Epilepsy, Food Sensitivities, and Heavy Metal Toxicity
November has been selected as “Epilepsy Awareness Month” according to the Center for Disease Control. This year, their focus is on seizure recognition and first aid.
There are four main categories of seizures include:
• Generalized Seizures – affect entire brain
• Partial Seizures – affect part of the brain
• Non-Epileptic Seizures – not caused by epilepsy, but other things such as diabetes, fever, etc
• Status Epilepticus – a seizure that lasts more than 5 minutes
Epilepsy affects more than 2.7 million people in the United States, and some patients can experience over 100 seizures in a single day.
The CDC recommends that a person seek immediate medical care if someone has a seizure that meets any of the following criteria:
• If the person is pregnant
• If they injured themselves during the seizure (falls, broken bones, etc)
• If this is the first time they have had a seizure
• If the seizure continues more than 5 minutes (Status Epilepticus)
Anything that disturbs the normal pattern of the brain can trigger epilepsy. Trauma, illness, brain damage, abnormal development, food intolerances, and heavy metal toxicity can all be factors with epileptic patients. It is estimated that over 75% of patients with epilepsy do not know what is causing their seizure activity. Patients are generally provided with toxic medications that attempt to alter the seizure activity without identifying the underline cause of the problem.
From a Complementary and Alternative standpoint, I often find that patients with epilepsy are able to reduce the frequency of their seizure activity through dietary modifications and removing heavy metals from the body. Certain food intolerances such as gluten (wheat, barley, rye, etc) casein (dairy), corn, or soy can be a major “triggers” for patients with epilepsy.
Heavy metal toxicity can induce a myriad of problems in our bodies, from epilepsy, to infertility, dementia, autoimmune diseases, and more. Once of the most common ways that we experience heavy metal toxicity is through our teeth. Mercury fillings, gold crowns, and other metals that are placed in our mouth have the ability to “leak” into our bodies and accumulate in various organs, including the brain. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology has a video in regards to the effects of metal toxicity in our bodies. Click HERE to view it.
Speak with your doctor in regards to the potential symptoms that food intolerances and heavy metals can be causing in your body if you have epilepsy. If your doctor is unaware of the associations regarding food and toxins, you may wish to include a doctor that incorporates a holistic approach to health to provide another opinion as to your specific epilepsy symptoms.