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What are the organs of the body and their functions?

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There are five vital organs in the human body which people need to keep alive. These are also a number of other organs which work together with these vital organs to make sure the body works well.

Continue reading to learn more about the body’s organs, the different organ systems and some guidelines on how to maintain optimum health.

Vital organs 

The vital organs are the ones a person will need to survive. A problem with any of these organs can get life threatening quickly.

Living without certain organs is not feasible. That said, a person can live without one of the pair in the case of the paired kidneys and lungs.

The sections below will look in more detail into the five vital organs.

Brain

The brain is the center for control of the body. By developing, receiving, and storing nerve impulses, feelings , emotions, physical sensations, and more it forms the core of the central nervous system.

The skull encloses the brain, thus protecting it against injury.

Neurologists are Physicians studying the nervous system. Researchers also described various areas of the brain over time including brain structures that operate similarly to individual organs.

The brain consists of three major subparts: the nucleus, the cerebellum and the brainstem. Inside these regions, there are many main components of the brain that form the central nervous system along with the spinal cord.

The major areas of the central nervous system include:

  • The medulla: This is the lowest part of the brainstem. It helps control heart and lung function.
  • The pons: Located above the medulla in the brainstem, this area helps control eye and facial movement.
  • The spinal cord: Extended from the base of the brain and down the center of the back, the spinal cord helps with many automatic functions, such as reflexes. It also sends messages to and from the brain.
  • The parietal lobe: Situated in the middle of the brain, the parietal lobe supports the identification of objects and spatial reasoning. It also plays a role in interpreting pain and touch signals.
  • The frontal lobe: The frontal lobe, which is located in the front of the head, is the largest section of the brain. It plays a role in many conscious functions, including personality and movement. It also helps the brain interpret smells.
  • The occipital lobes: Positioned near the back of the brain, the occipital lobe primarily interprets vision signals.
  • The temporal lobes: Located on either side of the brain, the temporal lobes play a role in numerous functions, including speech, scent recognition, and short-term memory.

The two halves of the brain are known as the right and left hemispheres. These two hemispheres are connected by a corpus callosum.

Heart

The heart is the circulatory system’s most important organ which helps deliver blood to the body. Pumping this freshly oxygenated blood through the blood vessels and around the body works with the lungs to add oxygen to the blood.

The heart has an electrical system inside too. Within the heart, electrical impulses help ensure it beats at a consistent rhythm and proper rate.

As the body needs more blood, the heart rate rises, for example during intense exercise. It diminishes during rest time.

There are four chambers inside the heart. The upper two chambers are called atria, and the lower two are called ventricles.

Blood flows from the veins of the heart and body (except the lungs) into the right atrium and then it flows into the right ventricle. It flows from there into the pulmonary artery which has branches which reach the lungs. The blood then oxygenates through the lungs.

This oxygenated blood travels from the lungs to the left atrium and then through the left ventricle, through the pulmonary veins which lead back and join together. The heart pumps the blood from there into an artery that branches out to spread blood to itself and other parts of the body (except the lungs).

The heart has four valves that make sure blood is circulating in the right direction. Heart valves are:

  • the tricuspid valve
  • the pulmonary valve
  • the mitral valve
  • the aortic valve

Lungs

The lungs function by oxygenating blood with the heart. They do this by filtering the air a person breathes, and then removing excess carbon dioxide for oxygen in exchange.

Several parts of the lungs help the body take in the air, filter it and oxygenate the blood afterwards. Those are:

  • The left and right bronchi: The trachea splits into these tubes, which extend into the lungs and have branches. These smaller bronchi split into even smaller tubes called bronchioles.
  • The alveoli: The alveoli are tiny air sacs at the end of the bronchioles. They work like balloons, expanding when a person inhales and contracting when they exhale.
  • The blood vessels: There are numerous blood vessels in the lungs for carrying blood to and from the heart.

A person can live without one lung with extensive medical care but they can not survive without one lung.

The diaphragm, a thick muscle band directly below the lungs, helps the lungs expand and contract when a person breathes.

