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Epilepsy and alcohol: causes, consequence, treatment

The relationship of epilepsy and alcohol is there, but it is much more difficult than it seems at first glance. Many people know that alcohol provokes a seizure in epileptics, but not everyone knows that it can also cause the emergence of this disease even those who had not suffered.

Epilepsy can be one of the complications of chronic alcoholism acute alcohol intoxication or delirium tremens. At the same time, people suffering from epilepsy, alcohol can trigger an attack. This dual dependence of alcohol and epilepsy has led many doctors to carefully examine this issue.

As the effects of alcohol on people suffering from epilepsy?

Epilepsy imposes on the individual quite a few restrictions in terms of food. Perhaps, abstinence from alcohol is the only rule, but it must be observed at all times.

As a rule, it is recommended to completely abandon him, but some researchers believe that there is a permissible dose is not more than a glass of wine. This amount of alcohol the body can safely break down and withdraw. This allows you to apply preparations on the basis of alcohol, without fear of attack, but to exceed dangerous.

Of course, sensitivity to alcohol depends on many factors: the age and weight of the human body, health condition, characteristics of the organism, the type of epilepsy.

The likelihood of developing on the background of chronic alcoholism epilepsy depends on the preferred type of alcoholic beverages. Surprisingly, vodka and moonshine peeled provoke her less soft drinks, wine, liqueurs, and cognac, absinthe and other, containing added.

To provoke seizures may not only alcohol, but drugs are natural and artificial origin. Tobacco is not one of them.

The ability of alcohol to trigger the attack is associated with its ability to disinhibited activity of the nervous system. This causes the formation of the most excessive and chaotic electrical impulses that provoke a seizure.

Can alcohol cause epilepsy?

According to statistics, among people suffering from alcoholism, epileptics occur three times more often than the average population. This means that regular alcohol consumption causes the development of this disease and allows us to consider epilepsy as one of many complications of chronic alcoholism.

In the recent classification of types of epilepsy sometimes emit a special category of alcoholic epilepsy. These include forms of the disease that are somehow triggered by the intake of alcohol:

  1. Late alcoholic epilepsy. The seizures in this case can take any character, oftenonly generalized tonic-clonic, i.e., a typical epileptic seizures. Usually, this is preceded by long-term chronic alcoholism is 5-10 years, but in some cases may start earlier, already after 1-2 years. The reason for this type of epilepsy – organic changes in the tissues of the brain. Due to prolonged use of alcohol disturbed blood supply of separate areas, destroys brain cells and form other organic changes.
  2. Alcohol absence seizures. "Absence seizure" in French means "no". The so-called epileptic fits, when the person for a few seconds "falls" — freezes, does not respond to external stimuli, the gaze frozen or glassy. Absence seizure can be caught in the middle of any action or conversation. After he passes, the man continues as if the seizure was not.
  3. Hereditary epilepsy. Studies have shown that the use of the mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy or breast-feeding several times increases the probability of occurrence of epilepsy in the child. The reason is the same as in the previous case, organic changes in the structure of the brain of the child. According to statistics, about one-third of cases of congenital epilepsy in children caused by alcohol consumption by the mother.
  4. Dipsomania. Some researchers secrete a latent form of alcoholic epilepsy, in which the patient develops a pathological craving for alcohol. For some time he could not resist it, then the bout may be terminated as abruptly as it starts.
  5. Epileptic status on the background of alcoholic intoxication. Epileptic seizure in most cases lasts 3-5 minutes and does not bear a direct threat to human life. A rare form of epileptic status, when seizures last more than 5 minutes. It can continue long enough. According to statistics, about 25-30% of people hospitalized with a diagnosis of "epileptic status" have a history of alcoholism or alcohol intoxication.

This is only the basic forms of alcoholic epilepsy. In practice, they can be quite diverse. For example, there are a few seizures on the background of acute alcohol poisoning or a sharp decline after long-term use, i.e., white heat — delirium tremens. Such seizures can be both one-time and chronic.

Treatment of alcoholic epilepsy

Features of the fits of alcoholic epilepsy

Despite the fact that epilepsy is developed against the background of excessive intake of alcohol is broadly similar to the usual attacks, there are a number of differences:

  1. The seizures in this form of epilepsy aremainly tonic in nature, i.e., convulsive component prevails over the state of relaxed unconsciousness.
  2. Much higher probability of involuntary vomiting during a seizure, which can lead to the penetration of vomit into the respiratory tract.
  3. After the attack the patient feels excitement, not weakness, and drowsiness.
  4. The seizures are often accompanied by visions and hallucinations.

First aid for epileptic seizures on the background of alcoholism or alcohol poisoning will help to minimize the health damage. To do this:

  1. To put the patient on the floor, to try to fix the head to avoid head injuries. If this is not possible, put it under something soft.
  2. It is impossible to forcibly unclench his teeth. Enough tissue or cloth to remove the saliva or the foam from his lips.
  3. After the end of the convulsions must put his head to the side that the patient did not choke on the vomit or saliva.

If a seizure occurred for the first time, it is necessary to consult a doctor-neurologist to get tested and find treatment. You may also need the assistance of a psychiatrist or psychotherapist to completely give up alcohol, because without this no treatment will bring results.

Alcoholic epilepsy is a serious illness and a sign threatening the health and lives of pathologies of the nervous system. If you ignore it and not change the way of life, the consequences can be fatal.