Epilepsy affects over 2.5 million people in the United States. Each year over 125,000 new cases are diagnosed. Epilepsy can affect anyone at anytime and anywhere. The majorities of people diagnosed with epilepsy are controlled with medications and are able to live normal, full and productive lives.
What is a Seizure?
When nerve cells in the brain fire electrical impulses up to four times the normal rate it causes an electrical storm in the brain. This electrical storm is known as a seizure. When there is a repeated pattern of seizure activity it is known as epilepsy. There are various forms of epilepsy.
Types of Epilepsy
There are different variations of epilepsy. Almost any type of behavior or repetitive movements can be a seizure. A doctor must diagnose epilepsy. Grand Mal seizures or generalized seizures as they are sometimes called involve all areas of the brains cortex. Urinating during a seizure is possible during generalized seizures.
Partial or Focal seizures only involve one part of the brain and therefore only one part of the body is affected. The part of the body affected is determined by which part of the brain is having abnormal electrical activity. Urinating during a seizure is uncommon in partial or focal, petite mal seizures.
Physical Affects of Grand Mal Seizures
All areas of the cortex of the brain are involved during a grand mal seizure. To the person observing this can be a frightening ordeal, unless they are aware of the patients’ condition.
The patient may suddenly stiffen, and then begin to have movements of the extremities, these movements can be smooth and rhythmic or jerky, and they often slow down before they stop completely. The eyes of the patient are usually open. The patient appears to stop breathing at times, and return to consciousness gradually after a few moments. They are often fatigued, confused and unaware that a seizure has occurred.
During grand-mal seizure activity the muscles jerk and spasm uncontrollably which includes the muscles that control bowel and bladder function. For this reason, it is common for a person experiencing a grand-mal epileptic seizure to urinate during a seizure. This is not something that can be controlled.
If you are with someone who has a seizure you need to attempt to keep them from injuring themselves, protect them from harm but do not try to restrain them. Move any objects away from them that they might strike and cause injury. If possible shield them from public view to protect their dignity and if urination during the seizure occurs, provide something for them to cover themselves with following the seizure.