While there are about 40 different types of epilepsy, there are probably even more types of seizure disorders — caused by a number of internal and external events.
However, most doctors and publications agree on a number of possible or even probable reasons for these seizures. Here are just a few of them…
Many types of epilepsy tend to run in families, and some have been traced to an abnormality in a specific gene. These genetic abnormalities can cause subtle changes in the way the body processes calcium, potassium, sodium, and other body chemicals.
In a fetus, the developing brain is susceptible to prenatal injuries that may occur if the pregnant mother has an infection, doesn’t eat properly, smokes or abuses drugs or alcohol.
It can be either an injury to the mother caused by childbirth, a congenital abnormality or perinatal injury.
If the head injury is severe, seizures may not begin until years later. If the injury is mild, the risk is slight.
A disease like cancer reduces the structure or function of tissues. Therefore tumors, whether malignant or benign, can be associated with seizures. The location of the lesion influences the risk.
Brain conditions that cause damage to the brain, such as brain tumors or strokes, can cause epilepsy. Stroke is a leading cause of epilepsy in adults older than age 35.
Disorders that change levels of various metabolic substances in the body sometimes result in seizures. These include: altered levels of sodium, calcium, or magnesium (electrolyte imbalance)…kidney failure and dialysis…low blood sugar or elevated blood sugar…lowered oxygen level in the brain…severe liver disease and elevation of associated toxins.
Meningitis, AIDS and viral encephalitis, can cause epilepsy.
Probably the most common is food poisoning (typically from bacteria or parasites), but also dangerous are various heavy metals (e.g. lead, arsenic, mercury, etc.), gases such as carbon monoxide, alcohol poisoning, numerous household chemicals and many others.
It can be an interaction or reaction to a drug or combination of drugs, reaction or withdrawal (especially from certain anti-anxiety or antidepressant drugs) or the chronic use of illicit drugs, particularly cocaine, heroine, amphetamines, and PCP.
To subscribe to Epilepsytalk.com and get the latest articles by email, simply go to the bottom box of the right column, enter your email address and click on “Follow.”
Most Recent Posts
About the author
I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.