Epilepsy advice and treatment


Epilepsy (seizures) is a neurological condition, which affects your brain and the nervous system. Seizures could affect all or part of the brain. It is not any kind of mental illness or a disease; it is not contagious and does not generally affect a person's power of thinking or intelligence. There are around 40 kinds of epilepsy/seizures. A generalized seizure is when all or most of the brain is affected at once. In this kind of seizure you may lose consciousness and not recall what has happened. The most common causes of epilepsy are genetic or inherited conditions, alcohol, drugs or other potentially toxic substances, tumors and diseases in the brain or head.

The first step towards getting a treatment for seizures is to see a doctor, who will ask you about your seizures such as what happened, before, during and after. Friends and family members often help describe what happens to you during a seizure. If you know what triggers a seizure, you may be able to find ways of avoiding or controlling it. For instance, if stress is a trigger you may benefit from relaxation and anti-stress exercises such as yoga. Keeping a diary to record all your seizures can help to identify triggers. The next step is the treatment. There is no cure as such for epilepsy, but medicines can control seizures in around seven out of 10 people. These medicines may have a few side effects such as drowsiness or a rash. If you haven't had a seizure for two years, your doctor may suggest you gradually reduce the doseage or to stop taking your epilepsy medicines entirely. This depends on the kind of epilepsy you have. Other complementary therapies include acupuncture, aromatherapy and reflexology. Some children with particular forms of epilepsy are recommended a ketogenic diet, which is low in carbohydrates and high in fat and helps suppress seizures. Vagus nerve stimulation can also reduce seizures in some people. This is when an electrical device, implanted in the chest, regularly stimulates a nerve in your neck called the vagus nerve, which sends signals to areas of the brain. This treatment is only available if other medicines haven't helped and neurosurgery isn't possible.

You may also be offered neurosurgery if your epilepsy is severe and cannot be controlled after having tried different epilepsy medicines. This can only happen if the epilepsy is associated with a specific area of your brain. Your doctor would explain all your possible options.

answered by G M

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder in which the patient regularly suffers from seizures that seem to be unprovoked. The condition is usually treated with medication, while in cases where there is a brain tumor or scar tissue and medication is not enough, surgery is recommended. While there are some alternative treatments for epilepsy, most of them have not been tested and do not always work. More importantly, these treatments are only additions to your normal medical treatment, and you should use them as replacements. You should also ask your doctor before using any such home remedies or natural treatments.

One method of treatment that has been proven to work when medication does not is a ketogenic diet. Note that in some cases however the diet does not work, but medication does. This diet is essentially high in fat and low in carbohydrates, with just adequate protein. As to be expected, such a diet can cause other problems such as high cholesterol.

Vitamin and mineral supplements are also reputed to help the condition, particularly B6 and B12, and magnesium and zinc, as well as folic acid supplements. In general, you should also avoid stress, get enough rest, and lead a disciplined life.

answered by G M

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