Your Guide to Understanding Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a serious illness that affects many people. It is a neurological disorder that affects brain cells. Seizures alter the way certain brain cells work and the body will react to the changes in the brain cell commands. People most commonly see epilepsy as a physical seizure involving shaking and the inability to vocalize thought.
Epileptics can have a difficult time getting to do everything that everyone else does depending on the severity of their seizures. Pleasures like driving and swimming are often no longer available due to the potential of death due to badly timed seizures.
Unfortunately as of this time, there is often no concrete evidence on what has caused epilepsy. In about half of the cases, there is simply no evidence to suggest what has happened. It’s an unfortunate situation that hopefully can be rectified through further medical research. In the other half of cases though, there often can be a verifiable cause. These causes include:
- Genetics - Research into epilepsy continues and there are always tests ongoing to better determine causes, but some types of epilepsy have been linked to certain genes. These genes have often corresponded to a family history of epilepsy. This doesn’t mean it’s the genes themselves causing it, but the genes can make people more susceptible to other causes.
- Prenatal Injuries - As it’s a brain issue, anything that occurs incorrectly in the prenatal stage of life can potentially cause epilepsy. Specifically it’s likely issues that could stunt or harm brain growth. So disease, a lack of oxygen or incorrect nutritional content can play a roll.
- Head Injuries - Moderate to severe head injuries have often been known to cause epilepsy. This is a purely physical reaction to powerful brain trauma.
- Disorders - Those who are born with some developmental disorders appear to have an elevated risk of epilepsy. Those with disorders like autism have an increased track of
Since epilepsy alters the behavior of brain cells, epileptic seizures are actually capable of affecting those who suffer from it in different ways. Each experience a seizure differently. For those who just be developing the disorder, you may not even realize you have it quite yet. Here are some of the ways that the symptoms and seizures can affect epileptics:
- Uncontrolled Movement - This is a common seizure and how many people see it. Sufferers will lose control of their arm and leg movement as they move in uncontrollable sharp motions. There are also versions where other muscles seize and make movement impossible.
- Staring Into Space - Some epileptics simply appear to “zone out” but this actually is a form of a seizure. The sufferer will stare off and be unable to be roused until the completion of the seizure.
- Loss of Consciousness - This is one of the scarier forms of an epileptic seizure. With this symptom, the sufferer will simply pass out and appear to faint for no reasons.
- Confusion - This symptom comes from seizures that attack the ability to understand things in the brain. Confusion about location and actions is common.
Thankfully, while there’s no cure, there is the ability to control a lot of epileptic seizures. There are different drugs out there that will allow for minimization and control of seizures and up to 70% of patients can control their seizures through the use of medication.
One of the most common types of drugs is an anticonvulsant. These are the drugs that help with those who have heavy physical seizures and can weaken or negate the effect they have on the muscles involved. Studies have actually shown a marked improvement in name brand drugs of this type.
Almost all drugs taken will have various side effects and most of them will cause different side effects. This allows doctors and patients to determine which side effects they can best handle and prescribe the least harmful of all options.
No information on this website should be used to start the use of dietary supplements and vitamins, natural and herbal products, homeopathic medicine and other mentioned products prior to a consultation with a physician or certified healthcare provider.