Natural Approaches to Epilepsy
 
   

Natural Approaches to Epilepsy

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
Send all comments or additions to:
   Frankp@chiro.org
 
   

FROM: Alternative Medicine Review 2007 (Mar);   12 (1):   924 ~ FULL TEXT

Alan R. Gaby, MD


This article reviews research on the use of diet, nutritional supplements, and hormones in the treatment of epilepsy. Potentially beneficial dietary interventions include identifying and treating blood glucose dysregulation, identifying and avoiding allergenic foods, and avoiding suspected triggering agents such as alcohol, aspartame, and monosodium glutamate. The ketogenic diet may be considered for severe, treatment-resistant cases. The Atkins diet (very low in carbohydrates) is a less restrictive type of ketogenic diet that may be effective in some cases. Nutrients that may reduce seizure frequency include vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin E, manganese, taurine, dimethylglycine, and omega-3 fatty acids. Administration of thiamine may improve cognitive function in patients with epilepsy. Supplementation with folic acid, vitamin B6, biotin, vitamin D, and L-carnitine may be needed to prevent or treat deficiencies resulting from the use of anticonvulsant drugs. Vitamin K1 has been recommended near the end of pregnancy for women taking anticonvulsants. Melatonin may reduce seizure frequency in some cases, and progesterone may be useful for women with cyclic exacerbations of seizures. In most cases, nutritional therapy is not a substitute for anticonvulsant medications. However, in selected cases, depending on the effectiveness of the interventions, dosage reductions or discontinuation of medications may be possible.



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