Lauren

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Lauren

How can adjusting the foods we consume every day change our lives? Especially the lives of those struggling with epilepsy.

Doctors encourage all of us to eat fewer carbohydrates and processed sugar that we find in candy and soda. But there was a time when few people understood the importance of diet as it relates to epilepsy.  As long as children were eating something, that was all that mattered, right?

For many years, doctors have conducted research on ketogenic and low glycemic index diets that could help people with epilepsy, like me. 

Can a child survive a seizure long enough to be transported by helicopter to the hospital? Who’s to say?  All I know is at least I did.  In fact, I survived more than that. But it took a lot of time and a lot of persistence for me to get to where I am today. I went to multiple hospitals and multiple doctors until I found the one that saved my life. 

Her name is Dr. Elizabeth Thiele. She made me feel like there was hope that things would change for the better, and that I would be okay. 

Based on Dr. Thiele’s recommendation, I tried a new way of eating that her nutritionist, Heidi Pfeiffer, recommended for me and other people with epilepsy called Low Glycemic Index Treatment (LGIT). They suggested I try it.   

I wasn’t a child who complained much about anything, so I happily obliged.  My mom and my stepfather went on the diet too, and they loved it.  You eat lots of fresh vegetables, cheese, eggs, fish, chicken and meat, nuts and fruits.  It’s great!

Fast forward to 18 years later, and now I’m completely off all of my anti-seizure medications and have tweaked my diet enough that I can occasionally have bread, pasta, and other carbohydrates.  I haven’t had a seizure since elementary school.

I still follow the LGIT diet for the most part, and have continued to stay away from foods that have a lot of sugar in them.  Those foods aren’t healthy for anyone!  I eat lots of eggs, cheese, protein, salads, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and lobster in the summertime!

Author

Beth Zupec-Kania

A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who has managed ketogenic diet therapies since 1991. Designer of KetoDietCalculator, online program for creating ketogenic diets, and prolific author. Beth has trained over 300 medical centers globally on implementing keto diets and has recently published a keto pocket guide for professionals.

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Lauren

How can adjusting the foods we consume every day change our lives? Especially the lives of those struggling with epilepsy. Doctors encourage all of us to eat fewer carbohydrates and processed sugar that we find in candy and soda. But there was a time when few people understood the importance of diet as...

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