[Info] strong link between nutrient deficiency and epilepsy

Wen1975

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Search doctor yourself and epilepsy (I can't post links yet)

"If in doubt, try nutrition first."
(Roger J. Williams, PhD, in Nutrition Against Disease)


"Most epileptics are magnesium deficient. I wish I had found this out 40 years ago. Now I can even drive a car and ride a bike. It is so wonderful not to have seizures anymore plus not have to depend on drugs all the time and of course be free of drug side-effects."

Sarah and her fiancé Richard wanted to have children as soon as they were married. Sarah had just been diagnosed with epilepsy, however, and was offered Phenobarbital as therapy. She and Richard read up on the drug, and now knew, as did their doctor, that pregnancy while taking a barbiturate was not ideal.

"So we want to look into other options," Sarah said to me in the office. "Could vitamins replace the drug?"

"I'm not sure," I said. "My mother has been medicated for grand mal epilepsy for over 50 years now and it's a really long shot to think that a nutrient could be enough. Still, Sarah, you have the advantage of being young. There is evidence that epilepsy in teenagers can be connected with magnesium deficiency. You've had blood tests done?"

"Oh, yes," she said. "Tons of them, and here's the latest."

She handed me a copy. No one had even looked for serum magnesium.

"O.K. then," I said. "Ask your doctor to check your blood magnesium levels, and let me know what they find."

So they did check. Sarah's serum magnesium levels were so low as to be actually unmeasurable.

"The doctor was a bit surprised at that," Sarah said next time we talked. "So now what?"

"Let's try a large quantity of magnesium, starting with a supplement of 800 milligrams a day. That's just over twice the RDA, so it is not unreasonable. Then you can gradually work up from there if need be. You'll know if you are taking too much: the biggest side effect of too much magnesium is diarrhea. You've heard of milk of magnesia?"

"The laxative, sure."

"That is a magnesium preparation. Your supplement will be better absorbed, though. Especially if you take the right form, take it often, and really need it. Then your body will soak it up like a sponge. Try magnesium citrate, or magnesium gluconate. Divide your daily intake over four or more doses, at least. Then let's see what we get."

A few weeks later, we met again. Sarah had new bloodwork results in hand. Her magnesium level was just barely measurable... and she was taking 1,200 mg a day.

"Wow! Where's it all going?" Sarah asked. "I've had no loose bowels at all."

"Your body is evidently using it. This suggests a real, long-standing deficiency on your part. Of course, nearly 99% of young women do not even get the US RDA of magnesium. But this is beyond that. You have a special need for this mineral. The tests confirm that."

"But wouldn't the blood levels go up more than that little bit?" Sarah said.

"You'd think so, but not necessarily. You are more than your blood, important though blood certainly is. Serum tests fail to indicate how much of this or that is actually inside your body's cells. There are, after all, some 40 trillion of them. Magnesium is involved in over 2,000 chemical reactions throughout your body. It is needed everywhere and always. Oddly enough, the cells can be critically low in magnesium and some of the mineral will often still show up in the serum. In your case, it's more the other way around. Now that you are supplementing with magnesium, your cells must be getting it, and there's not much left in the blood that transports it. There are a lot of tanker trucks on your highways, but they're empty. The cargo is delivered and now the fuel is in every home."

"So it looks like I need more magnesium than most people," said Sarah. "Well, if I do take lots of it, will I need less of the drug?"

"That's the idea. Do you want to run it by your doctor? You could ask him if he'd consider try gradually decreasing your dose of Phenobarbital down to the minimum that keeps you symptom free."

She did, and he did. Sarah ended up on the lowest possible dose of the drug and a very high maintenance dose of magnesium. This was not an landslide victory for nutrition, but it points to a greater good: an optimally-nourished body may need very little medication. What are the long-term consequences of millions of Americans taking less of each of their many drugs? Healthier people, greater safety and greater savings. Only the pharmaceutical companies could possibly object.

