Epilepsy Triggers

Bernard

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Have you identified any triggers for your seizures? What are they and how did you identify them?

For Stacy, we are aware of the following:
  • caffeine - ingesting a small amount almost guarantees a grand mal seizure within 24 hours
  • sugar - ingesting a lot of sugar is usually followed by seizure activity
  • lack of sleep - this is a big one for her. She does not function well with sleep deprivation
  • emotional stress - strong emotions (especially grief and sadness) will bring about "jerks" at a minimum.
  • disturbing the 2nd chakra - this reached a peak for Stacy with the pregnancy and birth of our second child. The Chinese Qigong Acupressure therapy that Stacy was using appears to have alleviated this to a large degree.

We identified her triggers by keeping a log (mentally at first) of the possible triggers identified by her various doctors in conjunction with her seizure activity.

Alcohol for Stacy disturbs her blood sugar and her sleep, so that is taboo for her as well.
 

lindy

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Stress and being overly tired do me in. I need 9 hours of sleep a night to be well rested. Stress is, of course, unavoidable no matter how hard we all try and let me tell you that if there were a way to lead a stress free life, I would have found it by now because I certainly have tried! Massage and meditation help a great deal with stress alleviation though.
 

Bernard

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Stress is a biggie, but I want to draw a distinction because there are many types of stress. I have noticed that Stacy is particularly seizure prone when she has extreme emotional stress - experiencing extreme sadness, anger, etc. - more so than anxiety, exhuberation, etc.
 

lindy

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Stress of any sort seems to bother me and, until I started to take 5-HTP, really ridiculous things got to me. Anger, sorrow, worry, anxiety - you name it and it would make me seizure prone.
 

Birdbomb

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  • Temprature extremes; overheating is easy here in Vegas, so I had to give up my puttering in the yard. Also cold. If I begin to shiver it will bring on sz.

    Overexertion; such as heavy house work, spring cleaning.

    Deep emotional distress; my father just died and I had 2 during the services

One interesting note, I have a auras of inpending sz activity. There are times when I am able to stifel the upcome sz. Then release it at a better time.
 

lindy

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You're lucky if you've found a way to shift a seizure to a better time! I always get enough advanced notice so that I know when I'm not doing anything but sitting around until the darned thing hits. So sorry about your father. When my father died, I had one seizure after another for three months. Talk about making a bad situation worse!
 

Bernard

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Donna and Lindy, I'm sorry to hear about your losses. I hope you both find peace with your circumstances.

Donna, it's interesting that you mention temperature extremes. Stacy is prone to throw off the bedcovers at night and she had a heck of a time in the winter when it got cold at night. Hmm...
 

Birdbomb

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Thank you for the condolences. It's one day at a time.

Stacy sounds like me. I keep the house pretty cool at night, don't mind bundling up, man, I absolutley HATE to sweat while sleeping. Now that I have SOSA (Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea) sweating is a sign I'm not getting enough oxygen and the body is working overtime.

It's always something new around here!
 

howdydave

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Howdy!

I only have one trigger that I'm aware of...

That's whenever my immune system kicks into high gear.

A big cluster of seizures is usually followed in 2 days by my first symptoms of a cold, flu, etc.

I also have seizures when I get any kind of infections. Get a paper cut, flu shot, my chronic ear infection, poison ivy, etc.
 

Bernard

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HowdyDave, that's an interesting observation. I have not read anywhere where the immune system was characterized as a likely trigger.

But if the sickness follows the seizures (as opposed to preceding them), which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I ran a hefty fever last night. I'm still feeling a bit woozy right now.
 

howdydave

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Howdy Bernard!

The infection comes first.

It takes a couple of days between the time you catch a bug (cold or flu) and start showing the first symptoms.

With cuts and other external infections the seizures come within a day (if the infection is serious enough.)

It took a few years to figure out but once I reached the conclusion it became obvious due to the fact that seizures are always my first symptom.
 

Bernard

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Well, a couple of things I know that are supposed to boost your immune system:

Raw Garlic - eat a clove a day
Wheatgrass juice - drink a "shot" a day

Yummy! :twisted:
 

Axa

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Even though I am writing my e-diary really meticulously all that years I haven't found any possible triggers except - periods. I can endure stress, insomnia, caffeine, sugar ... you name it. But my periods are definitelly a trigger since I haven't had one single seizure without having my period too. So during the periods I try to minimize my workload, stay at home to prevent getting an absence in the town and just relax as much as possible.

It seems I am really strong, healthy person if I don't count epilepsy. ;)

Axa
 

lindy

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Know what you mean - I'm a very strong and healthy person too! One of the odd things about epilepsy is that each of us has such individualized triggers. My period (before Dilantin put me through menopause early) never caused any seizures at all. Neither did caffeine or alcohol or sugar or gluten. But if I get too tired and too stressed out, everything goes crazy. For me, it's as if a circuit breaker in my head becomes overloaded and pops before resetting itself.
 

Julie C

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Stress of any sort sets me off,strobe light,sunlight in the trees,sudden shocks when people shout at me from behind.Stupid I know but I am terrified of that.Caused by a violent ex husband.Lack of or too much sugar in the blood stream.Take care luv Juliexx
 

Dianne

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howdydave said:
Howdy!

I only have one trigger that I'm aware of...

That's whenever my immune system kicks into high gear.

A big cluster of seizures is usually followed in 2 days by my first symptoms of a cold, flu, etc.

I also have seizures when I get any kind of infections. Get a paper cut, flu shot, my chronic ear infection, poison ivy, etc.
Hmmmm starting to give this a bit of thought, my son has been really rough with sz's just recently, his gp did a blood count, just as a precautionary measure. It appears his neutrophil count is low, meaning his immune system is probably flat

Just starting to wonder what the connection is, apart from stress levels affecting neutrophil production

Any ideas?

Dianne
 

Bernard

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I'm interested in looking further into meditation in order to lead a more stress free life. I'm feeling pretty good right now though. Thank you for your suggestion.

 

Bernard

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Dianne, I'm really sorry to hear about your son. How old is he, and what kind of interests does he have? I know I broke my tail bone at the skating rink at about age 12 and have been seeing doctors for Epilepsy ever since. I have no idea if that is related.
 

Dianne

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bernard said:
Dianne, I'm really sorry to hear about your son. How old is he, and what kind of interests does he have? I know I broke my tail bone at the skating rink at about age 12 and have been seeing doctors for Epilepsy ever since. I have no idea if that is related.
Hello Bernard

Wow, broken tail bone, bet you felt that!

I'm no expert, but my son was diagnosed age 12 with a form of epilepsy he has had since birth. Its just possible that the skating accident was coincidental and the epilepsy was there all the time, made more noticable by the trauma of an accident

My son is 26 and his hobbies and interests have been scaled down with the progress of his epilepsy. Most of his interests are sport related so he just observes sport now. He is also very involved in the lives of his neice and nephew, which he gets a lot of pleasure from

Dianne

Dianne
 

Bernard

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Ack! I was at a conference for the last few days and Stacy was using my computer to access the interent (I needed the monitor that she uses with her computer). She didn't log out and clear the cookie for my account. That last two posts were hers!
 
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