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What causes seizure like episodes in the morning?

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Posted on Wed, 16 Jul 2014
Question: About a year ago I started having some sort of 'seizures' (I'll call them seizures but I don't know what they actually are). They usually come in the morning and happen 3-5 times a day on that day. I get such 'seizure' days in about once in six weeks but they are becoming more frequent. During the seizure, I feel a strange sense of pleasure coming from my stomach, then I get something like a dream while awake. It's a sequence combined of memories (things that actually happened) but there are also things which don't exist in the real world. It's extremely fast and lasts for about 10 minutes. There's so much stuff that happens in the dream that I rarely remember the content afterwards. As the dream approaches the end, I start feeling nausea, but I never actually vomit. After the episode I'm extremely tired for the next week. The epizodes essentially feel like I get connected to myself living in a different dimension, where there are some people who exist in my dimension but also some new people who don't actually exist in my dimension. It's really strange. These episodes come completely out of the blue with no possible trigger I'm aware of.

In addition to these epizodes, I've been having some other symptoms, which started in the last 3 months. 3 months ago, I came back home from a conference and I realised that I couldn't remember the name of my cousin. It took me a lot of effort and almost an hour to remember it. It really frightened me. Since then, I've been having problems with memory that regards words and names. For instance, I can't remember the names of my favourite musicians or friends, or people that I know. The strange thing is that this fluctuates - one day I'm fine and remember everything, another day it's really bad. Also, I find it hard to find the right words to say in a sentence.

Since 3 months ago, I've been feeling extremely tired, with unrefreshing sleep. I feel like a walking zombie. I have stiff, clumsy and cold hands. It's extremely difficult to just stretch my fingers.

I'm getting twitches all over my body, especially in fingers. I have difficulty reading as can't coordinate my eyes properly - they jump over words at wrong intervals so I either misread words for something else or I omit them. My handwriting is also quite strange given my hands are so stiff.

I was also getting panic attacks, which prompted me to see my GP who prescribed anti-anxiety medication Propanolol. The medication has stopped the attacks but has not helped with any other symptoms.
I'd like to correct myself, the epizodes last 10 seconds, not minutes.
Thanks for your help.



doctor
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal (13 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Can be an electrolyte imbalance

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
The seizure like episodes and the other symptoms that you have described could be related to stress anxiety or an electrolyte imbalance. It is not likely to be due to a serious neurological disorder. A few blood tests will help in detecting any electrolyte imbalance.
You might consult your doctor who can order
1. a few blood tests including thyroid function tests,
2. Serum electrolytes including Serum calcium and potassium levels.
3. Serum B12 levels

In case the above tests are normal further testing can be done including - nerve conduction studies, Electromyography, etc. These tests might help to diagnose any underlying neurological issues.

The treatment of most of the conditions is very easy and the condition will resolve on its own. In some cases, prescription medications might be needed to stop severe symptoms.
Stop alcohol and caffeine,do regular stress buster exercises like deep breathing exercises and yoga and taking good nutritious diet.You should also keep yourself adequately hydrated and take food and fresh fruit juices at regular intervals.
If some deficiency comes in your tests,then take those supplements.

I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Wishing you good health.
Regards.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Praveen-Tayal

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Praveen Tayal (4 hours later)
Thanks a lot for your answer. I have looked at the blood tests and all came out fine (B12, thyroid function, electrolytes, kidney and liver function, C3 C4 complex, ESR, CRP, Folate, glucose, T4, TSH, white cell and many others).

I don't drink alcohol or caffeine or take any other drugs. I have a balanced nutritious diet and go for a run every other day.

1) Given what you said, do you think that stress anxiety is the most probable cause? The reason why I'm asking is that I don't feel anxious about anything (everything's going well in my life). It seems strange that anxiety would cause lapses in elementary memory such as remembering friend's names or the seizures, or reading problems. I don't have any previous medical history neither am I aware of psychological problems.

2) what do you think these seizure-like episodes might be?

3) I did some research on the most probable conditions and I came across the term sleep apnea/catathrenia, which can cause memory problems, fatigue and possibly seizures. I therefore made my own home sleep study, where I attached a microphone to my mouth and made a recording of my sleep. I used an audio programme to analyse it. When I'm breathing I snore or make some sort of whistling sound. In the second half of my sleep I hold breath for about 15s several times in a sequence (there are several such sequences) and then exhale with a groaning sound. I have a medical history of enlarged adenoids (adenoidectomy in six years of age) and I suffered from many colds and tonsilites pretty much all my life. Furthermore, I was born with a significant underbite and open bite and since 3 years ago I've had braces, which have now almost corrected it. I didn't snore before the orthodontic treatment. I breathe with my mouth as it's difficult to do it with my nose (unless I use nasal drops). Do you think this is probable?

Thanks again for your help.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal (18 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Details below.

Detailed Answer:
Hello.
Thanks for writing again.
1. Stress and anxiety are the most common and most probable cause even if you feel that you are stress free.
2. This needs a detailed evaluation by a neurologist.
3. Can be related to sleep apnoea. Going for a sleep study will help in diagnosis.
Hope my answer is helpful.
Do accept my answer in case there are no further queries.
Regards.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 12173 Questions

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What causes seizure like episodes in the morning?

Brief Answer: Can be an electrolyte imbalance Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for posting your query. The seizure like episodes and the other symptoms that you have described could be related to stress anxiety or an electrolyte imbalance. It is not likely to be due to a serious neurological disorder. A few blood tests will help in detecting any electrolyte imbalance. You might consult your doctor who can order 1. a few blood tests including thyroid function tests, 2. Serum electrolytes including Serum calcium and potassium levels. 3. Serum B12 levels In case the above tests are normal further testing can be done including - nerve conduction studies, Electromyography, etc. These tests might help to diagnose any underlying neurological issues. The treatment of most of the conditions is very easy and the condition will resolve on its own. In some cases, prescription medications might be needed to stop severe symptoms. Stop alcohol and caffeine,do regular stress buster exercises like deep breathing exercises and yoga and taking good nutritious diet.You should also keep yourself adequately hydrated and take food and fresh fruit juices at regular intervals. If some deficiency comes in your tests,then take those supplements. I hope this answers your query. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out. Wishing you good health. Regards. Dr. Praveen Tayal. For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL http://bit.ly/Dr-Praveen-Tayal