DISEASE: epilepsy

Here is a question (originally sent to Dr. Bass) about epilepsy, which was answered by as many as 3 hygienic doctors on INHS email discussion list.
It is especially interesting since it highlights 2 current dietary methods: the traditional raw vegetarian diet of Dr. Shelton's Natural Hygiene, and the newer views of modern NH involving the insulin mechanism.

Hi Dr Bass;
I'm writing this email on behalf of a friend;
I was talking with my friend, who's brother suffers from Epilepsy with generalised tonic clonic seizures and learning difficulties. His cocktail of drugs include: Carbamazepine, Sodium Valproate, Phenobarbitone, Clobazam and Desmopressin. I appreciate that these may be the English names of drugs.
Are you able to treat forms of Epilepsy with a specific dietary regime or otherwise? It would be greatly appreciated to know that there is a chance of help for his condition, which conventional medicine seems unable to resolve!
I look forward to receiving your response.
With the kindest of regards
Peter (UK)



"Since that time (two years) she has had only one seizure, whereas before during a two year period she would have had over 700 of them."


Hi again, now I have finally talked to Dr. Bass. (He doesn't use email.) This is from my notes:

It is today getting to be more and more clear what causes epilepsy. Look at the quick onset of the epileptic symptoms, just as quick as the blood sugar overflow after we eat sugar or other carbs. It is mainly a high-carb problem.

E.g. an epileptic can feel perfectly fine, go to a banquet, eat a lot of sweet stuff, and suddenly have an attack. It seems to be a function of insulin response to increased blood sugar, after eating sweets/carbs. After the excess blood sugar is removed there is still insulin in the blood - so the blood sugar continues to go down until an extreme, which then causes an attack and unconsciousness.

Before the insulin mechanism research started two decades ago, Dr. Bass used (typically vegetarian) raw diets to improve the condition of epileptics, which was only partly successful. Now many have written about the connection blood sugar and epilepsy - probably see e.g. Body, Mind and Sugar by Abrahamson, or Protein Power by Drs. Eades.

For optimal recovery Dr. Bass uses a (for the problem) specially designed low-carb diet, optimally designed for quick and safe recovery, based on 60 + years of experience and constant experiments. This diet has to be mainly raw food-combined, special foods introduced in order, and exact amounts are also very important. Using cooked foods, and haphazard combinations will also work, (even overcooked food and too much meat will work, if low-carb), but it will then take longer for the body to recover, and the result may not be absolutely optimal in the end.

Probably 75%+ of today's diseases have a high-carb connection, Dr. Bass now thinks.

Note that if an epileptic has been on strong drugs there also has to be a period of detoxification from these drugs. This detox period can be designed to be short or long, and should preferably be monitored closely by someone experienced in detoxification. With today's strong drugs there can sometimes be serious and scary body reactions, perhaps fevers, fits, breakouts - and the detox may have to be stopped and started repeatedly to minimize the dangers. Read more about detoxification at . Make certain that the specialist you choose understands detoxification.

Also see Dr. Stanley S. Bass' website:
Epilepsy is mentioned in the free pdf file: "Remarkable recoveries".


From Dr. Goldberg:

Regarding Epilepsy

To throw in my own experiences with patients with epilepsy....Experience has taught me that each person with epilepsy will have vastly different things going on with them. It would be arrogant of any of us to think that we can list with precision exactly what is going on with all persons with epilepsy since it is a symptom and not a cause of itself.

Precisely because it is such an individual problem a detailed case history on the patient is very important. One must be a detective in working with all patients (what I refer to as "clinical epidemiology") to attempt to track down the factor(s) involved and in cases of epilepsy this is particularly important.

This past week at The Goldberg Clinic we had two patients with a history of epilepsy come in as new cases. One had been assaulted by a baseball bat over a decade ago and another was a 12 year old girl with no history of trauma at all. Both clearly have different factors at play although their symptoms are very similar.

