People with epilepsy live a life full of frustration, embarrassment, and fear. It is an emotional roller coaster that can have profound and long lasting effects on the affected person. Here are some tips that will help you deal with epilepsy.
The symptoms of epilepsy vary from person to person and each seizure can be different from the previous one even for the same patient. However, there are still some symptoms that you can identify at the onset of a seizure. While symptoms such as loss of consciousness and sudden uncontrollable convulsion are hard to recognize and control, other signs such as sudden jerking movements in the legs or hands, smacking of lips, or blank stares are relatively easier to recognize. By understanding these symptoms you will be able to endure the seizure better. Reading up on epilepsy will also make you more aware of the signs and symptoms to look out for before a seizure.
Educate people around you
Letting people around you know that you suffer from epilepsy is the best thing to do to make sure they are aware of what to do in case you have a sudden fit. Although, for some people admitting the fact that they suffer from epilepsy can be quite embarrassing, remember that you are only making things easier for yourself and for others. Sharing this with others will only make your family members, friends, and teachers understand your situation better and ensure they are better equipped to deal with seizures. You can also wear a Medic-Alert bracelet so that if you fall unconscious away from your home, paramedics will immediately know how to treat you. Your family members must be trained in managing a seizure to prevent you from getting any serious injuries during a seizure. They should be made aware of things that minimize chances of injury during an episode such as loosening the clothing around the neck, cushioning the head, and turning the patient to one side. They should know to note down the duration of each seizure and the symptoms before the incident to inform the doctor later.
Some doctors prescribe a special diet program for people with epilepsy. This special diet known as a ketogenic diet has been found to be very useful in controlling occurrence of seizures to a large extent, especially in children. It is a bit similar to the Atkins diet in the sense that no or minimal carbohydrates are allowed. It also involves consumption of fats in large quantities, which can be difficult to do sometimes. Although doctors are not entirely sure how such a diet helps control and prevent seizures, some believe that the protein released during breaking down of the fat is responsible for controlling seizures. However, make sure that you follow this diet program only under the advice of your doctor to ensure that there are no side effects of the diet and that you get sufficient nutrition from the diet.
For some patients, a diet alone does not solve the problem. For such people, medication can be used to lower the incidence of seizures. Here again, determining which medication is best for a specific patient can be tough and is basically a process of trial and error. This is because there are no specific symptoms of seizures and the doctor will try a combination of several drugs before deciding on the best medication for the patient, with minimal or no side effects. Anti-seizure medication can be quite helpful. as in many cases patients have been known to go off their medication after taking them for a certain number of years, without the symptoms of epilepsy ever returning again.
Epilepsy can also be dealt with through surgical procedures. If the diet or medication does not help cure the condition, you can talk to your doctor about surgical methods to cure epilepsy. The most common surgical method involves removing a part of the temporal lobe of the brain that is damaged. This type of surgery has been found to be most successful and in some cases patient have even shown significant intellectual improvement. There is another procedure of implanting a device called vagus nerve stimulator, which sends regular electric waves to the brain to control seizures. No matter which treatment you choose, make sure you know all the pros and cons of each surgical procedure and discuss everything thoroughly with your doctor before making your decision.