Epilepsy is a range of conditions that alter brain activity, leading to seizures. Because Epilepsy can alter how the brain controls processes, patients suffering from this disorder may experience various symptoms. A persistent sign associated with Epilepsy can be fatigue which is an overwhelming and constant feeling of tiredness, fatigue, or weakness. Fatigue is a far more frequent symptom for people with Epilepsy as opposed to generally speaking.
A feeling of weakness and fatigue can impact the quality of your daily life. Fortunately, there are strategies to help deal with epilepsy-related fatigue.
What is the feeling of fatigue that comes with Epilepsy You Feel?
The fatigue that sufferers with Epilepsy are manifested in physical and mental symptoms of constant and severe fatigue, weakness, and fatigue.
A My Epilepsy Team member described feeling more emotional due to fatigue: “Does anyone feel exhausted to the point of feeling sad? This is something I often experience. I’m on many medications, and my seizures aren’t under control, so I’m just going to feel exhausted.”
Another member said that fatigue results in daytime sleepiness: “Does anyone experience sleepiness in the day? I’ve noticed it recently, and a friend told me I was sleeping.” A member wrote about the effect of seizure-related fatigue on her life quality by writing, “For many years, I get up after a seizure and find myself exhausted for up to seven days, and resting in bed for the majority of the day, every day. This is the primary reason why I was fired from my job.”
What causes fatigue with Epilepsy?
Various factors can cause an individual with Epilepsy to feel fatigued.
Depression is a recognized co-morbidity (co-occurring disorder) of Epilepsy, and its symptoms vary from individual to. An investigation using measures such as the Fatigue Severity Scale and Fatigue Impact Scale identified a significant incidence of depression-related fatigue for people who have Epilepsy.
This fatigue could cause epileptic seizures. The cycle could begin to develop: Depression can cause fatigue that can lead to seizures. These seizures increase fatigue, and this leads to depression and so on. Discuss with your physician how to combat depression to stop this cycle.
Numerous My Epilepsy Team members agree that battling depression is a normal part of dealing in a world of Epilepsy: “I never thought I’d ever need to confront depression. When you have Epilepsy, depression is a daily struggle.”
Another significant risk factor in developing fatigue while living with Epilepsy is the inability to sleep and sleep impairment. Sleep-related seizures (which occur when the person is asleep) can impact the patient’s sleep quality.
One is believed to be suffering from nighttime seizures when more than 90% of their seizures occur while asleep and sleeping, as happens with as high as 45 percent of those with Epilepsy.
Generalized and focal seizure kinds can manifest in nighttime seizures. Nocturnal seizures usually occur during the initial, light stages of sleep or when awakening.
The other My Epilepsy Team member described the nighttime seizures as the cause for fatigue: “I recently had numerous nighttime seizures and am exhausted to the point of exhaustion. It will take three days to return to its normal state. It drains a lot of your.”
Another member mentioned how nighttime seizures disrupt their sleep rhythm and lead to fatigue in the morning: “Does anyone else ever experience a seizure during their sleep and find it difficult to fall asleep? Later in an entire day, it may completely drain your energy.”
There are several phases to the seizure:
Prodromal phase -when symptoms start
The aural phase is when a change in perception or sensations is experienced.
Ictal phase – The actual seizure
Postictal phase -recovery time following a seizure
The Interictal phase — the period between seizures
Postictal phases have been shown to have more remarkable postictal phases and have higher chronic fatigue scores in addition to fatigue scores than other phases, with some people reporting more significant fatigue and less energy in this postictal phase. Also, the time between the seizure is a period of intense fatigue.
Many members complained of having to sleep due to extreme fatigue throughout this phase. “I usually go to sleep following a seizure,” wrote one member. “It’s often like running in a marathon. You’re weak in the muscles. It hurts everywhere, and you’re completely exhausted.”
Certain antiepileptic medicines have been known to cause fatigue. An adjustment in your medication or a time to adapt to your treatment plan could be required to lessen the effects of fatigue.