And they do, of course. The US Food and Drug Administration shares the industry's concern that it might lose its therapeutic monopoly. Here is a direct quote from FDA Deputy Commissioner for Policy David Adams, at the Drug Information Association Annual Meeting, July 12, 1993:

"Pay careful attention to what is happening with dietary supplements in the legislative arena... If these efforts are successful, there could be created a class of products to compete with approved drugs. The establishment of a separate regulatory category for supplements could undercut exclusivity rights enjoyed by the holders of approved drug applications."

And a quote from the FDA Dietary Task Force Report, released June 15, 1993:

"The task force considered many issues in its deliberations including to ensure that the existence of dietary supplements on the market does not act as a disincentive for drug development."

When is the last time you saw a calendar, pen, ad or prescription pad in your doctor's hand that said "Magnesium" on it?

Keep looking. It will be in some quack's office, no doubt.

Or not. L.B. Barnett, MD was onto this some 40 years ago. He wrote "Clinical Studies of Magnesium Deficiency in Epilepsy," published in Clinical Physiology 1(2) Fall, 1959. But who cares about old papers? Our society prefers new lamps for old. New drugs invariably preempt old minerals. Too bad, when the old lamp or the old research may hold the genie.

E IS FOR EPILEPSY

Children using anti-epileptic medication have reduced plasma levels of vitamin E, a sign of vitamin E deficiency. So doctors at the University of Toronto gave epileptic children 400 IU of vitamin E per day for several months, along with their medication. This combined treatment reduced the frequency of seizures in most of the children by over 60 percent. Half of them "had a 90 to 100 percent reduction in seizures." (33) This extraordinary result is also proof of the safety of 400 IU of vitamin E per day in children (equivalent to at least 800 to 1,200 IU/day for an adult). "There were no adverse side effects," said the researchers. It also provides a clear example of pharmaceutical use creating a vitamin deficiency, and an unassailable justification for supplementation. (Ogunmekan AO, Hwang PA. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of D-alpha-tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), as add-on therapy, for epilepsy in children. Epilepsia. 1989 Jan-Feb; 30(1):84-9.)



ANOTHER CASE HISTORY

In early 2005, I read an article written by you about magnesium and seizures, in which magnesium was used to reduce drugs but still control the seizures. Honestly, I did not credit it as possible to stop my seizures. I was diagnosed with epilepsy as a child. I was having petite mal seizures (also called absence or psychomotor seizures). When I was 16 years old I had my first temporal lobe convulsion. So then I was taking 2 drugs for 2 types of seizures. Then I started having grand mal seizures . . and now 3 drugs. When I was 19 years old, I decided to train as an EEG (electroencephalograph) technician. My motivation was that I wanted to see if there were any treatments for epilepsy. My parents and I had been told by neurologists in Canada, England, and the States that I would have to take drugs for the rest of my life. And my parents were told that I was retarded . . and that all epileptics were retarded.

I trained at two teaching hospitals affiliated to universities in Canada. There was nothing in allopathic medicine for epilepsy except drugs and possibly surgery in the future. I took drugs for 49 years, and this is well documented as I had EEGs every year or two.

Because of what I learned, I started using transdermal magnesium chloride every day on my feet in whole-tub baths, plus occasionally in footbaths also. I had something called peripheral neuropathy in my feet. At that stage I had lost most of the feeling in my feet, plus was also getting very sharp pains in my feet at night. I was very concerned that I would end up in a wheelchair.

I no longer have peripheral neuropathy - it took almost 2 years to get all the feeling back in my feet. I noticed during this time that I was not having as many seizures - my temporal lobe and grand mal seizures had been controlled for the most part, but not my petite mal seizures unless I took such a high dose of the drugs that I was literally drugged out of my mind. I started taking oral magnesium everyday with B6. At the same time, I was decreasing the drugs I was on. It worked. I have not taken any drugs at all since October 3, 2007, and I have not had any seizures of any kind.

One of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency is seizures, and according to studies I have read, most epileptics are magnesium deficient. I wish I had found this out 40 years ago. Now I can even drive a car and ride a bike. It is so wonderful not to have seizures anymore plus not have to depend on drugs all the time and of course be free of drug side-effects.

