Epilepsy Essay, Research Paper
EPILEPSY: A DISORDER IN WHICH NERVE CELLS OF THE BRAIN FROM TIME TO TIME RELEASE ABNORMAL ELECTRICAL IMPULSES. Epilepsy can happen to anyone of any age. The largest(47%) percent of people, developing epilepsy for the first time, being children from birth to nine years of age. The next largest age group would be ten year olds to ninteen year olds at 30%. The least amount of first time seizures comes from the forty plus age group. (According to EFA publications) Over 2.5 million people suffer from epilepsy. The international league against epilepsy describes a seizure as an alternative term for “epileptic attack”. Seizures vary in there length and severity. A “tonic-clonic” seizure can last for one to seven minutes. “ Absence seizures usually last for a few seconds. However, complex partial seizure” may last for thirty seconds or two to three minutes. “Status Epileptius”, is when seizures last for many hours. This can lead to medical problems. This type of seizure is vary rare.
There are many types of seizures:
1. GRAND MAL OR TONIC CLONIC SEIZURE are one of the worst and most severe seizures. Some know that they are going to have a seizure, they will experience some type of warning. They may feel like something in their stomach is rising or falling. They will become unconsciousness and stop breathing. The person may shake violently. It may last for a couple of minutes then the person will recover consciousness. This usually leaves the person exhausted, and disoriented. Sometimes, people who are not familiar with seizures will call for medical emergency help.
2. MYOCLONIC SEIZURES: with this seizure, a person may experience shaking of the limbs and depending on how bad the seizure is, may become unconcious. This also leaves a person feeling disoriented and exhausted.
3. TONIC SEIZURES: often occur in children who have had some type of brain damage. These seizures are characterized by stiffening of the body, or the arching of the back. The person may or may or may not lose conciousness.
The cause of all seizures is unclear, but doctors have come up with some reasons why they may occur. Common forms of generalized epilepsy, absence attacks, and tonic-clonic seizures are sometimes caused because of an inherited instability. This is where the inherited instability in functioning of neurones is responsible for these disorders. It is still not understood just how this genetic defect works, it could be the abnormality is in the structure of the neurone’s outer membrance, which could cause electrical instability.
Any type of injury related to your brain could cause you to have an epilectic seizure. These could include lack of oxygen during delivery of a baby, injury to the head at any age, injury to the brain caused by stroke.
Metabolic disturbance may cause seizures which are generalized, through distributing the regular functioning of neurones. The cause could be when the blood sugar is very low, or when the liver or kidney malfunction.
People that are alcoholic or drug abusers may have a seizure while under the influence of these substances. They may also experience a seizure when the withdraw some of these substances, like barbiturates or sedatives or some other medications, especially if they have been taken for a long time.
Brain tumors can be a cause of seizures also, but these are very rare. Most epileptic patients have been tested for brain tumors, just to be sure so they can be ruled out.
The most common treatment for epilepsy is some for of medication. Most doctors recommend medication for most people suffering from seizure disorder. Some patients are forced to use medication because their seizures are either so severe or too often. If the seizures are really severe an you have alot of them, you can get brain damage. If they originate in a certain part of the brain, it could also cause brain damage. While some people have been able to control their seizures with medication, others have had to have surgery to correct the problem. Doctors for the most part do not recommend or advise nutrition as a way of helping patients. However, there are many people who have tried different types of homeopathic remedies and vitamins and found they worked wonderfully. Many have used these in place of medications. Neologists that are honest will tell you that they really can’t answer the cause or cure of epilepsy. It would seem that they would be more open to the successes of people who chose an alternate route than medication. However, it would seem that there is a pretty closed mind when it come to using anything other than prescribed medicines.
There are things you should do if you are with someone when they are having a tonic-clinic seizure: 1. Do not panic. Let the seizure happen. There is no way you can stop a seizure after it starts. 2. Get the person on the floor and put something soft under their head. If they have clothing around their neck that could cause them to choke remove it. 3. Do not try to open their mouth and put something between their teeth. This could damage their jaw or teeth. 4. When the person has stopped shaking roll them over to their side. This enables the fluids to drain away allowing them to pass through. Do not panic is the person stops breathing for a brief while. 5. When the seizure has subsided let the person rest for as long as they need to. Some people are exhausted after a seizure. 6. You should call for medical assistance if the seizure lasts longer than five minutes, or repeats itself before recovery fully from the first seizure.
If someone is having a partial complex seizure you should:
1. Do not leave the person alone, and do not try to stop the seizure. 2. Try and keep the person away from danger. 3. This type of seizure may spread to other parts of the brain and convulsions may follow.
4. Be sure that the person has recovered completely before leaving them alone. Ask them questions about themselves to be sure they recovered completely. If it appears that they are not recovering be sure to contact medical assistance immediately.
When I was six years old I had my first seizure. It was very scary to me, because I had no idea what was happening to me, or why. I think the type of seizure I had was Metabolic disturbance. I believe it was related to low blood sugar. The seizure affected my jaw. When I saw the neurologist, he had no idea what might be causing my seizures. So, they did some tests, EEG, which tests the brain waves to see if they are normal, mine were not. I also had an MRI, you go into a tube like machine that makes alot of noise. This test was to be sure there were no tumors. There were none to be found. I went to many different specialists to see what they recommended in the way of treatment. Most wanted to put me on medication. My parents prayed alot about this and attended informational meetings. They decided not to go the medication route if they didn’t have to. So, while we were awaiting test results, we studied up on epilepsy and all the information we could find about treating it with vitamins and diet. By the time the test results came in, we had formed a treatment plan with diet and vitamins. It seemed to be working as the seizures were getting farther and farther apart. So, with much prayer, we decided to pursue this route. The doctor was not happy with our decision. We found that when I didn’t eat sugar that my seizures were farther apart. We also found that pasta for dinner was predictable for a seizure. We learned that pasta turns to sugar quickly and lowers your blood sugar. If I ate a whole grain toast or nine grain cereal before bedtime, usually I did not experience a seizure. We learned that the whole grain breaks down slower so I was OK with my blood sugar in the early mornings, which is when I usually had my seizures. I would usually have them around 5am, and they would last anywhere from several seconds to minutes. They would always wake me up and I was always awake during the seizure. If it was a bad seizure, I wouldn’t be able to move afterwards for a while. After every seizure my speech would be slurred for a little while. My dad would make me squeeze his hand to see if it had affected my strength. I continued to carefully monitor my diet, no sugar of any kind, lots of health foods and a regiment of vitamins. At first I took a fizzy vitamin drink. Later just vitamins, which included a daily, the b complex, magnesium along with calcium and zinc, manganese and others. I had seizures for around three years, they continually got farther and farther apart. When I hadn’t had one for around nine months to a year, I had another EEG. This time it came back normal. We are thankful for God’s direction and sustaining power. He helped us day by day as we looked to him for direction.