Weird epilepsy triggers…

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Here’s a list of uncommon epilepsy triggers you may have experienced or know about. Feel free to add to this list of the weird and the unknown…

Atmospheric Conditions

Changes in air pressure or any sudden action, (like arising from a prone position too quickly), can act as an instant stressor. Like taking off or landing in an airplane…going up or down on a fast elevator or escalator…

Barometric Pressure

Weather differences such as sudden changes in temperature, dark skies, thunder, or bright, hot sunlight and humidity may be a definite trigger for some.

Body Toxins

Exposure to toxins in our air, water or food, can cause everything from vomiting, diarrhea, liver or renal failure, blood sugar levels, and electrolyte imbalances. Constipation can be added to the list also. When these things happen, all the toxins already in our system build up. It also might be a side-effect of your drugs or it may cause the effectiveness of your medications, but ether way, you are at risk.

Boredom

You always thought you could be “bored to death” but it can also incite a seizure. By being isolated, having no social interactions, diversions, or recreational activities – all that’s left is to think about yourself and anticipate when your next seizure will come.

Casinos

The flashing lights and all the noise and hubbub at a casino — ringing bells, blaring music, flashing lights — is enough to give anyone a headache, no less a seizure.

Dental Problems

Have your teeth and gums checked regularly. Some of your medications just love the calcium found in teeth and bones, making them fragile and prone to breakages and disease. Dental disease can no longer be considered a minor problem with just your gums and teeth. Your state of health (especially the state of your immune system), whether you still have amalgam fillings, the amount of mercury you’ve been exposed to over time, and the amount still present in your body, directly influence the number and severity of your symptoms. You’ll never achieve optimum health if you have poor oral health.

Diabetes

People with hyperglycemia tend to have focal or local seizures. And those who are hypoglycemic, tend to have tonic-clonic seizures. To keep your blood sugar from fluctuating, eat a good breakfast when you wake up. Complex carbohydrates will help start your day and give you sustained energy throughout. Also, try to eat wholesome snacks often during the day to keep your system balanced.

Grapefruit

It has been proven that grapefruit/juice/rind/skin can negatively affect some medications. You are probably saying “but I thought these grapefruits were good for me and my health?” Grapefruit juice provides many nutrients such as Vitamin C, but chemicals in grapefruit interfere with enzymes that break down certain medications in your digestive system which, in turn, causes a high risk of bringing on seizures. Tegretol in any form is one of the main anti-epilepsy medications that grapefruit affects.

Hyperventilation

Sometimes in a stressful situation, it’s the body’s way of saying there is confusion in the brain and it just doesn’t know where to turn. Oxygen is not getting to your brain and the hyperventilation expends vast amounts of energy. You could be in shock and this is where it is difficult to tell whether it is a response from an over stimulated brain or a true seizure. But you could go on to have an epileptic seizure following the stress and lack of oxygen. (For a long time, hyperventilation has been used as a means to provoke seizures. It’s often used to trigger epileptiform discharges and/or seizures during EEGs.)

Immersion in Hot or Cold Water

Anything done too suddenly (a quick change of any kind) can lead to a seizure. Going from cold to a warm temperature, or going from a warm house to a bitter cold day outdoors can shock your system. When having a bath it is best to have the bath water warm rather than hot as getting into a hot bath, along with the added humidity present in the bathroom also may be enough to trigger a seizure. When immersing yourself in cold water it is best to do this gradually and make sure you have another person with you to ensure your safety.

Migraines

People with epilepsy are more than twice as likely to develop migraine headaches as those without seizures. Research showed that more than 20 percent of people with epilepsy have migraines, compared to 11 percent of the general population. And there’s an overlap in the two conditions. In another epilepsy study, about 16% of those people who had migraines also experienced epileptic seizures before, during or after a migraine.

Odors and Perfumes

Perfume directly affects the brain and has both a physiological and a psychological effect upon our respiration and breathing, as well as upon our moods and thoughts. Although our sense of smell declines with age, you need to be aware that strong or even subtle smells or perfumes can be one of your triggers for seizures. Sometimes a person who has experienced some seizure activity brought about by a particular odor may not discuss it because they think other people, even their doctors, will think they’re crazy. But it’s for real. And then there are other odors, much less enticing, some of which include paint, hairspray, cleaning products, ammonia, kerosene, car exhaust fumes, gasoline and solvents.