I am so thrilled that I am over the moon about this - it is more wonderful then I can express that it is possible for everyone whom has seizures to not have seizures anymore if they get only get their magnesium levels up. Since some drugs deplete magnesium, it is no wonder that with many epileptics that there seizures get worse with time

When I trained as an EEG technician we were told that when a nerve cell (neuron) became irritated, it gave off an extra large burst of electricity and this is what caused a seizure. The kind of seizures depended on what part of the brain the burst of electricity originated from as well as how far down the brain stem the burst of electricity went.

Magnesium appears to calm the irritated neurons and prevents extra large bursts of electrical activity. There is a 'catch' to this - it is hard to get magnesium levels up and oral magnesium alone may not be enough. When I suggest to anyone to get magnesium levels up whether it is because of seizures, heart issues, migraine headaches , high blood pressure, etc. that the easiest and surest way to get magnesium levels up is with magnesium chloride IVs, or injection, or transdermal magnesium chloride.





Copyright C 2007, 1999 and prior years Andrew W. Saul.

*************************************************************



Settling Seizures
Carolyn Dean MD ND
| Thursday, July 21, 2011


I’ve recently had emails from readers and clients about seizures. One health professional had three brain surgeries 30 years ago for epilepsy and is on seizure medication with good results. However he said that a few months ago, after being prescribed mega doses of Vitamin D from his neurologist, he had his first seizure in thirteen years.

I told him that magnesium has an important calming effect on the brain and high doses of Vitamin D can unmask an underlying magnesium deficiency. He also said his last series of seizures 13 years ago happened the day after eating too much ice cream. Ice cream is a high calcium dairy product which can also unmask a magnesium deficiency.

Even though his seizure medication prevents his grand mal seizures he explained that he experiences night-time foot twitches, shoulder fasciculations, anxiety and other pre-seizure signs. He was writing to say that he discovered magnesium recently and seems to have conquered a lot of those symptoms.

I saw that he was taking a very low amount of magnesium oxide which is only 4% absorbed and urged him to look into other types of magnesium that I outline on my resources page. I also suggested he pursue detoxification for possible mercury toxicity (due to his line of work) and the possible toxicity of long-term seizure medication. For detox I recommended clay and magnesium baths from LL’s Magnetic Clay. You can google my name and clay and find many articles and blogs describing the benefits.

I also recommended oral coconut oil (link) 2-5 TBSP per day to “heal the brain.” A client of mine who has had seizures for fifteen years had his first seizure-free week when he worked up to 5 TBSP of oil per day. He is also taking magnesium in various forms. You can find my article on coconut oil and Alzheimer’s at Natural News.

Let me caution you that both these individuals are also taking seizure medication. I think that the magnesium and coconut oil will allow them to reduce their medications and start healing the cause but I’m not telling them or you to stop taking your medication.
 

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Hi Wen1975,
Welcome to CWE.

Thank you for sharing this information. Would you mind sharing your story of life with epilepsy?

I have tried both magnesium and coconut oil with no change in seizure activity.
 

Andrew

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In over 45 years, I have never used any anti-epileptic drugs to control my seizures only B vitamins (mainly vitamin B6).

Here are some of my posts:

http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/forums/f23/40-years-vitamin-b6-11674/ ( dated 02-20-2011 )

You may also be interested in my posts on pages 6, 7, 8, 9 & 10 of the http://www.coping-with-epilepsy.com/forums/f42/autism-epilepsy-general-epilepsy-experiences-23950/ Thread.

Also see my post on the BrainTalk forum: http://www.braintalkcommunities.org/archives/06_11/showthread.php?t=36549 ( dated 09-10-2008 )

**DO NOT ALTER ANY MEDICATION WITHOUT YOUR DOCTOR'S CONSENT**
 

Nakamova

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Hi Wen1975 -- welcome to CWE!

