Community Forum

Overheating as seizure trigger

My husband's doctor recently told him that he should avoid getting overheated as it can trigger a seizure. His only seizures (3 in the past year) were due to a hemorragic stroke and following exploratory brain surgery seeking the cause of the strokes. Has anyone ever been told to avoid getting overheated? He is an avid golfer and this will definitely be a problem for him. By overheated, they implied being outside in the 80's.

Comments

I lived in southern Nevada for 11 years, and worked outside in the sun all day and loved it. I moved to the northeast for family reasons, and have twice, including this weekend, had seizures while working outside in the humidity. In NV, the only times I would have seizures at work was when I worked inside where the cold air conditioning was on. Most of the time, I was outside in the dry heat of the desert. (Yes it is a dry heat) I never had a seizure when I was working outside in the sun. Temperatures there would reach over 100 during the day. I loved every minute I was able to work outside. If it's humid where you live, eat before you go outside to work, take breaks out of the sun, and drink plenty of water. Being outside in a humid heat is a trigger for me. I need to move back to the dry southwest.

Yes, here in Kentucky it is definitely humid heat. Thanks for the good suggestions.

Like Seizures (above), my wife and I are also originally from Las Vegas, and we now live in Central Illinois. The summers here are unbearably humid (at least for someone raised in the desert).

My wife started experiencing seizures approximately 4 years ago, though she recalls some from even earlier on in her life. Anyhow, over 90% of her seizures appear to be heat related. Nearly every time she has a seizure, it's been outdoors in the humidity of the midwest summer, or it's been the result of excessive activity, which raises her body temperature. Neither of us can recall her having a seizure during the frigid winters here.

We are seeing the Neuro this week, and will be asking him whether humidity and/or heat plays a role. My hope is that Seizure's experience will be true for us. That is, that dry heat is ok, and that dry climate in general is beneficial.

Believe me, I've been looking for any reasonable excuse to move back to the southwest! :)

I'll come back and let you know what the Doc says.

Please do vegas35! I'm living with my Father right now in Erie, PA and he says he wants to go back there too. (We lived there for 11 glorious yrs) If I can find more evidence the humidity here is causing me to have more seizures, maybe that will talk him into getting the hell out of here for all of our sakes! An 80 degree day here with the humidity is worse than a 110 degree day in the desert. I would do just about anything to move back to the southwest! The only thing holding me back right now, is money. I want to have something in my pocket when I get there to make sure I land on my feet.

