Sunday 10 November 2013

Bone Health in Epilepsy

Ok, Vitamin D has been an issue for me since I was first refered to London.  I found out I had a vitamin D deficency and started on a supplement which I just didn't get on with and didn't help anyway.  But then no-one knew what to do, my GPs would always say go out in the sun more... I would say I do but it's my epilepsy meds which cause it... they would just say oh and do very little.

So now I just take an over the counter vitamin D supplement and hope it's enough, so hearing from a consultant about it was brilliant.  So in a nutshell...

The main issue in bone health is Genetics, so something you really can't change.  But it is some of the other factors are what can be effected by some epilepsy medication... those factors are:
  • increases the rate vitamin D is metabolised by your body
  • reduces calcium uptake from the gut
  • can effect hormones
  • interfer with vitamin K metabolism
  • direct effects on bone cell function
  • increased risk of falls from seizures
But the most important thing is that the issue of epilepsy medication doesn't really increase your risk of oseteoprosis until later in life.

So basically what you can do is
  • eat a healthy balanced diet
  • don't drink too much or smoke
  • exercise
  • reduce your risk of falls e.g. lighting, regular eye checks
  • take at least 400IU a day (blood levels should be above 50 in people with epilepsy)
So it answered quite a few of my questions and turns out I'm pretty much doing all I can.  Another interesting thing is that people with epilepsy do tend to be more aware of bone health and so do look after themselves better than much of the general population.

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