EPILEPSY AND SEIZURES
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© April 2017, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
Definition. An epileptic seizure is an electrical discharge within the brain that spreads quickly out of control throughout the central nervous system. There are two major types called grand mal seizures and petit mal seizures. These differ mainly in the degree of the symptoms and perhaps in the severity of the effects on the body, both physically and emotionally.
Seizures are becoming more and more common today. I receive an email about someone who has developed seizures at least once a month.
The medical approach to seizures is to take sedative drugs, often for life. However, I find that in most cases, the seizures can be stopped or significantly reduced with a complete nutritional balancing program. Sometimes the response is within a few days.
In other cases, it takes longer, especially if a chronic infection is present. Therefore, in many cases, seizures need not be such a fearful condition, although they are always unpleasant and can be debilitating.
This article discusses the causes of seizures that I encounter, and how to correct them.
SYMPTOMS OF SEIZURES
Seizures cause symptoms due to the electrical discharge in the nervous system. Many cases are mild.
A person may notice a part of the body is just numb, or paralyzed for a few seconds, or one may be “absent” for a few seconds. These milder symptoms are sometimes called petit mal seizures. They are becoming quite common, in fact, as the general nutritional status of people declines in America and elsewhere.
So-called grand mal seizures are those with more pronounced symptoms such as jerking of the limbs, uncontrolled urination or defecation, biting the tongue, and often a short period of unconsciousness after the seizure. This is usually followed by a period of exhaustion for a few hours or longer.
CAUSES FOR SEIZURES
THE THRESHOLD CONCEPT
The threshold concept can help one understand how to stop and permanently avoid seizures. The basic idea is that when one is prone to seizures, two factors usually enter into the picture:
1. An underlying and often subtle biochemical imbalance that makes one prone to seizures. These include very subtle and chronic ear or sinus infections, or a toxic metal in the brain. Other conditions occasionally are also present, such as necrotic tissue in the brain, impaired circulation to an area of the brain, a tumor, or other.
2. The effect of triggers. These are stressful events of some kind that act as triggers. An important one is dehydration. Another is low blood sugar. Another can be inflammation anywhere in the head, improper diet or improper vitamin or mineral supplements that unbalance the body chemistry. Others may include fatigue, hunger, fever, a food toxin, or even just too much excitement from any cause.
Usually, these two factors combine to cause the seizure. It is therefore most helpful to address both aspects above. This is an important principle in the deep correction of seizure. The paragraphs below detail ways to reduce factors in the diet and lifestyle that often trigger seizures. Since this can be done quickly, it often results in a significant improvement within a week or sometimes even less.
Then one can focus on the deeper underlying imbalances, which can take a year or more to resolve in some cases. The rest of this article goes into more detail about other interesting aspects of seizure disorders.
SPECIFIC UNDERLYING CAUSES AND TRIGGERS
* 1. Dehydration, usually acute. This is very common and causes many seizures in children and adults. They can occur at any time. However, seizures at night may easily occur for this reason.
Many people do not want to drink
water after 6 PM or so, because it makes them get up during the night to
urinate. As a result of not
drinking enough water in the evening, they dehydrate at night.
Even if one drinks enough water before bedtime, some people simply cannot go for 8 to 10 hours at night without drinking water. The reasons for this are that some people breathe through their mouth at night, or just breathe heavily during the night, and this causes dehydration at night. This can cause seizures during the night or soon upon awakening in the morning.
In other cases, the water a person drinks does not hydrate the body adequately. This occurs often with reverse osmosis or RO water, for example, and in some cases with tap water or others. Other people are on The Dehydration Diet, which is discussed in a separate article. It includes the ingestion of sugar, alcohol and/or caffeine in the diet, all of which cause dehydration.
Dehydration may also be a trigger for febrile seizures in babies and children. Babies and young children dehydrate quickly, especially if they have a fever, because their bodies contain a greater percentage of water than adults.
The possibility of seizures is much greater if a child or adult cannot drink water while ill, because they will throw it up. As a result, they dehydrate and this can easily cause a seizure. Always check for inadequate water intake when looking for the cause of seizures.
