I'm a recovering alcoholic who had been sober for almost six years now. My alcoholism lead to seizures toward the end of my abuse. I was put on Dilantin in order to control my seizures which only occurred when I was sleep deprived or dehydrated from illnesses like a cold or the flu.
Two years ago, my seizures started happening about every six to eight months. I was still talking my medication and I wasn't sure what the problem was. I had a seizure six months ago, and my doctor was all prepared to change my medication. I didn't want to switch medicines. There were too many side effects from the other drugs and the cost of the other medications was outrageous. I wanted to know why this was happening to me when even my own doctor wasn't sure.
I did some investigating. I monitored my diet, and I realized that I was drinking a lot of diet soda. Diet soda that contains phenylalanine ( an ingredient in aspartame) has a warning label on the bottle in bold letters- PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE. I did further investigation and read several stories of individuals that couldn't tolerate phenylalanine. The number of individuals who were allergic to this ingredient was astounding. I found myself questioning if this was indeed the problem. I stopped drinking and eating anything that contained aspartame. The changes in my health were noticeable within a week.
I slept better, I felt calmer during the day and I could remember (and retain) information again. For the longest time, I kept thinking that my drinking in the past was the cause for my short-term memory loss. Apparently, that wasn't it at all. It was the aspartame.
I continued abstaining from what was "messing with my head." I drank diet soda that contained "sucralose" and I read labels on everything I consumed. I haven't had any episodes with "auras" or seizures since the day I quit consuming aspartame. I feel "safer" and so relieved now that I found out what the culprit was... And I didn't even have to go to "med school!"View Thread
You are most welcome! I'm so glad that I discovered this kind of support was available to those of us who suffer...
You're so right that each and every one of us has to come to grips with our condition and when we see gaps in what the doctors are telling us, we're left to be our own physicians! I'm so glad that I didn't listen to my doctor and change my medicine.
You must have been terrified when you had that seizure at your friend's home, Candi! After all, you thought you were safe and you weren't. Thank God we're a generation that questions the authority of our doctors and trusts our instincts to do what we believe is best for ourselves. You are so right when you say that, "support and education is the key to coping with this disorder."
Meeting you has been a pleasure and has given me a new sense of freedom. I can now discuss my disorder with those who understand this condition. Thank you so very much and Happy New Year to you also!
Thank you for the "congrats!" It's a long, hard road to sobriety, but when you have the right people in your life and you want to accept help, it can be done:)
You're right about us all "being different." I tried to explain this to a few doctors that just wouldn't accept that. Their medical books hadn't taught them that seizures are very individualized. I knew a woman who couldn't eat anything made with canned tomatoes. She could eat fresh tomatoes, just not canned. Now, obviously she was allergic to something in the canning process- most likely a preservative used for the tomatoes. It's interesting that sugar was giving you a problem. I'm glad that isn't my issue because I love sweets. I used to also love Diet Coke and Pepsi. We all have to make sacrifices to stay healthy I guess.
At any rate, I wanted to thank you for your kind input and wish you all the best for the holidays. Have a happy and healthy 2014, Angie!
Thank you so much for you input. You're so helpful in guiding others to recognize their symptoms and triggers. This is vital for all of us who know how terrifying a seizure can be- not only to ourselves, but to those around us. Your comments were much appreciated:)
Thank you also for the congratulations (on my sobriety.) I think if all of us work together to help one another with our health issues, rather than try to be our own MD, we can benefit greatly.
Happy Holidays, Candi and best wishes for a healthy and happy 2014!