Cramps, seizures, fatigue, cravings for Twix, a root beer (ok maybe that’s just me) and pimples are sure signs my not so friendly friend is coming. Yes, I said seizures! If you didn’t know, a change in your hormones can definitely be a major trigger for seizures in women. These types of seizures are known as Catamenial Seizures. Now, guys, you may be like “I’m out of here” but this may help you understand your wives or daughters just a little bit better. Or you are like who tries to figure women out anyway? As always this is from my own experiences and if you feel you identify please consult your doctor.
You may know by now my seizures took a 17-year break. For 17 years I was seizure free. No meds, no Neuro appointments, I was living my life as if it never existed. With that being said, I also was at my heaviest weight. I was up to 330 pounds. That also affected my menstrual cycle which rarely showed. In 2012, I was tumbled over with horrible pain and learned I had gallstones. That was enough to spring me into action to start operation weight loss. With the drastic change in eating habits, activity and everything in between, my body was like “um excuse me what are you doing?” I was healthier, my doctors were loving it and so was I. With that, my cycles started coming on a regular basis. But then surprise, the seizures started again as well. Are my seizures being triggered by my period?! Dang it Eve!
My neurologist than linked my seizures to a hormonal imbalance. While I do have Temporal Lobe Epilepsy, the Catamenial Seizures started to happen every single month at the start and end of my period. What exactly are Catamenial Seizures? Well, lets break it down. Catamenial Epilepsy is defined as a pattern of seizures that changes in severity during particular phases of the menstrual cycle. Women with epilepsy may have seizure patterns associated with changes in estrogen and progesterone levels.They generally will trigger seizures in whatever form of seizures the patient has. For me, they occur in the same pattern as the TLE. You can check out my post It Starts With a Headache to see how my seizures occur each time. I can literally go the whole month with no seizure activity then BAM, look at the calendar and it’s right on time. Be aware they can also be triggered pre and post menopause. I’ve learned to deal with it and I do have a monthly medication I take during that time. It makes me extremely sleepy so I try to fight through it. There are hormone therapies you can try but I haven’t looked into those just yet.
Sometimes we take measures to fix one issue but it causes problems elsewhere. Do I regret losing the weight? No! It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Seizures were something that has been in my life since an infant so it was bound to make an appearance again at some point. I’m just glad I was able to figure this trigger out to say hey ladies pay attention to your body. If you notice ANYTHING please let your doctor know.
Check out my interview done for lifescript.com on the News and Events page. Sharing more about my life with Catamenial Seizures.