A Good Testimony
After posting this article a few months ago, I received the following note from a mother whose daughter has improved by using the supplements suggested below. I was so happy to hear this. Here is her note:
"Thanks for posting the info on seizures. I started (my) daughter on two of the supplements you suggested. She is off all seizure Meds. Been on the supplements for almost three weeks. I'm thankful to say that her seizures have decreased from having one every hour to just 4-5 a day. They are not as severe either. I believe the supplements are what helped my daughter!"
Wow! This was such great news that I just had to share. I have had the same experience with NAC and I seriously am considering buying an entire case of it. I know one thing, I plan to stay on this one for the long-term.
What started with muscle twitching one evening– after months of suffering from a flu-like illness, turned into what felt like violent electrical shocks to my head. They hit me one after the other all night long. I couldn't sleep. Each time I would try, the violent jolt would shock me awake. The next day, a more violent form of twitching began. One leg would flail wildly on its own, while my neck would jerk. Before I knew that I had Lyme, the seizure activity hit me full force. I won't go into my Lyme diagnosis on this post because I want to talk about the mystery of seizures that oftentimes accompany Lyme Disease and/or co-infections.
I could not and still do not understand these seizures, but I can say that they have almost completely disappeared with treatment & supplements (I say almost because they still show up several times a month, but that is better than daily). My LLMD had me on a few prescription medications to help with the seizures. He said the seizure activity was caused by inflammation or infection in the brain. Although the prescriptions were vital to bringing the seizures under control, it wasn't until I added or increased a few key supplements that I began to see real relief. I will talk about these below.
I can't speak about any other type of seizure other than the ones that I experienced– the myoclonic seizure. This type of seizure involves jerking and is associated with abnormal brain activity. At night, it meant no sleep. During the day, it meant involuntary tics and jerks, especially in the neck and arms.
The mystery to me, is the cyclical nature of these myoclonic seizures. Even though I do not experience these seizures on a daily basis anymore, they seem to occur one to two days a month. I have actually had an increase in the seizure activity since I wrote this article and realized that I was accidentally skipping my afternoon dose of NAC (N-Acetyl L-Cysteine). I have noticed a few more things that seem to stimulate seizure activity:
1) Caffeine use
3) Anxiety inducing situations, such as negative conflict, and
4) Lack of sleep or staying up too late.
Besides treatment, what reduces or eliminates seizures for me? First, reducing my stress level and finding ways to relax–taking time to decompress. Second, taking or increasing my level of supplements that help the brain. Third, detox.
I will mention a few of the supplements that I take that I believe really help with myoclonic seizures. There are others that I take listed here, but those listed below are the ones that have made a huge difference for me. (I provided links to Amazon. I purchase most of my supplements thru Amazon because Prime offers free two-day shipping)
NAC - N Acetyl L-Cysteine - Often we use this to help detox the body, but is what leads to the production of glutathione, a powerful neuromodulator that has been shown in studies to reduce seizure activity. I take 600mg in the AM and 600mg after lunch.
*Update: I have accidentally skipped my afternoon dose of NAC three times in the past two weeks. On those nights, I have had increased myoclonic seizures during rest.
Omega 3's - Whether through fish oil or another form, Omega 3's protect the brain and have helped bring a calm to my seizure activity.
Magnesium - Magnesium before bedtime as well as topical magnesium spray calms the brain.
L-Theanine - This supplement creates alpha brain waves and reduces anxiety. When seizures begin, oftentimes the body becomes stressed and anxiety makes the seizure activity worse, L-Theanine reduces this anxiety and calms the brain.
*Update: L-theanine has become an essential part of stress reduction and sleep promotion when taken at night, just before I go to sleep.
I would love to hear about your experiences with Lyme seizures. Comment below and tell me about what you use to calm your brain.
You can find a list of all of the supplements that I take including nootropics that help the brain here.
Becca Brinkmann, PhD, writes about her experiences with Lyme disease and how she found hope through the storm of illness. She created hopetohealth.com to provide resources and information on Lyme treatment and support. She recently published a book for her son with congenital Lyme, called My Wish. She lives with her family in Western Pennsylvania. Visit hopetohealth for more information. Subscribe to the blog below!