Epilepsy is a little-known side effect of food chemicals. Kerry from chapter 4 of Fed Up has noticed that her seizures are triggered by salicylates and tartrazine colour (102). Another university student noticed that some foods trigger his seizures. Of the foods he mentions below, chocolate and orange juice are both very high in natural food chemicals called amines (May 1999)

Thanks for your book Fed Up and web-site. They're very useful and an eyeopener, especially since I suffer from epilepsy.

My epilepsy is well controlled by medication so it is difficult to determine what causes a seizure. However, I know that feeling fuzzy headed, over-talkative & rambling, are precursors to a seizure - especially feeling fuzzy headed. I notice the fuzzy-headedness, first, after not sleeping well.

I will experience a bad night's sleep through restlessness and at some point during the night I will wake up and start scratching my forearms. Waking up in the morning is difficult. The next day I can't think, especially to do math, or to perform conceptual thinking such as writing an essay. Reading is a problem during these times - I'll find that I can't concentrate, nothing seems to "get in" and I keep re-reading the same sentence hoping to extract meaning (eventually I give up).

The worst foods are chocolate and dairy (but I have to eat a lot of dairy for about a week before I notice any effects). I went on the "fit for life" diet and noticed that juices were causing similar problems - I sort of became addicted to orange juice and was having major mood swings. The same problems occurred when I tried the "liver cleansing diet." Chocolate is, by far, the worst.

I find that I am not good at sticking to diets, but I keep trying - especially when things get bad!