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Seizures, epilepsy, and a natural solution

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  • #16
    I have read that Aspertame has been known to cause seizures! How much of that soda do you acturally drink? How many times a week? Also it takes
    some time to get all the aspertame out of your body. How about chewing gum? That's loaded with synthetic sweetners. Do an experiment, get rid of
    the aspertame for good and see if the seizures diminish.

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    • #17
      Interesting that this thread has come up. I have literally just got home from hospital after having a seizure this afternoon. It is only my second seizure ever (I had my first one about 3 months ago).

      Unfortunately now that I have had more than one seizure, I have been diagnosed as epileptic and am now on a low dose of Keppra (probably forever). I HATE the idea of being on medication for the rest of my life but hate the idea of having a seizure even more so I guess I have to man up and deal with it.

      I would be very interested to know if there are any other ways I can help control the seizures though. I usually follow a low carb primal diet (dont know if I ever reach ketosis though) and I'm not sure if it's a coincidence but both the times I had seizures were the day after I over indulged on carbs and wheat. Definitely another reason to avoid that crap.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by New Cave Lady here View Post
        I have read that Aspertame has been known to cause seizures! How much of that soda do you acturally drink? How many times a week? Also it takes
        some time to get all the aspertame out of your body. How about chewing gum? That's loaded with synthetic sweetners. Do an experiment, get rid of
        the aspertame for good and see if the seizures diminish.
        Yes +infinity. Get any and all aspartame out of your life. Normal brains can handle a small amount of it but those prone to seizures can't. Same thing with caffeine. It has got to go. Permanently.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by catparade View Post
          Interesting that this thread has come up. I have literally just got home from hospital after having a seizure this afternoon. It is only my second seizure ever (I had my first one about 3 months ago).

          Unfortunately now that I have had more than one seizure, I have been diagnosed as epileptic and am now on a low dose of Keppra (probably forever). I HATE the idea of being on medication for the rest of my life but hate the idea of having a seizure even more so I guess I have to man up and deal with it.

          I would be very interested to know if there are any other ways I can help control the seizures though. I usually follow a low carb primal diet (dont know if I ever reach ketosis though) and I'm not sure if it's a coincidence but both the times I had seizures were the day after I over indulged on carbs and wheat. Definitely another reason to avoid that crap.
          Try getting some ketostix from the pharmacy and test yourself. It's a good way to know how much is an indulgence you can't afford.

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          • #20
            Ketogenic diets have been very effective for epilepsy, especially in children. The one best researched though is an extremely strict form of the diet with fat as about 80% of calories.

            I know of one study though that showed that doing the Atkins Induction Phase was very effective too, so maybe it's not necessary to go the extreme ketogenic route.

            An article I wrote a while ago:
            The Ketosis Diet Plan and its Health Benefits

            Please note that you would probably not have to remain on the ketogenic diet forever, some people get lasting results by doing it for a few years (same as with meds).

            Definitely keep your doctor involved though. And be aware that ketogenic diets don't work every time.
            Kris Health Blog

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            • #21
              I hope to revive this thread for another little discussion in addition to seeking your advice.

              I had my third seizure this month today around noon. This set of seizures has been my first in about 3.5 years (which were all med free). I am again shocked and perplexed on why this would start so sporadically, and hope to find the answers in a more natural solution.

              The other aspect that also puzzles me is the context in which the seizures occur. Whereas my first seizure in the last month occurred while I was passively filling up the tank to my old car (which I no longer own as I recently sold it; cannot drive anyways), the last two (which happened over the last two weeks, including the one today) occurred at the gym Bally's Total Fitness. Interestingly, they all occurred in the middle of the same exercise: the bench press. My first Bally's seizure occurred after I warmed up for my bench press with an empty bar; I warmed up, got up to load the weights, felt an aura, and had a convulsion. Today, I lasted a little longer: I got through two reps (following the leangains reverse pyramid protocol) and seized after my second set. Needless to say, I am too embarrassed to go to Bally's anymore, after having two seizures there, and I will be revoking my membership, finishing the summer with the simplefit protocol before getting a membership in my new grad school's gym in September.

              I just did some snooping around the site and saw that I may want to try adding more Vitamin D to my diet. Obviously, the Keto diet is the most salient solution, although it being summer, I am very apt in eating some summer fruit like cherries and blueberries, as well as some of my other favorite food that entails carbs such as plain full fat yoghurt. Still, if there is no other choice, I'll go Keto after I run out of all my "carby" food (I do not have that much of it).

