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.

    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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