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Throughout history, people prone to seizures were thought to be possessed by demons, to have special powers, or to be mentally ill. Today, we know none of this is true: Epilepsy is a condition that diminishes neither intellectual capacity, creativity, nor productivity.
Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder which causes seizures.
An epileptic seizure is caused by over-activity of the brain cells, which produces a surge of electricity.
This may be due to a variety of factors, such as brain damage from birth injuries, head injury, stroke, brain tumours and alcoholism.
There is some evidence to suggest the condition sometimes has a genetic basis – although it is rare for it to run in families.
In many instances, the cause of the condition is a mystery.
Short periods of blackouts, confusion, or altered memory.
Repetitive blinking, chewing, or lip smacking, with or without a lack of awareness.
Lack of attention: a blank stare, no response when spoken to.
Loss of consciousness, sometimes with a loud cry, jerking muscles, or loss of bladder or bowel control; often followed by extreme fatigue.
When to Call Your Doctor
If you experience any of the above symptoms.
If you have a seizure for the first time. However, for later seizures, only falls causing an injury or one episode followed closely by another need a doctor’s immediate attention.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.
What It Is
Technically not a disease, epilepsy is a disorder that results from excessive electrical activity in the brain and nervous system. Normally, brain cells transmit electrical impulses in a highly regulated manner. People with epilepsy, however, experience periods when many brain cells fire all at once. This uncontrolled discharge produces symptoms that can range from a blank stare to a loss of consciousness with convulsions. These episodes are called seizures (epilepsy is also known as seizure disorder). Having a single seizure is not necessarily a sign of epilepsy, which is actually defined as having recurrent seizures. In fact, only 27% of people who have a seizure will have another within three years.
What Causes It
In more than half of epilepsy cases, the cause of the disorder is unknown. In the remaining cases, seizures can sometimes be traced to a previous head injury, stroke, brain tumor, or brain infection. Experts think that anyone is susceptible to seizures, but for some reason, certain individuals are particularly vulnerable. Heredity seems to play some role.
How Supplements Can Help
Under no circumstances should individuals using anticonvulsant drugs for epilepsy stop taking them or reduce the dosage on their own. The supplements in the chart are not a substitute for prescription drugs. Instead, they may help correct nutritional deficiencies that can contribute to seizures or aid in controlling seizures in people who continue to have them despite medication. Supplements may eventually allow a physician to reduce the dosage of anticonvulsant drugs, which often have unpleasant side effects.
What Else You Can Do
Get plenty of sleep. Fatigue can predispose you to seizures.
Avoid alcohol. It can interfere with anticonvulsant medications and possibly contribute to seizures.
Don’t try to restrain a person having a seizure or insert a gag or anything else into his mouth to prevent him from biting his tongue. This could cause serious injury to the person or to you if he bites your fingers. Instead, cushion the person’s fall and clear away any sharp or hard objects. When the seizure is over, turn him on his side to prevent possible choking.
Preliminary research suggests that vitamin E can help people with epilepsy. One theory on seizures suggests they’re triggered by damage to the fatty membranes that surround nerve cells. With its antioxidant properties, vitamin E can inhibit the chemical changes in the body that lead to this damage. Although more study is needed, people with epilepsy can safely take 400 IU of vitamin E a day, either in a multivitamin or as a separate supplement.
Vitamin B Complex
Dosage: 1 pill each morning with food.
Comments: Look for a B-50 complex with 50 mcg vitamin B12 and biotin; 400 mcg folic acid; and 50 mg all other B vitamins.
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Dosage: 250 mg each twice a day with food.
Comments: Sometimes sold in a single supplement.
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Dosage: 500 mg twice a day.
Comments: Often combined with inositol; has tranquilizing effect.
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Dosage: 250 mg twice a day.
Comments: Standardized to contain at least 30% kavalactones.
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Dosage: 20 mg a day.
Comments: Take with meals.
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Dosage: 500 mg L-taurine 3 times a day on an empty stomach.
Comments: If using longer than 1 month, add mixed amino acids.
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Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.
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