Epilepsy MUSC

Comprehensive Epilepsy Center

Tips for Living with Epilepsy

Below are some tips from the MUSC Epilepsy Team to help you manage your epilepsy.

Keep a seizure diary:
Keeping a log of your seizures is a great way to tell if your treatments are working. The number of your seizures and what they are like (“big seizures,” “little seizures”) is the most important thing to record, but some people find it helpful to record extra information to.

Suggestions on what to record in your seizure diary:

  • Date and time of each seizure
  • What were you doing when the seizure started?
  • Did you feel a warning? If so, what did it feel li e?
  • What happened to you during the seizure? (jerking, shaking, staring, biting your tongue or cheek, wetting)
  • How did you feel after the seizure: sleepy, confused, normal?
  • How long did the seizure last?
  • Can you think of any reasons you may have had the seizure (lack of sleep, illness, missed your medicines)?
  • Women should also track their menstrual period in their seizure log

Taking your medications:

  • We recommend taking all medicine on a regular schedule instead of taking it at different times each day.
  • Please bring all of your medicine bottles and your seizure log book with you to every clinic visit. This helps us provide you with the best care possible

Healthy Sleep Patterns:

  • Getting enough rest can help. Try to get plenty of sleep each night (7-8 hours is suggested).

Driving with epilepsy in South Carolina:

  • In the state of South Carolina, you must be seizure free for 6 months to legally be driving. That includes ALL seizures (even “little seizures” or seizures while you sleep).

Eating healthy can help:

  • Enjoy regular, healthy meals and ask your health care provider or dietitian if you should take a multivitamin,
  • Some seizure medications can make your bones weak. You may need extra Calcium (1200- 1500 mg/day) and vitamin D (1000-4000 IU/day).
  • Women who are able to become pregnant (even if they are not planning to become pregnant soon) should take 1 mg of Folate (Folic Acid) each day. This lowers the risk of having a child with a serious birth defect in the future.
  • Alcohol (beer, wine, liquor) or street drugs (crack, cocaine) can cause you to have seizures. Your seizure medicines may not work like they should if you use these substances.

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