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KNOWITALL's avatar

Why do so many people have seizures for no apparent reason?

Asked by KNOWITALL (26288points) August 16th, 2012

My husband has had two seizures this year and doctors find nothing wrong with him at all. We are being asked to do a 24/7 home recording for them to study. I’m curious as to whether anyone else has any experience or information on this subject.

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24 Answers

fremen_warrior's avatar

dr House would break into your basement and check for deadly chemicals or ravenous fungus or sth…

KNOWITALL's avatar

That’s funny, I told my husband we needed to call him. I even asked if it could be allergies to my birds, I was trying to think like House!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I knew someone that had three about 5 years ago. One in the house, two in the car. No connecting situations and nothing since. Think she’d go to the Dr?

Pandora's avatar

Is he on any medications? So many medications come with warnings these days about possible seizures. Especially diet pills and some herbs are fine in small doses but can be dangerous in larger doses.
My husband passed out cold once from an herbal tea his family use to drink as kids. He stopped taking it after that and his father swore it was safe. Some years later they took it off the market because it was found to kill some people.

KNOWITALL's avatar

The first seizure was in April 2012 and they thought it was because he was on Tramadol which can cause seizures in some people. Since then he’s been fine, felt great and all tests at the brain dr came back normal.

His seizure this week was much more mild but still very dangerous and he kind of felt it coming on because he was stuttering a little and finding it difficult to remember some words (his precursor!)

Now his dr has declared him to have common epilepsy and put him on Keppra an anti-seizure broad-spectrum drug. I am just curious if others have dealt with this or have more information.

I did get out a bicycle helmet so if he gets the precursor again he can wear it and sit on the floor when alone to protect his head from injury. Just scared and looking for any help.

@Adirondack – I suggest everyone goes to a dr rather than ignoring any life-threatening issues. Protecting the head is the most important, usually they come out of seizures on their own as long as the air passages don’t lock up and block their breathing.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@KNOWITALL These came on in a few seconds, dizzyness followed by the seizure. No other warnings. They lasted about 60 to 90 seconds, and were followed up by nausea and vomiting. And people say a guy won’t go to the Dr.

Aster's avatar

I wish I knew the answer too. I have a close friend who took common anti-HepC injections the doctor called ‘chemo’ and she had a stroke the next year.They told her the injections did get rid of her HepC, though. My mother was on blood pressure meds for years and had 2 strokes in one day followed by some seizures the following month. Sometimes I think they’re from medications . In my experience, doctors tend to give you a bazillion tests only to say they don’t know what caused the seizures OR strokes. They could be diet or stress related too. I went to a GP for extreme stress and anxiety and all I got was a CBC. No follow up; nothing.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Okay then, guess it’s the helmet! Thanks!!

JLeslie's avatar

Sometimes medication can cause a seizure, and it can reoccur later again. I’m not sure if Tramadol has reports of that?

I think the 24/7 is a good idea. Although, his are so infrequent it might not help diagnose anything. But, it might. Even so they might just prive the seizures are happening and what part of the brain, but still decide it is idiopathic in origin. Frustrating.

I know children who have seizures and then eventually completely disappears. Most started with an infection of some sort, but not all.

I would warn against getting any vaccine going forward. Some are more likely to cause seizures than others, or have warnings against administering to people with epilepsy. I have no idea about the flu shot, which is probably the only one he considers right now anyway, unless he travels a lot.

Has he stopped driving?

JLeslie's avatar

Were they possibly triggered by flashing lights?

GracieT's avatar

Most medicines that work within the Central Nervous System come with a risk of seizures, but anything with the actual word seizures (think Wellbutrin) in the warnings have a higher than average risk. Like @JLeslie mentioned, flashing lights can also be a trigger. Seizures also come in several types. Mine, simple partial, don’t really fit what people call seizures, but another type, complex partial, can also lead to losing awareness, not consciousness. If he has any like that or the typical type of seizure he might lose his license. ( It sucks, I know, but when he’s been seizure free for six months he can get it back.)

KNOWITALL's avatar

No flashing lights, no cell phone usage, no computers, both seizures were in daytime hours. The first one he had driven to a friends house to help with a remodel and seized up within 15 minutes of arrival, work hadn’t started yet. (He rates this as a 10, almost bit through his tongue and started turning blue)

The second was last week, I had just got home and he got a glass of tea, kissed me hello and sat down to talk, then he stood right back up, his shoulder hit the wall next to him and he dropped the tea, went into seizure. (He rates this one as a 4, he bit his tongue only slightly and did not turn blue. Had one for 1 minute, started breathing and calming, then panicked again and quit breathing for 30 seconds)

He has stopped driving as in Missouri you do not lose your license or anything, you just promise on the ‘honor system’ you won’t drive until you’re 6 months seizure-free.

Both times he seized he had not slept well the night before and since we’ve done a sleep study in the past, we know he has sleep issues for some reason. It takes him twice as long as a normal person to ‘fall’ asleep. But the Keppra is making him tired, then he takes a Xanax every night before bed, too, so it’s been much better quality of sleep since the seizure.

