For The Healthy Mum On Anti-Epileptic Medication: 

This article is being written by a number of FACS mums, who are sharing their experience and insight into how they manage their own health and well being.  This page is seperated into:

  1. General health and well being tips

  2. Health and well being tips for those with epilepsy

  3. Health and well being tips relevant to the different anti-epileptic drugs on the market

 

GENERAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING:

 

EXERCISE:

 

Horse Riding:

Horse Riding is not the wisest form of exercise for an epileptic that  does not have their epilepsy fully controlled.  Yet it is a really good source of exercise that can have profoundly positive effects on the physical body.

 

The experience that you share with a horse can be like any other, the sense of companionship and complete trust makes for a happier and more fullfilling experience for you both.  It can leave you feeling positive and lowers your stress hormones, naturally stimulating the production of serotoin giving you a sense of over all wellbeing. Learning new skills such as dressage, show jumping or endurance riding, that will give you a powerful sense of achievement  Riding also includes a carivscular workout, improving fitness and balance. It helps to improve muscle strength, hand-eye co-ordination and joint mobility, whilst also burning calories. Horse riding is a powerful tool for wellbeing however it is important to weigh properly the risks and benefits. 

 

Epilepsy Action suggests:  Horse riding can be safe for people whose seizures are well controlled, or who always have a long enough warning before a seizure. If your seizures are not well controlled and could cause you to fall off the horse, you may still be able to ride. However, you would need to be closely supervised by someone walking alongside the horse.

 

MANAGING STRESS:

 

Meditation:

When a person takes anti-epileptic medication it is likely that there nervous system is not strong.  It is  for this reason that they should find a school that specialises in meditation.  A good indication to a  good teacher is that they will tailor your mediation to your individual needs.   It is believed that the flow of energy through the body can be too strong for those with a damaged nervous system.   Some energetic medicines/and energy systems can have a similar effect.  Unfortunately those that are not experienced in different forms of medicine and energy work will find it difficult to discern the very real dangers involved when approaching meditation and energy work without adequate training.

 

MANAGING DIET:

A Car needs a certain type of fuel to run properly, certain types of food and drink will help a person run at their optimum.  This is all the more important when a person’s health is undermined by poor health and medications.   There are many different approaches to dietary habits.  If you are taking medication your body will already be compromised, and is likely to be intolerant to some foods Glutton and Dairy are too of the most common foods that could cause problems. Foods and drink that can support detoxification of the body are also important, as they will help to eliminate some of the toxins in your body.

 

Alcohol:

If you are allowed to have alcohol, than you can do so in small amounts, drinking it slowly. Seizures with Alcohol are normally related to binge drinking and withdrawal, or alcoholism.  “Withdrawal”  seizures may occur 6 to 72 hours later, after drinking has stopped. Seizure medicines can lower your tolerance  for alcohol, so the immediate effects of alcohol consumption are greater. In other words, people get drunk faster. Rapid intoxication is a big problem because many of the side effects of these medicines are similar to the acute effects of alcohol itself. If you are sensitive to alcohol or seizure medicines, you may find the combination even worse.  For more information:

 

 

Dietary Watchpoints:

Always read the labels when shopping. Certain ingredients can create unnecessary challenges for the nervous system. 

 

Diets for Well Being:

The G.A..R.D diet ((Glutamate/Aspartate Restricted Diet) is a diet that is often recommended for epilepsy, ADHD, insomnia, fibromyalgia (pain syndromes), chronic fatigue/depression, IBS/heartburn, and much more. 

 

Links to the watchpoints for the different anti-epileptic drugs (downloadable):

 

 

 

 

SMART PHONE THERAPY:

 

There are thousands of Aps that claim to help people with their mental health, but the vast majority have no scientific evidence to support their claims, beause of this the FDA have annouced that they will begin to regulate medical APS.

 

Bi-Polar disorder (Medically Reviewed by Kenneth R. Hirsch, MD)

  • BrainWave Tuner (2.99)

  • Happier (free)

 

Apps to help you with your sleep (Medically Reviewed by Kenneth R. Hirsch, MD)

  • Sleep Bot (free)

  • Relaxing Nature Scenes (free)

  • Relax & Rest Guided Meditations (£1.49)

 

General Well being:

  • Headspace (for iphone/ipad/android)  (free)

 

Brain training:

  • Luminosity (free)

  • Mind Games Pro- (£3.49)

 

Productivity App:

  • 30/30 (for iphone/ipad) - free

 

Apps to help you take your medicine all recommended for medication adherence in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.

 

Aps to Avoid

Watch out! Some apps make big claims with little evidence

 

According to the FDA, those psychiatric apps that provide coping techniques for people with diagnosed mental health conditions pose low risks to consumers. These apps will be regulated at the fda's discretion, and many will therefore escape the agency's safety and effectiveness assessments. Some experts, however, say that these apps can still be hazardous if they give out shoddy advice or otherwise mislead vulnerable consumers. “Some of [these apps] are really good, and some of them are awful,” says Michael Van Ameringen, a psychiatry professor at McMaster University in Ontario. “Clinicians and consumers need help sorting through them.”

 

For instance, be wary of apps designed by software companies that fail to include insight from a medical professional (such as many of the hypnosis apps out there), as well as apps claiming to use audio tones to induce certain mental states, such as decreased anxiety (there is no scientific validity to these claims).

 

 

Contributions made by:

Deborah Mann

Gillian McQueen

Jo Cozens

© Copyright of Organisation of Anti-Convulsant Syndrome (O.A.C.S) 2/2014 Registered Charity no. 1116497