Author Topic: My 3 Year old had a grand mal seizure - need advice for medications!  (Read 5672 times)

Offline prolifeguyswife

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My 3-year-old has had general muscle weakness (hypotonia) and has been in physical therapy for two years (to teach her to walk, etc.). Several months ago, we saw that while she was in bed, she had about three inches of white foam coming out of her mouth. I mentioned it to one of her doctors during an appointment, but they never really answered me.

I've seen her foaming from the mouth three times since then, all while she was sleeping, but my husband and I figured that it was some weird stomach acid thing (she has acid reflux).

Yesterday morning I saw the foam and went into her room to wipe her mouth, just before she went into a full-blown seizure - vacant stare, jerking limbs, body arching off the bed, etc. The doctors say that from the description, it sounds like it certainly was a seizure, and that she may have had seizures before, when she was foaming at the mouth (it sounds like I'm talking about a rabid animal, I know it's really strange).

On one hand, our natural herbalist says to treat the acid reflux with herbs, and that will probably fix the seizures (?). On the other hand, her doctors want to see what's wrong with her brain, if anything, that's caused her problems since birth, and make sure that there's nothing serious going on.

The natural plan is to treat acid reflux, the doctor's plan is to do an M.R.I. (I said no to the CT Scan, for now), and an EEG, and to put her on "Keppra", an anti-seizure medication. The concern is that since she had a seizure in the middle of the night, and probably also on several other occasions at night, that she might have another one that we don't know about that could cause brain damage or cause her to stop breathing.

I'm afraid to leave her alone while she sleeps - I need advice! I don't know what to do naturally vs. medically at this point, but we have neurology appointments coming up and I need to make a plan! Does anyone have experience with seizures and natural or medical treatments for them? I saw that there was some debate over Evening Primrose Oil, so I don't really want to try that.

Offline Precious

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Re: My 3 Year old had a grand mal seizure - need advice for medications!
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2010, 12:03:45 PM »
I don't have any answers on the medications at the moment, but I have a few ideas for night-time monitoring.  The simplest remedy would be to use a baby monitor.  The video ones might offer even more peace of mind.  If you are afraid you might not hear her, I have heard good reviews of a product called Emfit (not cheap). 

Yet another option is to use a pulse oximeter.  These are usually utilized for non-convulsive seizures that would not be detected by a movement monitor such as the Emfit.  Pulse oximeters will detect blood oxygen levels, which normally decrease during seizures.  It might be possible to have her doctor (pediatrician or neuro) write a prescription for it if there is a history of breathing problems.  You can attach it securely to her toe.  Here is a sample of what the probe looks like.  You could secure it even more with a paper tape (safe for sensitive skin) and then put a sock over it and run the line from the foot of the bed.  You'd want to get one with an audible alarm. 

Many doctors are resistant to monitoring devices because of the possibility of false alarms.  There may be some false alarms while you are learning the system, but accuracy improves with use.  Mommies need their rest!  The pulse oximetry sensors the doctors normally see in hospitals give many false alarms because they are the hefty plastic ones which fall off easily.

Offline Precious

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Re: My 3 Year old had a grand mal seizure - need advice for medications!
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2010, 12:26:02 PM »
Here is what Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child by Janet Zand has to say about seizures:
A child who has a seizure should be examined by a doctor.  An initial evaluation may include a neurological examination, blood and urine tests, a spinal tap, and/or a brain scan.  The recommended course of treatment, if any, will depend on the cause of your child's seizure.

Nutritional treatment for seizures is directed at supporting recovery once the seizure has run its course and emergency care, if appropriate, as been administered.

A combination of calcium and magnesium supplement helps to relax the nervous system.  Give your child one dose of a liquid formula containing 250 milligrams of calcium and 125 milligrams of magnesium, twice a day, for one month; then give him one dose daily for six months.

The B vitamins help to strengthen the nerves.  Give your child a vitamin-B complex supplement, three times a week, for six months.

Chamomile, licorice, passion flower, skullcap, and valerian root are all herbs that help to relax the nervous system.  Give your child one dose of any of these herbs, either individually or in any combination, twice a day, for one week following a seizure.  Note: Licorice should not be given to a child with high blood pressure. Skullcap should not be given to a child less than six years old.

Minor bupleurum is a Chinese herb that helps to regulate the nervous system.  Give your child one dose, twice a day, for the first week after a seizure.  Then give your child one dose daily for three weeks.  Note: Minor bupleurum should not be given to a child with a fever or any other sign of an acute infection.

Milk thistle detoxifies and protects the liver.  Give your child one dose, once a day, for the second month after a seizure.

Give your child one does of Aconite 200x following a seizure to ease his fright and shock.

Offline Precious

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Re: My 3 Year old had a grand mal seizure - need advice for medications!
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2010, 12:41:41 PM »
Here is what Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child says about epilepsy:
Diagnosis of epilepsy is based on the history of the illness, a description of the seizure episodes, a neurological examination, and certain blood tests.  An EEG is done to look for signs of abnormal activity in the brain. If there are signs of possible neurological damage, a MRI scan of the brain may be performed.

(Conventional) treatment for epilepsy focuses on using medication to prevent the recurrence of seizures.  Which medication is prescribed for your child will probably be determined by her age, the particular symptoms she experiences while having a seizure, and other factors.  Generally, a child begins by taking a relatively low dose of seizure medication.  The dosage is then graduatlly increased until the seizures are under control.  Anticonvulsant medications can have significant side effects, including drowsiness, irritability, nausea, suppressed immune function, and liver damage.  One seizure drug, Dilantin, can cause an overgrowth of gum tissue in children.  With all of these drugs, it is critical that blood levels of the drugs and specific blood tests be monitored, and follow-up appointments with your doctor kept, so that the best seizure control can be maintained with the fewest side effects.

In some cases, a physician may recommend a specific diet based on low but adequate amounts of protein, high levels of fats, low carbohydrates, and vitamin supplements to help control seizure activity.

In extremely rare cases, surgery may be recommended.  This is reserved for cases where medication has not helped and a specialized test such as an MRI scan shows a lesion or tumor in the brain that may be causing the seizures.

She goes on to give recommendations for nutritional supplements, herbal treatment, and homeopathy for epilepsy if you are interested.

Offline motherhen7

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Re: My 3 Year old had a grand mal seizure - need advice for medications!
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2010, 02:51:00 AM »
A teenage boy at our church started having seizures and tremors out of the blue mid last year.  The Drs were baffled.  The boy had to be taken out of school.  He couldn't even stand without leaning over and falling over.  They were looking for a brain tumour or something along those lines and came up empty.  Then several months later the family took him off gluten and he was back to normal overnight.  
I have heard that gluten can be a factor with other types of seizures too petite and grand mal.  A little girl in our homeschool group used to have several seizures a day and hardly has any now since sticking to a strict GF diet.