Dealing With Epilepsy
When we think of epilepsy, seizure is the first thing that comes in our mind. Epilepsy is a disorder in the nervous system that strikes in all ages. This occurs when abnormal electric impulses are activated by neural cells in the brain transmitting incorrect signals to the body.
Partial seizure occurs when abnormal charges hits one area of the brain while generalized seizure involves the whole part of the brain. Seizures are also known as convulsions. A person with seizure experiences jerking movements or loss of consciousness. Symptoms vary depending on the type of seizure involved. But seizures don’t always mean that a person has epilepsy. It is sometimes caused by head injury or trauma. Further diagnosis should be tested to know if you are epileptic or not.
Seizures can last for seconds to several minutes. Sometimes seizures can run for hours but this only happens in rare cases.
Here are the types of seizures defined:
- Simple partial seizure – abnormal senses may occur even if you are conscious.
- Complex partial seizure – abnormal movements is experienced together with the alteration of consciousness.
- Absence seizure – it is also recognized as “petit mal”. Change is dramatic and may begin at your childhood years and trigger during adulthood. The person may look like daydreaming but staring for a few seconds is recurrent every day.
- Myoclonic seizure – this is the sudden jerking movement of the limbs.
- Atonic seizure – a person with this seizure unconsciously collapses to the ground.
- Tonic- clonic seizure – this is also identified as “grand mal” seizure. This kind of seizure is what people know as convulsions. The effect is very complicated causing stiff and rigid limbs, loss of breathing and consciousness, violent jerking, and tongue biting.
Secondary generalization can occur when partial seizures develop into generalized seizures. People who encounter more than one seizure are mostly diagnosed with epilepsy.
What Causes Epilepsy?
Epilepsy has no particular cause. But this disorder is sometimes inherited in the family but no further studies have been conducted to support this. Factors like head trauma/injury, stroke, lack of oxygen during near drowning or birth, tumor, meningitis, prolonged convulsions during fever, and history of epilepsy in the family increases the risk of developing epilepsy in the early or late stage of life.
How is Epilepsy Diagnosed?
The doctor will track any history of head injury or epilepsy in the family member. Detailed information about your seizures will be noted and the doctor might recommend some laboratory tests like EEG (Electroencephalogram) and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging). EEG is a machine capable of measuring abnormal electrical impulses in the brain while MRI detects brain abnormalities like tumor in order to identify the cause of epilepsy.
Treatment for Epilepsy
It is important that reduced seizure is implemented to epileptic patients. Medications are available but some have complicated side effects that may not work for all patients. Visiting a specialist can help in managing epilepsy. Different methods or therapies may be offered to try which one works best for you. Treatment ranges from surgical operations, neural stimulation to prescription drugs.
Natural methods for epilepsy are also beneficial. Traditional medications like Passiflora, Scullap, homeopathic remedies like Cuprum metallicum and Cicuta verosa have been used for centuries, proven and tested by users. These are beneficial to our health because it relieves stress and maintains normal hormonal levels in our brain.
You can try other natural supplements but it is important to consult your doctor first before taking it. Remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle as much as possible to reduce stressors that might trigger epileptic symptoms.
If you encounter someone in the streets, school, or work having seizure attacks, then you can help that person by being calm first. Remove any sharp objects that may harm that person and put a pillow under his head or anything soft to use. Position the person lying in his/her left side. Prevent restraining the person and putting something in his/her mouth because there’s a big chance you’ll be bitten. If the seizure continues for more than 5 minutes, then call the emergency hotline immediately.