How I discovered my seizure triggers

    By Paige

    When I was first diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 21, I didn’t know what most of my seizure triggers were. It’s taken me time to work out what they are and this has mainly been through trial and error.

    Sleep
    The only trigger I knew for definite was lack of sleep. My seizures initially started appearing first thing in the morning and last thing at night. At that time I didn’t know I had epilepsy and because I have focal seizures, I didn’t initially know that they could be epilepsy.

    Body temperature
    Over time I discovered that my seizures started to appear when my body temperature rises, either by doing exercise or being in a warm environment. This seemed to only happen every now and then but eventually became routine. To try and work out my other triggers I started keeping a note of what I had done that day that could potentially cause a seizure.

    Not alcohol
    I knew triggers were very individual and varied greatly, so I didn’t rule anything out. For a while I thought alcohol was a seizure trigger but after a while I realised the seizures only happened during the hangover period. This was most likely because alcohol disrupts sleep and the actual reason was already a known trigger in disguise.

    Things still change
    I’ve tried different medicines and think my body is constantly changing and adapting to my medication. Because of this I think new triggers can appear randomly and for no apparent reason. I am always on the lookout for new triggers and taking mental notes of what I have been doing to try and avoid them.

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