One member replied to a query concerning medications and fatigue: “When I took the medication, I felt fatigued, anxiety, stress, anger, as well as mood fluctuations.” They gave excellent tips: “When side effects become unbearable, you should speak to your neurologist and request a medication that is less prone to unwanted side negative effects.”
The Management of Epilepsy-Related Fatigue
Controlling and dealing with fatigue epilepsy isn’t easy because its causes may be interconnected. The best way to begin is to monitor the signs that indicate fatigue and discuss the causes and treatment options with your medical team.
It was reported that the British Epilepsy Association published a study that assessed fatigue and depression with depression and fatigue using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory. The study’s findings underscored the necessity of addressing depression to manage better fatigue associated with Epilepsy.
Treatments for depression, such as antidepressant medication, can help in the fight against depression. Psychotherapy (talk therapy) and other forms of counseling can also prove beneficial. Healthy lifestyle changes can aid in efforts to combat depression.
One member swears by exercising for a week to help depression: “I took the time to run six miles this afternoon to help in my depression.” Another person said they depend on a supportive animal “Our therapy dog is extremely adorable and loves cuddling with me as well as my wife. She has helped me deal with anxiety, stress, and depression.”
Manage Postictal Symptoms
In consultation with your physician, identifying your typical post-operative symptoms could help you manage your symptoms.
Your physician may recommend an electroencephalogram in the postictal phase to evaluate the brain’s changes and help manage or treat future episodes.
Preparing yourself to deal with the post-seizure phase by having a plan that includes help from trusted people can reduce the effect of postictal symptoms such as fatigue. The emotional support and validation of those you trust can positively impact the intense emotions that accompany the seizure phase. Making sure you take care of your immediate physical needs following a seizure could help.
Keep Healthy Habits
A regular, healthy food plan and snack can help maintain energy levels and prevent excessive daytime sleepiness. A healthy weight, drinking plenty of water, and engaging in regular physical exercise may help improve the level of energy.
One member discovered that adhering to the same routine and avoiding triggers had the most significant impact on controlling fatigue: “Eat healthily, take 8-10 hours of sleep each night, don’t drink alcohol or drugs, take them daily and each day, and also ensure your mental well-being (reduce stress, develop strategies for coping, and appreciate the things you have). It is generally recommended to avoid common triggers.”
One member expressed frustration with the vicious cycle of fatigue and poor sleep in addition to seizures: “My husband has difficulty making it to sleep and being asleep. If he is having a rough night’s sleep, it is common for him to have seizures. Seizure. After that, he’s exhausted that he can’t sleep throughout the day, and is unable to sleep at the end of the day, which is the spiral of misery.”
A different My Epilepsy Team member suggested that they try Yoga to get better sleep: “Yoga helps you notice the changes that are taking place in your body and assists you to relax and let go of tension. It can help you learn to breathe evenly and deeply and what postures are optimal for you to help your body relax. Yoga can help you clear your mind of all thoughts and noises.”
Practicing sleep hygiene guidelines can help you to get better sleep. Some suggestions for getting better sleep for those who have Epilepsy include:
Make sure your bedroom is dark at night, and let light in when you wake.
Make sure you stick to an evening routine that is consistent with sleep and wake times as you are able.
Reduce screen usage, particularly the hour before bed.
Do not consume excessive amounts of caffeine during the morning.
Engage in regular physical activity that you find enjoyable.
Try some breathing exercises or meditation, particularly at nighttime.
Per one of My Epilepsy Team members, A referral to the sleep clinic may help: “I had an excellent experience with the sleep clinic through Zoom. If you’re having difficulty sleeping, seek an appointment with a sleep clinic. He was able to offer me suggestions to help me improve my sleep without the use of medication.”
Talk to Your Doctor
Psychotherapy is an effective method of reducing fatigue for people who have Epilepsy. Discuss with your physician this possibility and other strategies that could help to manage your fatigue.