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What Causes Nonepileptic Seizures?

What Causes Nonepileptic Seizures?

Epilepsy is a severe medical condition that causes you to have seizures without warning. But did you know you can also have episodes without having epilepsy? There are a lot of different conditions that can cause you to have convulsions similar to epilepsy.

At the Neurology Center for Epilepsy and Seizures, we specialize in all kinds of neurological problems that may be causing your condition. Dr. Amor Mehta helps you figure out what’s causing your seizures so you can get the treatment you need.

What is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a neurological condition in your brain that causes you to have seizures without any other cause. These seizures are recurrent and can happen anywhere, at any time. This can make the condition hard to control.

This condition is diagnosed when you suffer two or more seizures that aren’t provoked by another triggering factor. These neurological events must occur at least 24 hours apart for you to be diagnosed as epileptic.

So, what exactly are seizures? When you have epilepsy, a chemical imbalance in your brain causes a sudden surge of electrical impulses. This sends abnormal motor signals all over your body, which makes it convulse and shake.

There are two different types of chemical imbalance seizures that affect your brain: Focal seizures and generalized seizures. A focal seizure only affects one area of the brain, where a generalized seizure affects both sides. An epilepsy neurotransmitter imbalance isn’t the only cause of seizure conditions, so finding out what other things can cause them is the key to finding the best treatment option for you.

Other causes of seizures

Suffering from a seizure can have you questioning what caused it and will it happen again? This is especially true if you’ve never had an event like that before. The fact is, you don’t have to be epileptic to suffer a seizure.

Nonepileptic seizures are usually the result of another underlying problem. There are many other causes of nonepileptic seizures, including:

Another reason for this type of seizure, such as those associated with epilepsy, is withdrawal symptoms when you’re detoxing from drugs or alcohol. Your body becomes so reliant on these substances that when you try to stop them suddenly, it throws your body into shock. The imbalance of electrolytes, crucial for normal brain function, can sometimes result in seizure activity.

Although slightly less common, you can have seizures due to severe stress and extreme sleep deprivation. In these situations, maintaining a balance of electrolytes is essential to prevent epilepsy-related seizures. Extreme hunger, which can disrupt your electrolyte balance, can also trigger seizures in very severe circumstances.

Chemical seizures are yet another type of seizure that can occur due to various factors. One of the key triggers is the exposure to certain toxic substances or withdrawal from drugs. These chemicals can disrupt the normal functioning of the brain and lead to seizures.

In addition, our bodies are a complex network of hormones that maintain our overall health. However, any imbalance in these hormones can also result in what are known as hormone imbalance seizures. For instance, conditions like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism can upset the body’s hormonal equilibrium and may lead to seizures. Moreover, women may experience seizures due to hormonal changes during their menstrual cycle, a condition known as catamenial epilepsy.

No matter the cause of your seizure, whether it’s related to electrolytes and epilepsy or other factors, one thing is for sure: you need to find a treatment option to prevent further seizure activity.

Nonepileptic seizure treatment

To figure out if you have epilepsy or another disorder, Dr. Mehta will perform a physical exam and a neurological exam. He may also suggest that you undergo an EEG, a diagnostic test he uses if you’re suffering from seizures.

If Dr. Mehta diagnoses you with nonepileptic seizures, many treatment options are available to you. Some of the treatment options he may suggest include:

  • Medications such as anticonvulsants
  • Neuromodulation(vagus nerve stimulation)
  • Botox injections
  • Diet therapy
  • Medical marijuana

In the case of psychogenic nonepileptic seizures, you may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy and anxiety medication. Antidepressants may also be prescribed to help control the condition. Once Dr. Mehta has determined the cause of your seizure activity, he can recommend several treatments that will best suit you and your situation.

If you’re dealing with seizures, call our office at 732-856-5999 to make an appointment or schedule a consultation online today.


What electrolyte imbalance causes seizures?

An imbalance in certain electrolytes, particularly sodium and calcium, can cause seizures. This is often referred to as an electrolyte imbalance seizure. Sodium helps regulate the amount of water in and around your cells, and calcium is necessary for muscle function. Both electrolytes and epilepsy are closely related, as electrolytes play a critical role in maintaining the body’s electrical balance necessary for normal brain function. When these electrolytes are out of balance, it can lead to chemical imbalance seizures, also known as chemical seizures.

Can low levels of dopamine cause seizures?

Yes, low levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and reward, can potentially cause seizures. This is often associated with epilepsy neurotransmitter imbalance.

Can hormone imbalance cause seizures?

Yes, a hormonal imbalance can potentially lead to seizures. Certain hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, can influence seizure thresholds and patterns. This is often referred to as hormone imbalance seizures. In some cases, hormonal changes can exacerbate epilepsy symptoms, leading to an epilepsy chemical imbalance.

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