Fighting epilepsy with bacon, butter, and hot dogs

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2013 3:37 pm

BALTIMORE, Md. (Ivanhoe Newswire) --About 3 million adults and children in the U.S. suffer from epilepsy or seizures. Many find relief through medication. However, when drugs fail seizures can have a huge impact on daily life. That’s where fatty foods could save the day, even for those with life-threatening forms of epilepsy.

The fact that 14 year old Nilu is sitting here today doing homework is nothing short of what her mom 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,” Niranjala Wickremasinghe, Nilu’s mom, told Ivanhoe.

Nilu had status epilepticus, a life-threatening condition.

“She was in 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,” Eric Kossoff, MD, Pediatric Neurologist, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, told Ivanhoe.

That’s when Dr. Kossoff decided to try something different, a high fat, low-carb diet, much like Atkins.

“Bacon, eggs, whipping cream, and oils, you know very high fat foods,” Dr. Kossoff said.

Doctors aren’t exactly sure why the 90 percent fat diet works, but, “about half the children we put on it will do better and about ten percent become seizure free,” Dr. Kossoff explained.

Since Nilu was unconscious, her diet was delivered through a feeding tube.

“When it works, it works pretty quickly,” Dr. Kossoff said.

One week later, Nilu woke up.

“I feel that I’m a really lucky person. I mean, I got another chance to live again,” Nilu told Ivanhoe.

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.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

Featured Health Care Providers Sponsored directory

PRIMARY CARE

Jack E. Baron, MD

View Profile >

CARDIOLOGY - CROUCH

F. Michael Crouch, M.D.

View Profile >

SPORTS MEDICINE

John T. Moor, MD

View Profile >

GERIATRICS

Dr. Sarah Kagan, PhD, RN, FAAN

View Profile >

PROSTATE CANCER

Michael J. Dattoli, MD

View Profile >

INTERVENTIONAL RADIOLOGIST

Gerald Grubbs, MD

View Profile >

SUBMIT PHOTOS & VIDEOS | VIEW ALL PHOTOS & VIDEOS

Send your photos & videos to Pix@MySuncoast.com and you could be featured on ABC 7 & our website.