Everything You Need to Know About Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a brain disorder that, with proper management and lifestyle adjustments, allows individuals to lead fulfilling lives. If you or a loved one is dealing with epilepsy, here is what you can do.

By URLife Team
17 Nov 2023

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterised by recurrent and unpredictable seizures, affecting people of all ages, genders and backgrounds. It involves unexpected electrical activity in the brain. These bursts of activity can cause seizures, which might affect how someone moves, feels, or thinks, which leads to altered consciousness and intense convulsions.


The overall epilepsy prevalence of individuals dealing with epilepsy in India is 5.59-10 per 1000. Approximately more than 1 per cent of Indians have epilepsy. Another 2021 research published in Frontiers shows that men develop epilepsy more often than women. The possible reason could be higher exposure to risk factors such as alcohol and head trauma.


It is a common myth around epilepsy that experiencing a single seizure confirms epilepsy, says Dr. S Viswanathan, Paediatric Neurologist at Apollo Hospitals.‘’Experiencing a single seizure doesn't necessarily indicate epilepsy. However, for individuals dealing with epilepsy, recurrent seizures are common.’’ While many people believe that those with epilepsy are mentally or emotionally unstable, he says that this is a common misconception. Keep reading to understand the types, symptoms, causes, treatment, and management of epilepsy.


Types of Seizure

Focal Seizures

Also known as partial seizures, these start in one specific area of the brain. Depending on the type, these seizures may or may not involve loss of consciousness.


Generalised Seizures

These affect both sides of the brain and often involve loss of consciousness. It can also cause sudden stiffening of the body.


Symptoms of Epilepsy

The symptoms of a seizure can vary widely from person to person and according to the type of seizure. While some people may lose awareness during a seizure, many don’t. Some stare into blank space for a few seconds. Others might keep twitching their arms or legs, which is known as convulsions. Other symptoms of epilepsy include:

  • Loss of awareness
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Temporary confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Twitching of limbs
  • Tingling
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Staring blankly


Causes of Epilepsy

For most, the cause of epilepsy is not known, but here are a few common reasons why it might occur:

  • Traumatic head injury
  • Family history
  • Certain brain conditions such as brain tumours, strokes or infections like meningitis.
  • Prenatal injury
  • Infections such as cysticercosis or neurocysticercosis
  • Dementia
  • Lack of oxygen supply to the brain
  • Other neurological diseases


Identifying Epileptic Seizure Triggers

Identifying what triggers epileptic seizure can help in reducing the number of epileptic seizures one experiences. Try to keep a track of potential triggers by maintaining a journal. Some common triggers include:

  • Lack of Sleep
  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Missed Medications
  • Flashing Lights or Patterns
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs
  • Hormonal Changes
  • Illness or Fever
  • Specific Stimuli like loud noises, specific odours, or intense physical activity


First Aid for Seizures

While one cannot stop a seizure once it is in progress, being there and providing first aid is necessary. Here is what you can do to help someone during the seizure

  • Be there with the person until the seizure ends
  • Stay calm
  • Cushion their head with something soft
  • Turn them to their side
  • Do not restrict their movements
  • Clear the area around for safety
  • Time the seizure


Diagnosis of Epilepsy

Diagnosing epilepsy involves a comprehensive evaluation by doctors. The process typically begins with a detailed medical history review, where the patient describes their symptoms and any potential triggers or experiences related to seizures. Neurological exams and tests, such as electroencephalogram (EEG), brain imaging through MRI or CT scans, and blood tests, help in identifying abnormal brain activity. All these diagnostic tests help in confirming the presence of epilepsy, determining the type of seizures, and locating their origin in the brain. With accurate diagnosis an effective treatment plan could be tailored to the individual's needs, which will help in ensuring proper management of the condition.


Treatment of Epilepsy

Managing epilepsy involves different approaches. Doctors often prescribe medications to control or reduce the number of seizures. Sometimes, surgery might help, especially if the seizures come from a specific part of the brain. Another way is by using devices that can help control brain activity. People with epilepsy can also make lifestyle changes, like getting enough sleep, managing stress, and avoiding triggers that might bring on seizures. Additionally, anti-epileptic medications also help in reducing and sometimes eliminating seizures when taken as prescribed by the doctor.


Another alternative is making lifestyle modifications, like adopting a ketogenic diet—a high-fat, low-carb diet. This diet has been proven beneficial for more than half of children who don’t respond to medication, the Epilepsy Foundation confirms. This diet provides an alternative to epilepsy management in drug-resistant cases. However, the ketogenic diet is very strict and should be followed under medical supervision.


Epilepsy is a condition that affects many people worldwide. While it can be challenging, with the right treatment and support, individuals with epilepsy can lead full and fulfilling lives. Understanding the condition, knowing how to help during a seizure, and providing support to those affected can make a significant difference in their journey.


Regular health checks are essential for everyone, but they are particularly important for individuals who are at risk of or already have epilepsy. Taking regular health checks can help detect epilepsy at an early stage when it is easier to manage and treat. With the UR.Life HRA, we help you to invest in your well-being through seamless interventions and targeted medical treatments. Our holistic wellness approach caters to all aspects of your well-being. We ensure that you can bring your whole self to work.


With our medical professionals by your side, routine health check-ups will never be an issue. Advanced laboratory technologies back UR.Life’s Occupational Health Centers (OHC), and with highly qualified experts/technicians, we’re committed to delivering trusted and quality recommendations, modifications and advice to you.



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