If a person is ill and cannot drink water, one can usually rehydrate the person by having him or her suck on a washrag that has been soaked in water. A bath may also help, and one can rehydrate a body with a water enema that is retained for at least 5 minutes. These can be repeated every few hours, if needed. If this is not enough, then intravenous rehydration is needed.
2. Chronic infections. These are very common, and often difficult to identify with medical tests such as blood tests or x-rays. The infection can be bacterial, viral, parasitic or possibly a yeast or fungal type. It may be in the brain itself, or located nearby in a sinus, ear or some other structure near the brain.
They can be due to a
birth trauma, an old childhood infection that never healed fully, an accident
or injury, or some other cause.
They can become infected easily, especially as one ages, or if one is
malnourished, toxic or otherwise out of balance. Often
such infections are extremely subtle and chronic, and for this reason may not
be revealed on x-rays, MRIs or other scans or tests.
Chronic infections may present no obvious symptoms at all. However, they can irritate the brain, which can make one prone to seizures. On a hair mineral test, chronic infections may be revealed as a low sodium/potassium ratio. However, this is not a 100% reliable indicator, as it is common in people without seizures, as well.
A nutritional balancing program improves the vitality of the body, which can enable the body to clear out chronic infections on its own, in most cases. Drugs and even herbs or other remedies are rarely required, and can get in the way of deep healing of chronic infections. The process may occur quickly, or it can take a year or a number of years if a person is malnourished and out of balance.
Warning: As old infections are cleared, one may experience a flare-up of the infection. This process is called retracing. It is discussed in a separate article entitled Retracing and Healing Reactions.
It can be very discouraging, but it does not mean that a program is not working. I often help out with difficult cases in which seizures continue to occur, at times.
3. Acute infections. These affect babies and children, most often. If an infection is near the brain, such as an ear or sinus infection, it may directly irritate the delicate brain tissue. An intestinal infection may cause vomiting and resulting dehydration. A fever can also cause dehydration and febrile seizures.
Other possible reasons for childhood seizures with infections may be a change in the blood pH, or a fast oxidation rate that results in low calcium, magnesium and zinc. Other mechanisms for seizures due to infections are also possible, such as the effect of toxins secreted by bacteria or other infective agents.
4. Certain food chemicals. Specifically, carrageenan causes problems for those prone to seizures. This is a common food additive extracted from certain red sea vegetables. It is used in many processed food products as a thickener and stabilizer. However, it causes inflammation in the body, and can cause blood sugar disturbance, as well.
5. Inflammation from any cause. Patterns
indicating an inflammatory state are often revealed on the hair mineral
analyses of those with seizures.
Inflammation irritates the delicate tissues of the brain, or sets in
motion a seizure by other mechanisms.
When inflammation is reduced, the seizures usually go away quickly.
Some people with seizures have a Sympathetic Dominance Pattern on a hair mineral analysis. This is a tendency to overuse the sympathetic nervous system. It tends to cause inflammation throughout out the body, including in the nervous system.
The presence of the Three Amigos, in excess, can cause seizures in susceptible people. These are toxic forms of iron, manganese and aluminum that are very irritating. Inflammation can also be caused by low levels of the omega-3 fatty acids, low levels of vitamin D, low zinc, high copper, or the presence of toxic metals in or near the brain.
6. Toxic metal poisoning. This is a common contributor to seizure
activity. It can be subtle,
meaning that it may not be revealed on urine, blood or even hair mineral
analyses. The reason is that the
toxic metals are hidden deep in the brain, in many cases, where they are hard
to detect. Urine challenge tests
with chelating agents, for example, do not penetrate deeply enough to reveal
these toxic metals.
The most common toxic elements that trigger seizures include mercury, excessive copper, and perhaps others such as toxic forms of iron, aluminum, manganese, or even lead or arsenic. Often several metals are involved at once. Most children are born with too much of all of these toxic metals today.