Liver

The liver is the metabolic system’s most important organ. It helps convert nutrients into usable substances, detoxifies some substances and filters blood from the digestive tract through a vein before joining venous blood flow from other parts of the body. Oxygenated blood gets through an artery to the liver.

Most liver mass is found in the upper right side of the abdomen, just below the rib cage.

The liver plays many roles in digestion and filtering the blood, including:

  • producing bile
  • helping the body filter out toxic substances, including alcohol, drugs, and harmful metabolites
  • regulating blood levels of various important chemicals, including amino acids
  • making cholesterol
  • removing some bacteria from the blood
  • making some immune factors
  • clearing bilirubin from the blood
  • regulating the process of blood clotting, so that a person does not bleed too much and does not develop dangerous blood clots

The liver is working with the gallbladder to carry bile to the small intestine. The liver pours bile into the gallbladder, which then stores and releases the bile later when the body uses it for digestion aid.

A person can live without portions of his liver, but the liver is vital to life itself.

Kidneys

The kidneys are a couple of bean-shaped organs, each about a fist ‘s size. They are on either side of the back and are protected inside the lower part of the rib cage. They help filter blood, and remove the body’s waste.

Blood flows from the renal artery into the kidneys. Each kidney comprises around one million tiny filtration units, known as nephrons. They help filter the waste into the urine and then return the blood filtered through the renal vein to the body.

Also, the kidneys produce urine by removing waste from the blood. Urine flows through the ureters from the kidneys, then down into the urinary bladder.

A person can live on one kidney only. When a person has severe kidney failure, dialysis can filter the blood until they get a kidney transplant, or their kidney gets some function back. Some people have to undergo long term hemodialysis.

Non-vital organs

Non-vital organs are those without which a person can live. However, this does not mean that life-threatening or harmful conditions affecting certain organs are never. Many infections and cancers in non-vital organs , especially without prompt treatment, pose life-threats.

Non-vital injuries can also damage vital organs, such as when a gallstone damages liver function.

The sections below will delineate in more detail the non-vital organs of the body.

Gallbladder

Small and pear-shaped, the gallbladder lies just below the liver, in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen. This has cholesterol, bile salts, bile, and bilirubin.

In a healthy person, the liver releases bile into the gallbladder, which is processed by the gallbladder and then released into the small intestine to travel down the common bile duct to aid digestion.

Some people, however, develop gallstones which block the gallbladder or biliary tree, causing intense pain and digestive interference. This may also often conflict with function of the liver or pancreas.

Pancreas

The pancreas is located in the upper left portion of the abdomen and has two essential roles: it acts as both an exocrine gland and an endocrine gland.

As an exocrine gland, the pancreas is producing enzymes that a person needs to help digest and convert their food into energy. Amylase, lipase, trypsin, and chymotrypsin comprise these enzymes.

The pancreas also produces and releases insulin in its role as an endocrine gland, which helps the body extract glucose from the blood and convert it into energy.

Insulin problems can cause dangerously high blood glucose levels and the onset of diabetes.

In addition, the pancreas produces and releases glucagon, which increases blood glucose levels.

The principal pancreatic duct connects to the common bile duct that flows from the liver and gallbladder. Problems within the biliary tree, liver, or gallbladder may therefore also affect the pancreas.

Stomach

The stomach is an organ shaped in J, near the top of the abdomen.

Food soon begins its journey into the stomach after a person swallows. The food transfers from the throat down into the esophagus. At the end of the esophagus is the stomach.

Stomach muscles help break it down, and digest food. Some regions of the stomach also contain enzymes within its lumen lining, which help digest food. For example, the enzyme pepsin breaks down proteins so they can develop into amino acids.

Also, stomach helps to store chyme until it moves into the intestines. Chyme refers to food which has combined with secretions in the stomach.

Anatomists usually divide the stomach into five subparts. These are:

  • The cardia: Located just beneath the esophagus, this portion of the stomach includes the cardiac sphincter. The sphincter prevents food from flowing back up the esophagus or into the mouth.
  • The fundus: This is situated to the left of the cardia and underneath the diaphragm.
  • The body: Food begins breaking down in the body, which is also the largest part of the stomach.
  • The antrum: This is the lower part of the stomach. It contains partially digested food before it flows to the small intestine.
  • The pylorus: This portion of the stomach connects to the small intestine. It includes a muscle called the pyloric sphincter, which controls when and how much stomach content flows into the small intestine.

