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How I Got My Epilepsy Under Control

The Complete Guide to Natural Healing / Epilepsy  / How I Got My Epilepsy Under Control
How I Got My Seizure Under Control

How I Got My Epilepsy Under Control

What Is the Difference Between Epilepsy & Seizures

Epilepsy is a disorder characterized by recurring seizures (also known as “seizure disorder”)
A seizure is a brief, temporary disturbance in the electrical activity of the brain

Who Has Epilepsy?

  • About 2.3 million Americans have epilepsy
  • Roughly 181,000 new cases of seizures and epilepsy occur each year
  • 50% of people with epilepsy develop seizures by the age of 25; however, anyone can get epilepsy at any time
  • Now there are as many people with epilepsy who are 60 or older as children aged 10 or younger

Groups at Increased Risk for Epilepsy

About 1% of the general population develops epilepsy
The risk is higher in people with certain medical conditions:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Autism
  • Brain Tumors or blood vessel abnormalities

What Causes Epilepsy?

In about 70% of people with epilepsy, the cause is not known
In the remaining 30%, the most common causes are:

  • Head trauma
  • Infection of brain
  • Brain tumor and stroke
  • Heredity

The Brain Is the Source of Epilepsy

All brain functions — including feeling, seeing, thinking, and moving muscles — depend on electrical signals passed between nerve cells in the brain
A seizure occurs when too many nerve cells in the brain “fire” too quickly causing an “electrical storm”

Symptoms That May Indicate a Seizure Disorder

  • Periods of blackout or confused memory
  • Occasional “fainting spells”
  • Episodes of blank staring in children Sudden falls for no apparent reason
  • Episodes of blinking or chewing at inappropriate times

Seizure Triggers

  • Missed medication (#1 reason)
  • Stress/anxiety
  • Hormonal changes
  • Dehydration
  • Lack of sleep/extreme
  • fatigue
  • Photosensitivity
  • Drug/alcohol use; drug interactions

First Aid for Seizures

  1. Stay calm and track time
  2. Do not restrain person, but help them avoid hazards Protect head, remove glasses, loosen tight neckwear
  3. Move anything hard or sharp out of the way
  4. Turn person on one side, position mouth to ground Check for epilepsy or seizure disorder ID Understand that verbal instructions may not be obeyed
  5. Stay until person is fully aware and help reorient them Call ambulance if seizure lasts more than 5 minutes or if it is unknown whether the person has had prior seizures

Understanding Emotional Aspect of the Patient

  • Embarrassment
  • Why Me? Repressed anger
  • Anxiety
  • Possible Outbursts
  • Negative Attitude
  • Depression

Ways to Comfort the Patient

“I may not understand what you’re going through, but I’m here to support & help you.”

How Does Diet Affect Epilepsy

Although there is little evidence that a balanced diet has a direct effect on seizures from my own experience I can say it definitely does.

Healthy Balanced Diet

A diet high in fiber, leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, and dairy products is recommended

Nutrition & Epilepsy

  • Stay away from foods that contain a high amount of sodium
  • Limit your caffeine intake
  • Limit your sugar intake
  • Grapefruit juice and pomegranate juice do not trigger seizures, but they can make the side effects of some epilepsy medications more likely, including carbamazepine, diazepam and midazolam.

Avoid Processed Foods

Avoid preserved food or ready to eat food that contains chemicals which may interfere with the functioning of the brain and increase toxins in the body. This may also make certain drugs or natural supplements ineffective.

Exercise & Epilepsy

Most sports are safe for people with epilepsy to do, even if seizures aren’t fully controlled. However, the greater and more severe a person’s seizures, the greater the need for that person to limit or modify athletic activities.

The Top Natural Remedies for Epilepsy

Ketogenic diet: This is a diet that is rich in fat content and low in carbohydrates. A low carb diet is recommended because a carbohydrate-rich diet increases the sugar load in the system and causes hyperactivity of the brain due to high energy availability, which may cause seizures in epilepsy patients. A diet rich in fat is said to decrease the spontaneous activity of the brain and keep the neurons under control.