              I am also seeing a Tibetan doctor in two weeks to get an Eastern perspective on my condition. So far, I have been very disappointed in the Western medicine, which mostly involves the question: "Do you want the yellow pill or the grey pill?"

              Any thoughts from some of the other members? I appreciate everything!
              --
              Here it is, your moment of zen.

              It's a no brainer: The journal of the cerebelum

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              • #22
                given that you had seizures while exercising, you might want to get an ekg to check for Long QT syndrome.
                Its a heart rhythm abnormality that can lead to fainting that mimics seizures.

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                • #23
                  May want to lay off the bench press for a while if you've had two seizures while doing that exercise.

                  I can't really recommend anything better than a ketogenic diet. It may not work for everyone but it is the best natural solution that I can think of. Some of those epilepsy drugs can have uncomfortable side effects, so if your seizures are not putting you in any sort of danger then you might want to try out the ketogenic diet first.

                  Of course, discussing this with your doctor is critical, but it never hurts to get a second opinion from another doctor if you're not satisfied with your current one.
                  Kris Health Blog

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                  • #24
                    First of all get this straight: Having epilepsy is a medical condition. It is NOTHING to be embarrassed about. Would someone be "embarrassed" to have a heart attack in front of people? STOP THINKING THAT WAY! URRRHHHH! That bugs me.

                    Secondly, there is nothing wrong with seeking an eastern approach as a complement to real neurology, but just because neurologists dispense pills, that doesn't make them wrong headed. Let them help you. Work with them to find the right medication and the right dosage that fits your condition and your body. Don't turn your back on them, please.

                    The keto diet is a wonderful thing for long term seizure control but you need to get your brain stabilized first. Then see if you can back off the dose of meds gradually. You can't expect to start eating paleo one day and have no more seizures from that day on. Bacon is great but it is not medicine.

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                    • #25
                      Paleobird, I know that there is nothing inherently wrong, nor embarrassing, about having epilepsy; however, from my own perspective, it is somewhat embarrassing to keep having these things in the same place perhaps it is just me though. What bugs me about the neurologists is that they dispense pills without actually attempting to figure out what triggered these seizures. I was seizure free for almost four years, and many of those years were spent on the SAD (which is theoretically more likely to evoke seizures).

                      What perplexes me greatly is the fact that the three seizures I experienced over the last month came, almost literally, out of nowhere, given the length of time I was seizure and medicine free. Call me stubborn, but I cannot just sit there and passively pop pills hoping they help. I just do not see how a pill can help with my condition, given that it does not address the underlying manifestations of the seizures; the pills just mask the symptoms.

                      I also find it weird that two of the last three seizures occurred in the gym. As someone said earlier, I wonder if it is not my brain at all. I almost feel like House thinking about this

                      Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                      First of all get this straight: Having epilepsy is a medical condition. It is NOTHING to be embarrassed about. Would someone be "embarrassed" to have a heart attack in front of people? STOP THINKING THAT WAY! URRRHHHH! That bugs me.

                      Secondly, there is nothing wrong with seeking an eastern approach as a complement to real neurology, but just because neurologists dispense pills, that doesn't make them wrong headed. Let them help you. Work with them to find the right medication and the right dosage that fits your condition and your body. Don't turn your back on them, please.

                      The keto diet is a wonderful thing for long term seizure control but you need to get your brain stabilized first. Then see if you can back off the dose of meds gradually. You can't expect to start eating paleo one day and have no more seizures from that day on. Bacon is great but it is not medicine.
                      --
                      Here it is, your moment of zen.

                      It's a no brainer: The journal of the cerebelum

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        At the risk of sounding totally dumb, but if they are happening at the gym, are you doing some form of exercise that could be pressing on a nerve, blood supply etc?

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by MollyMoo View Post
                          At the risk of sounding totally dumb, but if they are happening at the gym, are you doing some form of exercise that could be pressing on a nerve, blood supply etc?
                          That is a completely valid question! They happened, the last two times, during a rest between bench press sets. The first time I seized at Bally (which was the second time over the last 30 days), I warmed up with an empty bar (did about 20 reps), got up, and woke up on the floor with paramedics over me. The second time, which was just two days ago, I finished two sets of bench presses and seized during the break before my third set.

