Did you know…?
Epilepsy affects millions of people worldwide, and more than two million people in the United States alone. Statistics show that one out of ten people will have at least one seizure in his or her life. Four out of 100 will ultimately develop full-blown epilepsy. According to the Epilepsy Foundation of America the causes of 70% of all cases of epilepsy are unknown.
It is more than just popping a pill that helps keep your seizures under control.
To keep your seizures under control, you cannot just pop a few pills in your mouth and think that that you’re cured. It’s more than just taking anti-conversant medicine that helps your medicine.
Staying healthy is important for people with epilepsy. Diet, physical fitness and sleep are all critical components in a healthy lifestyle. These are important factors in helping to control your epilepsy. Certainly the medication we take to control our seizures plays an important role in our lives, but if you do not live a happy, healthy, productive lifestyle by taking care of yourself, you could cause yourself to have seizures.
You need to take care of yourself emotionally, spiritually and physically. The way you take care of yourself affects you in many areas of your life. When I started to take care of myself physically, I began to notice an increase in my energy level.
Before I conscious of what I was eating I noticed I was lacking energy, feeling fatigue and sleepy. When I started to focus on my health and fitness I felt more energetic and I developed high self – esteem.
I felt proud of myself. Physically I looked like a new person and spiritually I felt like a new person. By feeling and looking healthy you begin to see yourself as a desirable individual about whom who you can feel proud. Once you start to feel proud of yourself, you will begin to feel like no task is too hard to achieve.
The first thing I did was change my eating habits. If I were going to lose weight and get back into shape, I needed to change the way I consumed food. I love to eat, just like most people. I had an appetite for fatty foods, sweets, ham and eggs, cream cheese and other good foods that are not so good for the body. Pay attention to what you’re eating and eliminate any foods that are unhealthy and do not agree with your body. Everybody’s metabolism is different, so you need to eat healthy foods that work best for you.
I began eating mostly proteins and eliminated fatty foods and cut down on the carbohydrates. You need some fats in your meal plan, but make sure they’re the right types of fats. Be careful with the fat-free foods they have on the market. They may have zero fat grams, but the amount of calories could be just as bad as a fatty food with many fat grams in it. To make the fat-free foods taste good they use a lot of sugar, which causes you to gain weight.
If you are at a weight that you’re content with, then you should continue to eat healthy to maintain that weight and to keep in shape. Everything you put in your body affects your epilepsy. You should try to stabilize the amount of calories you consume each day after you decide the amount of calories you want to eat.
Leading an active life is good medicine for most people with epilepsy. If you find that getting overheated or physically tired triggers seizures, then you may want to avoid exercising when it's very hot. Take breaks when you feel you need them.
Drinking water is an important step to eating healthy. The human body contains fifty to 70% water. Because water does not remain stored in the body, we must replace it continually. Water contains no fat grams or calories and is one of the healthiest fluids to drink. Adults must consume two to three liters of some form of liquid each day. When you exercise drink plenty of water because you can easily become dehydrates. And consuming plenty of water can help you lose weight. Remember, a healthy body can help your epilepsy not hurt it. The times when I experienced the most seizures were when my body was feeling under the weather or if I was sick.
The Different Food Groups
Fat Oils and Sweets
Milk, Yogurt and the Cheese Group
Dry Beans, Eggs and Nut Group
Vegetables and Fruit Group Starches,
Grains, Pasta, Rice, Bread and Cereal
The bread-cereal group includes all breads and cereals that are whole-grain, enriched, or restored. All cereals are very high in starch, and they are good, generally inexpensive sources of energy. The fat content of cereal products generally is very low unless the germ is included. Whole-grain products contribute significant quantities of fiber and such trace vitamins and minerals as pantothenic acid, vitamin E, zinc, copper, manganese, and molybdenum.
Vegetables are important sources of minerals, vitamins, and cellulose. Certain vegetables, such as potatoes, contribute appreciable quantities of starch. Large amounts of the minerals calcium and iron are in vegetables, particularly beans, peas, and broccoli. Vegetables also help meet the body’s need for sodium, chloride, cobalt, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and potassium. Carotenes (the precursor of vitamin A) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) are abundant in many vegetables. Vegetables are useful as sources of roughage.
Fruit. The nutritional value of fruits varies. Some fruits are composed largely of water, but contain valuable vitamins. The citrus fruits are a valuable source of vitamin C, and yellow-colored fruits, such as peaches, contain carotene. Dried fruits contain an ample amount of iron, and figs and oranges are an excellent source of calcium. Similar to vegetables, fruits have high cellulose content.
The milk group includes milk and milk products, cheese, and ice cream. Milk is a complete protein food containing several protein complexes. It also contains important amounts of most nutrients, but it is very low in iron and ascorbic acid and low in niacin. Calcium and phosphorus levels in milk are very high. Vitamin A levels are high in whole milk, but this fat-soluble vitamin is removed in the production of skim milk. Riboflavin is present in significant quantities in milk unless the milk has been exposed to light.
The meat and meat substitutes group includes beef; veal; lamb; pork; organ meats such as liver, heart, and kidney; poultry and eggs; fish and shellfish; and dried peas, beans, and nuts. The meat group contains many valuable nutrients. One of its main nutrients is protein, but meat also contains cholesterol, which is believed to contribute to coronary artery disease. The minerals copper, iron, and phosphorus occur in meats in significant amounts, particularly iron and copper in liver. Different meats vary in their vitamin content. Liver usually contains a useful amount of vitamin A. Thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin, all B vitamins, occur in significant amounts in all meats.
Other foods such as butter, margarine, other fats, oils, sugars, or refined-grain products are included in the diet to round out meals and satisfy the appetite. Fats, oils, and sugars are added to other foods during preparation of the meal or at the table. These foods supply calories and can add to total nutrients in meals.