I’m just very hopeful he’ll get through this without losing all self-esteem or self-worth. I’ve got to remain positive and keep the bills paid so he can focus on recuperating and getting treated. Plus I’m studying a lot of material and in a lot of forums right now, learning what I can. Any info is appreciated.

JLeslie's avatar

Wait, had he just started xanax when the seizures started to occur? Or, had he taken xanax, and then didn’t the night before he had a seizure? Xanax is known to cause nervous system stuff (just like many of the other drugs similar) and I personally think the withdrawal can be worse than the drug itself for causing headaches, and seizures, and more from what little I know about it. If he missed a dose one night after having taken it several days in a row, his total withdrawal by the next day might cause the seizure?

KNOWITALL's avatar

Well tbh I think that is partially why it happens to him and that not enough emphasis is being put on that by the doctors.

He had a sleep study like 5 yrs ago and after trying several, we felt Xanax helped the best, but like all medicines you do build up a tolerance. He told me he took a half dose the night before the second seizure because he was getting low. Not sure about the first seizure.

At this point, I am holding all his meds in a secure location and dispensing to him on a daily basis, not only to make sure he always has them, but to make sure he’s taking them as prescribed. Since he’s on the Keppra, I think it’s time to make sure he’s not oversoding himself with either the xanax or the Norco’s (arthritis in knee after 3 surgeries.)

I knew taking pills would screw him up, I hate them. But the doctor’s seem to blow me off every time I imply it’s the xanax or norco’s.

JLeslie's avatar

You have to figure it out for yourself. Most doctors will not give a damn or agree it is the drugs. Even if they do agree it might be the drugs, it is up to him to stop taking them, or track what happens when he does and doesn’t take them. Keep a daily diary at this point. He must be honest in the diary if he wants to figure it out. He can’t be worried about being an addict, or being found out to be an addict.

KNOWITALL's avatar

That’s exactly what I told him. And I now dispense the drugs from a secure location. Thanks.

Catlynn's avatar

I am 20 years old now I had sezuires since I was little no one knows y I get them an they still never found out. They tell me I’m ok I’m fine but yet I still have them I take meds everyday 2 times a day an as many questions I ask they don’t have answers I wish I could help but I don’t no myself they tell me it’s caused from stress , angzity, depression but I really don’t no cuz I’m not a depressed person an I don’t really get angzity or neither stressed so I’m sorry idk

Catlynn's avatar

As far as the bike helmet lol when I was little I had to wear bells but now that I’m older I no wat to do this is my best advice for him. Ok if Im u don’t have them u dont no sezuires really hurt I mean they really hurt me an it takes awhile for my mussels to relax. Best advice always relax tell him to relax if he feels them coming on tell him to lay on the floor when he first feels it an to relax it feels more faster an less pain. For u stay by his side to let him no ur there an just say relax. Be for my dad died he was always there when I feel to the ground he held my hand I wouldn’t recommend it cuz he could break ur hand but my dad did an told me everything going to be ok an I pass out when I woke up he was still there I felt loved an the comfort :) u should do that

KNOWITALL's avatar

Thanks so much, I totally will. He’s on Keppra now and doing great, so hopefully no more, but ya know, who knows. Message anytime if you want to chat.

Catlynn's avatar

:) thank u. An ur welcome an I hope he don’t have anymore. An he has 6 months sezuire free before he can drive way better than mine I have to be a year free I take carbatrol also known as carbamazepine

GracieT's avatar

Two weeks ago I had another Complex Partial seizure while driving, during which I totaled my car. Luckily all that happened was that I hit a tree and a large rock, which I drug for a few feet. I did not hit another car, nor did I injure myself, and most importantly, didn’t hit another person. When I saw my epilepsy doctor a week or so after the accident, he took my license for only four months. Like @Catlynn mentioned the first time I lost my license it was for six months, but this time my next doctors appointment is in four months, and I think that it is to look and see whether or not I can start driving again. I’m just grateful that it didn’t happen in August when a friend and I drove through Pennsylvania and in the mountains!

JLeslie's avatar

@GracieT Thank goodness you were ok and you didn’t harm anyone else. Not ony for their sake, but for yours too, because living with knowing someone was harmed would torture me. Seems like it might be much safer to live in an urban center where a car is not necessary. What do you do while you can’t drive? Do you just take taxis?

GracieT's avatar

Actually, @JLeslie, I am blessed. I don’t live in an area that has bus service, but I have friends that can take me where I need to go. I’m spending more time at home than I used to, but I’m finding that it really hasn’t slowed me down much at all! Taxi service is, of course, available, but it is very expensive because I don’t live near most of the places I need to go.
When I didn’t have my license before it was worse because then I was alone in the area in which I was living. I would feel better if we had a coffee shop or a bookstore within walking distance, but hey, it isn’t nearly as bad as it was then, or could be now.

JLeslie's avatar

Just something to think about, taxi service sometimes is not much more than owning a car and paying for service, gas, and insurance, in the event you can no longer drive. I don’t mean taxi service every day, but once a week sometimes balances out even in rural areas.

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