Nutrition plays an important role in epilepsy (and I agree that magnesium in particular can play a huge role in brain health). And I think it's likely that future studies may shed more light on the intricacies of the gut-brain connection. However, I want to caution folks that "epilepsy" is a catch-all term for many different kinds of seizure disorders, and what works for one person will not necessarily work for another. For instance, theanine, found in green tea, has been found to raise seizure threshold for some kinds of seizures but lower it for other kinds.

And vitamin supplements can have risks as well as rewards: Vitamin E can increase the risk for some kinds of strokes. It's been found to improve the arterial function of people over 70, but actually disrupt it in people in their twenties. Other large-scale reviews of studies of Vitamin E supplementation show that it provides no benefits -- and some harm -- in terms in of longevity, lung cancer, and prostate cancer.

For vitamins such as calcium, magnesium, and D, the individual level of any of these minerals may be less important than the balance between them, so supplementation can be an inexact science.

As for transdermal magnesium: The science just doesn't show that the skin will absorb any significant amounts of mg in that fashion. You're better off with an oral supplement. And even that can have limited effect. When docs are administering mg to women to prevent eclampsia-related seizures, they do so using very high intravenous doses.

I love to hear about anecdotal success in combatting seizures and/or reducing the amount of anti-seizure medication. But good, hard, replicable data is important too. Please proceed with caution when considering nutrient supplementation, and keep in mind that the supplement industry is not well-regulated (at least here in the US).
 

Nakamova

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Andrew -- thanks for sharing your history. It's important to note that seizures related to B6 deficiency are rare and tend to occur in infants and children.
 

Cint

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In addition to what Nakamova posted, for some, women especially, hormones can play a huge role in epilepsy. Low blood sugar can cause seizures for some. And so can low progesterone and high estrogen levels for some women.

http://www.epilepsy.com/information/women/all-women/hormones-and-epilepsy

Why do I have seizures more often around the time of my menstrual period?
Changes in seizure frequency in relation to the menstrual cycle is called "catamenial epilepsy."
In some women, seizures occur most frequently just before menstruation or during the first few days of menstrual bleeding. This is thought to be due to the fast drop in progesterone that occurs before menstruation. Some of these women may find that taking natural progesterone may help seizure control.
Other women have seizures most frequently in the middle of their cycle, at the time of ovulation. This may be due to the rapid increase in estrogen that stimulates ovulation at this time.
Some women have more seizures during the entire second half of their menstrual cycle, from mid-cycle to the onset of menstrual bleeding. This pattern usually is seen in women who may not ovulate and they don't have enough progesterone being produced. It's also possible that the amount of certain seizure medications in the blood stream may decrease before menstruation.

Why is folic acid important?

The vitamin folic acid (also known as folate) is important in the production of blood cells and may be important for some nerves.
The babies of women who don't get enough of it in the early stages of pregnancy are more likely to have birth defects, especially a type called neural tube defects, which affect the brain and spinal cord. The best known of these is spina bifida, in which the spinal column is not completely closed. By the time a woman knows for sure that she is pregnant, it is probably too late to prevent these defects, so the safest course is for young women to take enough folic acid all the time.
Recent research suggests that folate taken early in pregnancy near conception may have a positive effect on the child's cognitive abilities.
 

Wen1975

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As for transdermal magnesium: The science just doesn't show that the skin will absorb any significant amounts of mg in that fashion. You're better off with an oral supplement. And even that can have limited effect. When docs are administering mg to women to prevent eclampsia-related seizures, they do so using very high intravenous doses.
Dr. Carolyn Dean formulated her own oral magnesium because she could not get a therapeutic dose from others without having the laxative effect. But she does state as fact that epsom salt baths are a good way, even just a foot bath with epsom salt is effective and will be absorbed. Her site is free and she gives valuable information.
 

Wen1975

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In addition to what Nakamova posted, for some, women especially, hormones can play a huge role in epilepsy. Low blood sugar can cause seizures for some. And so can low progesterone and high estrogen levels for some women.
I have had low blood sugar since childhood, still experience symptoms when I don't eat correctly. Magnesium is also a factor in blood sugar control. I have other symptoms of magnesium deficiency, such as headaches, muscle cramps, heart palpitations, tinnitus (a symptom of osteoporosis in the skull, according to Dr. Joel Wallach), adrenal dysfunction.
 

