Epilepsy is a difficult condition to deal with, especially if a seizure takes place in public. Medication helps but you cannot always predict when an attack will occur.
The Epileptic Seizure
An epileptic seizure starts when electrical signals sent to the brain are disrupted. This abnormal or excessive nerve activity often causes convulsions which may include uncontrollable spasms in the brain.
A less severe seizure is characterized by blank stares which only take place for seconds at a time. The worst ones would be the ones in which noticeable convulsions take place. In these worst-case scenarios a person might appear as though they are having a temper tantrum.
It may take time to distinguish whether or not you have epilepsy. The best way to know for sure is to be observed over a period of months upon regular visits to a psychiatrist, medical doctor, and/or counselor.
Once you know you have (or someone you know has) epilepsy you will then want to deal with it in one or more of the following ways:
1. Take your medication exactly as directed. This means you should take the dose exactly when you should and you should never change the dosage amount. The only time you would take an altered dose amount is when your doctor says you should.
2. Disclose use of medications, supplements, and vitamins to your doctor. This is very important if you want to be properly treated for epilepsy. Your doctor needs to know for instance if you take an antidepressant, heart medication, or any other prescription drug.
Your doctor also needs to be aware of your use of any supplements such as St. John’s Wort, Kava, Multivitamins, or any other natural or herbal product. You should reveal this information regardless of intention of use.
3. Keep healthy while making wise lifestyle, dieting, and exercise choices. For instance, if you smoke you should try to stop as soon as possible, and try to consume as little of alcohol as possible. You should also eat as few processed foods as possible and try to include meal items that are served in as natural of a form as possible.
4. Wear a medical bracelet in case of emergencies. This usually alerts emergency medical personnel of any medicinal allergies and it also provides historical background of your medical condition. It is meant to inform in order for you to be properly treated for your condition.
5. Take a companion with you when you run errands or travel. This may be especially necessary if you have just been diagnosed with an epileptic condition within the past few months. This is just in case you have an attack and you need someone to assist you during it.
Additional Treatments and Care
Other ways to monitor or get rid of epilepsy include surgery, vagus nerve stimulation, and a ketogenic diet. The surgery is of course the most invasive and usually involves cutting a piece of your skull bone.
The vagus nerve stimulation is achieved as a small device likened to a pacemaker is inserted onto the vagus nerve. This helps send signals from the brain to the heart, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract and electronic pulses are sent out and as a result the frequency of seizures is drastically reduced.
The other option would be to follow the ketogenic diet, which involves eating a high-fat and high-protein diet. On the other hand, carbohydrates should be cut out.