The most common triggers that cause epileptic seizures

When a person has epilepsy, seizures can be triggered by particular conditions or situations. Triggers include lack of sleep, alcohol, smoking, flashing lights, food allergies, stress, drug interactions, hormonal changes and some illnesses, such as fever, colds or infections.

Less than half of the people who have been clinically identified as having epilepsy or seizure problems even know why they have it at all. It is essential that the problem is identified and clinically diagnosed so that treatment can be started immediately. Without good care, the withdrawal leading to seizures will become gradually more regular and may become more serious. The physician will generally concept out other problems and illnesses before identifying epilepsy because in its light or beginning it can simulate other problems. This is why it is better to have this checked immediately than let it stay there not being resolved.

How do seizures appear?

The symptoms of epileptic seizures vary according to the type of seizure. The seizure may lead to some spontaneous changes in sensitivity, awareness, and deeds and also in the movements of the body. The effect of the seizure may also include contraction of bones and muscles, lack of realization along with ephemeral lack of feeling of a section of the body, long term memory loss, visual transition, and stir of fear or a complete state of confusion. A person having complex partial seizure fails to answer any question or follow any direction or may remain confused most of the time.

The main causes behind an unprovoked seizure include seizure disorder or epilepsy whereas the reason of a provoked seizure is as follows:

– Dehydration.

– Fever that leads to febrile convulsion.

– lack of sleep.

– The infection mostly meningitis.

– Metabolic disorder as in hypoxia.

– Intoxication with drugs.

– Any kind of injury in the head.

The above are the main causes of the seizure to take place.

Food allergies as an aggressive epilepsy trigger

Children and the older ones who have seizure problems must try to avoid synthetic sugar and choose to go organic instead. Aspartame does cause seizures in people with a metabolic problem known as phenylketonuria. This problem does not allow the protein phenylalanine to be consumed and be used properly. Watch your diet and patients who have epilepsy cannot be stressed at all or else attack can be triggered. Hoping this all will go away if not induced so better check what you’re eating!

Ice cream, hamburger or chocolate can endanger your child’s life! Epilepsy in children has its own unique characteristics that every parent must know to prevent serious seizures and save lives.

Some children and adults may also suffer epileptic seizures through food allergies. In order to avoid the occurrence of a seizure, make sure that you are able to determine if your family member who has epilepsy has allergies on some kind of food or its components. Taking an allergy test is necessary if you have observed that you’re epileptic family member have suffered seizures after eating a particular food. Some foods which could trigger epileptic seizures are artificial sweeteners or any other food additives.

Remember that the scenario of your loved one’s suffering from seizures is unsightly; thus giving the right epileptic diet and learning his/her food allergies are all essential to help him/her live a better life.

What causes epilepsy in your bed?

Epilepsy can decrease sexual energy or desire. This is usually due to the drugs taken to control the seizures. It may also be from the area in the brain where the seizures are situated. If impotence is a problem, the drugs to help with erectile dysfunction can often be prescribed in conjunction with anti-epileptic medications. The sexual activity itself rarely causes seizures.

Menstruation and epilepsy

When a young woman hits puberty she may find a change in the frequency or severity of her seizures. Or if she has never suffered from seizures as a child, she might start having them with the onset of puberty. One main reason for this is that estrogen increases the risk of seizures.

Menstruation itself has a definite correlation with seizures. When the seizures are so closely linked to menstruation, it is called catamenial epilepsy. The reasons why seizures and menstruation are so closely linked is not precisely known, but theories suggest that the changes in hormone levels, fluid retention, and tension caused by pre-menstrual symptoms might all be factors.

Oral contraceptives do not increase or decrease the risk of seizures, although it should be noted that epilepsy medications can reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptives.


Women who have epilepsy can become pregnant and deliver normal, healthy babies. However, there are some risks involved. Medications must be monitored closely, possibly adjusted, or even discontinued during the course of the pregnancy due to the increased risk of birth defects. Some women find that the changes in their bodies during pregnancy often have effects on the seizures.

Alcohol and epilepsy

Epilepsy does not mean an individual must completely abstain from alcohol. A man who is taking medication for epilepsy can enjoy a beer or two, or a glass of wine with dinner. However, alcohol can trigger seizures under some circumstances or have an adverse affect when mixed with the medication.

Sports load

Persons who enjoy playing sports are able to continue. In fact, there have been professional athletes who played with epilepsy. There are some activities and sports that people with epilepsy should avoid unless under supervision. Those include weight lifting, mountain climbing, and diving.

Can the sun be your enemy?

If a person suffers from a photo-dependent form of the disease, then overheating in the sun can cause an epileptic seizure.

In approximately 50% of patients in this group, attacks occur only in response to rhythmic light stimulation when: watching TV shows (especially light shows), flickering the monitor screen (during computer games), contemplating color music at discos, riding a bicycle along linearly planted trees, flickering headlights of passing vehicles (when driving in a car), etc. Its contraindicated to such people.

A serious provoking factor for attacks is considered to be a violation of sleep patterns – late falling asleep, forced wakefulness at night (due to night shifts or “parties”) or too early awakening. This leads to depletion of the nervous system and increased convulsive readiness.

Dr. Ali Elahi

This article is written by Dr. Ali Elahi, a specialist in neuromuscular disorders, certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). His expertise includes evaluation and treatment of patients with epilepsy, stroke, headache, neuromuscular disease, and cerebral palsy.He also manages neurological emergencies in the Intensive Care Units.

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