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Seizures



SCD for Seizure Control

If you're considering the Specific Carbohydrate Diet in your search for a seizure solution, chances are you've been down many roads before. Your child is no doubt a veteran of medication after medication and the side effects that accompany them, perhaps the Ketogenic Diet or even brain surgery. As a parent, you may feel hesitant about heading in yet another direction, but find yourself faced with few agreeable options.

Some parents have discovered that the SCD can indeed lead to improved seizure control. Though there are no controlled studies on this phenomenon just yet, the anecdotal experiences of families who've tried just about everything else and are now seeing success, have many of us wondering why SCD didn't come first.

How can the SCD help to control seizures when nothing else has worked? There is sound evidence of a strong link between the brain and the gut and reason to believe than an imbalance in the gut can have neurological consequences. Some experts call the digestive tract our "second brain" because it is so intrinsically linked to brain chemistry and function.

In her book, Breaking The Vicious Cycle, author and researcher Elaine Gottschall states: "During the seven years of doing consultations with people diagnosed as having Crohn's disease, colitis, and other forms of chronic diarrhea, I observed that improvement for many started with a disappearance of long-standing mental disorders including epilepsy, schizophrenia, mental confusion, poor memory and bizarre behavior."

In fact, Mrs. Gottschall's own daughter had suffered from a form of seizures in childhood that went hand in hand with a serious intestinal disease. The SCD healed her gut and saved her life, but the first symptoms to disappear were the seizures.

With imbalance in the gut, it may be nearly impossible for the brain to be functioning to it's highest potential, so even for children with congenital brain abnormalities, it makes sense to provide optimal digestive health, if hoping for the best possible neurological function. Interestingly, some of the children that have experienced improved control on SCD had had no apparent intestinal disease, so even without obvious digestive symptoms, this highly nutritious way of eating may be worth a try.

Simply put, the SCD is a very healthy diet, designed to heal and balance the digestive system, creating the optimal conditions for balanced brain chemistry. No other epilepsy treatment can say that.

PLEASE NOTE: If your child is currently taking anti-epileptic drugs, you should know that these medications may be complicating the seizure situation. Some AED's can actually aggravate or increase seizure activity, or interact with each other creating other complications. If you are anxious to wean your child from these drugs, please do so with professional supervision. Some of these medications are highly addictive and can cause withdrawal seizures if not weaned carefully. Withdrawal effects may be unavoidable, no matter how slowly the wean is accomplished (especially with benzodiazepine type drugs), and be something you and your child will simply have to "ride out". But, please discuss this with your child's physician. If your current doctor does not agree with your desire to wean your child from seizure medications, despite the fact that they are either not working or causing intolerable side-effects, seek a second opinion and find a physician who is willing to help you through this. There is no reason why you can't start the SCD while AED's are still in the picture, but you may not see the full effectiveness of the diet until meds are weaned. However, while the diet may provide superb good health and balanced brain chemistry, some children may still require the use of a medication. THIS DECISION SHOULD ONLY BE MADE BY YOU, THE CHILD'S PARENT, IN CONSULTATION WITH YOUR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL.

Written by Patti Durovchic
Katera's mom
7/31/03


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