Understanding the role of hormones in seizure activity was a game-changer for me. Estrogen‘s role in seizures is profound, and the effectiveness of a pro-thyroid diet, natural progesterone, and ridding of excess estrogen and increased cortisol are foundational to reducing seizure activity.
“Seizures are known to be promoted by estrogen, by unsaturated fats, and by lipid peroxidation, and to cause an increase in the size of the free fatty acid pool in the brain. Prolonged seizures cause nerve damage in certain areas, especially the hippocampus, thalamus, and neocortex (Siesjo, et al., 1989). Dementia is known to be produced by prolonged seizures.” -Ray Peat, PhD
“If progesterone’s antiepileptic effectiveness were not enough (and it is very effective even in irrational pharmaceutical formulations), the fact that it reduces birth defects, and promotes brain development and nerve repair should assure its general use in women with a history of seizures, until it is established that they are no longer “epileptic.” Although thyroid, progesterone, and a high quality protein diet will generally correct the epilepsy problem, it is important to mention that the involvement of unsaturated fats and free radicals in seizure physiology implies that we should minimize our consumption of the unsaturated fats. Even years after eliminating them from the diet, their release from tissue storage can prolong the problem, and during that time the use of vitamin E is likely to reduce the intensity and frequency of seizures. Coconut oil lowers the requirement for vitamin E, and reduces the toxicity of the unsaturated fats (see Cleland, et al.), favoring effective respiration and improving thyroid and progesterone production. Endotoxin formed in the bowel can block respiration and cause hormone imbalances contributing to instability of the nerves, so it is helpful to optimize bowel flora, for example with a carrot salad; a dressing of vinegar, coconut oil and olive oil, carried into the intestine by the carrot fiber, suppresses bacterial growth while stimulating healing of the wall of the intestine. The carrot salad improves the ratio of progesterone to estrogen and cortisol, and so is as appropriate for epilepsy as for premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, or arthritis.” -Ray Peat, PhD (1)
(1) Endocrinology. 1992 Aug;131(2):662-8.
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