Do I have Epilepsy?


What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain. These episodes are known as seizures.

Doctors will usually diagnose epilepsy if:

  • A person having one or more seizures
  • The doctor thinks the person is likely to have more seizures
  • The seizure is not directly caused by another medical condition, like diabetes or a sever infection.

I had a seizure. Do I have epilepsy?

Not necessarily. Not everyone who has a seizure has epilepsy. In fact, 1 in 10 people will have a seizure at some point, but not all of these people will be diagnosed.

Sometimes seizures are caused by a temporary problem like infection or low blood sugar. If this is the case, you may not have another seizure after you’ve recovered.

Sometime what looks like a seizure isn’t actually a seizure. These other events may be called “seizure imitators” or “nonepilepcy events.”

How do I know if I have epilepsy?

Finding out if you have epilepsy is like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. To figure out if you have epilepsy, you will need to see a doctor who will:

  • Gather information about your seizure(s)
  • Gather information about your medical history and lifestyle
  • Give a physical exam
  • Run blood and urine tests

The doctor may also order tests to see what’s happening in your brain.

How can I get the most out of doctor appointments?

Getting good medical care is a team effort, and you are the most important member. Use these tips to make the most of your time at the doctor’s office:

  • Write down questions ahead of time
  • Take notes during the appointment
  • ask a family member or friend to go with you
  • Make sure you understand what to do next
  • Get the number to call if you have more questions later on

I have epilepsy. What happens next?

If you are diagnosed with epilepsy, the next step is finding a treatment that works. This may take some time.

The first treatment your doctor will try is medicine. This works for about 7 in 10 people with epilepsy. You may need to try different medicines before finding the one that works best with the fewest side effects. Sometimes, a combination of medicines is the best treatment.

It takes time to know if medicines are working, so it is important to be patient and continue sharing information and asking questions as you work with your medial team to find the right medicine and right dosage for you.

If medicine is not able to control our seizures, you can talk with the doctor or nurse about other options like special diets, medical devices and surgical procedures.


If you or a loved one think you have epilepsy, contact us today.


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