Wen1975

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some studies were done


seleneriverpress.
com/historical/clinical-studies-of-magnesium-deficiency-in-epilepsy/

Clinical Studies of Magnesium Deficiency in Epilepsy
By Lewis B. Barnett, MD

Summary: In this article from the pioneering mid-twentieth-century journal Clinical Physiology, Dr. Lewis Barnett summarizes his laboratory and case-study findings correlating magnesium deficiency and epilepsy. Dr. Lewis spent many years studying this essential mineral and its profound relationship to the utilization of calcium. From Clinical Physiology, 1959. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research reprint 114.

[The following is a transcription of the original Archives document. To view or download the original document, click here.]
Clinical Studies of Magnesium Deficiency in Epilepsy

Interest in the physiology and chemistry of the mineral magnesium has gradually increased over the past ten years. As early as 1944, a correlation between magnesium, tetany, and petit mal seizures was reported. Numerous studies in the deficiency of magnesium have been made since that time by many investigators.

My original work was directed toward the role of magnesium in bone apatite; while I was investigating that field, it became obvious that magnesium might play a vital role in the physiology of the central nervous system.

Beck observed in 1952 that a deficiency of magnesium might well produce effects similar to hypophysectomy. Martin, Meke, and Wertman did a very comprehensive study on the clinical influence of magnesium metabolism and again noted that in the state of epilepsy there is a deficiency of serum magnesium. Numerous investigators have noted a form of tetany and occasional petit mal in this syndrome where a low magnesium intake was noted.

After I reviewed most of the literature, which is not very extensive according to references, it became very obvious to me that very little work had been done regarding this most important and extremely active mineral.

Until the work of Martin, Meke, and Wertman, normal serum levels [of magnesium] had not been accurately determined. In approximately 500 cases, our normal for this area was 1.60 mEq*. All of these determinations were done by means of a flame spectrophotometer. We, too, have observed deficiency signs in other diseases, such as renal pathology, diabetic states, congestive heart failure, [problems in] postoperative patients, intestinal obstruction, toxemia of pregnancy, asthma, starvation, and depressed metabolic states.

In order to arrive at some basis for this study, we recalled for review all of the previously diagnosed children [suffering either] petit mal or grand mal type of seizures. In presenting these facts, I would like to point out that I feel additional studies are indicated—to follow the magnesium levels and the clinical response of these patients and to determine the renal threshold of the mineral magnesium. In future studies it is my plan to do both urinary and fecal excretions in order to determine the threshold of each individual case.

The basic studies included PBI [protein-bound iodine], serum magnesium, serum calcium, serum sodium, potassium, and, in most cases, the total 17-ketosteroids [urine] excretion and bone age.

Of thirty children studied, all of them showed a serum magnesium level of 1.5 mEq and below. After clinical studies on other types of disturbance, we have arrived at 1.5 mEq as the lower limit of normal for people residing in this area. The chemistry of the mineral magnesium is to find an intracellular element classed as an anesthetic [sic].

It was my intention in these cases to uncover a deficiency in magnesium, if such existed, and to correct that deficiency by means of an oral preparation. It was hoped the magnesium supplement would control the children’s petit mal and grand mal seizures. The results obtained in this series have been encouraging. For your consideration I list some cases of previously diagnosed epilepsy in children.

Case No. 1. Four-year-old boy with history of petit mal seizures, particularly during stress periods, with onset at the age of eighteen months. Laboratory findings were as follows: PBI 2.8, serum magnesium 1.1 mEq, serum calcium 4.5 mEq, serum sodium 138 mEq, serum potassium 4.2 mEq, total 17-ketosteroids 2.5, bone age retarded. Therapy consisted of 450 mg magnesium, by mouth, in addition to his diet, together with thyroid extract. Within two weeks the serum magnesium level had risen to 1.6 mEq, and his clinical signs were greatly improved. This child has been maintained on this regimen for a period of three years without remission.

