Epileptic seizures are very common. Seizures occur when there are disturbances in the electrical activity of your brain. If you have at least two seizures 24 hours apart, and they aren’t caused by another provoking factor, it may be epilepsy.
Epilepsy can be caused by many different brain abnormalities. Sometimes it’s the result of a head injury or it runs in the family. But in about 50% of cases, there’s no known cause. Fortunately, most people with epilepsy can control their seizures with medication, surgery, or medical devices.
If you are one of them, don’t be surprised. Globally, there are over 5 crore people who live with epilepsy. Out of them more than 1 crore people are expected to be from India.
According to the results of different studies from India, it is estimated that in a population of 1,000 people from community, there are about 3 to 12 people who have epilepsy.
But epileptic seizures don’t occur on its own. No two cases of epilepsy are exactly the same. One person’s seizure triggers may be completely different than someone else’s triggers. But there are several well-known triggers.
Missed medication is the primary reason why people with controlled seizures have unexpected seizures.If you don’t have controlled seizures, missing medication can cause your seizures to occur more often than usual or be more intense. If you do miss your medication, take your medicine as soon as you remember it, unless it’s almost time for your next dose. Avoid doubling up on your doses.
Epilepsy is more dangerous in people with sleep deprivation. Epilepsy can disturb your sleep, but sleep deprivation can aggravate your seizures. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that people ages 18 to 64 get 7 to 9 hours per night.
Stress can cause headaches, sleeplessness. If you have epilepsy, stress can also bring on seizures. Just like sleep, stress and epilepsy are a double-edged sword. Stress, anxiety, and other mood disorders can trigger seizures, but these are fairly common among people with epilepsy. Please do stress relaxation if you have epilepsy.
ALCOHOL & OTHER DRUGS
Alcohol-related seizures usually occur during withdrawal, when alcohol is leaving your system. Sometimes binge drinking also cause seizure. If you are having epilepsy please limit your alcohol intake.
FLASHING LIGHTS & SOUNDS
Flashing lights and sounds are common triggers of seizure. Many children have photo stimulant seizures. If you have epilepsy avoid flashing light and sound.
Caffeine is a neurostimulant. Sometimes people with epilepsy throw seizures due to caffeine. So avoid caffeine if you have epilepsy.
Menstrual cycle and hormonal changes trigger seizure. About half of women of childbearing age with epilepsy have increased seizures around their period. This is most likely due to hormonal changes that occur during your monthly cycle.
Excessive work and exertion triggers seizures. Severe exertion leads to hypoglycemia and electrolyte disturbance triggering seizure.
There are many triggers but these are common triggers. If you avoid these triggers, seizure frequency will decrease definitely.
Please read and share
Schachter SC. Seizure disorders. Medical Clinics of North America. 2009 Mar 1;93(2):343-51.
Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2014 Mar; 17(Suppl 1): S3–S11.