Epilepsy is a condition characterised by recurrent seizures which result from uncontrolled excitability of neurons in the cerebral cortex of the brain. There are over 30 different kinds of seizures but they can be characterised into 2 groups: (i) focal seizure (ii) generalised seizures. Focal seizures are confined to one part of the brain and the person may or may not lose consciousness, after they experience an aura. Generalised seizures result from abnormal neuronal activity on both sides of the brain.
Triggers: allergens, drug or alcohol withdrawal, fever, flashing lights, hunger, hypoglycaemia, lack of sleep, metabolic imbalance, trauma and head injury.
Symptoms of focal seizures: sudden anger, joy, sadness, nausea, strange smells and tastes, dream like behaviour and repetitive behaviours (e.g. mouth movements, blinking).
Symptoms of generalised seizures: loss of consciousness, falling down and muscle spasms, rigidity and jerking of the muscles, blank staring that cannot be awakened by a light touch, shallow breathing and bluish skin.
Who to consult: If a person experiences a seizure it is important to move any objects that may cause harm to the person away from them, and if the person has fallen to the ground allow them to remain there until the seizure has finished. It is important to seek emergency medical care at a hospital. Other practitioners that may be of assistance are: dietician, GP, herbalist, homoeopath, occupational therapist, meditation practitioner, naturopath and pharmacist.