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  #46   ^
Old Mon, Jan-31-05, 14:45
potatofree's Avatar
potatofree potatofree is offline
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George- not necessarily because they want to push drugs... it's more about controlling the seizures in the most effective way, with the least amount of interference with the child's life.
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  #47   ^
Old Mon, Jan-31-05, 16:36
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Wyvrn Wyvrn is offline
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Plan: paleo/lowcarb
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I'd have to agree with you, PF, except that anti-seizure drugs can have some pretty serious proven side effects and according to some of those links you posted it appears that diet may be more effective than drugs in treating the more severe types of seizures. Side effects of some common anti-seizure drugs:

http://www.add-adhd-kids.com/depakote.html
http://bipolar.about.com/cs/sfx/a/sfx_topamax.htm
http://bipolar.about.com/cs/sfx/a/sfx_tegretol.htm
http://my.webmd.com/content/article/64/72544.htm

In addition, I have to question the "slower growth rate" claimed as a possible effect of a ketogenic diet. Even if true, is this necessarily bad? I wouldn't be surprised that children who consume the SAD, filled with refined sugar and starches DO grow faster than children on a ketogenic diet. After all, high blood glucose stimulates release of insulin, which stimulates HGH... but couldn't this also be behind increasing rates of childhood cancers and other problems? Is a faster growth rate really desirable?

Wyv
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  #48   ^
Old Tue, Feb-01-05, 07:05
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potatofree potatofree is offline
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Wyv-- I don't doubt the diet might be a better choice in some cases. It comes down to weighing the potential risks of the drug against the benefits for EACH INDIVIDUAL child. For example, my son happened to be underweight and very small for his age already. Would I want to make dietary changes that could cause him to lose MORE weight or grow even slower? No. We were also able to control his seizures with a relatively low dose of medication, twice daily, which had the added "side effect" of actually stimulating his appetite. Combined with healthy food choices, and the flexibility of diet to allow for him to eat a wider variety of foods, he's in robust health. We monitor his liver and kidney function, and so far, we've had absolutely no adverse effects. If it ever starts to show anything else, you can bet changes will be made.
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  #49   ^
Old Tue, Feb-01-05, 12:28
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Groggy60 Groggy60 is offline
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My thought was a simple one, I have always been of the mind that drugs are best avoided if possible.

Most artifical sweetners give me a terrible headache. Additionally I used to get migranes before I discovered lowcarb. In my case its a no brainer just avoid the headaches by, not eating artifical sweetners and low-carb based diet.

PF, I am not trying to second guess your situation or decision. At least you are sufficiently informed to know the low-carb diet is possible option in the future.

As a group, I think we all believe there is not a significant downside to eating low-carb. It would nice to think that in cases where a low-carb diet would help a problem that it would be considered more seriously before drugs. The establishment doesn't even recommend low-carb diet for diabetics.
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  #50   ^
Old Tue, Feb-01-05, 13:44
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potatofree potatofree is offline
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Quote:
PF, I am not trying to second guess your situation or decision. At least you are sufficiently informed to know the low-carb diet is possible option in the future.


Maybe it is, maybe not. My point isn't to try and justify my decision so much as to point out that parents have different ideas of what is acceptable and in the best interest of their own children. There's a BIG difference between my choice and the wanton disregard for the well-being of a child being diplayed by the parents in the original case.

No matter how little some of you think of doctors as a whole, they need to be judged on an individual basis as well. I consider my doctors PARTNERS in my child's treatment, not authorities to be blindly followed nor imbeciles who follow what they're told without question. Had the parents in question even bothered to bring their child/ren in for medical attention in the first place, and even followed the "wrong" standard diet, we wouldn't be having this discussion. At least that baby would be ALIVE.
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  #51   ^
Old Tue, Feb-01-05, 16:25
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Wyvrn Wyvrn is offline
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PF, this really isn't about your child. I have a problem with the "growth rate" claim because it has the potential to scare parents of all children - not just children with a seizure disorder, but children who are developing diabetes, obesity, poor dental health, behavioral and learning problems - off of a nutrition plan that has demonstrated benefits in all these and other areas.

Yet where is the evidence that low carb diets are likely to stunt growth, or even cause excessive weight loss? From what I've seen here on the forum, people generally have to actively restrict calories to continue losing weight as they approach their goal weight.

In my opinion, a low-carb diet could even have a normalizing effect on people who are underweight, because calorie for calorie, it has more of the nutrients used to build tissue (as well as hormones required for healthy development), namely fats and proteins. I know I'm not the only one who has noticed spontaneous improvement in muscle tone after a few days of induction, or a reduction in fat inches accompanied by stable weight (or even gain), which would indicate an increase in muscle and/or bone mass.

Another thing to consider - our paleolithic ancestors appeared to have greater stature and brain size than their agricultural descendents. Maybe this had something to do with their relatively low-carb diet, maybe not. But it's a data point.

Of course I wouldn't expect you or any other parent to base your child's health care on mere opinion. But perhaps you can see why I am skeptical of this claim.

