I’m a 38 year old female and I have epilepsy. I have focal motor seizures that mimic dystonia. I suffer from night seizures and occasional daytime seizures, presenting themselves as cramping in my right arm and leg, lasting 1-10 seconds. For most of my years, I believed this was a life sentence. However, I’ve remained mainly seizure free on a gluten-free diet and haven’t taken daily medication for years. I take muscle relaxants when I have seizures (about once per year for a few weeks).
Further, although I have remained mainly seizure-free over the last few years, I have been a terrible sleeper….very restless and wakeful. But I have had great success on my new diet and supplement regimen. I have never slept so good! I’m sleeping through the night and I feel so well-rested in the morning.
21- Anonymous from Wicklow, Ireland
Epilepsy. It affects 3 million Americans and generally we as treating neurologists do not know the cause. Certainly in some cases the cause is readily identifiable, but most cases of epilepsy are what we call “idiopathic,” meaning we don’t understand the cause. The go-to treatment for epilepsy is using anti-convulsant medication. That said, let’s have a look at another perspective on what we should be thinking about in terms of this sometimes devastating situation.
Zena has a wonderful story, and I’m so thankful she would share it with us. In her e-mail, she mentioned she used the Chocolate Almond Cake recipe from The Grain Brain Cookbook for her daughter’s first birthday, and it was a big hit! – Dr. Perlmutter
I have Glioblastoma Multiforme Grade 4 brain cancer. I was diagnosed in January 2014 after having seizures for 3 days straight in December 2013 (I never had a seizure before). It happened while I was breastfeeding my 6 week old daughter. Today is her 1st year birthday (that’s her in the picture), and I’m still alive! One of my girlfriends got me Grain Brain after I was diagnosed. I read your book and learned a lot about “the surprising truth about wheat, carbs, and sugar.” I’ve been addicted to all three my whole life (I’m 40 years old) and know this contributed to my brain’s silent killers. I learned about the ketogenic diet for the epilepsy that I now have and started trying to eat this way, but it was hard. Then, you came out with The Grain Brain Cookbook, so I bought it and have been cooking like this ever since I received it!
Seven years ago I had a grand mal seizure and it was discovered I had a brain tumor (astrocytoma grade 3). It was so large that my entire right parietal lobe had to be removed in order to get the whole tumor.
One year later I suddenly developed what was diagnosed as reactive hypoglycemia. I was told I had to eat every two hours and, in fact, if I didn’t I got the shakes very quickly. I was having to eat so often that I no longer enjoyed eating.
I saw you on my local PBS station, bought the book and haven’t turned back since. I can go for 5 hours without eating and now I can actually be hungry and eat. In fact, I even had a fasting blood draw this morning, which I avoided in the past. I did not even feel hungry until 10 am this morning! Thank you so much for your book and all the time you spent doing research on this topic.
In May of 2012 I was diagnosed was a Meningioma brain tumor following a paralyzing, 15-minute seizure from the waist down on my left side. My tumor is located in my right frontal lobe, posterior. Due to vascular involvement, I was placed on anti-seizure meds and am currently on watch and wait. In the fall of 2012 my youngest son researched paleo diets and we have been following a low carb lifestyle ever since. Not only have we both lost significant weight and inches, my tumor has shrunk along with me in the two subsequent MRI scans in 2012 – 2013. My neuro-oncologist is amazed!
After reading your book, I feel confident that I can continue to positively turn my situation around. Presently I am working on adding the various supplements mentioned in the book. I have a doctor’s appointment coming up and plan on having blood work done as Grain Brain suggested.
Shawna’s story is similar to what I hear from many individuals: family health history motivates them to learn more about disease cause and prevention. – Dr. Perlmutter
When my dad was about 55 years old (about 1975), he started having problems with his leg. It would kinda drag behind him and he would have a hard time picking it up and walking correctly. They assumed he had a stroke or had complications from when he broke his leg a few years prior.
Fast forward to 1985. He starts having serious balance problems and is diagnosed as diabetic. So he changes his diet and drops about 50 pounds. As the years go on the his balance continues to deteriorate. He went to about a dozen neurologists and no one could diagnose his issue. In about 1995, he started having seizures. We have no history of epilepsy in the family. The neurologist said they that my father is suffering from TIA strokes. During one of these seizures in about June of 2000 he lost his balance, fell and broke his back.