Intestines

The intestines are a group of tubes which help filter out waste, absorb water and some electrolytes and digest food.

Partially digested food passes first through the small intestine, consisting of three parts: duodenum, jejunum , and ileum. This is where most nutrient digestion and absorption occurs.

Food then is feces as it passes across the large intestine and inside. This begins with the cecum, spreads to the remaining colon and ends with the rectum. The rectum is the last fece stop before expulsion from the anus occurs.

Organ systems

Doctors usually list dozens of organs, although an organ is defined differently from expert to expert. Most organs play a role in the systems of organs which work together to perform certain functions.

The sections below will outline in greater detail the organ systems of the body.

Nervous system

The brain and spinal cord constitute the central nervous system, which processes and sends nerve signals, interprets information and produces thought pattern.

The peripheral nervous system is called the portion of the nervous system which communicates with the central nervous system. Overall, the peripheral and central nervous systems also include an extensive network of neurons. Those fibrous bundles located throughout the body send sensation, temperature, and pain information.

The nervous system helps the body regulate all functions including all other organs.

The stomach, for example, releases the hormone ghrelin which indicates to the brain that it is time to eat. This triggers feelings of hunger and encourages a person to eat which leads to the start of the digestion process.

The nervous system integrates with virtually any other body part. For example, when there’s an injury in that area, nerve fibers in the hand tell the brain.

Meanwhile, nerves in the skin relay information about external temperature. This can cause the brain to initiate involuntary responses, such as sweating or shivering, that control body temperature.

Other nerves also interact with the muscle, which assists in coordinating movement.

Learn more about the central nervous system here.

Reproductive system

The reproductive system includes the organs that allow a person to reproduce sexual pleasure and experience it. The reproductive system, in females, also supports a fetus’ growth.

The reproductive system works collaboratively with other organs and organs. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland, for example, help to regulate the production and release of hormones such as oestrogen and testosterone.

The male reproductive system organs include:

  • the testes
  • the epididymis
  • the vas deferens
  • the ejaculatory ducts
  • the prostate gland
  • the seminal vesicles
  • the penis
  • the bulbourethral glands

The female reproductive system organs include:

  • the mammary glands in the breasts
  • the ovaries
  • the fallopian tubes
  • the uterus
  • the vagina
  • the vulva
  • the clitoris
  • a system of various glands, such as the Bartholin glands, which help lubricate the vagina
  • the cervix

Skin

The skin is the most extensive organ in the body. It is part of the integumentary system , which includes skin , hair , nails, and fat.

The integumentary system helps to control body temperature, protect the body from harmful infections, render sunlight vitamin D and provide sensory input.

The skin consists of three structures:

  • The epidermis: This is the outer layer of skin. It contains three types of cells. Squamous cells are the outer layer of skin, which the body constantly sheds. Basal cells are the next layer, located under the squamous cells. Melanocytes produce melanin, which is skin pigment. The more melanin the melanocytes produce, the darker a person’s skin is.
  • The dermis: This is the middle layer of skin, located under the epidermis. It contains blood vessels, lymph vessels, hair follicles, sweat glands, nerves, sebaceous glands, and fibroblasts. A flexible protein called collagen holds the dermis together.
  • The subcutaneous fat layer: This is the deepest layer of the skin. It helps keep the body warm and reduces the risk of injury by absorbing heavy blows.

Muscular system

The muscular system comprises a vast muscle network. There are three muscle types:

  • Skeletal muscles: These are voluntary muscles, which means that a person can decide when to move them. The biceps and triceps are examples of skeletal muscles.
  • Cardiac muscles: These are involuntary muscles that help the heart pump blood.
  • Smooth muscles: These are also involuntary muscles. Smooth muscles line the bladder, intestines, and stomach.

Endocrine system

The endocrine system is a whole-body network of glands. Such glands release major chemicals called hormones, which help regulate virtually every organ and organ system in the body.

