Claire Liu claims avocados played a key role in stopping her 5-year-old daughter’s seizures. Aptly named Leafy, the little one from England was born with a brain disorder that caused her to have 60 seizures a day.
“We both hoped that she would grow out of it, and it’s not too uncommon for babies to have seizures,” Claire said. “But three weeks later, she had her second seizure, and it continued like that. Every 21 days or so, she would have another fit.”
Leafy was just 6 months old when the seizures began. The couple moved to Perth, Australia, hoping the climate would help. It didn’t.
“It was exhausting for her,” the mother said. “Every time that she had one, she would sleep for hours afterwards.”
Conventional medication failed to stop her seizures, so Claire began to look into alternative medicine. Claire decided to try the ketogenic diet, which is high in fat and low in carbs.
According to the Epilepsy Society: “Up to 70% of people with epilepsy could have their seizures controlled with anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). For some children who continue to have seizures, the ketogenic diet may help.”
A 2008 clinical trial at Great Ormond Street Hospital showed that a ketogenic diet reduced the number of seizures in children who did not respond well to AEDs. Within three months, 4 in 10 children had their seizures reduced by half and were able to reduce their medication.
Nevertheless, the Epilepsy Society recommends that the ketogenic diet be closely monitored by an epilepsy specialist and a dietitian.
“We thought that we would give it a go, and were stunned by the effect that it had,” said Justin, Leafy’s father. “Within two days it had impacted Leafy.”
Leafy has been eating at least two avocados a day for the past four years. She only has a few seizures a year as opposed to several a day.
“When she was at her worst, I could never have envisioned that avocado would be the thing to help her through, but that’s how it’s turned out,” Justin said.
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Photo: CBS – Inside Edition
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