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  #1   ^
Old Sun, Jan-08-23, 01:53
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Stats: 238/155/160 Female 5'10"
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Location: UK
Default Low-carb diet reduces seizures for people with drug-resistant epilepsy

Low-carb diet reduces seizures for people with drug-resistant epilepsy

A trial of 160 people found that pairing standard epilepsy therapies with a low-carbohydrate diet reduced seizures by more than 50 per cent in a quarter of participants

Pairing a low-carbohydrate diet with typical epilepsy medications can reduce seizures in people with drug-resistant epilepsy by 50 per cent.

Using low-carb diets to treat epilepsy began about a century ago but fell out of favour once anti-seizure medications were developed. However, nearly a third of the approximately 50 million people worldwide with epilepsy don’t respond to these drugs.

Manjari Tripathi at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi and her colleagues recruited 160 people between 10 and 55 years old who had more than two seizures a month despite using at least three anti-seizure medications at maximum doses. The researchers advised half of them to follow a modified Atkins diet, which consists of eating only 20 grams of carbohydrates a day, drastically cutting down on the 275 grams recommended for adult daily consumption under US dietary guidelines. All participants continued standard epilepsy drugs. Caregivers tracked seizures and meals using a daily log, and participants completed a quality-of-life questionnaire before and after the study.

After six months, more than 26 per cent of those on the low-carb diet saw monthly seizures reduced by more than 50 per cent compared to the month before the trial. The same was true for only 2.5 per cent of the control group. The low-carb group also reported significantly greater improvements in quality of life, on average, compared to the control group.

Low-carbohydrate diets reduce seizures by inducing ketosis, which is when the body burns fat as its primary fuel, says Tripathi. There are many potential mechanisms for why this improves epilepsy including changes in the gut microbiome, inflammation and electrical signalling between neurons, she says.

Mackenzie Cervenka at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland says it is encouraging to see that the modified Atkins diet can be an effective treatment. Prior studies to treat epilepsy with diet often use the ketogenic diet, which requires calculating the ratio of carbs to fats in all foods. “That can be a lot more time consuming,” says Cervenka, meaning fewer people stick to it. “The modified Atkins diet is less rigorous with regard to preparation and monitoring,” she says.

Journal reference: Neurology, DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000206776
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  #2   ^
Old Sun, Jan-08-23, 03:54
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Kristine Kristine is offline
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Plan: Primal/P:E
Stats: 171/150/150 Female 5'7"
Progress: 100%
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada

I think a lot of people don't realize how poor quality of life can be on those drugs, especially when they're only providing partial relief. There's a young lady I follow on Twitter who goes by the handle "SeizureSalad314" and she's mentioned that, in addition to massive weight gain and other side effects, one of the worst seemed to be brain fog. She said she used to have to record her meetings at work because she couldn't pay attention and absorb much. Now, she doesn't even take notes. Paraphrasing here, but that was the gist of it.

She switched to a VLC diet in a last-ditch effort at avoiding that scary surgery where they saw your noggin open while you're awake because they have to talk to you in order to map your brain. The rest is history: she's been seizure-free for seven years and lost the excess weight to boot.

I would imagine a lot of sufferers can't drive, perhaps can't hold a job or complete school. Similar to patients with refractory mental illness (discussed recently in this thread ), it should be an absolute no-brainer (pardon the pun) to have these patients try a ketogenic diet, or "modified Atkins" if that euphamism makes them feel better. Heck, I'll go one step further and say it should be one of the first ideas presented to the patient/parent seeing as it's practically free with minimal side effects (in most cases.) It's infuriating that the war on cholesterol is still probably scaring a lot of clinicians and patients away.

Last edited by Kristine : Sun, Jan-08-23 at 04:08.
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Old Sun, Jan-08-23, 11:43
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deirdra deirdra is offline
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Posts: 4,250
Plan: vLC/GF,CF,SF
Stats: 197/136/150 Female 66 inches
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Location: Alberta

Johns Hopkins has used the high fat, low carbohydrate ketogenic diet to address seizures since they first developed the diet in the 1920s, before there were drugs. Everything old is new again.

I've been vLC for 20 years and on the very rare occasions that I eat a lot of sugar, grains or legumes, I get temporary peripheral neuropathy or excruciatingly painful plantar fasciitis (and the equivalent in my hands). Now when I see a scrumptious jumbo oatmeal raisin cookie, I think stabbing foot/hand pain! So it doesn't surprise me at all that soy & grains could cause seizures, especially when refined food processing delivers them into the bloodstream and to the nervous system much faster. Before vLC, I had all sorts of autoimmune symptoms that had doctors testing me for "lifelong conditions" like MS, lupus, fibromyalgia, etc. Nope, it was just that SAD is a bad diet for me.
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