Tag Archives: neurological disorder

Epilepsy Awareness

Epilepsy is a complex and prevalent neurological disorder marked by abnormal brain activity, recurrent seizures and other sensory disturbances. Let’s take a closer look:

  • Epilepsy is a shockingly common condition, striking approximately 1 in every 100 Americans with nearly 150,000 new diagnoses each year.
  • Anyone can develop epilepsy. The disorder can just as easily develop in elderly people as it can in children (or anywhere in between).
  • Seizures can begin after another type of medical trauma such as a stroke.
  • DO: roll a seizure victim on their side gently, try to support their head and make them comfortable, as well as monitor your vitals.
  • DON’T: Despite common misconception, never try to put something in the mouth of a seizure victim as it may make them choke or hurt their jaw or teeth.
  • Contrary to commonly held belief, it is actually impossible to swallow your tongue during a seizure.
  • People with epilepsy can hold down most steady jobs (except some that may be a safety hazard in the case of a seizure on the job, such as construction).
  • Epilepsy can’t be cured but it can be successfully treated in many cases.
  • Unfortunately, a fair number of people with the disorder do not respond to treatment and live with uncontrolled epilepsy. However, it is entirely possible with rapid medical advancements that there may be better treatment in the near future.
  • It is possible to die from an epilepsy complication called sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).
  • Sadly, up to 42,000 people die from SUDEP each year in the United States.
  • Symptoms of epileptic seizures include: trans-like staring, abrupt jerking of the limbs, temporary loss of consciousness or awareness, repetitive movements, dizziness or light sensitivity, just to name a few.
  • The two main types of seizures are focal and generalized. Each have various subtypes.
  • The most commonly known type of seizure is a grand mal (tonic-clonic) generalized seizure.
  • If a person is having their first seizure, a seizure that lasts longer than 5 minutes or has another seizure following the first, has an additional medical condition, or appears to have been injured during the seizure call 9-1-1 immediately.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope we’ve answered some of your questions about epilepsy. We hope you’ll be back again soon!


Restless Leg Syndrome (Part 1) Symptoms and Triggers

About a tenth of the American adult population (and 2% of children) are afflicted with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). According to the National Sleep Foundation, RLS, also known as Willis-Ekborn disease is “a sleep-related movement disorder is known best for its overwhelming and often unpleasant urges to move the legs while at rest.” It is often referred to as a neurological disorder as well.

Symptoms of RLS

RLS is a complex, case-dependent condition and symptoms range widely from person to person, some of which may be difficult to articulate. Commonly reported symptoms include:

  • Tingling of the legs (and sometimes other areas of the body)
  • An overpowering urge to move the legs in an attempt to relieve discomfort
  • Involuntary twitches and movements of the legs
  • A feeling of pulling or tugging at the legs during the night
  • Itching or irritation of the legs
  • Aching of the legs or frequent muscle spasms or cramps
  • ‘Crawling’ sensation or the feeling of something foreign coursing the veins of the legs
  • Jerking of the legs keeps you or your partner awake often during the night
  • Symptoms most often happen while you are resting or during the night
  • Tiredness during the day due to impaired sleep
  • Symptoms are often greatly relieved by repetitive movements or stretching

What Worsens RLS?

1. Stress is one of the biggest RLS triggers, if you can learn to manage your stress and anxiety it can greatly decrease symptoms.

2. While moderate exercise is beneficial to RLS, vigorous exercise may actually have an adverse impact on the condition because of the extreme stimulation and exhaustion of the muscles.

3. Certain medications such as heart or blood pressure medications, allergy medications or anti-depressants can trigger symptoms.

4. Herbal or dietary supplements can also adversely affect RLS, so it is important to cross check all your medications and supplements with your doctor or pharmacist.

5. Caffeine, alcohol and nicotine have also been associated with exacerbating RLS (caffeine and nicotine because of their stimulant effect on the body).

6. Extreme temperatures have also been linked to worsened RLS symptoms.

7. Lastly, diet has an impact on the condition. Certain sugar-loaded and highly processed foods have been associated with flare-ups.

How is RLS Diagnosed?

There is no one test that can confirm RLS, it is largely based on the patient’s symptoms and medical history. Your doctor may also run a series of tests to rule out potential underlying conditions that can cause similar neurological symptoms such as:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • A B12 or other vitamin deficiency
  • Kidney disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Diabetes
  • Anemia

Thus concludes our look at the causes, prevalence and symptoms of RLS – stay tuned for medical, homeopathic and lifestyle treatment options for RLS in our next post! Thanks for visiting DocChat, if you suspect you may have RLS or have any questions about management, sign up today for a video conference with one of our highly qualified DocChat physicians!