Case No. 2. S.M., age thirteen, history of grand mal seizures since the age of three. These seizures were under fair control using anticonvulsant drugs. However, the individual had marked depression and signs of mental retardation. Initial laboratory findings were as follows: PBI 1.2, serum magnesium 1 mEq, serum calcium 4.6 mEq, serum sodium 142 mEq, serum potassium 4.8 mEq, 17-ketosteroids 4.5. Again, high oral intake of magnesium was instituted, along with correction of the metabolic state. Within a period of three months, all anticonvulsant drugs had been withdrawn, and the patient was maintained at a level of 1.6 mEq normal serum magnesium. Clinically, he was much improved mentally and neurologically.

Twenty-eight other cases, with approximately the same studies and treatment, have been observed. In all cases except one, clinical improvement has been obtained by correcting the magnesium deficiency. Serum calcium levels were within normal limits in all cases. Approximately half of these children had a low PBI and a low steroid level. Since most of the children had not reached puberty, the steroid level was not given much consideration. All anticoagulant [sic, anticonvulsant] drugs were removed over a period of time.

In presenting these findings, I would like to point out the following:

The possible role of magnesium therapy in the control of petit and grand mal epileptic seizures in children.
The need for further studies to determine the effect of the mineral magnesium on the vasomotor center.
The desirability of studies to determine the serum magnesium levels in the hyperirritable child who does not present clinical findings of petit or grand mal seizures.
The need for clinical studies to determine secondary conditions, such as metabolic derangement, where a deficiency of serum magnesium might be present.
The presence of some evidence that damage to the hypothalamus and adjacent areas may well result in a clinical deficiency of magnesium, resulting in a hyperirritability of the central nervous system, which in turn might manifest itself either as petit or grand mal seizures.
Summary

This is a presentation of laboratory and case findings in epileptic children presenting deficient magnesium levels. These studies have been done to ascertain, if possible, the role of serum magnesium in the central nervous system, especially the hypothalamus. There is clinical evidence to support the possibility that it has a very vital role. There is also clinical evidence to suppose that deficient serum magnesium levels may be raised by the adequate intake of some suitable magnesium compound.

In all cases serum calcium levels were within normal range. By using this approach to epilepsy—in addition to the complete neurological examination, which should always be done—it may be possible to control many cases without using depressant drugs. By balancing the physiological state, with special emphasis on intracellular chemistry, an easier and finer control of these unfortunate individuals may be possible.

Additional correlative studies are now in progress, and it is hoped that within the near future these will provide further clinical and laboratory data of use to the clinician.

*Note: “mEq” is the concentration in terms of reactive particles per liter and is a term used where injectibles are employed; mg is the concentration in terms of weight per volume. To convert from mEq to mg, divide the mEq by the following conversion factors:

Sodium 0.435
Potassium 0.256
Calcium (both total and ionizable) 0.500
Magnesium 0.833
Magnesium 0.580
Chloride 0.282
NaCl 0.171
By Lewis B. Barnett, MD, FACS, the Hereford Clinic and Deaf Smith Research Foundation, Hereford, Texas. Reprinted from Clinical Physiology, Vol. 1, No. 2, Fall 1959 (Atlanta, Texas) by the Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research.

Reprint No. 114
Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research
2023 West Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Note: Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research is a nonprofit, public-service institution, chartered to investigate and disseminate nutritional information. The attached publication is not literature or labeling for any product, nor shall it be employed as such by anyone. In accordance with the right of freedom of the press guaranteed to the Foundation by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the attached publication is issued and distributed for informational purposes.


Subjects: Epilepsy, Lee Foundation for Nutritional Research, and Magnesium
 

Frink

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Wow, I had not heard of Dr Wallach since the 90's. I remember "dead doctors don't lie" and the colloidal minerals he hawked.

My aunt was a follower of his and took colloidal minerals and silver right up until the day she died from cancer.
 
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Nakamova

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Hi Wen --

I agree that magnesium is an important nutrient for brain and body health. But the study you cite is from 1959, with 30 patients. As much as I would like mg to be a magic bullet for epilepsy, it's just not that simple.