SERUSIES, HI........I LIVE IN THE DESERT.....AZ/ IT SEEMS TO ME THAT FOR ME THAT I HAVE SEIZURES MORE OFTEN WHEN IT IS HUMID. I NOTICED DURING THE MONSOONS, THAT I WAS HAVING A LOT MORE THAN WHEN IT WAS DRY. 'IT'S A DRY HEAT, YOU KNOW'! I ALSO NOTICED THAT WHEN I AM EXPOSED TO COLDER WEATHER I HAVE MORE S. I WAS TOLD THAT CHANGES IN THE WEATHER CAN CAUSE S.
I HAD THE WORST S. I HAVE EVER HAD THIS PAST WINTER,(THAT I AM AWARE OF ANYWAY) WHEN WE WERE HAVING A RARE COLD STREAK. I SPENT THE NIGHT SOMEONE'S HOME. THEY DO NOT USE THE HEATER. IT WAS SO COLD THAT NIGHT, THAT EVEN THOUGH I COULD NOT HAVE HAD MORE BLANKETS, ETC. MY HEAD FELT LIKE A ROCK AS DID THE PILLOW. YOU KNOW IN THE DESERT, IT DOES GET COLD AT NIGHT. I DON'T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED THE NEXT MORNING BECAUSE I HAD A SEIZURE AND WAS POSTICTAL. I THEN SPENT 3 1/2 WEEKS OF NON-STOP SEIZURES, AND PIA.
I STARTED MAKING AN EFFORT TO KEEP TRACK OF WHEN I WAS HAVING MORE S., AND HUMIDITY DID SEEM TO PLAY A PART, BUT I DON'T THINK I HAD DEFINITE PROOF.
LIKE I SAID, WEATHER CHANGES CAN CAUSE S. I HAVE BEEN TO
PENNSYLVANIA, AND IT IS BEAUTIFUL. I DON'T LIKE COLD WEATHER EITHER. THAT IS WHY I LIVE 2,000 AWAY FROM MY FAMILY.
I DO THINK THAT IT JUST DEPENDS ON THE PERSON THOUGH, AS TO WHAT TRIGGERS S. I HAVEN'T FIGURED OUT WHAT TRIGGERS A LOT OF THEM, BECAUSE I AM NOT AWARE I AM HAVING THEM ALL THE TIME. SEEMS TO ME, THAT IF YOU ARE OLD ENOUGH, AND ABLE TO SUPPORT YOURSELF, YOU COULD JUST MOVE TO VEGAS. LOOKING FOR VALIDATION FOR MOVING BECAUSE OF YOUR S. AND YOUR DESIRE TO LIVE IN VEGAS, YOU NEED TO CONSIDER THAT MAYBE, IF YOU ARE TOO YOUNG TO MOVE THERE ALONE, PERHAPS YOUR FATHER CAN'T MAKE THE MOVE FOR MANY REASONS SO SIT DOWN AND HAVE A RATIONAL CONVERSATION. ALLOW HIM TO EXPRESS WHY HE FEELS IT BEST TO STAY IN PENN. AND WHY YOU WANT TO LIVE IN VEGAS. IT SOUNDS LIKE MAYBE YOU JUST DON'T LIKE PENN, AND LOVED VEGAS AND WERE HAPPIER THERE. THAT IS ENOUGH OF A VALID REASON. THAT WOULD BE A BIG MOVE TO MAKE, IF YOU WERE TO FIND OUT THAT THE HUMIDITY HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, THAT PERHAPS YOUR S. HAVE GOTTEN WORSE FOR A REASON THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE HUMIDITY. I WISH YOU AND YOUR FATHER LUCK.......GOD BLESS, JAN

Actually, no, I'm not too young, I'm 40. When I lived out there, I slept on a heated waterbed during the summer and 'winter months'. I'm just a cold person, and loved the dry heat. When I lived in Vegas, my Mother had a stroke, and I stopped working to stay home to take care of her. I was living with my Mother and Father at the time, and moving back to PA was a BIG surprise to me at the time. I would NEVER have stopped working if I knew there was a nightmares chance in hell that coming back east was going to happen! My younger brother lives there, and I have a friend that will let me stay with him for a while to see if the climate change makes a difference, and if it does, it will more than likely make my mind up for me. I know it's a big jump financially for me, but if I can have fewer, or no seizures, seeing as how my Dr just put me on disability, it's worth it to me. I'd rather NOT be on disability, and work for a living. I did work there for a long time, and know my previous employer would give me a job to get me started even if it wasn't what I was making before.

HI SERUZIES, I HAD TO GET ON SSI A FEW YEARS AGO, SO I CAN UNDERSTAND HOW YOU FEEL. THE COST OF LIVING IS HIGH HERE, BUT I DON'T THINK AS HIGH AS VEGAS. I THINK IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA FOR YOU TO SPEND SOME TIME THERE, SINCE YOUR FRIEND SAID YOU COULD STAY WITH THEM. AT LEAST IT WOULD GIVE YOU SOME ANSWERS. IF YOU FIND THAT THE CLIMATE SUITS YOU BETTER, AND YOU HAVE LESS S., MAYBE YOU COULD WORK OUT SOME FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENT AND LIVE AT HIS HOME. IT IS DIFFICULT, HERE AT LEAST, TO FIND DECENT HOUSING ON SSI. I AM JUST LIKE YOU, IT SEEMS, FREEZING WHILE EVERYONE IS HOT! GOOD LUCK TO YOU! JAN

The doctor(s) have never told me to avoid overheating but I have noticed that when it's very hot and/or humid outside I'll start to get light headed and my blood pressure will drop causing hypo (not hyper) tension if not careful. I don't know your speciffics but a couple things I've read to help are of course drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and take in more salt. Overheat and exhaustion will cause change in blood pressure which is probably what your husbands doctor is concerned about plus whatever meds he is on. I'm not an expert but this is coming from personal experience. Hope it can help.

