SUDEP – Sudden Unexpected Death Due to Epilepsy
SUDEP, or Sudden Unexpected Death Due to Epilepsy affects many people with epilepsy whose seizures cannot be controlled. According to the Epilepsy Foundation’s Website, more than 1 out of 1,000 people die each year from SUDEP. That’s too many. Read below for what you need to know about SUDEP and strategies you can take to help prevent it. Proactivity is key.
Currently, the cause of Sudden Unexplained Death Due to Epilepsy is unknown. SUDEP mostly occurs at night when people are sleeping, so there are few descriptions of what happened leading up to the person’s death.
If you or someone you know experiences epilepsy, you need to be proactively focused on ways to prevent seizures. The fewer seizures you have, the lesser the risk of SUDEP.
The Following Steps Can Help
- Make sure you take your prescribed medications regularly. Don’t skip doses — if you accidentally miss a dose take it as soon as you realize you have missed it.
- If your medication is causing side effects, discuss those side effects with your doctor, and explore whether there are alternatives to the medication(s) causing you side effects.
- Drink alcohol only in modest amounts; it’s safest not to drink any at all.
- Exercise regularly – a simple 30 minute walk improves your mood and allows you to sleep better. It may also help lessen your seizures.
- Make sure you get a good night’s sleep. Sleep is essential to helping stop seizures. Many seizures happen when you are very tired.
Knowing more about SUDEP will allow all of us to become proactive in preventing it.
- Your life is important to us. Follow your Dr.’s advice on medication, sleep and more.
- If you haven’t already talked to your neurologist about SUDEP, make sure to ask.
- Being aware of SUDEP is the first step to taking good care of your life with epilepsy.
Check out the Epilepsy Foundation’s website about SUDEP as well here: http://www.epilepsy.com/get-help/about-sudep-institute