Dr. Carolyn Dean formulated her own oral magnesium because she could not get a therapeutic dose from others without having the laxative effect. But she does state as fact that epsom salt baths are a good way, even just a foot bath with epsom salt is effective and will be absorbed. Her site is free and she gives valuable information.
There are plenty of magnesium supplements that don't cause a laxative effect, including magnesium taurate and magnesium L-threonate. The latter is a form that effectively crosses the blood brain barrier, making it more likely to have a beneficial effect on brain function compared to something placed on the skin. Dr. Dean is a salesperson for her own brand... Her stating as fact that epsom salt baths are a good way to absorb magnesium does not make it so. Her site IS free, but she is not without her own agenda, programs and products to sell. In fact she includes this disclaimer on her site:

"WARNING: This blog is not to be misconstrued as medical advice. It’s up to you to make the decisions about your own health. I have zero staff and I cannot answer personal health questions by email."

Again, I believe that nutrition should play a role in epilepsy treatment and may have a greater one in the future, but would caution against a simple one-size-fits all solution, particularly as epilepsy is a highly-individualized disorder.
 
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Hobbes

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I think there are so many kinds of epilepsies that anyone who says, 'X is the solution,' is over simplifying this complex condition. Magnesium is good to consider in reviewing one's overall diet - probably something that is very hard to pin down as so many systems need it to function well. I have read some parents write they have seen a reduction in seizures with it but their kids are still refractory, so can't be so simple. In my own experience I moved to a different country for a few years and my diet changed. I was having very strange muscle issues. After reviewing my diet, my doc there suggested I supplement with magnesium and that did help. Of course I looked hard at dietary issues after that as it's better in my opinion to have a diet where one can absorb things from food when possible. I've since moved back and have better food options now but still consider magnesium supplements for better sleep from time to time. The headache neurologist says it is worth trying for migraines but kiddo's headaches were secondary and not from migraine. So I know there are many uses.
 

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Hi Wen --


"WARNING: This blog is not to be misconstrued as medical advice. It’s up to you to make the decisions about your own health. I have zero staff and I cannot answer personal health questions by email."
Wen,
You obviously missed the point. I was referring to HORMONES that can cause seizures for some, not only low blood sugar. I, too have had many episodes of low blood sugar because I have Type 1 Diabetes along with "catamenial epilepsy", both being hormonal problems. Plus I have hypothyroid, another hormone issue. I see an epileptologist AND an endocrinologist + a nutritionist at the University Hospital. I would much rather take their advice. I know they know just a bit more about my condition(s) than you, Wen.
 
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Keith

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It's my belief that gut microbiota regulate nutrient levels including degradation and synthesis of important things. We're in competition with microbiota for nutrients such as vitamin C, B, zinc, magnesium, CoQ10 and amino acids. So, if microbiota are out of balance, it's of paramount gut-brain importance.
Gut-Brain Epilepsy Project
 

resaebiunne

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I have to agree with others here. Magnesium deficiency is not the only cause of epilepsy. I wish it were that simple, but clearly it is not. Blood tests can rule out vitamin and mineral deficiencies. With advances in "food technology" the chance of malnutrition is really very low. I too have tried probiotics and coconut oil to no effect. The cause of epilepsy is not known; it is just that simple. There are many ways one can improve their diet or take vitamins but the cause of epilepsy varies from person to person so nothing is ever "for sure". Take these articles with a grain of salt.
 

Andrew

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Nutrition plays an important role in epilepsy (and I agree that magnesium in particular can play a huge role in brain health).
Have any members of CWE gained excellent control of their epilepsy just by using Magnesium (Mg)?

Magnesium is an essential mineral and a cofactor for hundreds of enzymes.
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/magnesium

I'd like to hear from you as I only use B vitamins.