It's not the heat that bothers me, it's the humidity. There are days when the humidity makes it hard for me to breathe. When I lived out west, I worked 8-10 hours a day, most of it outside. The heat hardly ever bothered me then, it just felt hot on the days that were over 110 degrees. I loved working outside in the hot sun, I think that was one of the reasons why I got the job, and my performance on the job helped me get raises fast from there. I wasn't getting rich, but I WAS making enough to pay the bills, and I had good health insurance at work to take care of my E.

HI JUDY, BOY THE 80'S SOUNDS COLD TO ME! I LIVE IN AZ. IN THE DESERT. ONE THING I WANTED TO LET YOU KNOW IS I HAVE ORTHOSTATIC HYPOTENSION......WHY I DON'T KNOW. I AM PRESCRIBED 1600 MG OF MAGNESIUM OXIDE DAILY.
I WAS WONDERING IF YOUR DOC EVER TALKED TO YOU AND YOUR HUBBY ABOUT THAT. IT YOU HUBBY DOESN'T HAVE O.HYPO. IF THAT IS NOT THE CASE, I WOULD SUGGEST THAT IF YOU OR YOUR HUBBY IS OVERHEATED TO CARRY WITH YOU DRINKS WITH MAGNESIUM IN THEM AND FOODS THAT ARE HIGH IN MAGNESIUM. I WISH RIGHT NOW I COULD THINK OF SOME FOODS HIGH IN MAGNESIUM....I DID KNOW....OR TAKING OVER THE COUNTER MAGNESIUM, IF THE DOC APPROVES. I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF GETTING OVERHEATED CAUSING S., BUT THAT DOESN'T MEAN IT DOESN'T HAPPEN. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. I WOULD THINK THAT POSSIBLY IT IS TO PROTECT AGAINST MORE STROKES. HOPE YOU GET THE ANSWERS YOU NEED! AND YES, BEFORE I WAS PRESCRIBED THE MAGNESIUM, I GOT EXTREMELY DIZZY ALL THE TIME. WHILE IT HAS RAISED MY BLOOD PRESSURE SO I DON'T GET DIZZY VERY OFTEN, AND WHEN I DO IT IS NOT AS BAD, BUT MY BLOOD PRESSURE IS STILL RUNNING LOW. I DO FEEL THAT THERE IS A MEDICAL REASON FOR MY BLOOD PRESSURE CHANGING FROM 120/80, ETC, TO 60/40 AND LOWER, BUT I HAVE NOT FOUND A DOC WHO IS INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT WHY. THAT IS VERY FRUSTRATING.
I WOULD TALK TO THE DOC TO FIND OUT EXACTLY WHY THE CONCERN, BUT MY GUESS, AS I HAVE SAID IS THAT HE IS MORE LIKELY TO HAVE A STROKE. DID HE HAVE AN ANEUYRISM, OR WHAT CAUSED THE HEMORRHAGING, AND THE NEED FOR SURGERY? BLESSING, JAN

Hello all. I Have had epilepsy for 33 years, i have learnt alot about my seizures and what does and how to understand my epilepsy, i too found that heat triggered my seizures, more being in confined areas. were the heat does not escape. golfing is great for me, as there is a breeze. i have a definite understanding of how to know when seizures are coming on my hand becomes blotchy and when this happens i know i will have a seizure. The overheating excellerates this and brings it on right away. Doctors are afraid to tell you anything, I told my doctor about my overheating and that the drug i was taking for this long dilantin made me sterile. they do not tell you this. Just say not enough research has been done. chris