A complete nutritional balancing program will remove all of them, and a dozen others that may contribute to seizures, as well. It will also remove hundreds of toxic chemicals, which can also contribute to seizures.
7. Specific nutrient deficiencies. Calcium, magnesium and zinc are called the sedative minerals. They are calming and relaxing for the nervous system. Many people with seizure disorders have some degree of deficiency or biologically unavailable calcium and magnesium, as revealed on hair mineral tests. As mentioned in an earlier paragraph, other commonly deficient nutrients can include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and perhaps other vitamins.
Nutrient deficiencies may be subtle, offering no overt symptoms except seizures. It all depends where the nutrients are deficient, and how they affect the nervous system. As body chemistry becomes more balanced and stronger with a nutritional balancing program, these nutrient deficiencies diminish and seizures often diminish as well.
8. Fluctuations in the blood sugar. This can trigger a seizure in some people. Habits that lead to an uneven blood sugar level include eating fruit, drinking fruit juices, and consuming all other sugary foods and beverages. This can be an important cause of seizures in babies, and in those with hypoglycemic or diabetic tendencies.
9. An imbalanced pH. I have noticed that some children and babies have seizures when their pH becomes alkaline. This may have to do with the bioavailablility of their calcium, magnesium or perhaps zinc. In these cases, eating a piece of fruit, for example, can trigger a seizure.
10. Stress of any kind. As explained
below, seizures are a threshold phenomenon, and anything that adds stress to the body can
cause a seizure in susceptible individuals. Even normal, healthy people can experience a seizure if they
are under enough stress.
Stress depletes nutrients and aggravates infections and most other imbalances in the nervous system. Among the most common stressors that cause seizures are exhaustion, fatigue from lack of rest and sleep, and dehydration.
11. Food allergies or sensitivity to food chemicals. Allergic foods may be primary causes of seizures, or they may act as triggers only. Any food can be a culprit, although wheat, soy, sugar, and dairy are the most common ones. Food additives such as MSG or aspartame may contribute to seizures, in some cases. These are called excitotoxins because they irritate the nervous system. Eliminating food chemicals, sugar and wheat can definitely help some people who suffer from seizures.
12. Other. Inflammation or irritation of the brain structures from any cause may lead to seizures. Less common causes are pressure from a tumor, parasitic infection, or even a misalignment of the spine and neck. Seizures can rarely be an adverse effect of a medical drug such as AZT and other AIDS drugs or others.
Other illnesses such as Parkinson's disease can occasionally cause seizures.
OTHER TOPICS RELATED TO SEIZURES
FAST OXIDATION AND CHILDREN’S SEIZURES
Fast oxidation is a mineral pattern seen commonly on hair tissue mineral analyses of babies and young children. This cause of seizures occurs less often in older children or adults.
Fast oxidation is defined as an absolute or relatively low hair level of calcium and magnesium in relation to the sodium and potassium levels. The hair sample must not have been washed at the laboratory. The hair washing procedure is important because washing hair at the lab, which is common, damages the sample and may cause inaccuracy in the test.
In these individuals, the fight-or-flight mechanism is activated too often and/or too much, resulting in excessive elimination of calcium, magnesium and zinc in the urine. As a result, they easily become deficient in these minerals at a tissue level. Note that standard blood serum tests will not reveal low tissue calcium, magnesium or zinc, in most cases.
These individuals require additional calcium, magnesium, zinc and often copper. Refined food diets are notorious for their low levels of bioavailable minerals, so this is definitely harmful.
The ketogenic diet. In addition, fast oxidizers require supplements of these minerals and more high-quality fats and oils in their diets. Research indicates some success with seizures with a so-called ketogenic diet, which is essentially a diet that is high in fats and oils and low in carbohydrates. However, just following this diet can be harmful by unbalancing body chemistry, and because it is not necessarily a complete diet. It is also not enough to stop seizures in many cases. With a nutritional balancing program, one can tell if and when this diet may be helpful or harmful.
