(09/19/13) - Bacon for Seizures.
Bacon, butter and hot dogs may be the secret weapons against seizures. About 3 million adults and children in the United States suffer from epilepsy or seizures. Many find relief through medication, but when drugs fail, seizures can have a huge impact on daily life. That is where fatty foods could save the day - even for those with life-threatening forms of epilepsy.
The fact that 14-year-old Nilu Wickremasinghe is sitting here today doing homework is nothing short of what her mom, Niranjala, calls a miracle.
The active teen was rushed to the hospital after having her first of several seizures, "we were so worried and we were so emotional."
Nilu, her mother explains, had status epilepticus, a life-threatening condition, "she was in, in ah, very bad shape, to say the least. She had ongoing seizures for three months. She was essentially comatose during that entire situation and tried about seven or eight anticonvulsive medicines, none of them were helping her seizures."
That is when Johns Hopkins neurologist, Dr. Eric Kossoff, decided to try something different - a high fat, low-carb diet, much like Atkins, "bacon, eggs, whipping cream, oils-you know very high fat foods."
Dr. Kossoff is not exactly sure why the 90 percent fat diet works, but, "about half the children we put on it will do better and about 10 percent become seizure free."
While Nilu was unconscious, the high fat diet was delivered through a feeding tube.
One week later, Nilu says, she finally woke up, "I feel that I'm real lucky, I'm a real lucky person. I mean, I got another chance to live again, you know?"
Now, with a new clinical trial underway, others like Nilu could get the same second chance. Nilu was on a modified Atkins diet for six-months, once she emerged from her coma. She is now back to a regular diet and is able to control the few short seizures she's had since with medication. The most common side effect of the diet is constipation, temporary higher cholesterol, and kidney stones are also possible.
ABC12 Main Station