An epileptic seizure can cause an individual to incur a tear in their esophagus. A seizure happens when the patient’s brain has an abnormal electrical discharge. Similar to a short circuit, the patient will experience a behavioral change without being aware of it. Some seizures do not cause erratic movements, but others can cause violent and jerking movements. Epilepsy is a disorder characterized by frequent seizure activity in an individual. Because this electrical discharge in the brain of a patient having a seizure causes erratic muscular dysfunction, the muscle coordination of the esophagus and surrounding muscles will be lost. In a healthy individual who is not having a seizure, certain muscles in the esophagus help ensure its interior pressure does increase to a dangerous level. However, in an individual who is epileptic and experiencing a violent seizure, this mechanism to prevent excessive pressure build up in the esophagus will not be functional. Consequently, a mild injury to the esophagus can occur or the esophagus can tear all the way through during a seizure, causing Boerhaave’s syndrome.
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