Ongoing problems with seizures can contribute to accidents and may eventually cause permanent brain damage or sudden death. Managing seizure activity is critical to reduce complications and live a good quality of life.
The most common and first-line treatment for seizure disorder is to use anti-seizure medications. Since there are several on the market, you may need to try different medications and dosages before you find an effective option. The goal is to eliminate seizure activity, but for some people, they are unable to control their seizures with medication alone. When you are prescribed anti-seizure medication, it is important to stay adherent to your regimen and avoid any activities that can make your medication less effective. For example, you should avoid alcohol since it can increase your risk of seizures.
Some people have a reduction in seizures by eating a low-carbohydrate diet, specifically a ketogenic diet. This diet combines low-carbohydrates with high fat and moderate protein. Typically, carbohydrates are counted based on net carbs. To find the net carbohydrates of a food, you subtract the grams of fiber from the grams of total carbs. For the ketogenic diet, you should have fewer than 25 net carbs per day. If this is too restrictive, you might find eating a few more carbs, such as aiming for 25% or less of your macronutrients from carbs. You may need to try different amounts of net carbs to determine what is effective to prevent seizures while having a sustainable diet. A diet that is higher in protein with moderate fat might also have benefits.
Surgery is reserved for people who have seizures that cannot be controlled with medication. Sometimes, testing can be used to pinpoint the exact area of seizure activity. If there is a single area that is not responsible for important functions, a surgeon may try to remove the abnormal tissue. This type of surgery is performed while you are awake, but anesthetized, so the surgeon can test different areas of your brain during the procedure to avoid long-term damage. Another option may be deep brain stimulation (DBS). DBS is done by implanting an electrode into the brain that is operated by a separate device. The device behaves like a pacemaker and sends an electrical impulse to the brain once seizure activity is detected.
Preventing complications associated with seizures requires finding an effective treatment. In many cases, a combination of medications and lifestyle changes are enough to minimize or prevent seizures. For more information on brain condition treatment, reach out to professional medical providers.
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