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David asked...

I have occasional "one off" seizures.

Tags: Diet , Nutrition , Stress

Over the past 20 years, I have had occasional "one off" seizures, the last being this year. Normally I am doing something restful, like walking the dog. What is the trigger and what is the best remedy going forward. (I am not driving for a year but would like to drive again).

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The answer

It is unusual to find epileptic seizures triggered by restful activities – stress or lack of sleep are much more common triggers. Alcohol, missing meals or occasionally flashing lights can also trigger epilepsy. Some women find that seizures are more common at certain times in their menstrual cycle – this could be just before, during or just after a period. One of the most common triggers for seizures is missing doses of regular epilepsy medication. If you are not having regular seizures it may be more difficult to keep a regular lifestyle diary to see what your triggers could be. However, it may be helpful to sit down after you have recovered from a seizure and think about all the activities (including food, drink, sleep, stress etc.) which occurred in the day or two before the seizure.

You are clearly aware that it is illegal to drive with a diagnosis of epilepsy unless you fulfil strict criteria. You need to have been seizure free for at least 1 year before the licence is granted (or at least free of anything other than a ‘permitted seizure’, such as a seizure caused by a change in your medication). If you do fulfil the criteria you will usually be granted a licence for 3 years, although you will of course have to inform the DVLA if you have another seizure.
Answered by Dr Sarah Jarvis.


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