COPPER, MERCURY AND SEIZURES
Mercury shares some properties of copper. Both are excellent electrical conductors, which means they may “short-circuit” the brain, to a degree. Both are also commonly in excess in the general population, and both can damage the nervous system.
Copper is an essential trace mineral. However, it is highly toxic when in excess or biounavailable, as it is in some cases of epilepsy. Then it becomes a cause of inflammation.
Copper imbalance is also associated with scarring throughout the body, and with infections, especially fungal, viral and parasitic infections. This may also be why too much copper or biounavailable copper often contributes to seizures.
Copper imbalance is very common today, and so strongly associated with seizures that I am surprised more is not written about it. Yet copper excess or unavailability can be corrected easily in many cases, often within a few months using a combination of dietary changes that are discussed later, and a nutrition and lifestyle program that targets this imbalance.
To read much more about copper and its metabolism, click on Copper Toxicity Syndrome.
SEIZURES IN WOMEN AND GIRLS, PARTICULARLY THOSE THAT OCCUR JUST BEFORE THE MENSTRUAL PERIOD
Copper imbalance as a contributor to seizures occurs in both men and women. However, women are more prone to this type of seizure activity because they tend to be copper-dominant. This essentially means that women’s bodies have more copper, in general, than do men’s bodies. Before the menstrual period, the copper level rises even higher. This causes seizures in a few women. Women, in general, suffer more seizures than men, perhaps due to women’s higher copper levels.
THE SODIUM/POTASSIUM RATIO AND EPILEPSY
A hair sodium/potassium ratio less than 2.5:1 often indicates a chronic foci of infection, which may contribute to seizures. This low ratio may also indicate excessive tissue breakdown, which prevents the proper healing of scar tissue. Correction of the sodium/potassium ratio with a complete nutritional balancing program is most helpful, in these cases, to produce a permanent correction of epileptic seizures.
DIETARY ASPECTS OF EPILEPSY
Food reactions can trigger epileptic seizures. The main culprits are any food product containing carrageenen. Strictly avoid this! You must read labels to figure out which foods contain it. However, here is a list of the main ones:
Chocolate milk soy milk
Rice milk Hazelnut milk
Almond milk coconut milk
Hemp milk flax milk
Infant formulas sunflower milk
Eggnog aloe very gel
Cottage cheeses nutritional drinks
Sour cream fruit and cereal bars
Lunch meats vegetable lasagna and ziti bowl
Dips coffee and tea beverages
Juices candy bars
Frozen pizza Dairy-free spreads
Slimfast and other similar drinks
Yogurt Infant Formula
Kefir Canned soups
Ice cream Baby food
Also avoid the following foods that are rich in glutamate and aspartate, two very excitatory amino acids:
1) Grains: Wheat, barley, and oats are highest in glutamine. Corn and rice are lower. Therefore they may be better for anyone with a tendency for epilepsy.
2) Dairy Products: All cows milk products are high in glutamine. Goat-based dairy is much better in this regard. Cow-based cheese that appear to be the worst include cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack, Mozzarella and worst is PARMESAN. Casein is very concentrated in cheese and is 20% glutamic acid by composition.
3) Beans: Soy, Pinto, lima, black, navy, and lentils are also high in glutamic acid or glutamine.
4) Seeds: Sunflower, pumpkin, and others are also high in glutamine, though less than wheat and dairy. I do not recommend them anyway, as they are harder to digest and perhaps a bit toxic.
5) Peanuts: These are very high in glutamine, as are cashews, pistachios, and less-so almonds. We do not recommend many nuts on nutritional balancing programs. Some toasted almond butter, however, is usually okay once or twice weekly.
6) All Soy Products, except perhaps for a little tofu and tempeh. Soy is very high in glutamine. Beware, as soy is incorporated into many, many products as a filler and cheap protein source. It may be labeled as vegetable protein, textured vegetable protein, soy isolate or not labeled at all, sadly.
7) Diet Drinks And Diet or Non-sugared Foods of All Kinds: These are the primary source of aspartate as they are often sweetened with Nutrasweet, also called Equal or aspartame. AVOID ALL PRODUCTS CONTAINING THIS INGREDIENT.
