Epilepsy is a neurological disorder causing multiple neurons to send signals simultaneously. Such surges of electrical activity result in seizures, the symptoms of which include involuntary movements, behaviors, sensations, and emotions. Like with other chronic conditions, epilepsy alters an individual’s lifespan, so you may be wondering, how long do people with epilepsy live?
Well, the answer depends on a few factors, including underlying issues and how well a person manages their condition. For those who need it, epilepsy and seizure rehab is available to help in these areas. Trained medical professionals offer care and assistance during and after episodes, medication reminders, emotional support, and education on the condition.
For more information on living with epilepsy and their quality of life, keep reading.
So, How Long Do People With Epilepsy Live?
Those with epilepsy can live a life similar to those without the condition. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, lowering the life expectancy of certain individuals. If someone with epilepsy isn’t managing their condition well, their lifespan may be shortened significantly.
There are also accidents related to seizures, which can’t always be helped, resulting in death. Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) is a rare complication causing death with no known cause or related condition. Of course, these issues are uncommon, so likely won’t alter most individuals’ life expectancy.
Those with epilepsy may also have other health issues, such as cancer, liver disease, cardiovascular disease, or dementia. Individuals with such conditions have a higher risk of seizures. Their lifespan is often shorter due to complications related to their epilepsy, though death is rarely caused by the disease.
On the other hand, those with manageable conditions and no underlying health issues have a higher life expectancy. Early diagnosis, following doctor’s instructions, and taking care to avoid risks are essential to reach your golden years.
How can you live a normal life with epilepsy?
To live a normal life with epilepsy, it’s essential to manage your condition to the best of your ability. Doing so includes taking your medication, recognizing seizure triggers, and discussing any questions or concerns with your doctor. You should also keep a record of your seizures to monitor any changes in duration or frequency.
Those with epilepsy can also make lifestyle changes to help reduce the chances of seizures. Reducing stress is vital, as is getting enough sleep every night. Some evidence also shows regular exercise may increase control over seizures.
Proper nutrition is also crucial for those with epilepsy. A ketogenic or modified Atkins diet may benefit those with medication-resistant epilepsy. Such high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets are known to improve seizure control and reduce their frequency.
Causes of epilepsy
Epilepsy has several possible causes, including genetics, traumatic brain injury, brain tumors, infection, brain inflammation, or developmental brain abnormalities. Unfortunately, about half of the individuals with epilepsy have no known cause.
In fact, any neuronal disruption can result in seizures. Those disruptions could lead to abnormal brain wiring, nerve signal imbalances, or a combination of the two. Such variations make it extremely difficult to pinpoint a cause in specific individuals.
This blog is for general educational purposes only and is no substitute for professional medical advice. For any questions or concerns about your own medical condition, or health issues you need resolving, speak to a qualified doctor.
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