By: Lauren Antkowiak

Nearly 3 million people suffer from epilepsy, a neurological condition of the brain that causes repeated seizures. A seizure can occur at any time, sometimes without warning, for any number of reasons. Living with epilepsy proves to be difficult for many with seizure interrupting their everyday life. When not dealt with properly it can lead to depression, anxiety, and death in some cases. It is possible to manage your epilepsy and live a full normal life.

The first step is knowing what causes your epilepsy. They vary from person to person; some are genetic, others from a head trauma, it can happen before birth, or even be caused by a tumor or stroke. Unfortunately, some people have no identifiable causes. However, there are symptoms and triggers to look for.

Symptoms may include temporary confusion, a staring spell, uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs, and loss of consciousness or awareness. Symptoms vary from person to person, but a single individual will have the same type of seizure each time therefore have the same symptoms each time. Some triggers of a seizure include stress, not getting enough sleep, a specific time of day or night, flashing lights, not eating properly, alcohol or drug use, and certain foods. If you know what triggers your seizure, it is best to avoid it. Being aware of your condition helps you live better with it.

There are many ways to manage your epilepsy. Talk to your doctor to make sure you are doing all you can to control it with medication or other treatments. Maintain a support system with family and friends that can help you cope and who know what to do in the event of a seizure. Join a local support group. Epilepsy is difficult to live with but it is possible if you stay positive, informed, and healthy.

For more information, be sure to catch “Your Health, Wealth, and Happiness” episodes!!


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