Epilepsy, which is a neurological disorder that causes seizures, is the fourth most common neurological disorder. Although a specific cause for epilepsy is still unknown, what we do know is that brain injuries, environmental influences and family history all play a role in determining who will be diagnosed with epilepsy. While there are medications that can help reduce the number of seizures a person experiences, there are also some very effective natural support options.
How we can help
It is important to identify triggers that may set off a seizure, and through our experience it is essential to start with managing stress, whether physical or emotional. Stress is part of everyone’s life and even just a diagnosis of epilepsy will add emotional stress. If stress is not handled from the beginning this may act as a block to the healing process.
The next step would be to reduce inflammation in the body which helps improve blood flow to the brain. Inflammation can be reduced by changes in the diet, sleep and exercise. At this point a food intolerance test is important to identify any inflammatory food triggers. After inflammation is reduced and blood flow to the brain has improved we can help balance the central nervous system. Generally epilepsy needs the nervous system to be calmed down with the support of GABA and balancing serotonin and dopamine, which can be done with nutritional supplementation.
The ketogenic diet (which is a diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates) has been used to support epilepsy and seizures for about 100 years and helps by reducing inflammation and supporting brain function by supplying the brain with ketones, the brain’s preferred energy source. Although the ketogenic diet is great we have found clinically that it is just the beginning and nutritional support is essential for people living with epilepsy.
How we are different
While we use natural products to help support the healing process, the most important thing is that we don’t just look at the person as having an issue of epilepsy, and only treat epilepsy. The whole person and the whole medical history needs to be supported. When helping a person you need to know what is going on, why it started in the first place and what may be blocking the healing process. This is why our Toronto naturopath primarily focuses on diet and lifestyle because these can be easily maintained for the long-term.