Epilepsy is a terribly frustrating and heart wrenching problem to watch as a parent or a clinician.
Drugs like phenytoin, valproate, topiramate, carbamazepine and others may help for a while. But despite the wonders and glory of mainstream medicine, many of you have (or will one day) become drug-resistant.
Knowing what raises or lowers your own seizure threshold becomes imperative. For example, becoming dehydrated or taking a hot shower can trigger a seizure. Sleep deprivation, a stressful interaction or caffeine can all reduce your threshold and trigger a seizure as well.
Certain meds can increase seizure frequency
As a pharmacist I can tell you the most common medications that reduce seizure threshold and increase seizure frequency are:
- Insulin and diabetes medications
- Fluoroquinolone antibiotics
- Metronidazole or Tinidazole
Protect your precious brain from seizures naturally
It’s not just medications you need to be worried about. Animal research suggests that impaired methylation (from folate) can damage the hippocampus and result in post-seizure memory loss.
The same appears to be true for humans as well. For example, reduced folate transport to the brain led to seizures, cognitive impairment, immune suppression, and anemia in a 7 year girl. When the child was given methylfolate (not folic acid), her condition substantially improved.
The good news is you can protect your brain from seizures naturally.
Consider trying these natural compounds which are known to raise seizure threshold, reducing seizures:
- Omega 3 fish oils
- Grape seed extract
Since I’ve written about magnesium many times before, I’ll focus today on the other two supplements today.
STUDY: 34% reduction in seizure frequency with omega-3s
First up, fish oil. These are essential for cell membrane stability in trillions of cells. Omega-3s are critical for neurological function and brain health and they can reduce nerve irritation or excitability.
This means that your nerves aren’t so easily over stimulated so you can handle stress without flying off the handle.
Last July (2015) a case-controlled study involving 70 children was published in the New American Journal of Medical Science. The kids all had uncontrolled, chronic seizures.
Thirty-five of the children were given omega-3 fish oil (containing EPA and DHA), while everyone else received a placebo. After three months, the number of children without seizure activity went from no one to 57%. No improvements happened in the placebo group.
Another study confirmed omega-3’s benefits for epilepsy in adults. In this study, participants with drug-resistant seizures took about 1,000 mg omega-3 fish oils supplements every day. This went on for three different ten-week treatment periods. There was an incredible 34% reduction in seizure frequency compared to the placebo group.
Grape seed dramatically reduces oxidative stress
Fish oil isn’t the only “brain food” for epilepsy. Grape seed extract is another protective compound. It has OPCs, short for oligomeric proanthocyanidins, which are highly protective compounds, especially to your hippocampus.
The hippocampus is involved in memory and it also houses one of your seizure ‘switches.’ Memory problems are frequent concerns with seizure disorders due to the high levels of oxidative stress that attack the nerves and delicate mitochondria.
Grape seed extract is capable of dramatically reducing the oxidative stress and preserving mitochondrial function. All in all, it has a stunning effect on the hippocampus and may serve to turn off that touchy ‘seizure switch’ in there.
In addition to writing a syndicated column on health which reaches 20 million people each week, Suzy is the author of a number of books on natural health.
You may have seen Suzy on The Dr. OZ Show (6 different appearances), The View, The Doctors, Good Morning America Health and hundreds of morning shows. Quotes from Suzy, as well as her articles, have also appeared in major publications including Woman’s Day, Reader’s Digest, OK Magazine!, First for Women, Fitness, Natural Health and Better Homes & Garden and dozens more.
Read more from Suzy at suzyCohen.com
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