Progesterone, for example , helps regulate the menstrual cycle and plays an important part in sustaining a pregnancy.

There are several major glands within the endocrine system including:

  • the pancreas
  • the thyroid
  • the adrenal glands
  • the pituitary
  • the parathyroid
  • the thyroid
  • the hypothalamus
  • the pineal gland
  • the ovaries
  • the testes

Immune system

The immune system helps the body prevent infections and when they occur, it fights them off.

Many organs have a part to play in the immune system. For example, the skin prevents dangerous pathogens from entering the body, and salivary glands release saliva that may help break down some dangerous sources of food-borne infection.

The lymphatic system plays an essential role in the immune system by releasing disease-fighting lymphocytes. There are many lymph nodes throughout the body. Some people notice that their lymph nodes enlarge when they get sick.

Digestive system

The digestive system is the group of organs that digest food, as well as the different structures within which substances are released to aid digestion and absorption.

It includes:

  • the mouth
  • the esophagus
  • the salivary glands
  • the gallbladder
  • the liver
  • the pancreas
  • the stomach
  • the small and large intestines
  • the appendix
  • the rectum
  • the anus

Circulatory system

The circulatory system is composed of the many blood vessels that circulate in the body. It includes veins, arteries, capillaries, arterioles, and venules.

The lymphatic system is a part of the circulatory system as well. It helps maintain fluid balance in the body by collecting excess fluid from the blood and other particles. Within this system are lymph nodes.

Summary

Each organ within the body is its own complex system , consisting of many smaller parts. Many organs rely on several other parts of the body, too. For example, the lungs have to work with the nose , mouth, throat, windpipe and sinuses to properly breathe.

This complexity of a system of organs and organs means that certain doctors prefer to specialize in a single organ system. Cardiologists, for example, treat heart problems but while pulmonologists study the lungs.

Anyone who feels they have a problem with one of their organs or organs should see a doctor or receive referral from a healthcare provider.

Biology / Biochemistry

Rotator cuff: What you need to know

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The rotator cuff is a group of muscles that aid in the movement of the arm and shoulder. Rotator cuff injuries are fairly prevalent, but there are a number of effective therapies available.

The supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis are the four muscles that make up the rotator cuff.

Arm movement and shoulder rotation are controlled by these muscles working together. They also aid in the retention of the humerus, or upper arm bone, in the scapula, or shoulder blade, socket. The glenoid is the name for this socket.

Rotator cuff injuries are rather prevalent, particularly among the elderly, sports, and people who work in physically demanding jobs. A medical professional can diagnose a rotator cuff injury and provide the best treatment options.

The structure and function of the rotator cuff, as well as typical injuries that affect this muscle group, are discussed in this article.

Meaning and functions

rotator cuff injury

The rotator cuff, which connects the humerus to the scapula, is made up of four muscles and tendons. These muscles and tendons act as a cuff around the shoulder joint, providing stability.

These muscles have their own distinct movements in addition to their collective function. The supraspinatus, for example, abducts the arm away from the body and aids in the movement of the deltoid muscle in the shoulder. The infraspinatus and teres minor help with lateral rotation, whereas the subscapularis helps with medial rotation.

When to contact a doctor

Anyone suffering from prolonged shoulder pain should consult a physician or orthopedic surgeon. These experts can assess the shoulder, identify the cause of pain, and recommend treatment choices to alleviate symptoms and speed healing.

Anatomy

rotator cuff anatomy

Other components, in addition to the muscle groups that make up the rotator cuff, aid in mobility and function.

These muscles are connected by several nerves, which send important signals throughout the rotator cuff. The subscapular nerve, suprascapular nerve, and axillary nerve are among them. Bursae, which are fluid-filled sacs that separate tissues, are also seen in the rotator cuff. These bursae operate as cushions, minimizing friction and protecting various tissues.

Common conditions

The following are some of the most prevalent rotator cuff injuries:

Tears

A rotator cuff tear occurs when one of the cuff tendons is torn. This rip can damage one or more tendons, although the supraspinatus tendon is the most often injured.

