Saturday, November 17, 2018

Epilepsy Blog Relay—Alternative Treatment Options

This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™ which will run from November 1st through November 30th.

You could say I have evolved in my beliefs about alternative medicine and epilepsy. I used to be dead set against it. I thought it was too dangerous. Since it was unregulated, you didn’t know what effect the chemicals would have on your body and how they would interact with your other medications.

 I was skeptical that herbal medicine or medical marijuana (CBD) would be helpful. Not to mention acupuncture or other non-drug treatments. This attitude was reinforced by the medical community where I live. They tend to use CBD as a last resort, citing the lack of objective research.

Now however, since Epidiolex has been approved for two types of epilepsy (Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome), doctors are slowly warming up to using it.

A big concern that doctors have about products sold by dispensaries is that they are all different and it’s hard to know what you’re getting.

It wasn’t until I was at my wit’s end, still trying to reduce my seizures, that my doctor actually brought up CBD as an option. Since other medications hadn’t worked and my VNS was minimally helping, I decided to give it a try. Surprisingly, it helped when I took a relatively low dose. However, when I reached the “therapeutic level” for people with epilepsy, the CBD lowered the levels of my other medications, causing more seizures.

This is not to say this is the wrong choice for other people. I believe you should evaluate your own situation and see what the risks and benefits are. Then, you can make an informed decision, whether it be a traditional or an alternative treatment, or a combination of the two.

And, as Tevye on Fiddler on the Roof said, “Our old ways were once new, weren’t they?” So who’s to say that new and different types of treatments should be disregarded?

NEXT UP: Be sure to check out the next post tomorrow by Michael McKenna
a for more on epilepsy awareness. For the full schedule of bloggers visit

TWITTER CHAT: And don’t miss your chance to connect with bloggers on the #LivingWellChat on December 6 at Noon ET.

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