There are two inter-related goals I undertake:

1) If possible to determine the etiological (causal) factors involved and address them at their roots.

2) If it is not possible to determine the precise etiological factor(s) involved (and in epilepsy this is often the case), then to take every possible measure to increase the overall health and thereby raise the threshold for epileptic fits to occur.

Example: Two years ago a 23 year old female presented at our clinic with severe epilepsy, with seizures occuring at least one to two times per day over a 15 year period despite using phenobarbitol and dilantin. One of the tests I administered was a six hour glucose tolerance test where the patient drinks a quantity of glucose and we check the glucose level every hour for six hours. During the fourth hour her blood sugar dropped considerably and she had a seizure in our office. It was clear to us that her fits were triggered when her blood sugar level dropped.

She was put on a balanced program after this taking all steps to keep her blood sugar in balance including timing of meals and a natural whole foods diet without simple sugars. Other hygienic measures were employed to increase her general state of health and resistance. We also checked her for food allergies via antibody titers to determine what foods she was sensitive to and removed all these from the diet.

Since that time (two years) she has had only one seizure whereas before during a two year period she would have had over 700 of them. The one time a seizure occured was when she drank a large quantity of orange juice (simple sugars) that shifted her blood sugar and precipitated a seizure.

Note, that even though she is now symptom free, I did not fix her...I merely found a way for her to increase her health and raise her threshold so that seizures no longer occur.

Thanks for allowing me to give my experience on this topic.


... The feeling I get is that Dr. Goldberg says that diagnosis is of course ideal, but even when no diagnosis is possible, improved diet and increased overall health, will likely produce result. Sounds like what Dr. Bass writes about in his "Is diagnosis necessary" article. So there is in essence little difference about this?

From Dr. Goldberg:

Just to be clear ...when I use the term "diagnosis" I am not refering to "medical diagnosis" but rather as to what are the etiological (causal) factors in an ill person. Medical diagnosis is based primarily on a description of the person's symptoms/signs, while diagnosis in the true sense of the word means to identify the origins (causes) of the problem. When we arrive at a real diagnosis we are equipped to address problems in a concrete fashion and resolve them whereas in medical diagnosis (most of them) only symptoms will be addressed leaving the causes intact.

Allow me to open up a can of worms for our readers here...

For many Hygienists the diagnosis (of everything) ultimately becomes "Toxemia". This is unfortunate because "toxemia" does not create itself, it can be caused by a myriad of causes and only by identifying what those factors are can the "toxemia" be addressed. This is such an important point and one which so many Hygienists miss!

One only need read Dr. Tildens work (Toxemia Explained). Many Hygienists have not caught the real meaning of this brilliant little treatise i.e. they read it, think that "Toxemia is the original cause of all disease" and then put undue emphasis on diet and fasting as a panacea. Tilden was far deeper than that. His message was to seek out the causes of what made us sick (or toxic) and address those causes which can be numerous. Dr. Tilden was also insightful in pointing out the "individual diasthesis" i.e. that we are all different genetically and subject to different problems not only due to difference in lifestyle but also due to different genetic makeups.


Paul A. Goldberg, M.P.H., D.C., D.A.C.B.N.
Senior Director of Physician Relations
Original Medicine
A Division of Garden of Life, Inc.

The Goldberg Clinic



Hi Peter,

Quantum physics tells us that our reality is the sum total of our experiences. And as I have been handling epileptic cases for some forty odd years now thought you might be interested to hear another perspective to add to the sum total of knowledge.

I will cite one case to illustrate many instances. This is of a child who was quite normal until he had a fall onto concrete from a table on which he was playing. The subsequent effect was that he began to experience frequent epileptic seizures. Subsequently the child became my client and in the ensuing years the differences between the parents as to how the child was to be treated, caused the parents to separate and eventually divorce. This introduced a further perspective to the formula, a psychological one, and in my opinion,gave rise to an extension in the time required for recovery.