For many years the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued dietary guidelines based on four basic food groups—meat and meat substitutes, fruits and vegetables, milk and dairy products, and grains, including bread and cereals—and a balanced diet would include at least one food from each group in each meal every day.
Epilepsy isn't the kind of condition that can be treated with large doses of vitamins or mineral supplements. In fact, large quantities of either could be bad for your health. Check with your doctor before taking more vitamins than are in typical one-a-day multivitamins.
Types of vitamins that maybe helpful for people with epilepsy:
Vitamin A has many important functions in the body that relate to membrane integrity, especially of epithelial cells and mucous membranes. It is also essential for bone growth, reproduction, and embryonic development.
Vitamin D primarily regulates calcium metabolism by determining the movement of calcium from intestines to blood and from blood to bone. It interacts with parathyroid hormone and calcitonin in controlling calcium levels. Thus vitamin D is today more legitimately considered a hormone rather than a vitamin.
Vitamin E is considered to have possible value in decreasing the risk of cancer; it has shown little therapeutic value in other diseases. Fortunately, it is relatively nontoxic.
Vitamin K is essential for synthesis by the liver of several factors necessary for the clotting of blood. A wide variety of vegetables, egg yolk, liver, and fish oils contain this vitamin. Remember that many of the anti-conversant drugs could affect the liver with long term usage. This is very rare, but a small possibility. Taking a vitamin to help and cleanse the live could be helpful. It’s always good to ask your doctor what they suggest are the best vitamins for your type of epilepsy.
With the exception of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), water-soluble vitamins belong mainly to what has been termed the B complex of vitamins. The better-known B vitamins are thiamine (B (1)), riboflavin (B (2)), niacin (B (3)), pyridoxine (B (6)), pantothenic acid, lecithin, choline, inositol, and paraaminobenzoic acid (PABA). Two other members are folic acid and cyanocobalamin (B (12)). Yeast and liver are natural sources of most of these vitamins.
Thiamine, the first B vitamin functions as a coenzyme in the form of thiamine pyrophosphate and is important in carbohydrate intermediary metabolism.
Riboflavin (B (2) serves as coenzymes for a wide variety of respiratory proteins.
Vitamin B (6), functions in human metabolism in the conversion processes of amino acids, including decarboxylation, transamination, and racemization.
In the body, folic acid is converted to folinic acid (5-formyl-tetrahydrofolic acid), the coenzyme form, which accepts 1-carbon units important in the metabolism of many body compounds. Nucleic acid synthesis cannot take place without the presence of folic acid.
Vitamin B (12), almost all organisms need this vitamin but only in very small amounts.
Vitamin C, a sufficient daily intake of fresh orange juice provides enough of the vitamin for most purposes. The body’s requirements for calcium are generally met by eating or drinking dairy products, especially milk. Most calcium (90 percent) is stored in bone, with a constant exchange occurring among blood, tissue, and bone.
Iron is a vital component of hemoglobin and also of certain respiratory enzymes. Foods high in iron content include meat (liver and heart), egg yolk, wheat germ, and most green vegetables. The average diet contains 10 to 15 mg a day, adequate for most people.
Magnesium is an essential element in human metabolism and functions in the activities of muscles and nerves, protein synthesis, and many other reactions. Fluorine as fluoride is a requirement to bind calcium in bones. Micro amounts of such elements as boron, chromium, chlorine, copper, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, silicon, sulfur, and vanadium are considered necessary to health.
When I started using vitamins and detox body cleanses I noticed that my seizures slowing started to decrease. There’s no medical evidence linking the vitamins and detoxifying as the success to my improvement with seizures, but I believe that eating right, exercising, taking vitamins and detoxifying my body plays a major role my success to becoming seizure free.
Hero’s with epilepsy
Epilepsy does not stop you from being athletic and keeping your body in shape. Some of the greatest athletes had epilepsy.
· French cyclist Marion Clignet won a silver medal in the 1996 Olympics.
· Hal Lanier, a former shortstop with the San Francisco Giants;
· Greg Walker, a former first baseman with the Chicago White Sox
· Buddy Bell, who played seventeen seasons of professional baseball before retiring in 1988, all reportedly had epilepsy
· Basketball player Bobby Jones, who played for the Denver Nuggets and Philadelphia ‘76ers.
In a study reported in the professional journal Epilepsia, conducted at the department of psychology, University of Alabama at Birmingham exercise proved to have a positive effect on the lives of a hundred and thirty-three people with epilepsy. Fifty-four of them were men and seventy-nine of them were women. Those who exercise at least three times a week for a minimum of twenty minutes reported fewer problems with seizures, depression and stress.
Another study was also done on how exercise effects people with epilepsy was done at the University of Sport and Physical Education. In this study, fifteen Norwegian women with drug-resistant epilepsy spent fifteen weeks taking exercise classes twice a week for an hour. They combined aerobic dancing with strength training and stretching. The median number of seizures decreased from 2.9 to 1.7 during the experimental exercise phase. The women also had fewer health complaints, such as muscle pains, sleep problems and fatigue.
Let’s not forget sleep
A series of late nights or lack of sleep can greatly raise the risk of seizures. People with epilepsy should not feel they need an excessive amount of sleep. If you feel tired and sleepy all the time, chances are your medicine needs adjustment in some way, or you may be depressed. Perhaps your dose is too high, or you are taking it at the wrong time of day. Don't make changes yourself, though. Tell your doctor about it.
Epilepsy does not stop you from living a healthy, happy, productive life. You can accomplish all your dreams. You just need to believe in yourself and most of all take care of yourself because how we take care of yourself affects you mentally, physically and emotionally.