Epilepsy is one of the neurological health problems that most people experience but find it difficult to identify because of its complicated signs. That is why it looks as if epilepsy is a rare case in this part of the country but that seems not to be true. It happens when there are seizures. This seizure can be two or more and it mostly occurs when the brain cells experience carious disturbances.
Epilepsy can come as a result of already existing neurological health problem which has not been properly handled.
Epilepsy does not select gender or class of people, it occurs in both men and women. Women generally tend to face high level of risk than men. Everyone can develop this condition but it is more common in young children and adults.
Most victims of epilepsy are as a result of genes. Study has shown that there are 500 (five hundred) genes that are related to epilepsy. If you have a higher threshold, you have a lower chance of experiencing seizures. That is why it is advisable for people with epilepsy who are ready to start a family to go for medical counselling on how to go about it.
In the United Kingdom, epilepsy leads to about 1200 (one thousand two hundred) dead yearly. At times this death comes as a result of the complications that take place after the seizure has been handled. In the United States, epilepsy affect about 3,000,000 (three million) people.
Deaths caused by epilepsy can also be as a result of the effects which are attached to these seizures such as falls, suicide, accidents etc.
Causes of Epilepsy
Epilepsy is mostly caused by some problems associated with the nerves and the brain such as;
- Brain trauma
- Stroke: Stroke causes epilepsy in people over the age of 35, but older people are mostly affected.
- Brain tumor
- Infectious diseases such as AIDS
- Loss of oxygen in the brain
- Maternal use of drugs by pregnant women
- Genes: Most causes of epilepsy are hereditary.
- High fever or persistent illness
What Enhances the Causes of Epilepsy
- Consistent alcohol intake
- High level of stress
- Illicit use of drugs or drug abuse
- Lack of enough rest
- Lack of enough sleep
- The type of food you eat.
Symptoms of Epilepsy
Epilepsy has various symptoms but the most likely symptoms of epilepsy is seizures.
Epileptic seizures: This seizure comes as a result of sudden urge of electrical impulse in the brain which leads to disturbances between the brain cells. Seizure results due to abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity i.e activities that has to do with the brain.
However, most seizures in the body are not caused by epilepsy. It can be as a result of associated brain issues like brain trauma, illicit use of drug, low blood sugar, low level of oxygen. Seizures can last for seconds or minutes depending on how the case differ.
Moreover, after the period of seizure, the next period the victim observes is the postictal period. The postictal period is a period in which an epileptic patient experiences a state of confusion after a moment of seizure before regaining consciousness.
The postictal period can last for 10 to 20 minutes. Symptoms experienced during this period includes tiredness, loss of memory, difficulty in speaking and certain abnormal behaviours.
Although, most seizures do not usually have a postictal period.
Causes of seizures includes high fever, brain trauma, low blood sugar, alcohol.
Other minor symptoms are:
- Lack of Response: Such victims are unable to respond to changes. This is because their brain is not able to adapt to those changes.
- Repetitive Movement: The sufferer possesses some kind of repeated movements in the part of the body or while working, mostly observed in older people.
We have different types of seizures which comes with various symptoms.
Types of Seizures
- Generalized Seizure: Generalized seizure is subdivided into:
- Clonic seizure: Persons suffering from this type of seizure experience shakes in the hands and legs.
- Tonic clonic seizure: Victims of this type of generalized seizure suffer from back arching, contraction of the hands and legs, stiffening of the body, shaking, biting of the tongue, loss of bladder or bowel control, loss of consciousness as well as contraction of the chest muscle. Before the victim gets back to his normal health condition, it might take up to 30 minutes after the seizure has stopped.
- Atonic seizure: Victims of atonic seizure suffer from loss of muscle activity on both sides of the body.
- Tonic seizures: Here, victims suffer from constant muscles contraction.
- Absence seizures: This type of seizure might not be really felt. It effects are mild, it is minute (little). The signs are repeated eye blinking and slight head turn.
- Myoclonic seizures: Victims experience muscle spasm (stretching or tearing of muscle or tissues that connects the muscle to the bone) caused by inflexibility of the muscle, low magnesium or potassium in the body.
- Focal Seizure: Focal seizure is usually accompanied by aura which includes psychic, autonomic, sensory, visual, olfactory or motor phenomena.
- Complex Partial Seizure:In this type of seizure, the victim tends to be in a state of confusion and always dosing off. The victim is unable to respond to directions and questions and can affect one part of the brain.
Medical Ways of Treating Epilepsy
Up to date, there is no cure for epilepsy but the early steps you take toward preventing it can help to terminate its effects in the body. One of the ways of preventing epilepsy is to treat it medically by:
Use of antiepileptic therapy
Use of valgus nerve stimulator: This medical device is an electrical device which is placed on the chest which helps to stimulate the nerves running through the neck which helps in preventing seizures.
Feeding on diets with high fat and low carbohydrate.
Epilepsy can also be treated medically by the removal of the part of the brain that causes seizures through BRAIN SURGERY
The following medications can also be used in treating epilepsy.
- Topiramte (topamax)
- Ethosuximide (Zarontin)
- Lamotrogine (Lamictal)
- Valproic acid (Depakote)
NOTE: seek first the doctor’s prescription before taking any of this medications
Natural Ways of Preventing Epilepsy
- Carrot– Vegetables like carrot contains vitamin B-6 helps to treat epilepsy that develops in newly born babes
- Eating fruits and foods that help to boost high magnesium content in the body like carrots
- Feed on low proteinous foods
- Take diets that contains vitamin E
- Feeding on foods with high fats contents and low carbohydrates
How to Cope With Epilepsy
- Use of seizure alarms such as medial alert bracelet
- Stay alert in order to identify those things that trigger or enhance seizures and avoid them
- Always seek counselling to help identify your symptoms of anxiety and depressions
- Join a support group of people with similar problem with you to avoid being stigmatized
- Always engage on regular exercise
- Eat balanced diets.