Epilepsy is a chronic disorder, is a condition in which a person has the recurrent unprovoked seizure. A person is diagnosed with it when he/she has two unprovoked seizures and this is not caused due to known and reversible medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar. Also, a seizure is defined as an abnormal disorderly discharging of the brain’s nerve cells, resulting in a temporary disturbance of motor, sensory, or mental function. Suffering Epilepsy.
There are many types of known seizure and is totally depending on what part of the brain is involved. Epilepsy does not have a direct relation to the type of seizure or causes of seizure only that the seizure happens again and again. Like known, there are too many unknown types of seizure and is called as primary or idiopathic epilepsy.
“Essentially, anything the brain can do, it can do in the form of a seizure.”
Causes of Epilepsy –
Healthy people have a seizure in the small amount. If the causes of seizure are known then the condition is referred as to secondary or symptomatic epilepsy. There are plenty of causes associated with it but most common causes of Epilepsy are:
– Low Blood Sugar or Sodium
– Head Injuries
– Certain Medical Condition
– Drugs of Abuse
– Alcohol Withdrawal
– Birth Injuries
Signs and Symptoms of Epilepsy –
Epilepsy is caused by abnormal activity in the brain. Any type of behavior that happens repetitively is a Seizure.
– Confusions that is temporary
– Uncomfortable and uneasy jerking movements in legs and arms
– Loss of awareness
– Psychic symptoms such as fear or anxiety
– Absent Mentally most of the time
Generalised Seizures –
Generally, all areas of the brain are involved in the generalized seizure. Here person suffering from this seizure has following symptoms …
Partial or Focal Seizure –
Only a part of the brain is involved in Partial or Focal Seizure and only a part of the body is affected. The symptoms vary depending upon the part of the brain is involved.
Absence Seizures –
Previously known as petit mal seizures. Often occur in children and generally have symptoms of starring and subtle body movements such as eye blinking and lip-smacking. Absence Seizure causes a brief loss of awareness.
Special needs of those suffering Epilepsy –
After being diagnosed with Epilepsy –
First few and initial months when a person is diagnosed with Epilepsy are most challenging ones and hard to deal. The person who is suffering from epilepsy may find it difficult to accept it and may find really miserable that now they are dependent on others. But for you as a caregiver, you have to love them and spread positivity in them. Sone of the areas where you can help …
– Emotional Support
Our society has a stigma and due to that the people associated with the condition are rejected by the society and this is the main reason why most of them feel depressed, rejected by the society and are left alone. Though awareness has increased, the way society looks at diagnosed people has not changed. So standing next to them and supporting emotionally and mentally is very much important it will help to adapt to the changes slowly and to accept the condition.
– Learn about Condition
Epileptic seizures are of different types and for each one caring is different. So it is always a good idea to educate first about what seizure is patient is prone to, make yourself aware, learn what and how to help them during that particular pattern of seizure. You need to identify a particular pattern in the patient suffering from epilepsy once you identify you can then provide proper care to them.
Epilepsy cannot be cured only we can do is make a patient feel good who is suffering from it. By consulting a Doctor, it is advised, to take antiseizure or antiepileptic medications to control the frequency of attacks. Failure and not taking medications on time will increase the attack of seizure in them. So caregiver should always help them with medication and to standardize a routine at least few months when they diagnosed.
– Healthy Lifestyle and Diet
One with epilepsy seizure has to maintain and adopt good lifestyle and proper diet. So caregiver has to take charge of it and make sure the patient is taking healthy diet and the surrounding is good. Also, Epilepsy patient has cannot skip their diet or cannot be on fast for more time because it can cause hypoglycemia, affecting the brain.
During an episode of Epilepsy –
– Stay calm
Seeing the things patient do and react is very hard to see and easily we cant adapt to it. So the first rule is to stay calm. Caring for the patient is not too panic.
– Help them from getting injuries
The seizure takes place without giving any prior indication and if it takes place all of sudden then try holding person it will prevent them from falling on the ground. If episode happens in the house, make sure, you slowly make the person lie down.
– Ensure Safety
The common mistake everyone does… caregiver most of the time do not even think that there are sharp objects and things that might hurt when seizure episode occurs it will result in getting injured because during the episode time the person lose their consciousness.
– Do not try stopping shaky movements
Seizure episode lasts for at least few minutes and during that time don’t try to stop the patient from doing shaky movements or hold that person while doing so. Once the episode ends then patient will be back to normal.
– Note seizure pattern
The first time you see patient with epilepsy episode you won’t get the pattern but after 3-4 episode, you will start recognizing it. So to understand it better just note the pattern like –
How body moves
How long episode lasted for
Persons last rection before entering a seizure
What was the immediate reaction when the episode ends
It will not only help you to take good care of the patient but you can also help Doctor with better diagnosis. The best way nowadays is to record an episode of your seizure
– Know Emergency
It would be life-threatening if the episode of the seizure lasts for more than 3 minutes. So identifying emergency is very vital and critical. Call Doctor and seek emergency care.
– The repeated seizure of the person within the span of 24 hours
– The head injury during a seizure
– When you see the person is not able to breathe properly
– Does not immediately back to consciousness after and seizure episode
– The patient who suffers from seizure episode is likely to generate symptoms like dizziness, nausea, vomiting, etc.
After Seizure Episode is Over –
– A patient is conscious fully
Its the duty of the caregiver to make sure the patient is fully conscious once the episode of seizure is over. And after the epileptic seizure, the patient feels bit disoriented. It is also your duty to bring them to consciousness, sit next to them, talk nicely, make them comfortable and be good to them.
– Do not give food
Do not ask and force them for food or juice all of a sudden unless they are back to normal after epileptic seizure episode. Try talking to them so that you understand their state of mind and make them sit upright.
– Know their Emotions
In Epileptic attack, for a patient who suffers it is absolutely natural to express their feeling and range of emotions including anger and frustration. A caregiver needs to realize that this is due to medications also and might be effects of it.
Risk Factors –
Certains factors have a direct relation to your risk of epilepsy:
– Children and older adults are at higher risk of developing epilepsy, so Age is a factor.
– If any of your family members have a family history of epilepsy then it may genetically transfer to them.
– While driving always wear a helmet and in-car use seat belt, because Head Injury is also the most common reason for developing epilepsy
– Bad lifestyle and use having alcohol intake in high amount, addicted to cigarettes, not doing exercise, not having a healthy diet reflects bad heart health and leads to brain damage.
Facts and Figures about Epilepsy
Epilepsy in Children
Helping someone dealing with Epileptic Seizure
General Diet Plan
Personalized Diet Plan
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