                          Again, I find it weird the seizures came back now, given that I've been lifting for over a year and have been eating primal/paleo for longer than that.
                          --
                          Here it is, your moment of zen.

                          It's a no brainer: The journal of the cerebelum

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by cerebelumsdayoff View Post
                            Paleobird, I know that there is nothing inherently wrong, nor embarrassing, about having epilepsy; however, from my own perspective, it is somewhat embarrassing to keep having these things in the same place perhaps it is just me though. What bugs me about the neurologists is that they dispense pills without actually attempting to figure out what triggered these seizures. I was seizure free for almost four years, and many of those years were spent on the SAD (which is theoretically more likely to evoke seizures).

                            What perplexes me greatly is the fact that the three seizures I experienced over the last month came, almost literally, out of nowhere, given the length of time I was seizure and medicine free. Call me stubborn, but I cannot just sit there and passively pop pills hoping they help. I just do not see how a pill can help with my condition, given that it does not address the underlying manifestations of the seizures; the pills just mask the symptoms.

                            I also find it weird that two of the last three seizures occurred in the gym. As someone said earlier, I wonder if it is not my brain at all. I almost feel like House thinking about this
                            I know exactly how you feel about the whole 'sitting there and passively popping pills' thing. I had two random seizures out of the blue and can't quite come to grips that I am now doomed to pump my body full of drugs for the rest of my life. The neurologist (after his 10 min appointment with me) doesn't really care to investigate any further how I got this way in the first place apart from the standard blood test, CT and EEG.

                            I really can't understand how someone who has been 100% healthy for (in my case) 27 years can suddenly have seizures. And if the pills I am on work, they are only masking what ever underlying condition/deficiency/whatever is causing them.

                            I am on my second week of taking a drug called Keppra and it is seriously doing my head in. I have gone from someone who was confident and full of energy to a sad, depressed shell of a person who spent the weekend in bed and can hardly drag myself to work each day.

                            There must be more to life than this...

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                            • #29
                              does the gym have TV that you dont usually use, or hypnotic music?
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                              • #30
                                I totally get that taking pills in general sucks and that taking some medications can be worse than the disorder. I was in college when I first started having seizures and the docs there gave me Tegratol. It felt like the worst hangover you have ever experienced x10 only it goes on 24/7 forever. I chucked the pills on graduation day and went unmedicated for a long time.

                                In my 50 year old, older-and-hopefully-wiser hindsight, however, there is something in between just blindly popping a bunch of pills and trying to go it boldly and blindly alone. Every body reacts differently to every medication. Work with a neuro to find one that is compatible with your body and keeps your seizures in check at a low dose without side effects. Having to take a pill does not mean your life is over.

                                Those of us who have seizures have brains that are more prone to seizures. It is not our diet or something we do that is "causing" the seizures. We can, however, do things that raise or lower our "seizure threshold".

                                Things that I have found work for me:

                                Zero caffeine. None. Never. Permanently. (Yes I know it sucks. Please try it anyway.)
                                Get enough sleep and sleep on a regular cycle, at regular hours.
                                No party drugs. (It was the 80s and I was in my 20s when mine started, I tried "self-medicating". It doesn't work.)
                                No booze until you are stable. Even then keep it to very limited amounts. My limit is one glass of red wine. That's after many years seizure free.
                                Exercise regularly but don't do what Mark calls "over-training" to the point of cortisol overload. The PBF plan is great.
                                Avoid all chemical additives such as MSG, nitrates, fake sweeteners, colorings, etc. like the plague.
                                Eat a strictly ketogenic diet. I stay under 50 carbs/day and stay in ketosis most of the time.

                                So basically, be really strictly Primal but take it a little farther than Mark's relaxed stance on stuff like booze and coffee.

                                It's not that neuros "don't care" to find out what is wrong, it's that, in most cases, there is nothing "wrong" to find. Once they have ruled out structural defects like brain tumors, scar tissue on the skull causing pressure, mal-formed blood vessels, etc. most seizures are still unexplained. Working together, you and your neuro can come up with a plan that works for you. Fighting them or walking away from them, you are on your own. They may not be perfect, but do you really want to deem everything they studied for all those years and all that they have experienced to be useless and chuck it? Let them help you while you work on helping yourself by natural holistic means. It doesn't have to be one or the other. What's wrong with both?

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