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What are usually seizure triggers for people? Is it possible that someone provoke seizures just by smoking or too much caffeine? I think that happened to me.


Well, yes it is possible, although you know that it varies from person to person. Some common seizure triggers for people include: discontinuing your medicine, a cold, infection, or high fever, lack of sleep, alcohol, smoking and caffeine, illegal drugs, stress….Many people discover their particular seizure triggers with experience.


I have epilepsy now and am discovering possible seizure triggers in order to protect myself from them, on a very long Net search. Here is what my list contains so far (many of which have set off some of MY past seizures already!):

- stress (advance work and planning can help one situation I felt fine but my stress was subconscious because I was doing everything fast at the last minute). This category includes emotional as well as physical stress, and even excitement

- drinking alcohol (most if not all anti-seizure medications stop working if too much is had)

- smoking

-use of illegal drugs (especially cocaine)

- lack of sleep

- missed doses of prescription medications

- poor eating habits (here the sites recommend that you keep a nice, regular schedule, including having breakfast first thing)

- starvation or dehydration

- too much caffeine (I can handle one cup of coffee or tea a day. More than that, and I've got a seizure trigger!)

- illness, most especially regarding epileptic children (vomiting, diarrhea, and fever are all triggers. Remember that vomiting may reduce the dosage level of their previously ingested anti-seizure medication. Call the doctor regarding this.)

- prescription medications, especially penicillin and many anti-depressants... these may prevent your anti-seizure medication from working. Make sure all your doctors know of everything you take.

- certain over the counter medications (Advil and Tylenol are fine but never take aspirin! Also stay away from evening primrose oil ). Discuss any of your over the counter medications, including herbal supplements, with your doctor.

- Large amounts of aspartame (Nutrasweet. My father, a doctor, suggested I never take more than one diet soda a day.)

- highly stimulating environments that cause rapid eye movements and dizziness, such as amusement park rides (the Tilt-A-Whirl got me and that had never been any problem before my epilepsy.... this time it triggered a seizure)

- flashing lights and loud steady noise (these external conditions trigger seizures in those people who are vulnerable to reflex epilepsy. Reflex epilepsy usually originates in childhood and has a high healing rate with growth.)

- mathematical calculations (again, these inner conditions trigger seizures in those people who are vulnerable to reflex epilepsy, most often in childhood)

- the Chinese game mahjong (that site did not say, but I suspect this game involves deep complex thinking and so would be another trigger for those specific people susceptible to inner reflex epilepsy)

- for women: menstruation, ovulation, menopause or pregnancy

- individual triggers (a common one is too much heat, internal from extremely excessive exercise or external from an overheated house or apartment, but other triggers are the smell of glue and the color yellow. Many epileptics have their own specific triggers, and many others do not)