Seizures are characterized by a sudden change in movement, behavior, sensation or consciousness produced by an abnormal electrical discharge in the brain. Epilepsy is a condition of spontaneously recurring seizures. About 1% of all Americans have uncontrolled epilepsy.
Ingested substances, hormone fluctuations, amino acid imbalance, adrenal stress, impaired sleep patterns, and photosensitivity can all be triggers for seizures. All of these triggers are closely related to diet, making nutrition a crucial factor for controlling epilepsy.
The type of seizure someone has depends on the part and how much of the brain it effects. They include generalized seizures (absence, atonic, tonic-clonic, myoclonic) and partial (simple and complex) seizures, nonepileptic seizures, and status epilepticus.top
Treatment of seizures involves focusing on the root cause and eliminating the trigger for the seizures. Diet and nutrition can help optimize hormones (male and female health), treat and prevent hypo- or hyperglycemia, manage sleep and stress levels as well as pinpoint food allergies and sensitivities. A controlled carbohydrate diet helps manage epilepsy as well by keeping blood sugars and energy levels balanced and controlled. Focus is also on detox and circulation as well as optimizing digestion. A customized nutrition plan is crucial to ensure that all of the criteria are being met to better manage seizures.
Digestion is compromised by insufficient breakdown and absorbance of food, which can be caused by a multitude of factors including low enzyme output, reduced acid or pH levels, inflammation of the digestive tract, and/or bacterial and yeast overgrowth. Gastrointestinal testing helps pinpoint the cause of poor digestion, thus giving EB Dietitians the material they need to treat the root cause.
Many of these problems lead to permeability of the mucosal gut layer causing undigested food particles to leech out, causing a toxic reaction to the body, including seizures. The immune system develops antibodies against circulating food proteins, causing a cascade of inflammation and allergic response. Food sensitivity testing identifies the problematic foods and elimination and reintroduction of these foods once the body has healed leads to proper digestion and a stronger immune system.
Supplements, especially those involved with brain function and metabolism, have been found effective at managing epilepsy. Also, many anticonvulsants can cause deficiency in vitamins. Vitamins and amino acids play a crucial role in the production of neurotransmitters, which balance and produce electric brain waves, thus causing or preventing seizures.top
Modified Atkins diet can cut epileptic seizures in adults. Johns Hopkins Medicine. January 28, 2008. Available at: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/press_releases/2008/01_28_08.html. Accessed on November 17, 2009.
Seizure and syndromes. Epilepsy Foundation. Available at: http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/about/types/index.cfm. Accessed on November 17, 2009.top