While epilepsy is a disorder in the nerve cell which is characterized by recurrent disturbing seizures, podiatry is the treatment carried out by podiatrists that helps with the problems associated with feet and lower legs. You might be wondering how these are related and how podiatrists can help patients dealing with epilepsy. However, a simple seizure muscle activity can cause the jerking movements of the feet, face, arm, or any other part of the body. And people who have seizures can sometimes have heel pain, fungal infected nails, arch pains. That is why they need a podiatrist to help deal with the problem and even prescribe shoes that are suitable to wear.
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There are 2 ways in which epilepsy can be categorized:
Patients with epilepsy with no other underlying issues. Patients with down syndrome having other neuroglial complications as associated symptoms including epilepsy.
Understanding the etiology of epilepsy
Before administering any treatment or going on with any plans, the first thing is to understand the etiology of epilepsy. One thing is that in about half of people suffering from epilepsy, the cause is yet unknown. But unknown cases are most times regarded as the genetic cause of epilepsy.
Some might be as a result of changes in the structure of the brain leading to frequent seizures.
It has also been proven that bacterial infections can lead to epilepsy. This entails cerebral bacterial infection attacking the brain and it can result in seizures and acquired epilepsy.
As said earlier, other causes might be associated symptoms in people with down syndrome, stroke, head or brain injuries, tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, or other conditions that impede the proper functioning of the brain and lead to seizures.
Whatever the case might be, it is vital to understand the etiology prior to any treatment.
Understanding the triggers of seizures
Understanding the etiology is one thing, the triggers of seizures are also crucial. This will not only make them comfortable, but it will also help the podiatrist in knowing measures to take and what to include in the treatment plan. Some of these triggers include:
Response to specific stimuli like flashing lights or noises. This condition is referred to as photosensitive seizure disorder. Exposure to light at a certain intensity or mere listening to loud music can cause seizures.
Low or lack of oxygen to the brain is also another thing that can trigger seizures. When oxygen flowing to the brain is cut off, it can trigger seizures or brain death. For instance, a podiatrist might want to administer treatment to an infectious toe. Out of panic or anxiety, the patient might hold their breath for a while. The lack of oxygen and the expected pain in the toe treatment can trigger a seizure in patients.
There are other triggers which can be medications, stress, lack of sleep, menstruation, and many more.
Treatment of epilepsy
Epilepsy cannot be approached as a one size fits all issue. It is a problem with differing characteristics in every patient and the cause may differ according to age, groups, and many other factors in different parts of the world. Hence, each case needs to be treated taking cognizant of the etiology, triggers, and other disorders or underlying illnesses.
For instance, patients with coexisting disorders can be challenging to treat. For people with down syndrome, there are differences in their cognitive abilities, and communication which makes it a bit complex. Those with down syndrome often have ingrown nails, calluses, or flat feet. For this, one needs to gain the trust of the patient first before administering treatment. Constant reassurance that the treatment won’t hurt in order to gain their trust is important before anything can be done. The pain tolerance and potential response to pain need to be addressed. If not, it will be difficult to treat the patient and the stress and anxiety can lead to an epileptic seizure.