Fits, Convulsions and Epilepsy

  • 10 Jun 2013
  • Reading time 10 mins
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Epilepsy is a mysterious condition, characterised by occasional fits, technically called convulsions. It affects almost half a million people in Britain.

The convulsions, which last for seconds or minutes, are thought to be caused by a temporary upset in the brain’s chemistry, causing neurons to fire off faster than usual and in bursts.

Convulsions can be brought on by neurological problems such as a brain injury, a stroke, an infection and less frequently, a tumour. High levels of stress and panic attacks can also trigger a convulsion. So too can heart disease, especially irregular heartbeats, and blood sugar problems. Whatever the triggers, convulsions indicate that the brain is out of balance. An obvious place to start is to ensure an optimal intake of the brain’s best friends – nutrients. The optimum nutrition approach can be highly effective, as Francis’s story illustrates.

CASE STUDY

While teaching classes in Oxford, Francis had a bad car accident. This left him with severe headaches, poor memory and concentration, severe depression but most of all, epilepsy. So bad was his epilepsy that he complained of what he called ‘epileptic storms’, sometimes daily. During the night he would often have five or six fits, despite being on anti-epilepsy drugs. His memory had so deteriorated he could no longer teach, and being epileptic, he found it hard to get work. Naturally he became depressed.

After years under medical supervision he decided to try some alternatives and was referred to me. He promised to avoid tea, coffee and sugar and we discussed how to eat a balanced diet, with plenty of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains – the ‘optimum’ diet.

I wanted to give him every chance to change and included high levels of supplements, including B3, B5 and B6, choline, calcium, zinc, magnesium and manganese as well as other nutrients. Magnesium and manganese have both been shown to help epilepsy, while B5 and choline have a specific effect on memory.

When he came back after one month, he had made tremendous changes to his diet and had reaped the rewards of his efforts. ‘I am amazed at how well I feel,’ he commented and went on to tell me how he hadn’t had a single muscle tremor or panic attack. Three months later, he had still only had one epileptic ‘storm’. His brain is working better, his depression ......

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