Thanks for the info. They have not been able to determine why he had to 2 bleeding strokes a year apart in the same area of the brain. That is why they finally decided to do the exploratory surgery to try to find a malformation in the blood vessels or biopsy to rule out an amyloid build up in the vessels. They did rule out the amyloid but found nothing else definitive so we just go on with our life. The 3 seizures, although directly related to the bleeds or surgery, mean he will stay on medication from now on. The doctor just said avoid overheating since he said it might trigger another seizure. I has good blood pressure and no problem with dizziness but will check into the magnesium.
Judy

JUDY, HI........I GUESS I READ YOUR COMMENT WRONG. I THOUGHT YOU SAID YOU HAD A PROBLEM WITH LOW BLOOD PRESSURE. IT MUST BE GOOD TO KNOW THAT NOTHING WAS FOUND WITH THE EXPLORATORY SURGERY. MY SON HAD A BRAIN INJURY WHEN HE WAS 5, AND HE STILL HAS TO BE CAREFUL. THERE ARE THINGS HE STILL CAN'T DO. HE BREAKS OUT IN SWEATS AND BECOMES INCOHERENT,ETC. IF HE DOES THINGS LIKE GO ON CARNIVAL RIDES,ETC. I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH HE IS STILL AFFECTED, BECAUSE HE JUST DOESN'T TALK ABOUT IT. DOCS SAID HE DID NOT HAVE E., BUT I NEVER BELIEVED THEM. I KNEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING WITH HIM WAS NOT NORMAL.
PERHAPS YOUR HUSBAND WILL BECOME AWARE OF WHAT HIS TRIGGERS ARE, LIKE MY SON DID, AND HE WILL KNOW TO GET OUT OF THE HEAT IF IT IS BOTHERING HIM. OR PERHAPS THE HE FILL FIND OUT THAT THE HEAT DOES NOT BOTHER HIM! THE HEAT HAS NEVER BOTHERED ME. THE COLD DOES. AND HUMIDITY. GOOD LUCK TO BOTH OF YOU, GOD BLESS, JAN

I believe that it is not so much being in the 80 degree temp that is implied, but what you are doing in the hot weather. Spending a leisurely day out golfing is not going to over heat you like running in that temp. The doctor is probably more afraid of him having heat exhaustion or heat stoke. Both of which would be detrimental to his health.

Smile...it increases your face value. :)

Hi,
I believe your husband's doctor meant to simply avoiding getting too hot excessively. I know myself that after doing some form of excercise and I get hot, I can sometimes end up having a CPS.

Have a look at this link below. My bf sent me this only today:
http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/10/08/148255

It is quite interesting!

Overheating? In my case it is dehydration that seems to be a necessary condition for my having seizures though I do not really understand why. Obviously this is more likely to happen when it is hot - and dry. Maybe something similar is at work here?
Chris

I have heard of someone claiming that excess perspiration can affect the blood syrum unbound fraction.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Check out my chart of alternative epilepsy treatments.

For me, heat is not necessarily a strong trigger, but it certainly makes things worse. It seems that vigorous exercise is more effective. If it is hot, but I stay in the shade, keep hydrated, and keep my blood sugar up, I am more or less ok. However, if I run up and down a bunch of stairs, or ride my bike too hard I can have a seizure. I do think that living here in the East (MD, VA, PA, MA) is much harder on me than out west (CO, CA, ID). I think that the humidity is definitely a factor. Altitude may also be a factor. Stress and the culture in the East are also factors.

peace R.C.
HI,
Yes but I do not have a doc. or anyone else it seems that cares or will even document it .
Yes this I feel is my no. 1 trigger now and I have and continue to have a lot more than 3 szs, I hope your husband is O.k. .
The last yrs szs have taken the most out of my body of any in the last 14 yrs.
Yes even the physcical exertion breaking a sweat ,is a huge burden I now know I had some sort of szs for 3 days then on the 3rd day had at least 3 very hardcore? gmals that themselves left me so wasted I did not move for weeks. I am glad his doc. is taking this serious. Rick

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

 
24/7 helpline