8) Prepared Foods Such As Soups: 70% of prepared foods and many soups contain MSG. AVOID ALL FOOD PREPARED WITH MSG. This may also be labeled as hydrolyzed vegetable protein, soy protein extract, textured vegetable protein – or not labeled at all. Chinese and some other oriental foods served in restaurants may also contain MSG, as this is a common flavor enhancer in oriental cooking.
9) Meats: Meats are naturally rich in glutamate and aspartate, but this is offset by other amino acids in the food that balances them, in almost all cases. Meat is generally a healthful food and should not be avoided. Rabbit and turkey are the highest in glutamate, while lamb and eggs are the lowest. Chicken is fairly low as well.
The amount in a normal serving of meat should not be enough to cause problems. I believe that the other "unnatural" sources of glutamate, when combined with the meats, might cause problems, but in general, meat alone is not the problem.
Sixty to seventy percent of the American diet is wheat and dairy (with heavy emphasis on cheese). This, combined with the amount of artificial sweeteners being consumed and the addition of soy protein, is leading America and the world into an epidemic of seizures and other inflammatory (pain) syndromes such as fibromyalgia, arthritis and many others.
WHY NUTRITIONAL BALANCING SCIENCE?
Most cases of epilepsy or seizures are, in fact, just biochemical imbalances that may be subtle, but due to their nature or location, they have very powerful effects upon the central nervous system. This is the reason I imagine that so many people respond well to nutritional balancing programs.
Nutritional balancing science specifically addresses many of the causes of seizures such as:
Š Toxic metals and toxic chemicals in the brain.
Š Acute, as well as deep, and often very chronic foci of infection in the brain.
Š Clinical and seemingly minor and sub-clinical nutrient deficiencies.
Š Other imbalances in the nervous system that are reflected in the mineral levels and ratios on a hair mineral analysis, when it is performed and interpreted by the method of Dr. Paul C. Eck.
Š Dietary imbalances that can irritate and excessively excite the nervous.
Š Blood sugar imbalances.
Š Lifestyle and other types of stressors that may act as triggers or even as basic causes for seizures.
Š Imbalances affecting yin and yang forces in the body. This is more important than one might imagine, in some cases.
The consumption of sugars (even fruit), caffeine or the excitotoxins such as MSG and aspartame (Equal or Nutrasweet) tend to aggravate seizures. Stimulants of all kinds can produce fluctuations in blood sugar, alterations in neurotransmitter levels, and irritates delicate structures in the nervous system. Avoid all stimulants, including alcohol and any unnecessary medications, including over-the-counter medications.
SEIZURE MEDICATION AND NUTRITIONAL CORRECTION
Many who have seizures are rightfully hesitant to stop their anti-seizure medication. Common drugs that are prescribed include Dilantin, Keppra, Tegretol and others. I advise that medication be continued for at least 3 months after beginning a nutrition program. Then, a repeat hair mineral analysis may help one decide if it is safe to discontinue medication. It is best to obtain the cooperation of the prescribing physician, of course.
There is no guarantee that nutritional methods will eliminate the need for medication. However, in many cases medication can be reduced and even eliminated provided the patient stays on a healthy eating regimen and a proper supplementation program.
Removing other drugs from the body. Beware that some medical drugs can cause seizures as a side effect. If you are taking medication and suddenly develop seizures, consider this possibility. Several weeks to several months of near infrared sauna therapy and coffee enemas, in particular, may be needed to remove medical drugs that have built up in the body.
CHRONIC EAR INFECTIONS, MANGANESE IMBALANCE AND CARBAMAZEPINE (brand names are Tegretol, Equitro, Epitrol, Finlepsin, Neurotol, Amizepine and Carbitrol)
Manganese has an affinity for the ears, and some people with ear problems have too much toxic manganese compounds in this area of the body, and/or have a deficiency of usable manganese. A toxic form of manganese, for example, is found in all gasoline today around the world. Some are exposed to more of this than other people.