Wyv
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  #52   ^
Old Wed, Feb-02-05, 00:36
322432 322432 is offline
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Eskimoes have niether seizures nor doctors in their native habitat. The ketogenic diet evolved in a grain based society when it was observed that those who fasted ( ketosis) had fewer seizures. Grains=sugar=sickness=obesity=diabetis=seizures
=doctors=pills=heart disease=a vicious circle with the populace failing in health and the medical community getting rich.
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  #53   ^
Old Wed, Feb-02-05, 11:22
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Groggy60 Groggy60 is offline
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It is interesting how often we are seeing negative news stories about vegetarians and children, while the news stories about low-carb and children seem to be about how it cures something.
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  #54   ^
Old Wed, Feb-02-05, 11:28
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jadefox26 jadefox26 is offline
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Quote:
But the diet was severely lacking in nutrients for a baby: The bottle she drank from shortly before her death contained a mixture of wheat grass, spinach, tomato and avocado.


I think this point says it all - i mean WHO in their right mind would feed a baby of 5 months that kind of thing?????? It's not about the way of life these people chose to live, vegan/vegetarian/lc whatever, it's about being SENSIBLE - that was just plain STUPID
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  #55   ^
Old Wed, Feb-02-05, 12:21
JPaleo JPaleo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Groggy60
Sound backwards... you would think the diet should be tried before the drugs. Some doctors seem to want to solve everything with drugs.


The problem with this is that using a diet to mediate seizures could take a long time and every seizure your child has could further damage their brain. Therefore stopping them ASAP should be the first goal.

One ketogenic diet study (at Hopkins) found that it reduced seizures in half of the children treated by 50%. That means half of the children were still having lots of seizures and half were having half as many seizures. Well half as many seizures are still seizures and still potentially causing brain damage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Groggy60
Eskimoes have niether seizures nor doctors in their native habitat. The ketogenic diet evolved in a grain based society when it was observed that those who fasted ( ketosis) had fewer seizures. Grains=sugar=sickness=obesity=diabetis=seizures
=doctors=pills=heart disease=a vicious circle with the populace failing in health and the medical community getting rich.


Most seizures are caused by head injury, brain defects, illness, heredity and countless other things. Very few are specifically caused by diet. And you cannot necessarily treat all seizures with a diet. Futhermore, where have you read that eskimos don't have seizures? I highly doubt this. Mainly for the reason I just stated: seizures are not necessarily caused by diet.

Deciding to give your child a drug that will stop their seizures as opposed to using a diet that may stop some of them has nothing to do with parents starving their children with a bottle of grass.

I am curious if anyone who is arguing that the diet should be tried over drugs for seizures has had a child who has seizures.

-J

Last edited by JPaleo : Wed, Feb-02-05 at 17:45.
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  #56   ^
Old Wed, Feb-02-05, 18:16
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Wyvrn Wyvrn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPaleo
I am curious if anyone who is arguing that the diet should be tried over drugs for seizures has had a child who has seizures.


J, if you are talking about what to do in an emergency, I think we are in agreement. I spent many years as an EMT and have managed hundreds of emergencies involving seizures in that time, and I have used medication (oxygen) on patients with head-trauma related seizures and know that it can be quite effective, even life-saving.

Wyv
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  #57   ^
Old Wed, Feb-02-05, 19:08
JPaleo JPaleo is offline
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I'm not just talking about in an emergency.

Let's use my brother as an example. He was ten when his seizures started. In his case they were due to a tiny defect in his brain (doctors called it an artifact and showed it to us on a brain scan). He could have been born with it. He could have had some little head injury when he was much younger that did not seem serious at the time but that caused it. It could have happened as he was born. Whatever the reason, he developed seizures and they happened frequently every day and were progressing in seriousness with each one. As I said before, any seizure can cause brain damage so everytime he had a seizure, he was possibly suffering brain damage. Every single time. Every single seizure. Several times a day.

So, should my parents have opted to put him on a diet that had a 50% chance of reducing his seizures by 50% (meaning he'd still be having these potentially brain damging seizures everyday, just less of them)? Or should they have chosen a medication that would instantly stop all of them and control them?

They opted for medication and I would have too.

Just because many medications are not necessary does not mean that all of them are not necessary.

And in view of the original topic of this thread, I have a scenario. What if there were parents out there who had a child that was having seizures everday, many times a day and they decided to try a ketogenic diet instead of medication first. And then, as they were waiting to see if the diet would help, the child had a massive seizure and died. In a case like this couldn't one say that these parents had been just as misled by this idea that the diet would be a cure all as the parents who let their baby starve on an extreme vegan diet?

-J

Last edited by JPaleo : Wed, Feb-02-05 at 19:15.
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  #58   ^
Old Wed, Feb-02-05, 19:18
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potatofree potatofree is offline
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Quote:
Just because many medications are not necessary does not mean that all of them are not necessary.


Excellent point. Just because a lot of doctors would rather write a prescription for every complaint (and SOME patients like my Mom aren't happy if they don't GET a pill for everything.. ) doesn't mean anyone who chooses a drug as a first-line treatment for their particular problem is wrong.

Now if they decided the cure would be wheat-grass, tomato and avocado in a bottle, and a little starvation at age 5 months to treat some illness... would it be better JUST because it's natural?
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  #59   ^
Old Wed, Feb-02-05, 19:36
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Wyvrn Wyvrn is offline
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Plan: paleo/lowcarb
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If you read those links that PF posted, you'll see that the diet and drugs are not mutually exclusive but are used together, except in certain cases where seizures have been shown to respond only to one or the other. Looks like it's pretty standard to use the diet as the long term treatment, and in many cases it allows the drugs to be reduced or discontinued.

Wyv
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  #60   ^
Old Wed, Feb-02-05, 19:40
JPaleo JPaleo is offline
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I'm all for using diet and medication in conjuction. I was responding to the posts talking about how using a ketogenic diet should be tried before medication.

-J
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