5-HTP

This is another natural supplement used to reduce anxiety and depression. This supplement reduces the serotonin level in the brain, which improves the overall health of the brain and reduces the severity and frequency of seizures. It is widely used as a natural treatment for epilepsy.

Passionflower

Passionflower contains a chemical chrysin, which helps reduce anxiety and thus reduces the frequency of seizures. It has been traditionally used in the treatment for epilepsy.

GABA & Vitamin F

Epilepsy natural supplements also include GABA along with vitamin F. These act on the central nervous system and control the neurons that cause anxiety and seizures.

Omega-3 fatty acids

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are found to increase the phospholipids in the brain, which ensures a smooth neurological functioning and strengthen the brain. This helps the brain and CNS withstand anxiety or stress and reduces seizures.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the top natural supplements for epilepsy

What Are the Best Omega-3 Foods?

Mackerel: 6,982 milligrams in 1 cup cooked (174 precent DV)
Salmon Fish Oil: 4,767 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (119 percent DV)
Cod Liver Oil: 2.664 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (66 percent DV)
Walnuts: 2,664 milligrams in 1/4 cup (66 percent DV)
Chia Seeds: 2,457 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (61 percent DV)
Salmon (wild-caught): 1,716 milligrams in 3 ounces (42 percent DV)
Flaxseeds (ground): 1,597 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (39 percent DV)
Tuna: 1,414 milligrams in 3 ounces (35 percent DV)
White Fish: 1,363 milligrams in 3 ounces (34 percent DV)
Sardines: 1,363 milligrams in 1 can/3.75 ounces (34 percent DV)
Hemp Seeds: 1,000 milligrams in 1 tablespoon (25 percent DV)
Anchovies: 951 milligrams in 1 can/2 ounces (23 percent DV)
Egg Yolks: 240 milligrams in 1/2 cup (6 percent DV)

Magnesium

Foods rich in magnesium like nuts, soybean seeds, and beets may also naturally treat epilepsy. Magnesium forms compounds that are responsible for the effective functioning of the brain and nervous system.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is effective in reducing seizures. It is beneficial to the central nervous system and for the effective functioning of the brain.

Stress & Epilepsy

  • Seizures and epilepsy affect all ages. While they tend to occur for the first time in young children or older adults, each age group has unique concerns and problems.
  • We aren’t sure just why stress may trigger a seizure.
  • While there is no definite evidence that reducing stress help seizures, a recent study showed that nearly 9 in 10 people who actively managed their stress believed it reduced their risk of seizures.
  • Try to avoid stressful situations if it makes sense to do so, and if you can avoid it.

Ways to Reduce Stress

  • Use a diary and write down what’s likely to cause stress for you.
  • Ways to Reduce Stress
  • Try to avoid stressful situations if it makes sense to do so, and if you can avoid it! If you can’t avoid it, can you let go of the worry it’s causing you?
  • When a stressful situation is unavoidable, make sure you are doing your best to get enough sleep and take your seizure medications on time.
  • Find ways to diffuse a situation. Avoid people who cause anger and anxiety if you can. Try to approach them differently – it may help calm down the stressful situation.
  • Exercise regularly. Lots of research has shown the exercise helps lower stress.
  • Do your best to relax. Try exercise, yoga, tai chi, Pilates, a massage, cat naps, or relaxation and controlled breathing techniques.
  • Limit long naps during the day. Sleeping during the day will cause sleep problems at night and make people feel worse.
  • Keep to a daily routine. Pace yourself and take frequent breaks.
  • Set priorities for what is important in your life and let the rest go. Seek help. Talk to your doctor, nurse, or counselor. Let them know what’s bothering you.

Reach Out

You can’t change the past, focus on the present and work on creating a constructive, positive future.
Remember everything happens for a reason

Coping Emotionally with Epilepsy

Don’t sweat the little things in life
For every problem, there is a solution

Life’s Philosophy’s

You can’t change the past, focus on the present and work on creating a constructive, positive future.
Remember everything happens for a reason.

3 Keys to Transform Your Life

Don’t be in denial
Accept who you are…
Learn to love yourself

Last But Not Least…

Positive thinking is the key to coping with epilepsy

stacey chillemi

"Health Expert, Stacey Chillemi is the author of the new book, Natural Remedies for Common Conditions.

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