A common seizure drug, carbamazepine, may work on seizures caused by chronic ear infections by altering manganese levels in the ear region, which may reduce infection in the ears.
CAUTIONS WITH THE CORRECTION PROCESS AND A NUTRITIONAL BALANCING PROGRAM
1. A seizure flare-up can occur during a healing reaction. While we do our best to avoid these situations, they sometimes occur. Be sure to stay well-hydrated.
When the nervous system is delicate, even a minor shift can increase seizure activity for a short time. Keep in close touch with your practitioner, in these cases.
2. If you are on a nutritional balancing program an infection such as a strep throat or flu occurs , please consult your practitioner before taking any drugs such as antibiotics. Natural methods for healing infections are much less toxic. The use of medical drugs could set a person back.
This is not meant to dissuade anyone from going to the doctor or the emergency room, or to avoid using medication. It is simple a warning that less toxic methods of handling acute or even chronic infections are often less toxic and therefore preferable to try first in most cases.
3. If a flare-up or seizure occurs on a nutritional balancing program, it does not mean the program is not working. Usually, it is just a retracing or a stress reaction, as described above. Have a conversation with your practitioner if something occurs that is worrisome. Often the cause is the elimination of a toxic metal, for example, and this process can be slowed, perhaps, or another change made in the program to stop the symptoms.
4. It is important to keep your nutritional balancing program current. Otherwise, if body chemistry changes, the nutrition program could become inappropriate and further upset body chemistry.
Be sure to stay well-hydrated, and drink in the evening and if you wake up at all thirsty at night. This can be critical to avoid a seizure. Adults need to drink about 3 quarts daily of spring water, preferably, or carbon-only filtered tap water. A sand filter is also okay, but not other types of filters such as RO, alkaline water, etc. for more on water, read Water For Drinking on this site.
DEEP VERSUS SYMPTOMATIC CORRECTION
Many holistic physicians will take the material in this article and approach the condition of seizures in a symptomatic way. They will use DMPS to remove mercury, penicillamine for copper, and GABA or high doses of inositol or homeopathic remedies for calming the nervous system.
This is a partial solution only. The underlying cause of seizures often has to do with diet, lifestyle and the overall nutritional balance of the body. Correcting this might take longer in some cases, though not necessarily. Many people respond very fast to a properly designed nutritional balancing program.
Also, most remedies including vitamins, herbs, homeopathics, drugs and others are very yin, and for this reason do not correct many conditions at very deep levels, even if they reduce inflammation and reduce toxic metals, for example.
OTHER NATURAL THERAPIES
In addition to a nutritional balancing program, a few other natural therapies may be useful to reduce triggers of seizures and to relax and balance the body. These include quality chiropractic, quality bodywork, relaxation, and the Roy Masters meditation only.
I do not suggest combining a nutritional balancing program with chelating agents, even natural chelators, as we find them unnecessary and far less safe. They can easily upset the delicate biochemical balance because all of them remove some vital minerals along with the toxic metals. They are also all very yin in Chinese terminology. I am particularly wary of intravenous DMPS used for mercury removal.
I also do not suggest combining nutritional balancing with any type of hormone replacement therapy, even bio-identical hormones. Once again, the reason is that hormone therapy is not needed, in my experience, and not as safe.
Combining nutritional balancing with medical drugs is also not ideal, but can be done, if necessary. Mild seizures of the petit mal or ‘absent’ type, in my view, are not serious enough to warrant the use of toxic drugs to stop them. Often, such seizures will respond to nutritional balancing, even in a person who has not responded to many other nutritional and holistic therapies.
HAIR MINERAL PATTERNS AND SEIZURES
There is no single hair mineral pattern associated with seizures. Common patterns include:
1. Elevated copper. Excessive tissue copper is associated with seizure disorders.
2. Fast oxidation rate. This is associated with seizures. The hair chart usually shows low calcium and magnesium levels. These minerals have a sedative action on the nervous system.
