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Epilepsy

The condition called epilepsy is a result of an excessive increase in the electrical activity of the human nervous system and the brain, therefore though it can be considered a disorder of the human body; it is technically not a disease, in the sense that the causation and remedial treatments for the condition are not always immediately apparent. The transmission of electrical and nerve impulses in the cells of the human brain are usually well regulated and controlled. But in epileptics, this orderly transmission of nerve impulses can sometimes go haywire, leading to many nerve cells firing or transmitting information simultaneously. This is where the typical symptoms of the epileptic becomes evident in convulsions that are uncontrollable, in epileptic seizures and in behavior on the part of the epileptic which can range from a blank stare to a loss of consciousness, while in the epileptic state. Epileptic seizure is the name given to all these manifestation of the disorder, it is for this reason that epilepsy is also known more commonly as the seizure disorder. Recurring bouts of these seizures are what defines the epileptic, as having a single seizure or an episode of convulsion does not prove that a person has an epileptic disorder. It has been shown that recurrence of any form of seizures in many people is rare and that only about 27% of people who have experienced a seizure, actually experience it again in about three years time, therefore the seizures themselves are quite rare events.

The causes and the provenance of an epileptic disorder are not known in roughly more than half of true epileptics. A link can often be found in the remaining percentage of epileptics to some form of trauma or injury to the head, a previous incidence of a stroke, the presence of a brain tumor, or a brain infection in some cases. The scientific view is that a certain group of individuals may be particularly prone to seizures and epilepsy, and the prevailing view is that susceptibility to these seizures does not differ to a large degree among humans, therefore it has been suggested that a hereditary factors and genes may play a role in the susceptibility of individuals to these seizures.

The epileptic seizures can be induced in certain groups of epileptics by low levels of blood sugar, a condition called (hypoglycemia) and in some cases due to the depletion of certain nutrients, such as the essential minerals, like magnesium and the vitamins like the B vitamins. Moreover, it has been shown that even in people who are otherwise not epileptics, that drinking too much alcohol, a lack of sleep and adequate rest and stress, or an illness may trigger a seizure quite unexpectedly.

Supplements and herbs

A change in the dosage of anticonvulsant medications should not be attempted by epileptics on their own, nor can they stop taking them except on the advice of a medical doctor. These supplements that are suggested below are not intended to be substitutes or replacements for prescription medications given to epileptics for the alleviation of some of the symptoms of the disorder. They are only intended to function in a supporting role, and may help rectify some of the nutritional deficiencies that could possibly add to the likelihood of seizures, these supplements may also aid in the containment of seizures, despite medication in some epileptics. Another potential positive role these supplements can play is that they may eventually allow a physician to reduce the dosage levels of the anticonvulsant drugs administered to the patient; this is a positive aspect because some of the medications used to treat epileptic conditions have very unpleasant side effects.

B complex vitamins is sufficient quantities, especially ones like pyridoxine B6 and folic acid, are vital supplements as they play a role in the production of many types of brain chemicals, otherwise known as neurotransmitters, which are the chemical message bearers in the nervous system and the brain. The most efficient way to make use of the B complex vitamins is to take the B complex form, as this contains all the vitamins in the B group and because this group of vitamins works best when combined together. Many essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and manganese besides being of importance in other areas of the body also promote the smooth running of the nervous system. Sufficient quantities of these essential nutrients may already be in your diet from the daily multivitamin and mineral, or other supplements that you may already be taking. Because low levels of GABA (gamma- aminobutyric acid) which is a brain chemical in the body appears to be linked to the cases of epileptic seizures, the use of this substance as an additional supplement can also be tried. The herb kava is effective in reducing stress and anxiety, which can trigger seizures, and therefore this herb can also be used as a supplement even though, it does not directly mitigate epileptic seizures in the human body. GABA has a mimic in the amino acid taurine, which acts in a similar way within the body of a person, so as supplements; a choice may be made between GABA and this amino acid.

Aromatherapy

Commonly used essential oils for epilepsy:

Additional things you may do

Alcohol can interfere with anticonvulsant medications and contribute to seizures. Avoid it.
Fatigue can predispose you to seizures. Get a lot of sleep.

Usual dosage

  • Kava, 250 mg two times a day. Standardized to contain at least 30% kava-lactones.
  • GABA, 500 mg two times daily. GABA is often combined with inositol; has tranquilizing effect.
  • Vitamin B complex, one pill every morning with meal. Take a B-50 complex with 50 mcg vitamin B12 and biotin; 400 mcg folic acid; and 50 mg all other B vitamins.
  • Taurine, 500 mg L -taurine three times daily on empty stomach. Add mixed amino acids, if you use longer than one month.
  • Magnesium / Calcium, 250 mg each two times daily with meal.
  • Manganese, 20 mg daily. Take with food.

For kids

See age-appropriate dosages of herbal remedies

Anticonvulsant medication for epileptic kids may result in the accumulation of different toxins in the liver, the herb milk thistle in liver detoxification is effective against the side effects due to these drugs. The nervous system is strengthened and calmed by the herb called minor bupleurum; this precludes the sudden outbreak of epileptic attacks due to rattled emotional states. Dosage for children is a single dose, two times daily, for a total time period of three months, in a year, one month in each major season.
For your information: in children who have any sign of a fever or any other symptoms pointing to an acute infection, cannot be given minor bupleurum.

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