Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which you have repeated seizures, and occurs when permanent changes in brain tissue cause your brain to be too excitable, sending out abnormal brain signals. Symptoms vary from person to person, and what you experience will depend on what part of your brain is affected and what has caused your epilepsy.
Seizures may be preceded by an aura, which is when you experience a strange sensation such as a tingling, a smell or an emotional change before each seizure. The different types of seizures include:
- absence (petit mal) seizures, which can occur several times a day and be mistaken for not paying attention
- generalized tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures, which usually involve muscle rigidity followed by violent muscle contractions and loss of consciousness
- partial (focal) seizures, which can be further categorized into simple (not affecting awareness or memory) and complex (affecting awareness or memory before, during and immediately after the seizure)
Possible causes of epilepsy include:
- dementia (such as Alzheimer's)
- brain injury
- infection (such as meningitis or HIV/AIDS)
- congenital defect
- any illness that can cause damage to your brain
Your doctor may suggest either surgery or medication to treat your epilepsy. Surgery is best if there is bleeding in your brain, a tumor, or abnormal blood vessels causing your epilepsy. Anti-convulsant medications may reduce the frequency and/or severity of your seizures, but be sure to talk to your doctor and/or pharmacist about potential side effects such as impaired liver function or birth defects.
Natural therapies may help your epileptic seizures; for example, naturopathic medicine can help ensure that your brain is getting all of the proper nutrients. Acupuncture and TCM can help to balance your brain function, while yoga and massage therapy can help reduce your stress and relieve pain.
Contact us for a FREE consultation on how natural therapy can help you manage your symptoms of epilepsy.
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