Whether your epileptic child hasn't responded to medication or your family prefers to avoid pharmaceuticals, there are several natural and alternative ways to treat childhood epilepsy. Here are 3 of the best options to try.
If you've known about epilepsy for a while, you've probably heard of the ketogenic diet. It's been used to treat epileptic children for decades, and recent research has confirmed its efficacy. Children who followed a ketogenic diet for 3 months had less seizures than those who didn't, with 7% of the participants experiencing a whopping 90% less seizures.
The ketogenic diet is high in fat, low in carbs, and includes a controlled level of protein. When used by the body for energy, the fat in this diet is converted to two types of chemicals (ketones and decanoic acid) which can help reduce seizures. It generally involves feeding your child a lot of oil, cream, butter, and other fats. As this type of diet can have side effects if not followed correctly, make sure you consult a dietitian to ensure you're feeding your child the healthiest diet possible.
Vagus Nerve Stimulation
Vagus nerve stimulation involves sending mild electrical pulses through the nerve in your child's neck with the aim of reducing irregular brain activity. While it may seem scary and does involve the surgical implantation of the stimulator under the skin, this alternative doesn't require your child to take any medication.
Alongside aiming to reduce seizures by calming the brain, it's great for stopping seizures in their tracks. Passing a special magnet over the the stimulator increases the electrical signals temporarily. When used in the aura stage of a seizure, it can stop the seizure before it happens. When used during a seizure, it can make post-seizure recovery faster.
Physiotherapy is a great, natural treatment which generally aims to treat the effects of epilepsy, helping children improve their walking and balance abilities if epilepsy has restricted their movement. It can also treat injuries sustained as a result of seizures. Treatment can also have a knock-on effect on other issues epilepsy causes, improving epilepsy side effects like poor sleep and lack of independence and confidence.
There's a range of physiotherapy treatments to try, and your child's paediatric physio will often use a combination of them. Options include exercise regimes, aquatic therapy, massage, and relaxation therapy, as well as use of physio tools and mobility aids.