Mah-Jong

Apparently, playing this thinking game, which can require intense concentration, can induce seizures. (You heard it first here!)

Music

Musicogenic epilepsy is a form of reflexive epilepsy in which a seizure is triggered by music or specific frequencies. Sensitivity to music varies from person to person. Some people are sensitive to a particular tone from a voice or instrument. Others are sensitive to a particular musical style or rhythm. Still others are sensitive to a range of noises.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea includes pauses in breathing, indicated by gasping, snoring or difficulty in breathing during the night. It is more common in men than in women, and often occurs in larger people whose throat muscles and fat tissue cause an obstruction while they’re sleeping. These pauses in breathing can easily be confused with seizures. In fact, having apnea can trigger seizures. Having seizures can also trigger apnea; so it can work either way.

Water

Yes, you can have too much of a good thing. Water is good for us, but it can dilute your medications. It’s best to spread your fluid intake over the day. Your body needs a balance of salt and water. And be cautious of drinking water from plastic bottles and leaving them lying around in the heat.
 
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epileric

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Interesting list Phylis.

Can you cite where you got it?
 
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bazpa

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I know the smell thing is true, because before I was diagnosed, every time I walked into a salon to have my hair or nails done, I would have an episode. The whole thing drove me crazy, because I could not figure out why this kept happening, and actually would put off going to avoid a episode. How is one suppose to get their hair cut?? At least I now know what it is, and am not so worried about it happening.
 
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Hair dye is another one. But I think nail polish is worse because of all the solvents. (Confession: I wear a mask like the manicurist and have bright red nails!) ;-)
 

epileric

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Quite a few of those have either not been proven or been proven not to be true.

Atmospheric Conditions

Changes in air pressure or any sudden action, (like arising from a prone position too quickly), can act as an instant stressor. Like taking off or landing in an airplane…going up or down on a fast elevator or escalator…

Barometric Pressure

Weather differences such as sudden changes in temperature, dark skies, thunder, or bright, hot sunlight and humidity may be a definite trigger for some.
Here are just 2 of the studies that have found barometric pressure to have no effect on epilepsy.
We could find no evidence to suggest atmospheric pressure changes made seizure occurrence more likely in any of the seizure groups across any of the time periods.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19608461

Might external factors such as temperature, wind or sunlight contribute, even though such findings should be controlled in hospital? Might the effects be even more pronounced 48 hrs later or 24 hrs before pressure change? We were unable to correlate any obvious trends in elevation or depression of daily atmospheric pressure & seizure occurrence during this study
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1528-1167.2007.01111.x/pdf



Casinos

The flashing lights and all the noise and hubbub at a casino — ringing bells, blaring music, flashing lights — is enough to give anyone a headache, no less a seizure.
I think it would be more accurate to say "photosensitivity" or "hyper-stimulation" as being a cause than to say that casinos themselves cause seizures.

Dental Problems

Have your teeth and gums checked regularly. Some of your medications just love the calcium found in teeth and bones, making them fragile and prone to breakages and disease. Dental disease can no longer be considered a minor problem with just your gums and teeth. Your state of health (especially the state of your immune system), whether you still have amalgam fillings, the amount of mercury you’ve been exposed to over time, and the amount still present in your body, directly influence the number and severity of your symptoms. You’ll never achieve optimum health if you have poor oral health.
To date all testing of mercury in fillings has been questionable
The "Mercury Toxicity" Scam:
How Anti-Amalgamists Swindle People



Migraines

People with epilepsy are more than twice as likely to develop migraine headaches as those without seizures. Research showed that more than 20 percent of people with epilepsy have migraines, compared to 11 percent of the general population. And there’s an overlap in the two conditions. In another epilepsy study, about 16% of those people who had migraines also experienced epileptic seizures before, during or after a migraine.
There is definitely a connection between migraines & seizures but isn't calling a migraine a trigger like saying that an aura is a trigger?

Mah-Jong

Apparently, playing this thinking game, which can require intense concentration, can induce seizures. (You heard it first here!)
Wouldn't it be more accurate to say intense concentration to be a trigger? I'm sure many of us can make sure Mah-Johng doesn't trigger a seizure if we watch how intensely we get focused. Also, isn't focusing on doing something a great way to stop a seizure?
 