A partial or full-thickness tear can occur. The tendon is damaged but not entirely severed in a partial tear, also known as an incomplete tear. A full-thickness, or complete, rip completely separates the tendon from the bone and can result in a hole.

Injury and degeneration are the most common causes of rotator cuff tears. An acute tear occurs when a tendon is torn as a result of trauma or an accident. Most tears, on the other hand, are degenerative, meaning that they develop slowly over time. A degenerative tear can occur as a result of repeated stress on the tendon, a reduction in blood flow as people age, or bone spurs.

To detect a whole or partial tendon tear, medical experts may employ imaging techniques such as X-ray, ultrasound, and MRI.

Tendinitis

The inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons is known as rotator cuff tendinitis. This condition can affect people of any age, depending on their level of activity.

Tendonitis is a condition that happens when the tendons are irritated or damaged as a result of sports or repetitive overhead movements. Shoulder impingement, commonly known as swimmer’s shoulder, is a condition in which a tendon or bursa presses against the shoulder blade, creating pain. This type of injury is common in people who participate in sports like baseball and tennis, as well as those who work in construction and painting.

A doctor may perform a physical exam and suggest imaging tests to help confirm the diagnosis after asking about the person’s specific symptoms.

Bursitis

The inflammation of a bursa is referred to as bursitis. When a person moves their arm, these lubricating sacs allow the rotator cuff tendons to slide freely. Bursitis can cause when there is too much friction in the shoulder from repetitive movements or injuries.

To diagnose bursitis of the shoulder, a doctor will often perform a physical exam and use imaging studies, similar to other rotator cuff injuries.

Symptoms of injury

The symptoms of rotator cuff damage differ based on the person and the type of injury. The following are some of the most common injury symptoms:

  • a clicking or popping sound when moving the arm
  • weakness in the shoulder
  • pain or swelling in the shoulder
  • difficulty moving the arm

Tips and treatments

Depending on the nature and severity of the rotator cuff injury, treatment methods may differ. A doctor may suggest the following as part of therapy and recovery:

  • sleeping on the unaffected side or on the back
  • taking warm baths or showers to help relax the muscles
  • taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or pain medications to minimize swelling and discomfort
  • applying cloth-wrapped ice packs to the affected area
  • resting and avoiding activities that may irritate the shoulder

When a person can use their shoulder comfortably, a doctor may recommend rehabilitation activities to help with healing. These stretches and exercises may also aid in the prevention of future injuries. Other treatment options may be referred by a doctor to a physical therapist or specialist.

A doctor may recommend surgery in more severe circumstances if nonsurgical methods are unlikely to be beneficial.

Conclusion

The rotator cuff is a collection of four muscles in the shoulder that control arm movement and rotation. Rotator cuff injuries are extremely prevalent because the shoulder joint is very flexible and people utilize it regularly for both sport and employment.

Anyone who is experiencing severe or persistent shoulder pain should see a doctor for a diagnosis. Resting, avoiding intense activities, and practicing moderate stretches are common treatments.

Sources:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513344/
  • https://www.assh.org/handcare/blog/anatomy-101-the-rotator-cuff
  • https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/bursitis/advanced
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4827371/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541096/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537202/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/rotator-cuff-muscles
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513324/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441844/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547664/#_NBK547664_pubdet_
  • https://www.training.seer.cancer.gov/anatomy/muscular/groups/upper.html
  • https://medlineplus.gov/rotatorcuffinjuries.html
  • https://www.assh.org/handcare/condition/rotator-cuff-injury
  • https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/rotator-cuff-tears/
  • https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/rotator-cuff-tears-frequently-asked-questions/
  • https://www.hss.edu/condition-list_rotator-cuff-injuries.asp
  • https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/shoulder-bursitis
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532270/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513255/

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Can you treat cataracts with eye drops instead of surgery?

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Cataracts, the most common cause of human blindness, may one day be treated with eye drops rather than surgery.

A study headed by the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) published in the journal Nature illustrates how an eye drop solution containing a natural steroid reduced cataracts in dogs.

Our eyes’ lenses are largely made up of crystallin proteins, which serve two purposes: they allow us to alter focus and they maintain the lens clean. Nobody understands how they accomplish this.

