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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Suddenly Unhealthy?
June 2001

Q. I am a 29-year-old female. I've been extraordinarily healthy all my life--no broken bones, or surgeries of any kind. I haven't even had the flu since I was 14. In the beginning of November I suddenly started having eye twitches and seizures. They came on just prior to my menstruation, and with the onset of my menstrual dissipate. I have had an EEG which came back normal, as well as some basic blood work (also normal). Could these episodes be hormonally induced? I am going to see a neurologist for further tests, but I was just wondering if hormones are capable of such symptoms. Thank you.

A. Good observation. Hormones are very potent chemicals and can influence a number of medical conditions. For example, migraine headaches can have a clear relationship to the menstrual cycle. Seeing a neurologist sounds like the right action to take now, as neurologists are skilled at evaluating seizures and other muscle control problems.

Here are some website references that should be helpful:

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/health_and_medical/disorders/epilepsy.htm

http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/1999/199_epil.html

http://www.caregiver.org/factsheets/diagnoses/epilepsy.html

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