epilepsy · Living with Epilepsy · The seizure queen · Uncategorized

Food as a trigger

So today was a pretty rubbish day for me in regards to seizures. It prompted me to have a deeper look into possible triggers.
I’ve always known tiredness and stress were factors for my epilepsy playing up but yesterday got me wondering if maybe there was more.

Now, everyone has different triggers and even different food triggers. The way I’ve been recently, I didn’t see the harm in researching, having a seizure at home with my 2 year old son the only one there was the last straw for me and what I needed to kick my butt into gear.

Below is a list of some food triggers for seizures (Not just Epileptic ones) –

  • Soy sauce and other soy products – Unfortunately, soy is one of the most common food allergens among kids and able to trigger serious allergic reactions and potential seizures (due to raised estrogen levels). Soy and related products are found in soy sauce, tofu, edamame, baby formula, many baked goods, cereals, canned soups, salad dressings, processed meats, hot dogs, canned tuna, energy bars, low-fat peanut butter and most non-dairy alternatives (soy milk, ice cream, etc.).
  • Caffeine (I probably drink way too much).
  • Gluten – gluten can trigger seizures in some people due to its inflammatory nature. In addition to most bread, baked goods, pasta and cereal, gluten is also found in many canned soups, sauces, salad dressings, vegetarian products and even beer.
  • Processed sugar (Glucose) – Cutting back on sugar can control seizures through reducing any unpredictable and abnormal bursts of electrical activity in the brain. Glucose can be found in products such as sweets, chocolate, ice cream, pop, cereals and yoghurt.
  • Dairy – Dairy products, such as ice cream and yogurts, are often mixed with lots of processed sugar, which can be a “double whammy” for triggering seizures. Cow-based cheeses that appear to be the worst for triggering seizures and other negative reactions include parmesan, cheddar, swiss, Monterey Jack and mozzarella. Goats based dairy products seem to be a good alternative to those with epilepsy.
  • MSG – Many food additives, such as MSG, are considered to be “excitotoxins” because they stimulate nerve cells to rapidly fire and burn out, which can trigger a seizure in the brain. MSG is often listed on foods as ‘flavouring’.

So as you can see, there are quite a few food possibilities behind my recent increased seizures. I did consider the Ketogenic diet (low sugar, high fat) which forces brain neutrons to stop relying on glucose for fuel and use Ketone bodies (from fat) instead. But, decided I was best to wait until I’ve spoken to my neurologist in a few weeks first.


So what am I going to do?
1. For the next week I am going to keep a complete food diary, including ingredients (if made at home or contain possible triggers) and ALL my drinks.
2. Create a similar seizure diary for the same week, to link the food types and seizures.
3. After looking back over the food diary and seizures I’m going to determine which food category would be best to eliminate from my diet.
4. Chosen category will be eliminated from my food for the next month (all recorded) to see if there are any improvements.
5. Depending on results, tell my neurologist my findings šŸ™‚

Wish me luck everyone.

2 thoughts on “Food as a trigger

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