Keto for seizures
Anybody else out there dealing with epilepsy or other neurological conditions?
I find that as long as I stay more or less keto (I don’t have to be super strict about it) I can get by on way less medication than I used to need. I have a nocturnal seizure disorder and I would be interested to hear from anyone else in a similar boat.
Rachel, I just finished reading all of your answers in your Profile, because as I chose questions/answers to read, I found that you often answered the same ones, and gave some of the most impressive responses 🙂 Then I noticed that you are familiar with what migraine is like, so I am delighted to find that you responded to my answer here.
I, too, understand that migraine and epilepsy are very similar, which is why I dove into an epileptic version of the keto diet.
I noticed that you have been on a keto diet for years, and found great health benefits including health after cancer. I have seen a couple interviews with Dr. Seyfried (sp?), and look forward to reading his book.
How interesting that migraine is your canary. Bipolar is mine: when I feel my mood swing too high, it is a warning that a migraine attack is nearby. Since becoming ketogenic, and learning about this early warning system, chronic migraine has become much easier to manage.
Which keto diet are you on? Which guidelines do you follow most closely? How did you get to where you are? How do you monitor your ketosis?
Dr Seyfried’s book, “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease”, is a must read for anyone who has ever dealt with cancer or who would like to avoid having that experience in the first place.
That is so interesting that your bi-polar symptoms give you a heads up to an oncoming migraine attack. Now that you mention it, there do seem to be a lot of folks on the Coping With Epilepsy site who are also dealing with mood swing issues. Hmm. Interesting. I think a lot of the reason why a keto diet helps both conditions is that it evens out the blood sugar roller coaster.
I have been on a keto diet for so long now that it is not really anything I think about too much, it’s just how I eat. I used to measure every gram of every macro and pee on the test strips and everything but now I can just feel it when I am in ketosis and when I slip out.
I came at keto from the philosophy of gluten free, low carb paleo so I basically eat animals and plants in that order. The main part of any meal for me is the fatty protein and then the veggies are there for flavor enhancement, decoration, etc. Like having a steak with mushrooms and onions on top. Fruit is my occasional candy. IMO, a mistake a lot of people who are new to this make is eating heaps and heaps of greenery which is not really very nutrient dense in an effort to cover their micronutrient bases. Well, I consider a piece of liver to be nature’s multivitamin supplement.
If I had to name some of my health “gurus” they would be:
Nora Gedgaudas of Primal Body, Primal Mind (a neurofeedback practitioner)
Dr. Ron Rosedale of The Rosedale Diet
Dr. David Perlmutter of Grain Brain and The Empowering Neurologist
Dr. Mark Hyman of Eat Fat, Get Thin
Dr. Mary Enig of Know Your Fats and Eat Fat, Lose Fat
I’ve been keto for just over 2 years. 995 days since last seizure. I’m not on any meds at all, lucky me.
I’m starting to get jealous of all these people talking about having lost weight, Louise even mentions it as “probably your first answer” to the question of WHY. Well, My why is that I don’t like the experience of seizures, and I’ve kind of gotten used to this ‘standing upright’ thing, with the heart beating and lungs breathing, and all that stuff.
However, maybe it’s time to think about these aesthetics. Why can’t I lose some more weight too? I mean, fine, I dropped almost 30kg when I first started, I’ve put about 10kg back on and I’m kind of just sitting here, not fluctuating up or down…. but I *am* still severely pear-shaped and would like to balance that out a bit, so I’m currently investigating all the usual names to gather ideas to ‘tweak my keto’, stay in a nice high ketone range and maybe trim down as well.
Best of luck;
- Sonya answered 2 years ago
Hi Robin! My neurological condition is migraine.
I’m thrilled with the results that I’m getting from being on a low carb high fat diet. I started the diet in April of this year in response to my chronic, severe migraines, and am thrilled that my health in general has improved.
I continue to be in a migraine phase nearly every day (either I have signs that one is imminent, or the headache phase, or recovering from one), but the headache attacks are less frequent, and they are easier to delay. Recovery has been MUCH easier since I have needed less medication.
I am being very strict with my food because I don’t like the migraine attacks at all. They are extremely painful, and cause me distressing disorientation, uncoordination, confusion, and so on. I want them to stop NOW!
I hope that you feel less alone as you continue on this journey.
Hi WeaverGrace !
Nice to “meet” you.
I have found that a pleasant side effect of my keto diet for epilepsy is that my migraines have almost completely gone away too. I very rarely get one these days, usually only if I have done something stupid like not get any sleep or over indulged in alcohol.
On the Coping With Epilepsy site I have learned that there is a lot of overlap between people who have seizures and people who get migraines. The two seem to be cousins neurologically speaking.
For me, getting a migraine is my “canary in the coal mine”. It lets me know that I am skating too close to the edge (on some combination of diet, sleep, alcohol, stress, etc.) and a seizure could be around the corner.
Congrats on your symptom improvement and on reducing the meds. That makes everything easier.
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