Each of us, on our journey with epilepsy are embarking on one single mission. A cure. Becoming seizure free. Doing all that we can in our daily lives to push back the seizures from entering into our safety net and harming us in any way, shape or form. We must take hold of our lives and adjust what needs to be arranged in order to hopefully see a positive outcome as we take our steps ahead. In one particular aspect, this requires us to analyze our eating habits. To eliminate foods that are no longer beneficial to our health. To adopt foods that are beneficial to our health. To make these healthy foods a habit. To make these unhealthy foods a thing of the past.
So, what are these foods to avoid while living with epilepsy?
- REFINED CARBOHYDRATES – Research published in the journal “Neurology” in 2006 reported that one half of a patient group treated with a diet regimen that had only low-glycemic foods showed 90 percent fewer seizures. The Epilepsy Society advises that in some patients with epilepsy, fluctuating blood-glucose levels can trigger seizures. To balance your blood glucose levels, avoid high-glycemic foods, which raise your blood glucose levels. These foods include refined carbohydrate foods such as pizza, soft drinks, white bread, cakes, bagels, white rice, white pasta and chips. INSTEAD, choose low glycemic-index foods such as whole grains, brown rice, whole-wheat bread and pasta, legumes, yogurt and nuts.
- CAFFEINE – Caffeine can trigger a seizure if in large dosages. Caffeine can lower the seizure threshold for some of those with epilepsy. Caffeine can be found in a variety of foods such as coffee, decaf coffee, energy drinks, non-cola sodas, chocolate, ice-cream, weight-loss pills, pain relievers, energy water, breath fresheners, and oatmeal.
- ALCOHOL – In small amounts, alcohol does not cause seizures. A drink or two now and then doesn’t increase seizure activity. Small amounts of alcohol doesn’t change the amounts of seizure medicines in your blood or change findings on EEG studies. When alcohol is in relation to seizures, it’s usually the state of alcohol withdrawal that causes the seizures, not the drinking itself. Your risk of seizures might be much higher after having three or more alcoholic beverages. Binge drinking and alcohol withdrawal can even lead to status epilepticus, a life-threatening and potentially fatal problem! Seizure medicines can lower your tolerance for alcohol, so the immediate effects of alcohol consumption are greater. In other words, people get intoxicated quicker. Rapid intoxication is a big problem because many of the side effects of these medicines are similar to the acute effects of alcohol itself. If you are sensitive to alcohol or seizure medicines, you may find the combination even worse. Some studies have shown that alcoholism, or chronic abuse of alcohol, is linked with the development of epilepsy in some people. This research indicates that repeated alcohol withdrawal seizures may make the brain more excitable. People who have experienced seizures provoked by binge drinking may begin to experience unprovoked epilepsy seizures regardless of alcohol use.