**DO NOT ALTER ANY MEDICATION WITHOUT YOUR DOCTOR'S CONSENT**
 
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seagull

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I wish...all I used Epsom salts for is bath in dry milk up after baby born and water plants with leaves turn yellow.Have used magnesium sulphate for bowel but taste is vile.personel opinion if Epsom salts dry milk up or stop constipation then working using osmosis and I can not see how that can help the oposite I would thought
 

Blonde Angel

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Hi Wen --

I agree that magnesium is an important nutrient for brain and body health. But the study you cite is from 1959, with 30 patients. As much as I would like mg to be a magic bullet for epilepsy, it's just not that simple.


There are plenty of magnesium supplements that don't cause a laxative effect, including magnesium taurate and magnesium L-threonate. The latter is a form that effectively crosses the blood brain barrier, making it more likely to have a beneficial effect on brain function compared to something placed on the skin. Dr. Dean is a salesperson for her own brand... Her stating as fact that epsom salt baths are a good way to absorb magnesium does not make it so. Her site IS free, but she is not without her own agenda, programs and products to sell. In fact she includes this disclaimer on her site:

"WARNING: This blog is not to be misconstrued as medical advice. It’s up to you to make the decisions about your own health. I have zero staff and I cannot answer personal health questions by email."

Again, I believe that nutrition should play a role in epilepsy treatment and may have a greater one in the future, but would caution against a simple one-size-fits all solution, particularly as epilepsy is a highly-individualized disorder.
There is Neuro surgeon by the name of Dr Norman Shealy (MD, PH.D and Neurosurgeon) the following I am quoting:

"Magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient."

Be aware of the various Mg available eg"" high purity magnesium colloid " concentrate.
 

Nakamova

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Absolutely, Mg is crucial! And anyone who suspects a mg deficiency should get properly tested (a basic blood test won't reveal it). If you do suffer from a significant deficiency, treatment would most likely take the form of an injection rather than a supplement.

I take a Mg Glycinate supplement several times daily. I feel that it makes a difference, but that's only my experience. Others might not have the same results.
 

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It's important to note that seizures related to B6 deficiency are rare and tend to occur in infants and children.
B6 Deficiency - rare but it can occur at any age.
The case of new onset of seizures described in this report was successfully treated with small doses of pyridoxine (40 mg for 24 h and then 30 mg daily).
Seizures caused by vitamin B6 deficiency in adults are rarely reported and may be underdiagnosed and underreported. This condition may result from dietary deficiency, liver disease, pregnancy and certain medications and can be easily treated by vitamin B6 with excellent outcome.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4204538/
Vitamin B6 supplements can help people who have an actual deficiency. Vitamin B6 deficiency presents with scaly rashes, swollen tongue, numbness, difficulty in walking, anaemia, depression and confusion. People with alcohol dependency, kidney problems including dialysis or auto immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease, are more likely to have low levels of vitamin B6.
http://www.webmd.boots.com/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-b6-pyridoxine

B6 Dependency - Extremely rare. Seizures usually begin within the first two years of life. Once officially diagnosed the child will need to be supplemented daily with extra B6 for the rest of his/her life in order to keep the severe seizures controlled.
B6 dependency syndromes are defined as a group of metabolic disorders which are prevented or alleviated by non-physiologically large doses of vitamin B6, and, hence, they are tacitly accounted for by some structural alteration in a responsible B6-dependent enzyme such as a decrease on the affinity for PLP as compared to the normal.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1404887
vitamin B6 -dependency syndromes

A group of functional or structural enzyme defects that respond to a megadoses–50-100-fold > minimum daily requirements of pyridoxine
http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/vitamin+B6+-dependency+syndromes

http://faculty.washington.edu/sgospe/pyridoxine/

http://bmcbioinformatics.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2105-10-273

**DO NOT ALTER ANY MEDICATION WITHOUT YOUR DOCTOR'S CONSENT**

'B6 Deficiency' and 'B6 Dependency' are different although they are sometimes loosely used.

In patients with PDS, pyridoxine-deficiency is not present, and it is important to point out the distinction between pyridoxine-dependency and pyridoxine deficiency to parents, therapists, teachers and others providing care to these patients.
http://memo.cgu.edu.tw/cgmj/3301/330101.pdf (page 3 - PDS = Pyridoxine 'Dependent' Seizures)
 
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