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bazpa

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Does the mask help? I never thought of that. I like having my nails done, and go anyway, but I always know that I might not be too good the rest of the day. It's time for my hair and nails to be done-I don't care what anybody thinks if this works. Thanks.
 

valeriedl

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I know the sudden change in temp worked for me.

I was walking around down town over the summer where it was so hot I was sweating. We went into a building where they had the ac cranked, at least 15 degrees colder, maybe more. I had a seizure within 2 minutes of being in there. Luckily it wasn't a very bad one though.
 

Cint

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For some women, hormonal changes (during their menses) can trigger seizures-- catamenial seizures.

Also, I do experience migraines and have Type 1 diabetes, but neither have triggered a seizure for me. And as far as changes in barometric pressure, for me that is the cause of a migraine.
 
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Here's a one you've missed

JME myoclonic jerks that work only if you close your eyes in the morning ,rarely during the day.

and remembering the fear during the sudden movement,another trigger most people don't have.i can make a seizure only by thinking about it combining this with eye closing
 
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I remember having a seizure while listening to Barry White's Love Theme on the radio when i was just a child -


Actually, its a fond memory when I hear this song. It does not effect me when I hear it today for some odd reason, but some music does.

Now i will never forget this song. funny thing is, this has happened to me with certain kinds of store music or elevator music. WIERD!!
 
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For some women, hormonal changes (during their menses) can trigger seizures-- catamenial seizures.

Also, I do experience migraines and have Type 1 diabetes, but neither have triggered a seizure for me. And as far as changes in barometric pressure, for me that is the cause of a migraine.
Yep, my tonic clonic seizures all happened during 'that time of the month'.

I've never thought about intense concentration being a trigger, I really enjoy playing mahjong and doing puzzles. I have read (not sure if it's accurate) that exercising the brain can actually improve certain types of Epilepsy.

Flashing lights at Casinos is an obvious one, I never thought of myself as photosensitive but, certain types of flashing lights gives me a headache and I feel 'weird' I went to Costco on the weekend and they had a flashing open/closed sign (it was actually on the shelf for sale) I couldn't look it and had to leave the aisle I felt sick looking at it.
 

bazpa

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Flashing lights have made me feel sick, since I was a little girl. Just an weird feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I would end up with a bad headache. I almost strangled a little kid once, when I was about 9, because he kept turning the lights on and off!!! I never knew what it was. How about the first jr-hi dance with the strobe light? ugggg! I am amazed that it took 46 years to figure out what was wrong!
 
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The strobe lights are a killer.

I'm a member of the disco generation (yes, I'm that old) and I remember a guy whom I really liked taking me out dancing.

Anyway, you know how they danced in those days, shaking and quaking. So, nobody knew that I was having a seizure until the dance floor cleared and I melted to the floor.

Last date with that guy!!!
 

bazpa

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Yes I remember well! LOL!! Being young and school having a seizure would not be fun, so I suppose it is good how we danced! Great way to hide it! Sometimes I feel so old!! I am 47, and sometimes when I look in the mirror, I wonder who the hell is looking back at me!! It sure happened fast!
 
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I worked as a dancer for 7yrs. There were times when i got off the stage, sweaty and hot..and had to run to the bathroom or dressing room cause those auras would start. I really do think that it was due to the exercise, the sweating and the exertion while dancing. Then i read somewhere that exercise can be a trigger for E
 
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I took ballet for umpteen years and it was was the spinning and change (or, in my case the lack) of focus that did it for me.

My last ballet teacher was pre-med, earning some extra $$$. She had me do just the barre work and I was very grateful. (You can see that after 20 years, I never made it past the beginner's stage!)
 

qtowngirl

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Music definately.
I had a bad experience as a child which took place in the mid-80's. There is a lot of music that was played around that specific time that got lodged in my head along with the bad memory, and since I developed Temporal Lobe Epilepsy I have a simple partial the instant I hear one of the songs/bands.
For years now 80's music in general has not been a friend to me and I slam the radio off as soon as I hear it come on; Huey Lewis in particular; and if I'm in a situation where I can't I have to do whatever I can to get out or distract myself because I know it's coming. The 'old memory' part of TLE has been very hard for me, and it's amazing what control these triggers can have over you when they jump out of nowhere.
 
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