I would wish to point out that over the whole period of time, three to four years, that the child required for complete recovery, there was a close and intimate relationship between myself and the parents at all times. Without this I do not feel the success that was achieved could have been possible.

As I have mentioned above, there was dissension between the parents as to how the child should be treated. The father was agreeable to and in favour of, raw food. The mother believed that a percentage of cooked food would cause no harm. In both instances though they were both in favour of a high intake of of fruit, relatively speaking. That is at least 50/50. This couple lived, and still do live, in the tropics in a sub-tropical climate.

The treatment recommended and given was that as soon as there was any indication of a seizure occurring all food was to be withheld, and then for at least three days. Recovery was immediate if this regime was followed. If food was introduced too early, there were further seizures. After the fasting period at least one day of only fruit was followed. Progress was slow but sure, except when the mother provided cooked food when the father was away from the home.And as this was a frequent yet not every day occurrence fortunately, the recovery was delayed.

Upon the parents separating where the child spent half his time with each parent it was a continual push-pull situation until eventually the father took complete control of the child and only raw foods were permitted.

Today the child is fully recovered to the point of where he is completely free of any seizures, eats lots of fruit, and can tolerate small amounts of cooked foods, although he now chooses of his own accord to eat only raw food.


John L. Fielder DO,DC,ND(Adel)
Osteopath & Lifestyle consultant
Academy of Natural Living


What is your conclusion in general? That all - or many - seizures are due to brain impacts?

It is my belief that all seizures are caused by damage to a particular part of the brain. This may be of physical, physiological or psychological origin and is usually a combination of all three with one area being to the fore as in the fall in this instance.

Has fasting and raw diet has been enough in all cases you have had?

To be successful in the long term, it has been my experience that we must address all factors. Counselling of the parents and child was a vital component in this instance as well. I agree that meditation is an important tool in recovery.

What do you think of the theory that high-sugar is a cause -- is that a different type of seizure than the impact-caused you talk about?

It is my own personal opinion that there is a case for the harmfulness of a high sugar intake in certain circumstances, to do with climatic conditions, time of year, genetic pre-disposition (=biochemical individuality - Dr Goldberg), etc.

Is there any case you have had that may be sugar-related?

In my opinion - no.

Do you think fruits would be ok in all cases, or only if locally grown, or if living in the tropics?

I believe that if every-one were to eat instinctively they would always choose fruit when it was appropriate and reject it when not. In the warmer season of the year we all do desire and enjoy the eating of more fruit . And as the weather varies from day to day, so the desire will vary. In the colder weather we desire the vegetables more and less fruit, even to a minimum. And if we lived in the extremely cold climates as with the eskimos, we would need to live as they do to be healthy (Dr Weston A Price).

Interesting, in the end it seems like there is a distinct difference between cooked carbs and raw. I wonder if that means that some epileptics can handle raw carbs, but there are other cases that cannot?

It is my opinion, based upon the research of Dr Bircher-Benner, that far from being able, or not able to digest raw carbs, epileptics, as with us all, always can do so. It is the cooked carbs that cause the problems. Dr Bircher-Benner showed with his research as long ago as in the late 1800's and early 1900's that in all instances we can digest raw food, even though we may not be able to digest cooked food.

Or if raw carbs have to be of specially high quality, that is possible to get only in the tropics.

Dr Bircher-Benner's research was carried out in Switzerland, a country which is certainly not tropical and experiences long cold winters with snow etc.

Or if living in the tropics (sunshine etc) plays in?

I do believe that sunshine is a necessary component in the maintenance of health in all instances, and not less so than in epilepsy. Yet the results that I am speaking of were obtained with people who were, and are, living in temperate climates as well. The sun does not only shine in the tropics. In fact there is sufficient sunlight in the UK for the authorities there to suggest that people use solar panels to reduce their dependance upon fossil fuel produced power. And this applies throughout the whole of the world. Our biggest problem appears to be that we live so much in-doors that we do not access the sunlight when it is available, particularly in the winter time.


Date: 01/07/05


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