What Is Epilepsy?

Epilepsy is changes in the nervous system of the body that affects brain activity, causing bouts of sensations, unusual behavior, seizures, and loss of awareness. A seizure is a sudden rush of electrical activity in the brain.

There are two main types of seizures- Generalized seizures that affect the whole brain and focal or partial seizures, altering just one part of the brain.

You might not recognize mild seizures. It may last only a few seconds at the time of which you may lack awareness.

The symptoms of seizures imply differently to everyone. Some people can have spasms and abnormal muscle twitches. Others may lose consciousness with no memory of what happened. Having a seizure does not necessarily indicate epilepsy. At least two unprovoked seizures are generally required for the diagnosis of epilepsy.

Epilepsy can affect anyone. Both males and females are bound to be affected by epilepsy. It is slightly common in young children and older adults.

There are several reasons you might get a seizure. These may include:

  • fever
  • head trauma or injury
  • very low blood sugar or hypoglycemia
  • alcohol withdrawal

Treatment with medications or can help manage seizures for the majority of people. In many cases, Ayurveda has helped people with seizures get away with it completely.


Seizures are the main symptoms of epilepsy. There are two different types of seizures

Focal (Partial) Seizures

This type of seizure doe not lead to loss of consciousness. The general symptoms may include:

  • Changes in taste, smell, sight, hearing, or touch
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling and twitching of limbs

Complex partial seizures affect consciousness or awareness. Other symptoms include:

  • unresponsiveness
  • repetitive movements
  • staring blankly

Generalized Seizures

Such seizures affect the whole brain.

  • Absence seizures: Called petit mal seizures, it causes a blank stare and repetitive moments like blinking or smacking. Less likely, there is a short loss of awareness.
  • Tonic seizures: They may cause stiffness in the muscles.
  • Atonic seizures: One loses muscle control all of a sudden, and you may fall down promptly.
  • Clonic seizures: They lead to repeated, jerky muscle movements of the face, arms, and neck.
  • Myoclonic seizures: They result in quick twitching of the arms and legs.
  • Tonic-clonic seizures: The usual symptoms include shaking movements, loss of bladder or bowel movement, stiffening of the body, biting of the tongue, loss of consciousness, etc.

Post seizure, in most cases, a person does not remember anything, or he may remain ill for a few hours.


In less than half of the people, epilepsy has no rational cause. Some generalized triggers of seizures may include:

Genetic influence: Many types of seizures are influenced by genetics. There are certain genes that make a person experience signs of epilepsy. People who have a genetic predisposition may get seizures when triggers hit them.

Brain disorders: Disorders like tumours, strokes can also cause epilepsy. Stroke mostly causes epilepsy in people in their late 30s. Traumatic events such as head injuries or accidents may also put a person at risk of epilepsy.

Developmental disorders: Likely, there is a link between developmental disorders like autism and epilepsy.

Prenatal injury: Many newborns are at risk of brain damage when in the womb. The possible cause of this could be infections in the mother, oxygen deficiencies, poor nutrition, etc. Brain epilepsy often leads to cerebral palsy or epilepsy in children.

Infectious disease: Conditions such as meningitis, AIDS, viral encephalitis may trigger the symptoms of epilepsy.

Risk Factors

Several of the risk factors may include:

  • Age: The condition is more common in children and adults.
  • A family history: Having a family history of brain disorders or epilepsy may increase your risk.
  • Accidents: Accidents involving injuries to heads elevates the risk of epilepsy. Preventing accidents will help decrease your risk of epilepsy.
  • Dementia: Dementia is the loss of memory that increases the risk of epilepsy in older adults.
  • Vascular diseases. This condition may possibly lead to brain damage and cause epilepsy.
  • Seizures in childhood. High fever in children is linked to episodes of seizures. But the risk is only high if a child has a family history of epilepsy or nervous system disorder, etc.