Up to 10% of individuals will experience at least one seizure in their lifetime, and recurrent seizure disorder known as epilepsy occurs in about 3% of the population. Seizures involve a disruption in cortical neuron activity, leading to a varied presentation of the following symptoms: clonic movements, paresthesia, sweating, deja vu, lip smacking, repeating phrases, visual hallucination, loss of consciousness, and convulsions.
|Causes||Dietary Factors, Alcohol, Environmental Toxins, Infections, Stress|
|See Also||Neurological Conditions, Hypoglycemia, Fever, Sleep deprivation|
|Books||Books on Neurological Conditions|
|Articles||Articles on Neurological Conditions|
- 1 Naturopathic Assessment
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 Naturopathic Treatment
- 4 References
|Article||Natural Approaches to Epilepsy , Alt Med; 2007;Vol12(1)|
In order to stimulate the innate ability of the body to heal the causes of disease must be identified and addressed. With seizures, the causes are variable and include lifestyle, environmental, medications and other external factors. A detailed assessment is required to determine which factors are causing seizures.
- Hypoglycemia is associated with seizures. Low glucose levels often precedes seizures, and epileptic individuals have high rates of low blood sugars and abnormal glucose tolerance.
- High sugary drinks and energy drinks have been found to cause dehydration, accelerated heart rates, anxiety, acute mania as well as seizures and in some cases stroke., 
- There is some evidence that food allergies or food intolerances may be linked to epilepsy, with a small collection of studies demonstrating benefit in epileptic children on oligoantigenic diets.
- Although controversial, food additives such as aspartame have been associated with increased seizure activity in some individuals.
- Intense exercise can trigger seizures, yet typically exercise is beneficial in reducing the severity and frequency of seizures.
- Substance Abuse
- Drug withdrawal may lead to seizures. 
- Head trauma severe enough to damage the brain can lead to seizure.
- Other factors
- Several infective agents and conditions can lead to central nervous system dysfunction and subsequent seizures. Meningitis, encephalitis, brain abscess, neurosyphillis, rabies, tetanus, malaria, toxoplasmosis, and cysticerosis may all lead to seizures. 
- Prescription Medications
- Seizures can be caused by prescription medications.
- Studies suggest a genetics play a role in the risk of developing epilepsy. Individuals with a relative suffering from seizures is three times more likely themselves to have a seizure.
- Epilepsy is not typically diagnosed after one seizure as the rate of recurrence of seizure is only 27% within 3 years.
- It is important to differentiate between focal and generalized seizures as focal seizures often indicate a brain disorder such as a tumor, while generalized seizures more often have an undefinable etiology.
- Blood tests indicated when evaluating seizures include: blood glucose, serum calcium, CBC, liver function tests, kidney function tests, testing for syphilis
- Other diagnostic tests include: radiography, EEG, CT scan, MRI and examination of cerebrospinal fluid
Related Symptoms and Conditions
Conditions related to seizures include:
- Sleep deprivation, fever and premenstrual period have been shown to decrease the seizure threshold.
- The underlying physiology of seizures is complex. Defects in GABA, GABA receptor inhibition, and increased NMDA receptor activation are a few of the processes implicated in seizure development. Essentially, there is reduced inhibition couples with increased excitation in the central nervous system, and based on the location a variety of symptoms can arise.
Seizures typically involve a collection of the following symptoms:
- visual, auditory, and taste manifestations
- muscle rigidity
- loss of consciousness
- altered consciousness
- convulsion, involuntary movement
- eye flickering
- repetitive movements, sounds
The following are the common classifications for seizures:
Simple Partial- occur commonly in older children and adults, and commonly present with functional disturbance of sensory, motor, or autonomic systems without any impairment of consciousness. Hallucinations may occur, as well as cognitive disturbances.
Complex Partial or Focal Cortical- similar to simple partial but with loss of consciousness. Repetitive purposeless movements often occur.
Absence Seizure (Petit Mal) - occur in individuals under 20 and are typified by loss of awareness but not consciousness.
Tonic-clonic - the most common seizure in epilepsy in adulthood involving muscle contraction with clonic contraction, lasting usually 2-3 minutes accompanied by loss of consciousness.
Febrile seizure - elevated fever can lead to seizures in children under 6. This is not an epileptic condition and should not be treated as such.
Secondary seizure- any seizure caused by an identifiable organic cause. 
The goal of naturopathic treatment is to support and work in tandem with the healing power of the body and to address the causal factors of disease with individual treatment strategies. Repetitive seizures are typically chronic and require individual treatment plans coordinated with an individual's neurologist.
It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor before engaging in any treatment plan.
Home Care strategies include:
- Track food, activity, environmental exposures and any other stressors that may contribute to a seizure. Identifying the unique triggers for each individual is extremely beneficial in reducing the severity and frequency of seizures.
- Caregiver Education
- Family members and caregivers should be properly educated regarding the appropriate acute response to an individual undergoing a seizure.
Lifestyle recommendations include:
- Food allergies and food intolerances should be identified and eliminated.
- Consume small frequent meals if hypoglycemia is a concern.
- Eliminate sugar and refined carbohydrates.
- In difficult-to-treat cases consider the ketogenic diet under the supervision of a health professional., .
- The oligoantigenic diets has also been found to beneficial.
- Look at eliminating food additives such as aspartame.
- Ensure adequate hydration.
- Due to the connection between breathing disorders and risk of seizures it is beneficial to learn how to breathe effectively and to address any underlying breathing problems.
- Establishing and maintaining regular sleep patterns is very beneficial.,
The prescribing of naturopathic therapies requires the guidance of a naturopathic doctor as it depends on a number of factors including the causal factors, a person's age, prescription medications, other conditions and symptoms and overall health. It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor prior to taking any natural therapies.
Naturopathic Therapies for seizures include:
- Clinical Nutritional Supplementation includes
- Vitamins such as pyridoxine, folic acid, thiamine, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin D, vitamin E,
- Minerals such as magnesium, manganese, zinc, selenium, chromium, copper
- Amino Acids such as taurine.
- Other supplements such as GABA, Phosphatidylserine, Choline, betaine, melatonin, Essential Fatty Acids, Dimethylglycine, Sarcosine. , , 
- Herbs such as Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri), Peony root (Paeonia suffructicosa) , Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), Ginkgo (Gingko biloba), Indian Coleus (Coleus forskohlii)., 
Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes the different disease patterns associated with seizures and the following strategies are commonly employed based on individual presentation:
- Expel Empty Wind from the Interior 
Reviewed by Iva Lloyd, BScH, RPE, ND 
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