It's estimated that around 3 million people in the U.S. suffer from epilepsy, with 200,000 people being newly diagnosed annually. As a serious neurological disorder, finding a way to manage your symptoms and the condition is key to your ability to lead a fulfilling life. Fortunately, you do have several options to consider.
A leading treatment option for epilepsy is medication therapy. A group of drugs, known as anticonvulsants, are designed to minimize the frequency, as well as risks, of seizures, sometimes referred to as antiseizure medication. Since there are a number of medications that fall into this category, your age, frequency of seizure activities, and any preexisting conditions are all factored in to choose which medication is best for you.
Two things are important to keep in mind with this method. First, it does not work for every person. Only around 70% of people will have success with this treatment method. Second, side-effects are sometimes common with effects ranging from double vision to liver concerns.
For those individuals who have a well-defined case of epilepsy, surgery may offer a more permanent form of treatment. Epilepsy effects the brain, but in many people, it is scattered, meaning it may affect several areas. With a well-defined case, one small specific area of the brain is affected.
Since the area is so easy to recognize, a surgeon can sometimes go in and remove the affected area of the brain, therefore eliminating the epilepsy. However, when the affected area is scattered, this cannot be done. You will need to undergo several tests to determine if this is an option for you.
For a more natural approach, some patients can try diet therapy by adapting to what is known as a ketogenic diet. This method is often ideal for children or other people who have recently developed the condition. The ketogenic diet requires you to eat a low amount of carbohydrates and more fats.
The idea behind it is that instead of your body breaking down fats, it will break down more carbohydrates. Science has shown evidence that by following this diet you can significantly lower, if not eliminate, the occurrence of seizures, and with some children, the seizures don't return even after they end the diet.
What works for one person diagnosed with this condition is not guaranteed to work for the next. Pair with your physician to investigate which option is going to be best for you.