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Atkins diet

Importance of a diet for epilepsy patients

By On 05/03/2020 at 12:03

In OTHERS

Epilepsy is a chronic brain disease characterized by repeated unprovoked seizures with various clinical manifestations. During an epilepsy attack, various disorders of motor, sensory, psychic, mental and autonomous functions can be noted. These disorders are caused by excessive neural discharges into the gray matter of the cerebral cortex.

Conventionally, all forms of epilepsy can be divided into two main groups: epilepsy with an inherited genetic predisposition and acquired epilepsy. The development of a single seizure is not a sign of epilepsy. There are statistics that show that almost 10% of the population at least once in their life has suffered a crisis. Two points are essential for the diagnosis of epilepsy: the development of repeated attacks and the development of spontaneous unprovoked attacks. The exception is reflex epilepsy attacks. Classic examples of reflex attacks are characteristic of photosensitive epilepsy, when a light stimulus can cause an epilepsy attack.

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Epilepsy and epileptic syndrome

It is necessary to distinguish epilepsy as a disease and as a syndrome. Epilepsy is an independent chronic neurological disease. Epileptic syndrome is a manifestation of a variety of diseases, accompanied by seizures that are tonic-clonic, loss of consciousness, and other symptoms that can be triggered by external factors, such as high fever.

Epilepsy most often begins in childhood.

 

Treatment of diseases

There are several approaches to the treatment of epilepsy: medicinal and surgical methods and the use of neuromodulation. These methods are often combined. In some forms of epilepsy, a special ketogenic diet is used. The mechanism of this diet is not fully understood, but it is said that ketone bodies can trigger a series of biochemical processes, as a result of which epileptic discharges are suppressed. A ketogenic diet significantly reduces the amount of carbohydrates with an increase in the fat content.

In drug therapy, a group of antiepileptic drugs - anticonvulsants is used. Neurosurgery is used for forms resistant to pharmacotherapy, in the formation of a stable focus of epileptic activity in the brain.

Recently, neurostimulation is actively developing. Methods such as neurostimulation of the vagus nerve, transcranial magnetic stimulation are used.

 

Why should epilepsy patients have a diet?

New research published in Neurology suggests that a low-carb, high-fat diet helps reduce seizures in the treatment of epilepsy.

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological condition characterized by recurrent attacks of convulsions. According to the study, epilepsy is seen in approximately 2.3 million adults and nearly 500,000 children aged from birth to 17 years of age. About 150,000 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed each year.

Researchers studied the effects of a carbohydrate-free, high-fat diet and Atkins diets on the adult treatment of refractory epilepsy. The Atkins diet includes foods high in fat such as bacon, eggs, mayonnaise, butter, cream and certain fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish.

Scientists note that it was difficult for study participants to follow a high-fat diet due to the specific taste of the products. The food composition of the Atkins diet has been changed to more easily complete the task.

The ratio of fat, carbohydrate and protein diets is as follows:

• fatty diet: 3: 1: 1 or 4: 1: 1;

• Atkins diet: 0.9: 1: 1.

According to study author Pavel Klein, a member of the American Academy of Neurology, there is a need to introduce new treatments for adult patients with epilepsy to reduce the number of seizures. Scientists claim that adding fatty foods to the diet can be used in the treatment of such a pathology in children.

In the group whose participants followed a fatty diet, 47 people participated and in the group who followed the modified Atkins diet, 85 adults with epilepsy participated.

During the study, the scientists found that in 32% of patients who followed a high-fat diet and in 29% of participants in the Atkins diet, the number of attacks decreased by 50%. It should be noted that in 9 and 5% of group participants, respectively, the number of seizures decreased by more than 90%.

Scientists have noted that the positive effect of following each diet lasts from several days to several weeks. However, despite the fact that the results were kept for so long, after stopping the diet, the study participants went back to having seizures.

According to P. Klein, unfortunately, the long-term use of such regimes is very difficult. Most patients end up dieting due to culinary and taste restrictions.

Nevertheless, the results of the study show that dieting is an effective supplement for treating people with epilepsy.

In the group of patients who ate high-fat foods, only 51% of participants were able to follow such a diet until the end of the study, in the group adhering to the modified Atkins diet - 42%.

Even participants who noted a 75-90% reduction in the frequency of seizures eventually stopped dieting.

Scientists note that dietary changes are only necessary in conjunction with drug therapy and also follow the recommendations of the attending physician. The authors plan to continue research to study the effect of the Atkins diet and the addition of fat to the diet of epilepsy patients on the number of seizures.

To discover our natural remedy for epilepsy click here!

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