Friday, July 13, 2012

Seizures Caused by Gluten Intolerance? You Be the Doctor and Decide

The fact that gluten intolerance can create problems with the nervous system is not new news. The fact that gluten can create seizures is also not new. But it’s also a fact that it is new to most doctors, even those who are specialists of the nervous system.

Witness this true life story:

A mother contacted me who was herself a celiac. Prior to being diagnosed with celiac disease and eliminating gluten from her diet, she had seizures. Her seizures, along with a host of other problems, all disappeared on a gluten-free diet.

Fast forward to having children and she began to notice that her son would flutter his eyes oddly at times. As this worsened and she realized that it was not under his control, she moved forward to get a diagnosis. She took her son to many doctors and the agreed diagnosis was ‘absence seizures’. These used to be called petit mal seizures as opposed to grand mal seizures that are dramatic and more what most people think of when the word ‘seizure’ comes to mind.

Petit means small and grand means large in French, fyi…

Other than the diagnosis, no recommendation for cause nor cure was offered. A drug with dangerous side effects was the only ‘solution’ given to the mom and this was something she didn’t want to do. Citing her own health history as an example, the mother asked if celiac disease or gluten reactions could be causing the seizures in her child. Her question was met with degrees of distain or complete lack of interest by all the doctors she asked.

In frustration, the mother adopted a gluten-free diet for her son. Lo and behold, the seizures ceased, except when he ate gluten. Whether it was a mistake or outright cheating, the seizures did not return without gluten contamination occurring.

Armed with the data of her own ‘experiment’ in the matter, the mother again asked a neurologist about a link with gluten and her son’s seizures. Despite what seemed to be an obvious association, the neurologist categorically stated that there was no connection between gluten and her son’s seizures.
Does that make sense to you?

Even if you were unaware of research proving you wrong (which there is ample), wouldn’t you be curious enough about the association to look into whether any research existed? As a neurologist who frequently saw patients suffering with seizures, wouldn’t you be curious to see if there was any validity in this mother’s claim?

If it was your child what would you do?
Thankfully the mom found out about us on the internet and she and her son are coming to visit our destination clinic. Here we will confirm or deny gluten intolerance via a genetic test. This is the test of choice because it doesn't require a dangerous reintroduction of gluten in order to get an accurate result. We will also address the secondary effects association with gluten intolerance such as:

o   Infections
o   Cross reactive foods
o   Other food intolerances
o   Health of the probiotic organisms in the gut
o   Vitamin and enzyme deficiencies
o   and more…

While I was grateful that the mother discovered us, it made me think how many other individuals, adults and children alike, are suffering needlessly from a condition such as seizures when a dietary change could eradicate the problem.

Do you know anyone with seizures? Please alert them to this data.
If you or someone you care about needs to improve their health please tell them about our free health analysis. 

Visit us at If you have questions or need any help, I’m here for you! C
all 408-733-0400.

I look forward to hearing from you.

To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN, CFMP

IFM Certified Practitioner

Founder of Root Cause Medical Clinic
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect”

Author of the eBook: “Gluten Intolerance – What You Don’t Know May Be Killing You!”

European Journal of Epilepsy, Vol 7, Issue 1. Pp 49-54. February 1998. ”Epilepsy, cerebral calcifications and clinical or subclinical coeliac disease. Course and follow up with gluten-free diet”

6 comments: said...

I really can understand what this mother went through. I am a mother in New Zealand and my 16 year old girl started to have seizures 5 years ago. I've been trying any good method I can think of and she always went against or reluctantly follows the regime maybe few days and pushes her own way (processed food, instant food, sleep latency, you name it). Accidentally I came across with the info on connection between gluten intolerance and seizures (A few years ago I discovered that myself is gluten intolerant, so I've been on gluten free diet.) It was so difficult to get her go through GS test and surprisingly, her anti gliadin level was 168 (normal adult level should be below 20). But she's still insisting to be on gluten (She ingests less gluten than before, so presents less severe seizure (absence type of)and she thinks food can't be the problem since her dad always said so. I'm now thinking only the natural consequences can teach her about what choice she should have made, but I can always witness she's not feeling well on gluten and it is frustrating. Is there anyway I can get the help from the gluten doctors? If there is, please let me know to Thanks.

The HealthNOW Doctors said...

Dear helovesmj,

I sent you a personal email as you requested.

thekingsgirl said...

I would love to know if I can email you what's going on and get your opinion. I am so glad to come across this page!

The HealthNOW Doctors said...

@thekingsgirl - sorry for the delay, your comment was stuck somewhere for a while...
Anyway, yes you can email me at:

I look forward to hearing from you.

MLRadin said...

how do you distinguish between vasovagal (sp?) episode and absence seizure? I have had blackouts for many years -- originally only during vigorous exercise, but now during or after even moderate exercise and first thing when I wake up (I keep blacking out in the bathroom...). I have been thinking these were absence seizures (unable to capture in neuro lab, however), but have recently been reading about vasovagal episodes. I think the trigger is really changes in blood sugar (I have tested blood sugar -- it remains in the normal range) -- if I eat, I am more likely to blackout, especially if carb-heavy like fruit, or if have not eaten recently, like a.m. I have been gluten free for several years and alleviated my severe celiac symptoms, but am "glutenized" fairly often because my family is not gf and is careless with gluten products. These blackouts are the last major health issue, often occurring 20+ times a day! I always read seizures are a symptom or complication of celiac, but have found little additional info...

Anonymous said...

Hi, where are you located? My daughter was diagnosed with absence epilepsy at the age of 3 1/2. She is now 12 and suffers from hundreds of seizures a day. We have been on 10 different medicatons, nothing has worked or the side effects have been to severe. She now has developed a very rare type of epilepsy called "sunflower" syndrome. She waves her hand on front of her face in the bright lights and has learned to induce grand mals. 4 in the past 1 1/2 years. We are desperate. She is not currently gluten free, bc I feel I need help doing that Thank you Janine