Learning to Manage Epilepsy

According to MedicAlert partner the Epilepsy Foundation, 3.4 million people in the United States live with and must learn to manage epilepsy. 1 in 26 people will develop epilepsy at some point in their lifetime. And 1 in 3 people with epilepsy live with uncontrollable seizures because there is no available treatment that works for them. 

However, people with this diagnosis can continue to live a full and active life, as you’ll learn in our story about Bruno, how he is managing epilepsy and his personal experience with the condition.

A 30-year journey with epilepsy

Meet our member, Bruno. Diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 10, he’s been battling his condition for over 30 years. And as you can imagine, he has overcome many obstacles throughout his life after living with a chronic medical condition from such an early age. While managing epilepsy as a child, teenager and young adult, Bruno has faced adversity with strength and integrity.

Living with epilepsy hasn’t stopped Bruno from living a full life, largely in part to his supportive wife and family. And, more recently, he’s added the support and protection of MedicAlert. As a MedicAlert member since 2018, Bruno relies on our 24/7 emergency response and contact notification services if he’s ever faced with an emergency.

I wear a MedicAlert ID bracelet every day to make the people around me aware of my epilepsy condition. When a seizure occurs, they understand what to expect and who to call in times of need,” he says.

I wear a MedicAlert ID bracelet every day to make the people around me aware of my epilepsy condition. When a seizure occurs, they understand what to expect and who to call in times of need.

Building awareness on how to manage epilepsy

To increase awareness about epilepsy and other seizure disorders, Bruno and his wife Michelle have started a nonprofit – A Hero for Epileptics. Their mission is to raise awareness about epilepsy and work to increase funding for research to find a cure. Their focus is on giving teens and young adults with epilepsy the courage to live better every day.

When they’re not educating the masses or raising funds to support epilepsy research, the duo hosts a thriving podcast that supports the epileptic community. The topics include managing everyday life while living with epilepsy, health and wellness, seizure triggers, and so much more.

MedicAlert Foundation recently had the pleasure of being guests on their podcast, and we learned more about Bruno, his life with epilepsy, his recent brain surgery and why MedicAlert matters to him. You can listen to our conversation here. We know, like us, you’ll be inspired by Bruno and his “can-do” approach to life.

What is epilepsy?

With so many people impacted by this condition, what exactly is epilepsy?

Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the nervous system. It is also known as a seizure disorder. Seizures are sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Not all seizures are caused by epilepsy. What distinguishes epileptic seizures is that they originate in the brain.

Facts About

Epilepsy is a disorder of the brain that causes seizures.

Around 50 million people worldwide have epilepsy, making it one of the most common neurological diseases globally.

1.2% of the total US population has active epilepsy

Source: CDC.GOV

What are the different types of epilepsy?

There are several different types of epilepsy. The causes of different epilepsies can be complex and sometimes hard to identify. They may include a genetic tendency, a structural change in the brain, or a combination of both.

There are also over forty different kinds of epileptic seizures. Most seizures are short, and many people won’t notice a blank stare or momentary confusion. But other seizures can cause convulsions and result in falls. Some people with epilepsy have multiple types of seizures, or other medical conditions in addition to epilepsy. These factors play a major role in determining both the severity of the person’s condition and the impact it has on his or her life. They also determine what approaches work best to manage a person’s epilepsy.

Strategies to manage epilepsy

Because epilepsy is not a seizure disorder that is triggered by a specific cause like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or another medical condition like heart problems, it can be hard to know what might trigger a seizure. 

Although medication can help to reduce the frequency of seizures due to epilepsy, an unprovoked and unexpected seizure is always possible. Living day-to-day with this possibility means that preparation is key. 

Getting enough rest, eating healthy, exercising, taking medication as prescribed, and keeping a seizure diary to help pinpoint possible patterns of seizure activity can help. In the event that a seizure does happen, making sure the people around you know what to do is also important. This is where a MedicAlert ID is helpful, because it can communicate any information related to your epilepsy and medications to first responders or strangers that step in to help.

Want to learn more?

About Epilepsy

Learn more about this condition on the medical conditions page.
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Other Conditions

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