Cataracts arise when the delicate structure of the crystallin proteins is disturbed, causing them to clump together and cloud the lens.

cataracts

The lens is also high in lanosterol, a substance that is a key component of several important hormones in the body. An enzyme called lanosterol synthase produces lanosterol.

The researchers were interested in lanosterol after discovering that children with an inherited type of cataracts shared the same lanosterol synthase-blocking gene mutation.

They reasoned that in normal eyes, whose lenses are loaded with lanosterol, the clumping of cataract-forming proteins is prevented.

Lanosterol decreased clumping in cataract-forming proteins

Starting with lab cells and advancing to animals, the researchers conducted three sets of studies.

First, the researchers discovered that lanosterol reduced the clumping of cataract-forming proteins in human lens cells. They next demonstrated that treating rabbits with lanosterol decreased cataracts and enhanced lens clarity.

Cataracts: Some Quick Facts

  • Risk factors include too much sun, diabetes, tobacco and alcohol.
  • Most cataracts develop later in life
  • Cataracts account for 51% of world blindness

Learn more about cataracts

Finally, they found that the lanosterol solution – in both injection and eye drop form – had the same impact in decreasing protein clumping in live dogs with cataracts as it did in human lens cells and rabbit lenses: cataracts were decreased and lens transparency improved.

The researchers come at the following conclusion:

“Our study identifies lanosterol as a key molecule in the prevention of lens protein aggregation and points to a novel strategy for cataract prevention and treatment.”

It might be a game changer if lanosterol in the form of eye drops proves to be an effective therapy for cataracts in people.

Cataract surgery is now the only technique to treat them. However, this is not a choice offered to everyone. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there exist restrictions in many countries that prohibit people from receiving treatment, hence cataract remains the major cause of blindness.

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Biology / Biochemistry

How can individuals tell if they’re having a seizure?

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Seizures are caused by an abnormal surge of electrical activity in the brain. Seizures can be random, but some people have triggers that might cause them. Being aware of possible triggers can assist to reduce the likelihood of experiencing them.

Seizures are sudden, brief changes in movement, behavior, sensation, or states of consciousness caused by aberrant electrical discharges in the brain. Seizure symptoms range depending on which parts of the brain are affected and how severe they are.

Seizures are classified by the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) depending on the kind of onset or where they begin in the brain.

Seizures can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, brain damage, or underlying illnesses. Seizure triggers do not cause seizures, but they can cause them in people who are prone to them.

Stress, fatigue, and the lack of medications are all typical factors. Knowing what might cause seizures and how to avoid them will help you avoid them.

In this post, we will look at some of the most frequent seizure triggers, the distinction between causes and triggers, and how to detect probable triggers.

Common triggers

Epileptic Patient

Some people with epilepsy, especially those who have experienced recurring seizures, may observe that they happen in predictable patterns or in certain people. These variables, often known as seizure triggers, may increase the likelihood of seizures. Some people with epilepsy, on the other hand, may not have any triggers. Seizures can be triggered by a variety of triggers, including:

Missed medications

Anti-epileptic medications must be taken on a regular basis to maintain a constant amount of medication in the body. A person’s risk of seizures increases if they miss a dosage, and seizures become more severe or occur more frequently as a result.

If you don’t take them as directed, you might develop status epilepticus, a long-term seizure that doctors consider a medical emergency.

Sleep deprivation and tiredness

According to a 2020 research, seizures and sleep have a bidirectional link, with seizures causing sleep deprivation and sleep deprivation triggering seizures. During typical sleep-wake cycles, changes in the brain’s electrical and hormonal activity occur, which may contribute to seizures and affect their intensity and length.

Stress

Seizures are frequently triggered by stress. However, the actual nature of their relationship remains unknown. Everyone reacts to stress differently, and stress can take many forms. A person may get stressed as a result of big life events or a pile of everyday annoyances.

Stress may have a physical impact on the body, resulting in a loss of sleep, a shift in dietary habits, and the use of alcohol or other substances, all of which can lead to seizures.

Alcohol

Small quantities of alcohol are unlikely to cause seizures. Even for people who do not have epilepsy, consuming an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time might trigger a seizure.

