Those who are suffering from epilepsy have a range of challenges that they have to face all the time. Of course, one of the most problematic of these is the fact that they do not know when the next seizure will occur. They are highly unpredictable, but there are certain triggers that tend to increase the risk of having a seizure. One of the top on that list is stress.
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati Epilepsy Center at the UC Gardener Neuroscience Institute published a review article in Seizure. The article examined the relationship between stress and seizures. In addition, it looked at methods of utilizing stress reduction techniques that could help to treat the problem.
What is The Relationship of Stress and Seizures?
Over the past five decades, researchers have been looking at the relationship between stress and seizures. Research has shown that stress has the potential to increase the susceptibility of seizures. It also can increase the risk of the development of epilepsy. This tends to be true in those cases where the stressors are experienced in a person early in life, or those who have prolonged exposure to the stressors. It can also happen when the stressors are extremely severe.
Some of the studies of the last 50 years have looked at the effects of different stressors and how they could increase seizure risk during a time of stress. Some of the events they looked at include natural disasters, trauma, death of a loved one, and war. A study showed that children who were from areas affected by war had epileptic seizures more often than those who are not.
One of the other things they noted is that stress tends to be subjective. Different people react to stress differently, and it is difficult to understand and obtain objectivity about the causal factor of stress in individual patients because of this.
Stress Reduction Techniques
To help reduce the possibility of having a seizure, it is a good idea to engage in low risk stress reduction techniques. These tend to be very simple and fast to employ techniques by just about anybody. Deep breathing exercises, meditation, and relaxation and mindfulness therapy are known to be quite helpful to control stress seizures.
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to increase the amount of exercise a person gets. Just because someone suffers from epilepsy and seizures does not mean that they cannot exercise. Exercise tends to help people relax and it is good for their body overall. Another method of stress reduction is to establish routines. When you have a routine, there are fewer surprises in life. Fewer surprises mean less stress, at least in most cases.
Those who have stress and seizures will want to speak with their doctors about other methods that they can use to help them reduce their levels of stress. It could help them to get better control over their seizures.