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Fasting with Medical Conditions

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Epilepsy and fasting
02 Aug 2013, 08:15
I'd be interested to hear about people's experiences with 5:2 while living with epilepsy.

I was diagnosed 17 years ago and I have tonic-clonic seizures, simple partials and myoclonus. I'm on medication (lamotrigine) and haven't had a tonic-clonic since I switched from Keppra two years ago although I still have the occasional simple partial and the lamotrigine actually triggered the myoclonic jerks (I only have them at night though so I'm not stressing about this).

I've only just started 5:2 - I had my first fast yesterday. I don't think fasting is likely to kickstart my seizure activity and I do intend to ring one of the epilepsy helplines to get some solid advice.

I'm just curious to hear from others and if their epilepsy has been affected in anyway while fasting.
Re: Epilepsy and fasting
02 Aug 2013, 19:37
Hi and welcome:

Historically, it is reported that fasting with a following high fat diet was an accepted treatment for seizures: ... y-to-Vigor

I am not a doctor so have no opinion one way or the other.

Re: Epilepsy and fasting
03 Aug 2013, 15:28
A high fat diet is known to help seizure control, at least in children. The ketogenic diet is a nearly 100-year-old diet based on fats and animal proteins and is prescribed for children with difficult to control epilepsy. It's very complicated as everything for every meal has to be weighed to the gram and parents could be looking at it as a daily routine for at least 2 years, possibly up to 7 or 8 years. Some adults who don't respond well to drug treatments are having some success with modified versions of it.

But that's not what I was asking.

I'm trying to find out if any people on here with epilepsy have found that fasting may trigger seizures.

I did ring an epilepsy helpline yesterday. It's a piece of string question as they said no studies had been done into 5:2 and epilepsy, only that some individuals might find that fasting could be a trigger. That applies to religious fasts as well as diets. The answer was pretty much what I expected. I'm the author a best-selling self-help guide to epilepsy but even I don't know everything about it so making the call was useful, but only confirmed what I already thought. Epilepsy is a very individual condition.

I'm unlikely - I think - to have a fast-triggered seizure, given how well controlled I currently am, but I'm definitely interested in hearing people's experiences.
Re: Epilepsy and fasting
04 Aug 2013, 01:26

I understood your question. Perhaps you should read the article. It does not indicate fasting is a trigger. It indicates it is a cure in some circumstances. I have no opinion. :wink:
Re: Epilepsy and fasting
04 Aug 2013, 10:03
One study of 26 people is not conclusive, especially when quite a few of those studied returned to seizing after breaking their fasts, some admittedly not for a while after but still returned to having seizures. And it then goes on to discuss the ketogenic diet, even though it's not named.

Fasting is not a cure for epilepsy. At best, from the basis of one study of 26 people, it can temporarily reduce or halt seizure activity in some people.

I'm still looking to hear from people with epilepsy and their experience of 5:2, rather than someone who doesn't have it pointing to an inconclusive survey mentioned in a general interest magazine.
Re: Epilepsy and fasting
05 Mar 2014, 17:23
I've actually just been offered a place on a clinical study in the uk where they are using the 5:2 diet as a form of controlling epilepsy. Trials show it reduces seizures contact the NSE about it x
Re: Epilepsy and fasting
03 Jun 2015, 21:33
I'd be interested in the results of any studies on this topic too, or in hearing about any anecdotal experience from other members.

I'm epileptic as well and started the 4:3 three weeks ago. My epilepsy is very well controlled (last seizure in 1996) but obviously I don't want to take risks. If there's any chance fasting can help me go medication-free, I want to know about it!
Re: Epilepsy and fasting
08 Jul 2015, 19:04
I start having seizures last year , was on medication for a little bit and get off 6-7 moths ago. I was trying to control my seizures with diet and supplement and I was doing pretty good, but gaining weight due to eating too much out of fear.
There were periods that I would eat raw vegan, or went to the gym without food and my symptoms were bigger, I had seizures after eating apple, raw vegan mean with carrots, so I went ketogening-no carbs what's so ever. It was helpful, but I still had partial seizures trying to fast and yes, the fast triggered seizure :///

Wanted to share this, cause I think there is something g there.
Bummer, I'm just wondering g if long term fast could be a cure for it. Although I had 18 day water fast, after which I had some panic attacks and my partial seizures that I had before it came back...
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