There came a point in trying to understand the mechanisms behind seizures that I had hit a brick wall. I had been researching so much, and praying even more, because there had to be something more to the story of ‘why’ the seizures were occurring each month in my daughter. Miraculously, I came across information about a type of seizure called a catamenial seizure. Catamenial seizures are a type of seizure connecting epilepsy and progesterone. They are directly related to the hormonal cycle in women and have everything to do with the balance between and levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Prior to this discovery, all had been fairly quiet regarding this type of epilepsy. It was several years of pursuing this new discovery before catamenial seizures were even on the radar with most studies. Epilepsy and progesterone became a huge focus for me at that point, which led me to find out about Ray Peat and his studies regarding the connection between hormones and seizures.
“Seizures can be caused by lack of glucose, lack of oxygen, vitamin B6 deficiency, and magnesium deficiency. They are more likely to occur during the night, during puberty, premenstrually, during pregnancy, during the first year of life, and can be triggered by hyperventilation, running, strong emotions, or unusual sensory stimulation. Water retention and low sodium increase susceptibility to seizures….Pregnancy and the menstrual cycle have been recognized as having something to do with seizures, but when seizures occurred only during pregnancy, they were classified as non-epileptic, and when they had a clear premenstrual occurrence, they were likely to be classified as “hysterical fits,” to be treated with punishment.” (1)
As we worked through understanding progesterone’s roll in seizure activity and the connection between epilepsy and progesterone, particularly catamenial seizures, we were able to find the ‘sweet spot’ in the type of natural progesterone and the proper amount for my daughter. Once we hit the mark for her, it was life-changing. We had personally discovered a link between epilepsy and progesterone – or the lack of progesterone/estrogen dominance. Not only did it stop seizures altogether, but she experienced all kinds of other changes as well. Her menstrual cycle became more regular and less radical. She was lightly bleeding instead of shedding so heavy that she was stuck on the couch for a week. Her ovarian cysts were gone. No more cramps that made one week out of each month unbearable and unable to function normally. No more migraines. It was the final step in her recovery. We had seen the gluten and dairy free diet that she had adopted stop seizures, and the addition of natural progesterone finalized the catamenial seizure issue, proved the epilepsy and progesterone link, and stopped those seizures as well.
There is a lot of information available about the use of natural progesterone, but for our purposes in understanding the link between epilepsy and progesterone and stopping catamenial seizures, that information was inadequate. As we followed Ray Peat and Dr. Herzog and their groundbreaking work on using natural progesterone to stop seizures, we found that the normal recommendations were not adequate, nor effective for the purpose of seizure activity.
Using it every day made all of the difference. Using higher amounts mattered.
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