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Often an epileptologist can be more helpful than a general neurologist. Hope the new doc makes a difference, esp. if you're considering surgery.

You might find this link helpful as well:
http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/...epilepsy-1254/
It has suggestions for identifying and potentially eliminating seizure triggers.

There's a search tab in the row near the top of the page, third from the right, in red text. You can also search using google, typing in your topic + "coping with epilepsy".
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:36 PM
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Aerobic exercise is a trigger for me. This includes cycling and strenuous hiking. I'm not sure whether it's the heart rate, or something else like adrenaline or body temperature, but in any case it helps to keep the heart rate down. I don't think this is unusual. A lot of people get seizures when they have a cold, and "clusters" of seizures are also common. You're not alone.

Last edited by Matthew74; 08-12-2014 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:18 PM
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There have been a few times when I've worked myself into activities that I start sweating during I might have a seizure. It doesn't have to be actual exercise or playing sports but walking really fast, almost into a run, or strenuous yard work has brought on.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:43 PM
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Yes--absolutely a trigger for me, and for a while it was the only thing that triggered seizures. During my last conversation with my neurologist, we discussed whether there were electrolyte changes that one of my meds (topamax) induced didn't work well with my particular physiology, which were then exacerbated by electrolyte changes during running--but this could be (and probably is) a completely different situation for you, and I'm not suggesting that is why you have issues. I tend to have electrolyte issues in general on Topamax and different stressors like illness can put me in a total electrolyte tailspin. But my specific issues aside exercise can be a trigger for many.
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:08 AM
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Hmmm... I do deal with seizures during both vigorous activity and pretty much kicking back, so for me I don't think it matters.
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:23 AM
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I work out regularly, and do both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. There is no 100% rule for me, but generally I find I do have to be careful. I would say in general that if I do overly strenuous anaerobic exercise, particularly a new exercise I am not used to, that I will be more likely to have seizures.
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Old 08-18-2014, 05:52 PM
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It is quite a difficult thing to get over, which I'm sure it also is for others, fact that whatever physical sports you're partaking, you can't push yourself to far, with the worry of having a seizure at the back of your head if you do...

Loving playing certain sports, It's been one of the more difficult aspects I've found getting over since my seizures began.

I'm not sure others think this way...
I always think positively, as much of an affect epilepsy has had on our lives, visiting a hospital and seeing the illnesses other people are going through, I'm ALMOST greatful for having the illness I have.
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Old 08-19-2014, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Itr786 View Post:
Thanks for the prompt reply. I'll look through the links. I couldn't find the search button on that forum, could someone direct me in the direction of it!?...

Some of the triggers you've mentioned definitely apply to me, it was just strange the way my Neurologist looks at me when mentioning it, like it's completely new to him!.

I'll be seeing an epilepsy specialist from now on, so hopefully he'll have a little more knowledge on the matter.
Sometimes neurologists don't know as much as the people having the seizures. Nobody knows your body better than you do.

Illness lowers my threshold for seizures. If I get a sinus infection, I am sure to have waves of long partial seizures, originating in the right parietal lobe.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:49 AM
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Adjustment can be tough. Prior to my seizures starting, I ran a marathon every 6 weeks. Competing in races was a big part of my identity and running made me happy. I still go to the gym and am still active, but find that I can no longer run long distance without having my seizures go uncontrolled. I've tried hydration, rest days, adequate nutrition, you name it....perhaps it's prolonged higher body temp because nothing else has worked for me. The key is to find something else that gives you that happiness, or modify your workout. For instance, I now hike in the mountains where it's cool and I work out in the air conditioned gym for couple hours each day instead of running in the heat.
Good idea to see an epileptologist...I love mine
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:40 PM
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It depends on the kind of seizures, medicine you take, and what usually triggers you have. As others said there are many triggers, but I've also heard that it can also decrease the chances of you having one during the activity, it's after that you have to worry about which is why it says not to go to the extreme.

Source: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/b..._exercise?open

"It is extremely rare for a person to have a seizure while exercising. Rather than triggering seizures, your epilepsy may improve with exercise. Although the reasons are unclear, studies demonstrate that abnormalities on EEG (a test that measures the electrical activity of the brain) decrease during exercise."

You're better off asking your neurologist / epileptologist since they know more about the type of seizures, triggers, and knows your medical history so they could give you more accurate information.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by notime View Post:
It depends on the kind of seizures, medicine you take, and what usually triggers you have. As others said there are many triggers, but I've also heard that it can also decrease the chances of you having one during the activity, it's after that you have to worry about which is why it says not to go to the extreme.

Source: http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/b..._exercise?open

"It is extremely rare for a person to have a seizure while exercising. Rather than triggering seizures, your epilepsy may improve with exercise. Although the reasons are unclear, studies demonstrate that abnormalities on EEG (a test that measures the electrical activity of the brain) decrease during exercise."

You're better off asking your neurologist / epileptologist since they know more about the type of seizures, triggers, and knows your medical history so they could give you more accurate information.
I am of the belief that patients know more about their seizures and medicine side effects than neuros do. Maybe epidemiologists know more. My neurologist said she had never heard of lamicitial causing hair to fall out but I have seen several posts about it here.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:32 PM
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Hydro lite, powerade, gastrolite, I drank anything with electrolytes before or during excercise. I had a fit at the gym and two working out at home dislocating my shoulder few years back,but none since hydrating up and been careful. I know how it feels to be scared to workout when the chance is there.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:44 PM
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My epileptologist told me that exercise is a trigger because when we (not everyone) exert ourselves like when doing strenuous exercise or playing a sport, we hyperventilate, or breathe heavier. When I was in the epilepsy monitoring unit they tried to induce a seizure by making me breathe in and out really fast for about 3 or 4 minutes... nothing happened. But when I'm at the gym and sometimes I over do it on the cardio, it triggers an aura (simple partial seizure)
Question, anyone here use supplements when working out, like maybe a pre-workout drink, protein shake, or BCAA (branch chain amino acids ?) I use protein powder and have no problems, but it seems like every time I use BCAA's I end up having either a simple partial seizure or complex partial. Do you guys think it's the BCAA's or just coincidence?
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Old 08-23-2014, 01:45 AM
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my epilepsy only happens if I am doing something, anything from chess to physical labor ,never if I am just sitting there or asleep . It starts with partials and will go into grand mal. if I continue moving . In a nutshell that's it.
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Old 08-25-2014, 06:42 PM
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Hi Saleen I've drank lots of different types of protein powders, none of which seemed to affect me. I try steer clear of pre workout, used it a little but the one tried (banned in oz now) made my hands shake slightly and feel a bit light headed even though did do the trick I decided to avoid it just incase. I just have fruit or a bulking shake (high carbs) an hour before which gives me the energy and extra boost needed sometimes. Everyone's different though, not too sure about bcca's I know their in some a lot of different shakes but hasn't seem to affect me.
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