In my book, Migraines and Epilepsy, I review the evidence that shows that oxidative stress plays a huge role in seizures. Because of this, antioxidants are a requirement in natural remedies for seizures.
Medications and more medications. Maybe an electrical device implanted in your neck. In the end, surgery. This pretty much describes the medical treatment of epilepsy and migraines.
And, as a whole, this treatment paradigm sucks. It does nothing to protect the brain, which should be the number one goal. I should consider clarifying this by noting that it should be the number one goal after the seizures are under control, but only 30% or so of epileptic patients are able to achieve control of his or her seizures quickly with the first medication used.
Seizures are very, very bad for the brain. Status epilepticus is the term for uncontrolled, unstoppable seizures.
Very often, these patients end up in the emergency room pumped full of sedatives just to stop the seizures. The damage to the brain under status epilepticus is even worse than that which occurs with single seizures.
There is no way that something as simple and uncomplicated as diet can manage the worst-case scenario of epileptic seizures. Not when we have so many powerful drugs to control seizures.
This would seem to be the attitude of most neurologists because diet is usually the absolute last thing they would ever mention, and that is only after every anti-epileptic drug on the planet has not worked. But here’s a scary statistic: In only about 30% of the time does the first anti-seizure medication work to control someone’s seizures. The more medications that are tried, the less likely the next one is going to work. Ultimately, the number of epileptics who do not respond fully to medications may be as high as 40%.
I was at a marketing event this week and ended up having a conversation about a teenage girl who had epilepsy. Natural remedies for seizures came up in conversation.
The seizures had begun about a year ago right around the time that her menstrual cycles started, and her seizures were tied to her menstrual cycles (the term for this type of seizure is “catamenial”). The answer from the “specialists” was to put her on anti-seizure meds as well as the birth control pill. Sounds great on the surface, but when you look a little deeper, you’ll see that this is not the best approach.
I’ve been reviewing research related to seizure control and brain health for many years now through the lens of natural medicine.
I still remember being in a consult with an epileptic patient with a very well-known neurologist to discuss natural methods to help control seizures. Despite this particular neurologist’s association with one of the top healing physicians in the world, his did not feel that there was really much to be done for seizure control beyond medications.
I have gone as far as writing a book on Migraines and Epilepsy to show that epilepsy needs to be treated from a full-body approach.
A treatment approach that just focuses on controlling the seizures is missing the real problem. Don’t get me wrong—controlling the seizures is the first goal. But it should never be the only goal.
I don’t need to go into how epilepsy is a condition not limited to the brain, because I have covered this many times in the past.
This is also just one of the areas where migraines and seizures have similarities—migraines are also a brain condition that is not limited to the brain. Both are an indication that something is very, very wrong.
The mainstream approach to treating seizures is to use medications. And it pretty much stops there.
You may get some cursory advice to exercise and watch your stress levels, but the reality is that many neurologists believe that nothing you can do will be as powerful as the anti-seizure medications.
There are natural remedies for seizures that have shown strong effectiveness in medical studies; the same types of studies that are used to document the effectiveness of the drugs that are used to treat seizures.
In other words, natural approaches to helping seizures like good sleep, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, the ketogenic diet and exercise have just as much support behind them as do the drugs used to treat epilepsy. But for some reason these approaches take a back seat to medications.