I thought it was time to start writing on this topic. As a naturopathic physician there are a myriad of conditions that I treat, but I seemed to have attracted a group of patients where seizure-related activity is their chief complaint. Within that categorization there is Doose syndrome, which primarily impacts the pediatric population and I have had the pleasure to treat a handful of these children. There are many other seizure related concerns that patients suffer from and I have learned that even though they might be called something different, the steps to resolve the concerns are relatively consistent. I am taking the time to write this post in an effort to extend my experience and knowledge to those that suffer from seizure-related activity in hopes that the proper steps can be taken to create resolution. And full resolution can happen, as I have seen it occur multiple times.
Treating the Cause
So, let’s start at the beginning. Why do seizures occur? (I want to make note that I am excluding seizures that are related to brain masses and direct brain trauma.) It is very important that the physician obtain the patients history, because within the history is the cause of the condition. When it comes to pediatric seizure-related activity (for example Doose syndrome), the cause is almost always related to an infection process that is suppressed. For instance, a child gets an ear infection and antibiotics are given. A child develops bronchitis/pneumonia, and steroids with antibiotics are prescribed. A child has recurring fevers and fever suppressants are repeatedly given. A child receives vaccination and triggers an immunologic event. My theory is that, in certain individuals, when the immune system gets suppressed with medications or vaccinations, this is the first insult to the endocrine system with regard to blood sugar deregulation, which we will see is a major player in seizure-related activity. This then creates instability within the nervous system that eventually results in the seizure response. In adults it is a little more complicated to try to determine the cause of seizure-related activity. In many instances it is the suppression of an infection process, while in other instances it is associated with long-term hypoglycemia and adrenal gland insufficiency. High stress situations and their impact on hormones can tip an individual into seizure-related activity. As I stated above, there are tumors as well as traumas that can induce seizure-related activity in both children and adults. As I have not treated these types of patients I can not speak directly on how to resolve their concerns but my hunch is that the same steps have to be taken to address these types of patients of course after dealing with the masses and/or trauma.
We can see there is always a cause as to why seizures occur in the body. I believe identifying the cause to be an important aspect of the treatment plan, because of the education process that needs to occur for the patient. People have to understand that they have a role to play in the health conditions that they acquire. We can not sit back and think that prescription medications and surgery are going to fix all of our problems. How you treat your body during an acute illness impacts your health. How you manage your stress impacts your health. What you choose to put into your body impacts your health. You have the power to heal and change the physiologic patterns that occur within your body.
First do no harm
Once a patient experiences seizure-related activity, how they decide to address the situation has a great impact on their ability to heal. From a conventional medicine point of view, if a person has an isolated seizure with no re-occurrence, there is typically no treatment prescribed. But once that second seizure occurs, prescription medication becomes the first line therapy. Kepra or some equivalent is the drug of choice. I would advise anyone who is dealing with seizure-related activity to become fully informed before making this choice with regard to you or your family members health. Once a medication like Kepra is introduced into the system, seizure-related activity can become exacerbated and progressive. The other part is the cognitive decline that can happen, especially for children. It is ideal to address the cause of the seizure-related activity upon the first presentation, before using suppressive medication to push the reaction further into the body.
When adults deal with seizure-related activity and are prescribed medications, there is a much lesser degree of apparent cognitive decline even though it is going on beneath the surface. The medications for adults seem to have a better track record of suppressing the seizures in a more predicable way than in children. Nonetheless, the medications will not cure the seizures and they will create greater states of disease in the individual down the road. It also tends to be harder to wean adults off of seizure medications than children.
The healing power of nature
Once the seizure-related activity has established itself into the body’s physiology, unfortunately there is often an inability for the immune function to change the pattern of response. This results in frequent recurring symptoms that often seem to progress. This of course will lead the patient to take some course of action to improve things. Within the alternative medical world, there are a myriad of different treatments that are used to treat seizure-related activity. What I will focus on is my clinical experience and what I have witnessed to cure my patients from this type of disease process.
Through my clinical research I have found that the quickest way to begin reducing seizure activity is through balancing blood sugar. What I will describe is not the Ketogenic diet, but rather a whole food nutritional plan that stabilizes the blood sugar reaction, creating a calming effect on the nervous system. The primary focus of this plan is centered around vegetables and protein (primarily animal protein). There are certain vegetables that increase acidity within the body, which one should avoid (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, legumes), but all other vegetables are acceptable. With regard to protein: chicken, fish, turkey, beef, and pork all are therapeutic for our purposes of regulating blood sugar. I would strongly advise that you source the highest quality food you can, meaning organic, free range, antibiotic free, etc… If you are unable to do that, then you still just stick with vegetables and protein.
Vegetables are important, as they provide you with the minerals and vitamins essential for immune function. There is a very relevant part of how healthy the gastrointestinal system is as it relates to absorption and the bacterial balance within the ecosystem. You can pretty much count on the patient having leaky gut permeability if they have seizure-related activity occurring. This is often created through antibiotics, poor nutritional choices, environmental toxicity, and stress. This has to be addressed for a long-term cure to maintain.
Animal protein is chosen for its capacity to stabilize the blood sugar response in the body. There is no substitute for using animal protein. Fat is also an important component of treatment, and should be eaten in abundance. Plant-based fats such as avocado, coconut, olive, and all the oils made from these foods are very good. Animals fats such as butter (grass-fed) and eggs are also essential for stabilization of blood sugar.
Very important- an important part of this is plan is that the individual suffering with seizure-related activity has to eat regularly. There is quite a range when you individualize this to the patient but on average an adult needs to eat every 2 hours and a child needs to eat every hour. And this means all the way through the day and right up until bedtime.
This is the first part of a series of writing that I will do on seizure related activity. Part 2 will be focused on the treatments that are utilized to address cause of the seizure-related activity and the philosophy behind these treatments.
As I stated above, I think that it is time to begin writing on this topic because unfortunately there are far too many people suffering needlessly for health conditions that can be cured if you address the cause of why the conditions are happening, reduce the harm on the body, and allow it to heal itself.