Wednesday, June 18, 2008

J.B. Symes, DVM. v. Epilepsy, et. al. (part 2)

This is the beginning of an attempt to match up my seizure symptoms to the theories of J.B. Symes, DVM with regards to epilepsy. I am using the simplified theory, plus various supporting material from his various texts or links.

My first seizures occurred when I was very young - they were diagnosed as being febrile seizures - ones caused by high fever.

The next time I had a seizure I was twelve. It was a tonic-clonic seizure that happened in the middle of the day on a hot afternoon on the back porch of a friend's house. Doctors were unable to determine a cause... but my father has suggested that it could be due to a bicycle accident where I crashed and banged my head earlier that year. Head trauma is definitely a known cause of epilepsy.

If one were to apply Symes' theory to the onset of seizures, the diagnosis might go like this: Since birth I had slowly built up a level of toxins and allergens from wheat gluten and milk. After moving to south Georgia, additional airborne allergens may have accumulated in my system to the point where my immune system could no longer tolerate the allergens and caused a seizure. Perhaps the specific allergen was dog dander - my friend had two dogs.

I had several more seizures after the first one and was then put on a AED - pehnobarbitol - which reduced my seizures tremendously, but the mind-numbing side effects were quite bad. After several years in Georgia, my family moved to North Carolina. Soon after moving, I began having more seizures. My Dr. had me switch medications which reduced my seizures long enough so that I was able to get a driver's licence and successfully complete high-school.

Application of Symes' theory: Moving to a new location introduced multiple new allergens (dog, cat, construction dust, different trees and plants) to the body, which, when added to the food intolerance, overwhelmed the immune system and allow seizures to break through.

After high-school I moved to Boone, to attend university at Appalachian State (yes, the small school that beat Michigan). Not long after attending, I began to have seizures again. Possible causes - social stresses, lack of sleep, ???. In any case, with the help of friends, family, and gracious professors, I managed to make it through freshman year.

Application of Symes' theory: New allergens + food intolerance = breakthrough seizures.

Back home for the summer - I tried every available AED on the market at that time - nothing worked. So I had an MRI done. It showed that I had a tumor-like growth in my head. My neurologist said that this was most likely the cause of the seizures and that it should be removed. I had my skull sawed open and the majority of the growth was extracted - some was unable to be removed as it was deeper/entwined in the brain. After having the operation, my medication (Tegretol) was able to control my seizures again.

Here is where it gets a bit more difficult to apply the theories. If the cause of the seizures was the growth, would that preclude the theory of the food intolerance plus allergens? Perhaps not. Symes' cites research showing that reduced immune systems can have an impact on malignant growths and cell embedded viruses. Or more likely, the healthy immune system was able to handle the extra stress from the growth in my early years, but as my immune system continued to be compromised by the food and allergens, it simply couldn't handle the stress any longer.

Tomorrow I will continue the analysis.

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