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10 Tips On How To Live Well With Epilepsy

Globally, every year on March 26, Epilepsy Awareness Day, also called Purple Day is observed to create awareness about epilepsy. On this day, people wear purple and host events to support epilepsy awareness. Epilepsy is a common condition that affects one1 per cent of the general population.

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that affects the central nervous system, specifically the brain. People with epilepsy have a tendency to have recurrent seizures.

Individuals with epilepsy face unique challenges everyday because seizures can occur at any time, which may lead to different forms such as muscle spasms, blank stare, convulsion, altered awareness and uncontrolled movements.

That's why it is important for an individual with epilepsy to live well and stay safe by implementing certain lifestyle changes that will help improve their overall health and lower exposure to seizure triggers.

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1. Exercise

Staying physically active will help you to stay positive while allowing you to build your self-esteem and maintain a healthy weight. Avoid exercises like hiking, swimming or any other exercise that will put you in a dangerous situation. While exercising if you feel that your body is physically tired and triggering seizures take rest and drink a lot of water [1].

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2. Get plenty of sleep

People with epilepsy shouldn't be sleep deprived as it triggers seizures, even in people who can control their seizures well. So, get lots of sleep daily [2].

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3. Develop healthy habits

People with epilepsy should start developing healthy habits such as eating a well-balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, consuming fresh fruits and vegetables and sleeping on time.

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4. Keep a diary

Take a notebook or a diary and write down a list of things - when do your seizures occur, what kind of strange sensations you feel before it occurs, what do you do during your seizure, any kind of medication that has an impact on the side effects and how do you feel physically and emotionally. This will help your family members or the doctor to understand what kind of seizures you have and the necessary steps to be taken when you have a seizure.

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5. Know your triggers

There are many things that can trigger seizures in people living with epilepsy. These include stress, lack of sleep, alcohol or drug use, fever, low blood sugar, menstrual cycle and time of the day. Avoid these triggers to decrease your chances of having a seizure [3].

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6. Keep your living area safe

Keep your living area neat and tidy. Implementing small changes in your living area can reduce the risk of physical injury during a seizure such as avoid keeping things in your living area that have sharp corners or things that may cause you to trip.

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7. Avoid drinking alcohol

Drinking alcohol excessively may interfere with your medications and this may increase the risk of having seizures. Also, chronic abuse of alcohol is linked to the development of epilepsy in some individuals [4].

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8. Practice meditation

Practicing meditation and other relaxation techniques such as yoga can reduce your stress, which is a well-known seizure trigger. Practice meditation and yoga to lower your seizures [5].

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9. Take medications

Take your medications on time as prescribed by your doctor as skipping your medicines will increase the risk of seizures. Keep your doctor informed if you are having any side effects of medications.

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10. Find support

Consider joining a support group to meet other people who have epilepsy. This will help you hear the stories of theirs and their coping methods, which can be very positive for you. Also, you can share a lot about your epilepsy like how you feel after a seizure and what helps you to recover.

To Conclude...

People who live with epilepsy may at times find it difficult to carry on with their daily activities. It is necessary to take care of your overall well-being by making certain lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of seizure.

Common FAQs

Should a person with epilepsy be left alone?

There are many people with epilepsy who live independently and are happy. If the individual is living with his or her family members he or she shouldn't be left alone.

Can you get epilepsy from stress?

Stress is the most common trigger for seizures among people with epilepsy and reducing stress levels will lower seizure risk.

Can you stop a seizure before it starts?

You can't stop a seizure once it starts. Seizures will stop on their own and has no permanent ill effects on the body.

How do you care for someone with epilepsy?

If a person has developed a seizure, make them lie down on the floor and turn them or her onto one side. Then clear everything around him such as sharp objects to prevent injury. Keep a soft pillow under their head and check the time duration of the seizure.

Story first published: Friday, March 27, 2020, 10:00 [IST]