You’ve just received an epilepsy diagnosis. Now what?
If you have epilepsy, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to help keep your seizures under control. An epilepsy expert at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center explains.
Many treatment recommendations for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) are similar to those for other forms of epilepsy. Any treatment undertaken will be done with consideration of your overall health and wellness.
Every specialist who is part of your care team at the Ohio State Comprehensive Epilepsy Center — as well as any other providers you see at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center — will know what seizure treatment is being considered, what’s working, what’s not working and how both your physical and mental health have changed or improved.
We start treatment with medication to control your seizures. The majority of patients with epilepsy have seizures completely controlled with medication, but for some people medication doesn't completely work.
Your prescription will be based on the type of TLE you have, as well as on your age, other medical conditions, potential side effects and other factors based on your personal situation and lifestyle. We’ll continue to monitor results, and if you develop bothersome side effects, we can always adjust dosage levels or try a different medication.
There are also lifestyle factors that can impact the number or severity of your seizures. To help you identify potential triggers and also track the impact of lifestyle changes, we’ll encourage you to keep a “seizure diary.”
A consistent sleep schedule, regular exercise and avoiding alcohol are all very important changes you can make to help impact your seizure frequency. Talk with your doctor about the merits of each and how to safely start these new habits if you’re not doing so already.
You should also talk with your doctor to make sure it remains safe to drive, swim or do other activities with the type TLE seizures you’re experiencing.
In some cases we might recommend a specific kind of low-carb diet, such as modified Atkins or ketogenic diets to help with your seizures. Our nutritionists and dietitians can work with you to develop meal plans that suit your lifestyle.
If your TLE isn’t under control with medication, you can be evaluated to determine if you might benefit from epilepsy surgery or deep brain stimulation. As a level 4 epilepsy center, Ohio State offers advanced surgery and neurostimulation options that are not always available elsewhere. Surgery can help you become completely seizure-free.
We also offer access to research studies and clinical trials that may only be available at a place like the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, an academic health center on one of the nation’s largest university campuses.