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Dehydration and seizures ?

has anyone ever been dehydrated and had seizures and does being dehydrated make your seizures worse? jenn


While my epi is more or less controlled by 200mg/d Lamictal, I discovered a few years ago - after 40 or so years with the condition - that my seizures ONLY occur when I am dehydrated (often related to exercise, weather, long-distance flying etc).  Why this should be so I am not entirely clear.  Fortunately warning signs do appear in the form of very mild, simple partial, seizures but these recur with increasing intensity over the next hour or so - unless I drink a large glass of water, when the sequence stops.  'Echoes' - further, mild, SPSs - occur over the next 24/48 hours but I have got used to them and ignore them.

Familiar story?


Dear Shygirl,

I have had seizures while dehydrated, but I'm not sure if it was exactly the dehydration that caused them or the low potassium level from sweating it out beforehand that caused them. I know that when I got to the ER they told me that my potassium was low and that was a possible cause, and I know why my potassium level was low at the time (one day, sweating all day while moving my apartment).

In any case, it's probably a good idea not to get dehydrated for reasons other than epilepsy, if it's a possible trigger, that's just one more reason to drink lots of water.

As far as making them worse, I wouldn't know as I'm unconscious during a seizure so I have no way to judge what's 'worse'.

 Matt Shelley 

Whenever I fly I ask the stew... Flight attendant for a glass of juice and a glass of water every single time they pass by.

Eight glasses of water a day? Pfff! I probably drink that much before lunch.


I searched this topic out because I had reasoned out the common denominator. Dehydration has been key to my seizures. my first seizures struck when I started drinking in college. My worst seizures were directly after my younger years of parties and heavy drinking. Since then its been no alcahol but I have been a soda fiend with no actual water intake, maybe 4-8 oz a day for a body that is suggested to have 120-150 oz a day. I am certain this has been the secret culprit for all these years.


I didnt start thinking of my hydration level until other side effects hit from lack of hydration. (Gout in my 30's) Stands to reason that if my kidneys were overworked with no water to do its job the the hydration level in my brain is probably to low to properly do its job. More like having just enough to run the program but not very fast. The hydration is like ram that frees up everything. Anyhow I concur and add my 2 cents to get more people thinking on this neglected aspect of our health.

Hi All,

My boyfriend has had 3 seizures in just over 3 years (roughly a year apart). They are all when he hasn't had much sleep or is dehydrated. Is this epilepsy or just seizures due to dehydration??? Any ideas??



When the body is down ~10% of the total water it needs, you can have seizures.  I'd suggest you take your boyfriend in to see a specialist and have an EEG done to make sure.

Hi Chris,

I read your post a week ago and since our conditions sound similar, I decided to try staying hydrated and see what happened. I can't believe the improvement, and I can't believe that in the five years since the epi started, none of my three neurologists mentioned the possibility that the seizures could be triggered by dehydration. My very first seizure took place on an airplane (I thought maybe it was the altitude...) and they always get worse in the summer.

<<warning signs do appear in the form of very mild, simple partial
seizures but these recur with increasing intensity over the next hour or
so - unless I drink a large glass of water, when the sequence stops.>>


I'm now wondering if I'll be able to get away with a lower dose of Lamictal. I've been at 400mg/day, which makes me pretty ditzy. How's your cognitive function at 200mg?

Thanks a million.



 Very pleased to hear that your epi has improved.  'Dehydration' probably affects the seizure sensitivity of more people than one realises.  As to reducing the doseage of the Lamictal, why not see how things are in a months or so's time?  If you are still in 'new, improved' condition you might consider reducing the drug a bit, by 100mg/d say.  I reduced my Lamictal doseage from 400mg to 200mg/d some time ago but I did so mainly because, at the time, I was eliminatiing the Phenytoin (aka Dilantin, on your side of the Pond) I was taking alongside it (due to its effect on your metabolism, one needs a higher dose of most other drugs taken with Phenytoin, other things being equal). 

Like you I was found a Lamictal doseage of 400mg/d rather dizzy-making sometimes.  As to cognitive function, the Lamictal has rather shredded my memory, 'names' especially.  Still, I am now driving a car and leading as normal a life as one might expect.

Let us know how matters progress.



Karyn... and all! This is so amazing to read these posts. I have been self studying antioxidants and hydration for a little over 2 years now. A friend had been badgering us for like 3 months to have our then 7 year old daughter drink Kangen Water, it is alkaline, antioxidant water that also hydrates better due to being molecularly reduced in size by the ionization process.

She has TSC and was a living zombie due to all the meds she was on and still having about 40 or so tonic clonic SZ's a month. She had no quality of life in our view. Within a week of starting this hydration process she began to speak more clearly, became more energetic and after 2 months seizures had dropped by over 50%. She was also becoming toxically over medicated and under Dr. guidance we were able to cut back on her meds with no increase in seizures. This brought about even further benefits to her speaking, cognitive and overall life! Her vomiting and constipation stopped too. Constipation regardless of the cause is most often related to dehydration I now realize. We knew back then when she was complaining of "stomach aches" she always seemed to seize more but never put the 2 together.

Chris posted a reply about his liver not processing his meds properly due to possibly being dehydrated. I could not agree more with that and feel that is why after becoming properly hydrated our duaghters seizures dropped and the amount of meds she was on was "suddenly" way too much. Water plays a huge role in all organ function, asimulation of all hormones, enzymes etc and is responsible for flushing the acidic toxic waste created by natural cellular metabolism out of our cells as well as its function in mitochondria, the blood and nerves.  These posts help confirm my thoughts on this and tells me SO many people don't understand dehydration which begins to hurt everyone some way or another long before you recognize your thirst or "UCD" level, (Unintentional Chronic Dehydration). I hope everyone reading this will read up and research the important role of Water in Brain Function.

I have posted some info and more thoughts on hydration, oxidative stress and Mitochondrial dysfunction under the discussions tab at my facebook page!/pages/Kangen-Water-Orange-County/109229055797217?sk=app_2373072738 

With Epi . com being what many consider one of the best Epi sites I can't believe there is not a section specially devoted to hydration for all the reasons we all have mentioned in this string. So far this is the first time Gianna has had only 5 T/C's  and only 5 last month too, summer or not! Maybe we can all send them a link to our our own posts and hopefully they will recognize the significance of all the amazing success stories about reducing seizures and have a real section commited to it for all to see and read, after all next to breathing nothing is more important than proper hydration. Pat D.

George - NYC -- I'm Thirsty!
You know, Shygirl, I have heard many times that letting ourselves get too dry does bring on seizures, and just plain bad health. The textbook recommendation (for anybody, not just we E people) is 8 glasses of water per day. And I'm sure I don't take down even half of that amount! I guess it comes from my childhood, when things like milk and juice took the place of water. But now it's rare that I finish even one glass at a time. Maybe consuming more water would help those half-dozen pills I take each day make it through my body better. You've inspired me to try. Thanks!

Hello guys

I had my epilepsy under control. no seizure for 11 years until a month ago. 

I had not been drinking enough water, was stressed and been working out alot. Basically i was de hydrated and that caused my liver to not process the drugs properly and therefore not in my system doing their work.

Wont make that mistake again and will keep hydrated.


Loss and reduction in body water levels.
See free access online books about Dehydration below.
See detailed information below for a list of 245
causes of Dehydration
, including diseases and drug side effect causes.


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I know several Doctors that say adults should calculate their daily water intake by taking 1/2 of your body weight and drink that many ounces of water.  So if an adult weighs 100 pounds, their daily water intake should be at least 50 ounces. 


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