Common epilepsy medications can cause a significant amount of nutritional deficiencies in children among their side effects. I look to use supplements to counter the depletion of key vitamins and minerals, manage mood and behaviour, and support health and function in children with epilepsy.
An important caveat here is that supplements should be tailored specifically to each child’s needs. For this reason, I recommend you work with an experienced practitioner to ensure the balance and dosage levels are correct for your child.
Epilepsy medications are known to deplete B vitamins, particularly folate (B9), B12 and B6. B vitamins are like a symphony and work best together. For this reason, I typically suggest a Multi-B vitamin for children with epilepsy.
I have had particular success with the supplementation of B6 to manage Keppra rage and for general mood support in kids with epilepsy. B12 and Folate are important for DNA replication (controlling how our DNA behaves) while also supporting the nervous system.
Epileptics can tend to be low in Magnesium. Magnesium as the great relaxer can help soothe the nervous system, help with sleep and support a reduction in seizures.
As one of the most important minerals for mood and behaviour, Zinc helps modulate our neurotransmitters and plays a role in over 300 reactions in the body. It is especially important that you do not self-prescribe zinc supplements for your child. Seek guidance from an experienced practitioner.
In order to support gut health and the gut-brain connection, I may advise the use of clinically trialled probiotics, primarily Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG (LGG). This helps to treat any underlying inflammation in the gut, in turn ensuring that any nutrients (including those supplemented) can be properly absorbed by the body.
For more information, listen to my podcast on Supporting Epilepsy in Kids
Sonya Reynolds is a Sydney-based degree certified Nutritionist and Life Coach with over 16 years of experience. Sonya uses a holistic approach to help her clients achieve their health and wellbeing goals by combining natural nutrition and wellness coaching.
Sonya provides holistic online nutrition and coaching consultation to clients in Sydney and throughout Australia.