Foods that help to control epilepsy

Foods that Control Epilepsy

Foods that help to control epilepsy – these foods are known as the ketogenic diet. They help to control the illness and help you live a healthy life

The word epilepsy comes from the Greek which means “to be seized”. It is a condition in which a person has recurrent seizures. A seizure is defined as an abnormal, disorderly discharging of the brain’s nerve cell, resulting in a temporary disturbance of motor, sensory, or mental disorder. A sudden seizure is the hallmark of this illness. It may involve falling to the ground and twitching intermittently, but not always.

As the brain goes about its daily functions, millions of electrical and chemical signals pass from its cells out to the body. These electrochemical messages are necessary for almost everything we do and feel. Seizures are a sudden and abnormally high discharge of electrical activity among large numbers of nerve cells in the brain. This can result in involuntary and unusually large signals being sent to the muscles.

Epilepsy is a fairly common neurological disorder that affects millions of people around the world. Anyone can develop epilepsy, but it’s more common to young children and adults, and it occurs slightly more in males than in females. There is no cure for epilepsy, but it can be managed with medications and other strategies.


Seizures, which is an abnormal movement or behaviour due to unusual electrical activity in the brain, are a symptom of epilepsy. But not all people who appear to have seizures have epilepsy.

Foods that help to control epilepsy

Types of Seizures

Epileptic seizures are classified according to their particular characteristics

Focal or partial seizures: these affect a small area of the brain. The symptoms experienced by the person depend on the area of the brain that is involved.

  • Simple partial seizures: these don’t cause a loss of consciousness. They may alter emotions or change the way things look, smell, taste, feel, or sound. The person might experience a jerking arm or leg, a facial tic, or a visual disturbance. Often the seizure will start in the hand or face, and then spread.
  • Complex partial seizures: in this type of seizure, there is some alteration or loss of consciousness. The person can lose track of where they are for a minute or two. A person in such a state may stare into space, make meaningless sounds, or jerk one or two limbs around automatically. They are likely to be confused for a few minutes. They cannot respond to questions appropriately. They may lash out unconsciously at anyone who tries to restrain them.

Generalised seizures: these affect a larger area of the brain than partial seizures. There are six types of generalized seizures which include:

  • Absence seizures: these occur primarily in children and involve a loss of consciousness lasting 10 to 30 secs. The eyelids flutter. Children don’t fall over but aren’t aware of their surroundings and will have no memory of what happened during the seizure.
  • Febrile seizures: they are quite common in children, affecting 1 in 25 before the age of 5. If the child has a fever and a tonic-clonic seizure, the child should be taken to the doctor immediately for diagnosis, to know the cause of the fever and make sure it is not due to rare but serious conditions such as meningitis.
  • Infantile spasms: these affect only babies. It causes the baby to suddenly bend forward at the neck or waist. Each seizure lasts just a few seconds, but they may occur in clusters. The baby often cries afterwards. A child with infantile spasms tends to have other types of seizures later in life
  • Atomic or akinetic seizures: these are sometimes called “drop attacks” because there is a momentary loss of muscle tone causing the person to fall to the ground without losing consciousness. Injuries are common because there is no warning.
  • Myoclonic seizures: they are brief body jerks that last less than a second. There is no loss of consciousness but individuals may drop whatever they are holding at that point.
  • Tonic-clonic seizures: these involve falling to the ground, loss of consciousness, and muscle spasms throughout the body lasting 1 to 2 minutes. Bladder control is sometimes lost. On regaining consciousness, the person may be very tired and confused. A partial seizure can develop into a tonic-clonic seizure.

Foods that help to control epilepsy

Symptoms of epilepsy

  • Temporary confusion
  • Staring smell
  • Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs
  • Loss of consciousness or awareness
  • Psychic symptoms
  • Alterations to sense of taste, smell, sight, hearing, or touch
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling and twitching of limbs

Foods that help to control epilepsy

Foods that help to control epilepsy

Causes of epilepsy

In newborns

  • Lack of oxygen during birth
  • Low levels of blood sugar, blood calcium, blood calcium, or other electrolytes problems
  • Brain malformations
  • Inborn errors of metabolism
  • Intracranial hemorrhage
  • Maternal drug use

Infants and children

  • Fever (febrile seizures)
  • Brain tumour (rare)
  • Infections

In children and adults

  • Genetic factors
  • Progressive brain disease (rare)
  • Head trauma
  • Congenital conditions like Down’s syndrome, Angelman’s syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, and neurofibromatosis

In seniors

  • Stroke
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Trauma

Causes of seizures

Certain factors may provoke seizures in people with epilepsy. They include

  • Missing medication doses
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Use of cocaine or other drugs, such as ecstasy
  • Lack of sleep
  • Other drugs that interfere with seizure medications

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Foods to avoid

  • Avoid gluten which is found in wheat, rye, barley, and a few other grains
  • Soy products
  • Processed Sugars
  • Dairy products
  • Don’t consume MSG which is a food additive used in food industries
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Carrageenan
  • Refined carbohydrate foods such as pizza, soft drinks, white bread, cakes, white rice, chocolate, chips, white pasta.
  • Certain fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, bananas, mangoes, raisins, mashed potatoes, and dates
  • Ginkgo nuts
  • Overripe fruits

Foods that help to control epilepsy

Foods that help to control epilepsy

The best diet for epilepsy is known as the ketogenic diet. The ketogenic diet is a medical treatment carried out under the supervision of a dietitian and an epilepsy specialist. It is a diet that should not be started unsupervised. The ketogenic diet is one that is high in good fats, enough protein for body maintenance and low carbohydrates. It helps to control or reduce the frequency of seizures. Good and healthy fats include omega-3 fats which are found in mackerel, salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, walnut, flax seeds, hemp seeds, coconuts, olive oil, and cheese.

Fats to avoid include trans fat or hydrogenated fats in chemically processed oils, biscuits, cakes, margarine, and deep-fried foods. You can also eat low-glycemic foods such as whole grains, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and also drink enough water, fruits like avocado, protein foods like fish, eggs, and beans

Foods that help to control epilepsy

 

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