More Epilepsy Articles…
In This Section:
Food Intolerance, Epilepsy, and “The G.A.R.D.” – This is the transcript for my lecture at the 2007 NAVC (North American Veterinary Conference) in Orlando. It was the second hour that followed a talk on food intolerance in general. This speech on epilepsy briefly covers most aspects of the “syndrome” we call epilepsy and introduces the role of viruses in the development and perpetuation of idiopathic epilepsy.
Viruses and Epilepsy – A Forum Post – Here Is a post that I made on a human epilepsy forum in response to a question concerning a viral infection that later resulted in epilepsy. This is explainable.
The Glaring Example – This is a post that I found on a casein intolerance Website years ago. It shows the extreme effect that miniscule amounts of the proteins of the “big 4” can have on the central nervous system in sensitized individuals. The focus of the post is on autism but this would also be true of epilepsy. I tell people to simply think “peanut allergy” to get a handle on how little it can take to cause major problems. Strictness in following the diet is the key to success.
Letter to a Mother of an Epileptic Child – (3/06). This letter summarizes what I believe causes this “syndrome” we call epilepsy and the logic behind my approach to treating this condition.
Another Letter to a Mother of an Epileptic Child – (9/07). This letter also summarizes what I believe causes this “syndrome” we call epilepsy and the multiple benefits of The GARD when employed for epilepsy, autism and other neurological conditions.
Foods to Avoid, Foods to Enjoy – In this section, I will try to make it clear which foods should be avoided when coping with the “excitotoxin”-related disorders such as epilepsy, insomnia, ADHD, chronic pain (e.g. fibromyalgia), and neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, MS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and more. Autistic patients should benefit from these dietary guidelines as well, especially the avoidance of the gluten grains, soy, and dairy products. Please also check out the autism, ADHD, and food addiction parts of the Appetizers section.
Estrogens in Food – There are estrogens in foods which should be considered in formulating the ultimate diet, especially for women and those suffering from epilepsy, pain, and other excitotoxin-related disorders. We know that estrogens are inflammatory and immunosuppressive and sensitize neurons to the action of glutamate (e.g. catamenial seizures, PMS). I will be expanding this section as time allows. Please also see the Appetizers section for more on this and other issues in women’s health.
Links to Research Articles on Epilepsy – I should have done this years ago, but I am starting (as of 2/07) a section of links that show how much researchers know about the role of food intolerance (e.g. celiac disease) in epilepsy. I hope this helps to convince the reader of the importance of this crucial element in this oftentimes very controllable condition.
Testimonials – Click here to read a number of the testimonials I have received over the years. I stopped placing them on the site a number of years ago when I became overwhelmed with Emails. However, I will have a new rotating testimonial section with some of the newest success stories on my upcoming site. In the meantime, here are a few more Epilepsy Testimonials, some of your letters that state how the diet has helped your epileptic pet…or you. Yes, people are responding as well.
Your Letters, My Answers – This section has some of your Emails concerning epilepsy and diet, with my responses following them. I have sent this paper to a number of AKC breeder sites to inform them of the results that I have observed in my practice once I began applying those concepts purported in this paper. Since that mail-out, I have been getting a steady stream of great stories that support the findings in this paper.
Some of the letters I have received and subsequently answered were so awesome that I have decided to publish them. They can be found after the paper below. I will be adding to these regularly so check back often if your are interested (or still skeptical).
Please continue to write to me about your experiences with epileptic pets. I did not foresee the incredible value in sending out this paper to my readers. I have already had so many great stories and cases come out of it that I am very excited about what the future holds. Please do not hesitate to write, positive or negative. So far, the “negatives” have turned out to be positives, as you will read in the testimonies below.
I have been studying idiopathic epilepsy intensively since April of 2000. When I began, I pretty much knew only what I have been taught in veterinary school- that no one knew what really caused epilepsy and that once seizures reached a certain frequency or severity, medication was needed to help control them. We knew that certain breeds were more prone to epilepsy than others but no one spoke of diet, viruses, environmental factors, and the things I now write at length about .
This has been a continuous learning process, beginning with the amazing discovery of the celiac-epilepsy connection in the early days of my research. This was the doorway into a mansion filled with rooms of answers that I knew nothing of in my first 20 years of veterinary practice. Each time I opened a door, another room presented itself, each complimenting the other. The information that I was gaining built upon itself in a phenomenal way, not canceling out the previous discoveries but rather completing them.
The malabsorption syndrome caused by the “big 4” (gluten, casein, soy, and corn), which I first described in Idiopathic Epilepsy- The Dietary Solution, was and still is integral to the development of this “syndrome” we call epilepsy. The role of lectins added a new dimension to the damage being done by “the four horsemen”.
But it was the information concerning viruses that put it all in perspective. The reader will find a number of articles in this section that speak to the importance of the role of viruses in the pathogenesis of seizures.
In fact, I am now convinced that “idiopathic epilepsy” is ultimately viral in origin, some of which are acquired while others are embedded in our very genome. Researchers tell us that nearly 40% of the genetic codes in our nuclear DNA are viral codes, placed there over the years by acquired viruses (e.g. retroviruses) and passed down through the generations. This helps to explain “genetic diseases” that run so true through human families and dog breeds.
The diet does play a huge role in why these viruses cause seizures but the reason why one individual with severe food intolerance develops seizures while another doesn’t is likely to be the viral status of the glial cells (and neurons). To support this idea, there are over 25 viruses known to cause seizures in man, many of which are ubiquitous and latent in nature (e.g. Epstein Barr, Herpes simplex, varicella, measles, mumps, Coxsackie virus and many others). These viruses have a real affinity for the glial cells (“nurse cells” to the neuron, if you will) that control the levels of the neurotransmitter glutamate at the synapse, among other things.
Therefore, the relationship between the diet and epilepsy becomes one step more complex than I described in my earliest works once we see the role of the virus. Yes, the malabsorption and maldigestion syndrome that results from the food intolerances play a HUGE role in the disease of the neurons as well as the demise of the immune system, both of which set the stage for the viral involvement. Then, add to the mix the effect of the lectins on these same cells, as well as those of the thyroid gland (with low thyroid levels being capable of dramatically lowering the seizure threshold) and the picture becomes clearer. Next come the negative effects on the liver, kidneys, and intestines, all of which are vitally involved in glutamate metabolism. Now throw in the environmental toxins that are known to be neurotoxic and you have a situation that is ripe for the onset of seizures.
So, I would encourage the reader to examine all of the evidence presented in this section if they truly desire to understand this life-altering yet fascinating condition. In addition, we can use this knowledge of epilepsy to understand other related conditions that afflict so many individuals. These same principles can be applied to ADHD, insomnia, pain syndromes, and many other neurodegenerative disorders (MS, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and more) both in our understanding or their origin and their treatment. Our knowledge of epilepsy can then be the doorway into a fuller understanding of many of the diseases that plague man and his companions.