Epilepsy is a chronic condition that manifests as repeated seizures brought about by electrical signals in the brain. The seizure is an involuntary action which is highly uncontrollable. Although the manifestations of epilepsy may vary from one person to another, as shown by epileptics who would simply stare at the wall whenever an attack happens, seizures have been the most popular indication of the said condition.
Epilepsy does not recognize age. This could occur in both adults and children alike. Most cases however occur during childhood and also in early adult life. As one ages, the frequency of the attacks usually decline. There have been various well-known personalities all throughout history who have been afflicted with epilepsy. These were Alexander, Napoleon, and Julius Ceasar. In more ancient periods, persons who suffered from epilepsy were said to have had their souls seized by evil spirits, and that their bodies were thrown to the grounds. In fact, the term epilepsy comes from the Greek word “epilepsia”, which means “to seize.”
Probably the most disconcerting thing about being a chronic sufferer of epilepsy is that you don’t know when you would be having an attack. This uncertainty is often the primary cause why patients would inhibit themselves from social events because of fear that they would just end up embarrassing themselves when an attack seizes them. Other difficulties they face are in finding the right employment and in having a good relationship.
What Causes Epilepsy?
Epilepsy would always denote a malfunctioning occurring within the brain due to damaged brain cells. Some of the known causes of epilepsy are the following:
- Trauma in the head. Any trauma that the head suffers from due to accidents or any other injury can bring about epilepsy.
- Medical disorders. There are various diseases or illnesses that could damage the brain and eventually cause epilepsy. In fact, for persons over 65 years old, stroke is seen as the primary cause of epilepsy.
- Genes. The type of epilepsy that you suffer from is usually categorized by the type of seizure that occurs. There are cases when certain types of seizures run in families, hence the possibility that epilepsy could also be influenced by genes of an individual. Studies have shown that there are up to 500 genes that are most likely to be tied to the occurrence of epilepsy. On the other hand, there are cases wherein the genes of an individual are just a part of the cause of epilepsy, but exposure to some other factors hastens the onset of the condition.
- Dementia. This has been found to be one of the causes of epilepsy, especially in older men and women.
- Disease. There are diseases that can trigger epilepsy. Usually, these diseases affect the brain directly or indirectly. Some of these diseases are AIDS, meningitis, and viral encephalitis.
- Developmental disorders. A child who suffers from autism, down syndrome, or any other developmental disorder is at a higher risk of suffering from epilepsy.
- Allergic reactions to food. There are certain foods that could trigger allergic reactions especially proteins that are found in meat.
- Hardening of arteries that lead to the brain. This is one circulatory disorder that could also lead to epilepsy.
- Hypoglycemia. Some researches suggest that having a low blood sugar can also lead to epilepsy.
- Prenatal injury. There have been so many cases where the fetus suffers from injury due to poor nutrition of the mother, infection, or deficiency in oxygen, and they end up suffering from cerebral palsy. Studies have shown that approximately 20% of seizures that occur in children are related to cerebral palsy.
Diagnosis, Signs and Symptoms of Epilepsy
Since it is the abnormal activity of the brain cells that cause seizure attacks, it also causes normal bodily processes to malfunction. Some things that signify this are:
- Uncontrollable movements of arms and legs. These are often jerking motions.
- Unconsciousness. Patients do not remember what transpired during an attack.
- Stare blankly into space for a long time. This is also referred to as a staring spell.
- Temporary confusion
- Sudden attacks
Although symptoms may not always be the same for every patient, awareness of the said symptoms could help in providing the immediate cure.
Remedies, Treatment and Cure for Epilepsy
- Strict healthy diet. This is probably the most important part of the treatment plan.
- Patients who suffer from epilepsy must follow a strict diet. Servings of fresh fruits daily are the most ideal to be taken in for the first few days.
- Three meals of fresh fruits like grapes, oranges, and apples would be perfect.
- You may eat cottage cheese, raw butter, as well as moderate amount of milk, particularly goat’s milk.
- Complete relaxation. It is like, one should always be relaxed, having that peace of mind and without any worries. Stress should not be a part of the body.
- Optimum exercise done in open air. This helps in getting you relaxed too. It also helps in releasing endorphins, which could help maintain a relaxed state.
Foods to Avoid
- Refined foods, sugar products, and greasy foods
- Coffee, tea, condiments
- Alcoholic beverages
- Animal proteins
- Foods rich in magnesium. Some of these foods are nuts, soyabeans, seeds, and other green leafy vegetables.
Some More Useful Reminders
- Eat foods that are rich in magnesium. This is one mineral that the body really needs.
- Each 3 large meals instead of eating small meals frequently within the day.
- Do not eat a large meal before going to bed.
- Place a mudpack on the abdomen, two times, as this will help remove the toxaemic effect on the intestines, and also helps in removing epileptic conditions.
- Apply hot and cold compresses to the base of the brain alternately.
- Avoid excitement. This means that you must not allow yourself to be so excited about something, hence facing the risk for epilepsy.