Epilepsy Talk

Epilepsy And Complementary Medicine…

October 18, 2018
6 Comments

Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) is just what it sounds like. Something to complement the AED regimen you’re already on. And perhaps take an extra step (with your doctor’s go-ahead) to alleviate seizures.

There are lots of alternatives, so I’ll touch on the most popular ones here. (Somehow, I don’t think you’re going to be turning to stones or amulets for relief!)

Interestingly, The Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona did a survey and it revealed that half of the people with epilepsy had tried CAM at some time for seizure control. Almost half used them for other reasons.

Overall, people found CAM to be generally beneficial to their health. The most helpful were stress reduction, yoga, and botanicals (herbs). Nonetheless, half of the patients taking botanicals had an increase in their seizures.

One third of the patients felt that CAM helped treat their epilepsy better than the AED. However, very few patients considered stopping the AED. Almost all of the patients stated they would feel comfortable informing their physician about CAM use.

“Modern medical therapy often fails, yet modern medical therapy exists because complementary and alternative medicine often fails. Both sides have to recognize each other.”  Dr. Orrin Devinsky


Medical Marijuana — What the Experts are Saying

October 13, 2018
13 Comments

“It doesn’t have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes Marijuana is the only thing that works… It is irresponsible not to provide the best care we can as a medical community, care that could involve Marijuana. We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that.” — Dr. Sanjay Gupta / Neurosurgeon.


The Great Debate — Medical Marijuana

October 9, 2018
17 Comments

Even though the cannabis plant has a long history of medicinal use, with evidence dating back to 2,737 BCE, it’s still a subject of hot controversy. 

It appears to be a standing battle between politics and science.

The legality requires proof of medical marijuana’s effectiveness.

Reports of success are anecdotal.

Yet there are no funds for clinical trials and it remains on a back burner for further NIH funding and research.

(Wow. What a surprise!)

Dr. Ben Whalley, who is leading the research at the department of pharmacy at the University of Reading, said: “There was a stigma associated with cannabis that came out from the 60’s and 70’s associated with recreational use, so people have tended not to look at it medicinally as a result.”

But now, some experts are calling for fresh research into the potential of cannabis-like compounds to help alleviate seizures.

Because further evidence has emerged that an ingredient of cannabis could help prevent epileptic seizures.


Your Thyroid…What Everyone with Epilepsy Should Know…

September 28, 2018
11 Comments

Touch your neck, right above your collarbone, and you’ll find a little gland called your thyroid.  It only weighs an ounce, yet this thyroid’s hormones control your metabolism.

When those hormones are balanced, everything is fine.

But if your thyroid makes just a little less or more than you need…it could cause havoc, both with how you function and the effectiveness of your AEDs.


Epilepsy Drug Side-Effects

September 23, 2018
36 Comments

They’re necessary, but not necessarily nice.

And every med has its own side-effects.

Just as different people experience different difficulties.

But here‘s the low-down on the possible side-effects.

I hope you don’t have to suffer any of them. (Or as few as possible.)


AEDs…Surgery…and Alternative Treatments…

September 18, 2018
14 Comments

The saying “there’s something for everyone” may be true.

But with epilepsy, it’s often a dicey proposition — not to mention frustrating — to determine what that “something” is for you.


If You DON’T Have Epilepsy, Then WHAT Is It???

September 11, 2018
15 Comments

You might call them “imitators” of epilepsy, but that’s kind of extreme. You might say “similar” or you might say “confused”, which I think they are.

In a previous article titled “Conditions Commonly Misdiagnosed as Epilepsy”,  I thought I had it all covered.

But, believe it or not, that was just the tip of the iceberg.

I dug deeper and researched further and here is what I learned about signs and signals which might cause epilepsy, might show the same symptoms of epilepsy, or might be masquerading in their own way as epilepsy…


Anti-Epilepsy Drugs Lose Effectiveness Over Time…

August 6, 2018
30 Comments

It may be the dose prescribed…the type of epilepsy you have…even something as simple as your age or weight. 

But research shows that, over time, the effectiveness of your anti-epilepsy drug may decline.

Almost all first, second and third-generation epilepsy drugs lose their efficacy after prolonged treatment.

Perhaps it’s because your metabolism builds up a tolerance to the drug. And ramping up the dosage can work.

Or it may be a functional tolerance where your brain receptors have become resistant to the drug. In that case, a change in medications may help. But whatever the cause, you’re not alone…


Foods That Fight Stress…

July 19, 2018
10 Comments

I worked as a writer in the health and wellness field for more than ten years.  So I know a thing or two about this stuff.  (And stress!) 

But I also know from personal experience that epilepsy is a very unique condition. 

Between all the different types of seizures, and triggers, and meds…there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

The same goes for de-stressing your diet. 
What works for one might not work for another.  And it certainly doesn’t take the place of meds. 

However, I do believe that although living a healthy lifestyle won’t cure you…it can certainly help you.

So, here’s some information for sensible stress-busting eating…


The Trouble with AEDs

May 9, 2018
36 Comments

At the very best, finding the right anti-epilepsy drug is a crap shoot. There’s always the hope that this one will do it.

Or maybe adjunct therapy will work. Or, sigh, the side-effects derail you and you’re on to the next.

Is asking for seizure control too much?


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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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