Epilepsy can be a difficult disease to live with. Seizures can disrupt your life and cause distress. However, there are ways to manage your condition, for you to live a healthy full life.
WHAT CAN I DO?
The following are ways to help take control of your condition:
Know about your condition- It’s a good idea to know about epilepsy and have some basic knowledge of the condition, the medication and complications. Knowledge is power. With knowledge you can avoid some complications.
Take your seizure medicines as prescribed- This is probably the most important tip! Your medication is the key part of your treatment. Even when you haven’t had a seizure in a while, don’t stop taking your medication.
Ask your doctor before taking other medicines or supplements- This is because medication interacts with each other, and some may cause the epilepsy medication to be less effective.
Keep a record of your seizures and seizure triggers to track patterns and learn how to avoid seizure triggers- This is something everyone with epilepsy is encouraged to do. It can help you avoid situations and triggers that can bring on seizures.
Practice a healthy lifestyle- Some good practices such as getting at least 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep each night are essential. Exercising regularly each day as well as following a well-balanced diet and keeping a healthy weight will give the best outcome.
Try not to smoke, drink alcohol excessively, or abuse other substances as it can make life with epilepsy more difficult.
Take care of your mental health- This can be done by practicing ways to lower stress and staying connected with friends and family for support. Get help for emotional problems as soon as you pick up on any emotional distress.
All the suggested ways to self-manage your condition can improve functional limitations that accompany epilepsy. With good compliance you will have less clinic visits, hospital visits and trips to the emergency department. This can be very inconvenient when living with epilepsy.
Communicate with your doctor if you are having any problems drinking your medication or if you start experiencing side effects. This should not be a reason to stop drinking your medication as prescribed.
Its important to note, this treatment is life long and its best to create routine around it - to ensure that you never forget to remain adherent.
Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window
Reference: Schachater SC. Epilepsy. Neurol Clin. 2001 Feb;19(1):57-78.