3. Low sodium/potassium ratio. This is associated with chronic infection, which is often the trigger for seizures.
4. Three highs with a normal calcium/magnesium ratio, a low sodium level, a calcium shell and an extremely low sodium/potassium ratio. This pattern is less common. It includes a very low sodium/potassium ratio, a hidden elevated copper tendency, biounavailable calcium and magnesium, and appears to be associated with a tendency for seizures.
ADDENDUM – THE WORK OF JOHN SYMES
While we do not agree fully with the following, we think it has some merit. Unfortunately, it only takes into account one factor for seizures, and we know from experience that seizures can have many causes.
According to Dr. John B. Symes, the author of http://www.dogtorj.net/, the causes of seizures of unknown cause include:
1)The neurostimulating amino acids glutamate and aspartate. These are non-essential amino acids, meaning that they are not required in the diet and are normally manufactured by the body from other sources. They are normally present in the brain and function as two of the primary substances involved in neurological transmission.
2) It is a known fact that MSG (monosodium glutamate) and aspartate (Nutrisweet) cause seizures in some human individuals. MSG is the amino acid glutamate (glutamic acid) while aspartame contains the amino acid aspartate (aspartic acid). These substances are specifically used for their neurostimulatory properties. MSG stimulates the taste buds thereby making them more sensitive to the foods that are passing over them. It is therefore used as a flavor enhancer.
Aspartame does something similar to the taste buds while imparting a sweet taste. Both are neurostimulants and are used for that express purpose. However, both are neurotoxic in excessive quantities. This is a known fact, not a theory. They have caused seizures, migraine headaches, pain syndromes and much, much more. Aspartame has also recently been investigated in its possible role in the rise of brain tumors and Alzheimer's Disease.
3) His theory then suggests that idiopathic epilepsy (epilepsy of unknown cause) is caused by a rise in these non-essential amino acids resulting in seizures, a known side effect of these two substances.
Dr. Symes then writes: The obvious question is why it occurs in some individuals and not others. A related question is why the onset of epilepsy is so variable, reportedly ranging from 6 months of age to 6 years or even older. Another question is why it is a progressive condition in most cases, starting with mild, infrequent seizures and often leading to uncontrollable daily seizures despite heavy medication.
He goes on to ask why, if this were simply a genetic defect of some sort, why don't the seizures begin right away and why do they occur so sporadically in most cases.
[To answer these three questions, I submit that a hair tissue mineral analysis will reveal the answers to these questions in almost all cases of idiopathic epilepsy.]
4) Dr. Symes answers these questions by turning to the problem of gluten in the diet. While studying celiac disease, he found that celiac children with epilepsy often greatly improved once the gluten grains (wheat, barley, and rye) were removed from the diet. The fact is that MSG has been made from wheat and soy. They are obviously rich in this amino acid.
The main characteristic of celiac disease is the damage that the gluten does to the duodenum, that first stretch of intestine after the stomach. The gluten coats the little absorptive villi of the gut (like "glue"), induces an immune response, and causes the destruction of those villi. This part of the bowel is responsible for absorbing calcium, iron, iodine, B vitamins, Vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, boron, chromium, zinc, and much, much more.
These vitamins are essential in the formation of the enzyme systems of the body, including those of the liver and the brain that are responsible for the regulation of the levels of the amino acid glutamate. Therefore, the "theory" states that it is the progressive malabsorption syndrome taking place in the duodenum that leads to the progressive inefficiency of these enzyme systems of the body that leads to the progressive rise in the levels of glutamate (and aspartate) that leads to the progressively worsening seizures.
The amino acids, Dr. Symes asserts, cause the seizures (as they have been proven to do) while the malabsorption syndrome (which has been proven to occur in people like celiacs) leads to the underlying cause of the progressive nature of the condition.
While this can be true, the gluten theory does not completely explain why only some individuals are so affected, since most people eat wheat every day. It also does not explain the variability of the time of onset. This, we contend, can be somewhat explained by the other imbalances discussed in this article that may also contribute to seizure disorders.