Seizure disorders like epilepsy affect millions of people throughout the United States. According to the latest data, roughly 3.4 million individuals (3 million adults and 400,000 children) suffer from epilepsy.
Are you part of this group? Do you have a child or loved one who experiences seizures on a regular basis?
It’s easy to feel helpless when dealing with a condition like this. There are steps you can take to control it, though.
Explained below are some guidelines that can help with seizure management and allow you or your loved ones to enjoy a happy, healthy life.
Common Seizure Symptoms
There are a lot of misconceptions about what happens when someone has a seizure. Yes, sometimes seizures involve convulsions and a loss of consciousness. There are other symptoms to be aware of, though, including the following:
- Stillness coupled with a sudden blank stare
- Slight twitching of the hands, legs, feet, or arms
- Twitching of the face
- Changes in speech
- Tapper loss of bladder or bowel control
In most cases, seizures only last for a few minutes. The person who had the seizure may take an hour or so to feel more like themselves. They may also not have any memory of having had a seizure in the first place.
Common Seizure Triggers
Most people develop epilepsy or other seizure disorders as young children. These conditions can occur at any time, though.
Researchers aren’t sure what causes epilepsy and seizure disorders. However, they do know that certain issues can trigger seizures. Some common triggers include the following:
- Elevated blood pressure
- A high fever
- High or low blood sugar
- Low sodium
- Fatigue or sleep deprivation
- Alcohol or recreational drugs
- Flickering or flashing lights
Certain medications may also trigger seizures in people who are susceptible to them.
There are a few different tools physicians may recommend to control seizures and help those who suffer from epilepsy or another seizure disorder enjoy a somewhat normal life. Here are some of the most popular treatments doctors may use:
Many doctors recommend that patients buy Neurontin or try other prescription medications to manage seizures. These drugs can be very effective when it comes to maintaining homeostasis and minimizing or reducing the incidence of seizures.
When medication alone doesn’t work, doctors may try vagal nerve stimulation. The vagus nerve runs through the neck and into the digestive tract. The insertion of a vagal nerve stimulator, a device that must be surgically implanted, can help to control seizures in some people.
A diet that’s high in fat and low in carbohydrates is effective for many people with seizure disorders, too. This diet, which is also known as a ketogenic diet, causes the body to get its energy from fat rather than from sugar.
Sticking to a ketogenic diet may reduce inflammation in the brain and help to control blood sugar swings, which can help to control seizures for some individuals.
There are also a number of lifestyle changes one can make to reduce their exposure to triggers and avoid having seizures. The following are some effective prevention strategies to try:
Avoiding Alcohol and Drugs
Both alcohol consumption and recreational drug use can trigger seizures. This is especially true when these substances are consumed in high amounts. To minimize one’s risk of experiencing a seizure, it’s best to avoid them altogether.
Wearing a Helmet
You don’t have to wear a helmet all the time. However, if you or your loved one is involved in contact sports or activities that could cause head injuries, it’s best to protect yourself (or protect your loved one) by wearing a helmet. This can prevent injuries that could trigger seizures or contribute to brain damage.
Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation and fatigue can trigger seizures in many people. Make sure you’re taking steps to get high-quality sleep each night.
Stick to a nighttime routine and wake up around the same time each day. Try to avoid exposure to blue light before bed, too. Blue light (such as the light that comes from a phone or computer screen) throws off your circadian rhythms and causes your body to think it’s daytime.
Maintaining Good Overall Health
The better your overall physical health is, the less likely you are to experience seizures.
Take steps to keep your immune system healthy and functioning properly (eat a nutrient-rich diet, drink lots of water, exercise, etc.). This will help to protect you from developing conditions like the flu or colds, too, both of which can cause high fevers that can trigger seizures.
Exercising Caution with Medications
Before you start taking a new medication or supplement, talk to your doctor to find out if it can trigger seizures. If you find that this is the case, switch to a different medication or supplement to minimize your risk.
Taking Medications as Prescribed
If you take medications to control your epilepsy or seizure disorder, take them as directed by your doctor. Be consistent with them and don’t skip doses, as this increases your likelihood of experiencing seizures.
Finally, look for ways to manage your stress.
Sticking to a consistent sleep routine can be very helpful when it comes to stress management. Try to take up other practices that promote relaxation, too, such as yoga or meditation.
Evaluate your schedule on a regular basis as well and avoiding taking on more work than you can handle.
Try These Seizure Management Tips Today
As you can see, there are lots of different techniques that you can use to manage seizures and improve overall health.
At first, you might feel a bit overwhelmed looking through this list of seizure management tips. Remember, though, that you don’t have to change everything about your life or your loved one’s life all at once.
Start with one or two things and add more over time if you think it’s needed. Even small changes can make a big difference.
If you want to learn more about managing seizures or tackling other chronic health issues, check out some of the other resources on our site today.