When the effects of alcohol on the body start to wear off, alcohol-related seizures become more likely. They can happen anywhere between 6 and 72 hours after drinking. Alcohol can also impair sleep and interfere with medicines, raising the chance of a seizure.

Flashing lights

Flashing lights or contrasting patterns might trigger a seizure in people with photosensitive epilepsy. Photosensitive seizures affect only around 3% of epilepsy people. This variety appears to be more frequent in females and younger people, according to evidence.

Nutrition and deficiencies

If a diabetic suffers from severe hypoglycemia, which can develop as a result of missing meals, their extremely low blood sugar levels might trigger a seizure.

Vitamin and mineral deficits can also cause seizures in certain people. Vitamin B6 deficiency can trigger seizures in newborns, however it is less prevalent in adults. Mineral imbalances, such as calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium, can cause seizures by altering brain cell electrical activity.

Infection and illness

Seizures might be triggered by illness in certain people. This might be caused by the illness’s physical impact on the body, a lack of sleep, bad dietary habits, certain drugs, or dehydration.

Seizures are frequently caused by a viral infection of the central nervous system. Seizures can be triggered by common ailments like sinus infections or a cold in rare cases.

Menstruation

Catamenial epilepsy is a kind of epilepsy in which seizures become worse or more common during specific people of the menstrual cycle. This is extremely uncommon, and research shows that it is caused by variations in progesterone and estrogen levels.

Weather

According to a 2017 research, low pressure and excessive humidity might trigger seizures. Although there isn’t conclusive evidence that weather has an influence on seizure risk.

Seizures are more common in the winter, according to a 2018 research. However, according to a survey conducted by the Epilepsy Society, extreme heat can provoke breakthrough episodes in well-controlled seizures and make uncontrolled seizures more severe and intense. This suggests that extremes in temperature might produce physiological changes that lead to seizures.

Certain medications

Seizures may be triggered by several over-the-counter drugs. Antidepressants, stimulants, tramadol, and isoniazid are among the drugs that have been linked to seizures in certain people, according to a 2016 research.

Triggers vs. causes

The cause of epilepsy is unknown in two out of every three people . It can, however, be caused by genetic problems or brain ailments including stroke, traumatic brain damage, infections, or other neurological diseases.

Although a seizure can be triggered by a trigger, seizure triggers are not the same as seizure causes. A stressful circumstance, for example, might provoke a seizure, but the underlying cause of the seizure could be brain structural damage.

Because seizures are unpredictable, it may be difficult to figure out why they happen, and some people mistakenly believe that triggers like exhaustion are to blame. However, it’s more likely that the person was already predisposed, and the trigger just triggered a seizure in someone who was already vulnerable.

Reflex seizures

Seizures are typically unpredictable and can happen at any time. While some people may identify triggers, many people’s triggers are more general, such as stress or exhaustion. Other people, on the other hand, may have reflex seizures, which are seizures that occur on a regular basis as a result of particular and recognizable stimuli or cognitive processes.

Potential stimuli, such as seeing flashing lights or touching hot water, or interior stimuli, such as feeling particular emotions or going through specific mental processes, can all cause reflex seizures. This is quite uncommon.

How to Recognize Triggers

Identification of a person’s particular seizure triggers can be challenging and time-consuming. A seizure diary can be kept to record actions or events that lead up to a seizure. Over time, a pattern may emerge, exposing likely seizure triggers.

A person should try to manage their condition and prevent or decrease exposure to potential triggers while seeking to identify likely triggers. People can attempt the following suggestions:

  • taking medication as their doctor prescribes
  • getting enough and regular sleep
  • lowering stress

Conclusion

Stimuli that can induce a seizure in some people are known as seizure triggers. Individual triggers vary, but common ones include illness, tiredness, alcohol, and a lack of medication.

Triggers are not the same as causes. Seizures are frequently caused by underlying conditions, whereas triggers simply cause seizures in people who are already predisposed to them.

People may find it difficult to identify their own specific triggers, but maintaining a journal of possible triggers and avoiding certain stimuli may help prevent seizures.

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