Diet plays an important role in managing myoclonus. Some fruits should be increased in the diet while some foods are either completely avoided or their quantity should be reduced.
What To Eat When You Have Myoclonus?
Food plays an important role not only in the management of myoclonus but also in various diseases. Foods help in improving the energy level of the body, which is one of the essential requirements for fighting against diseases. The diet of the patient depends upon the causes of myoclonus. For e.g., if the myoclonus is caused due to infections, then the diet should be such that it helps in boosting the immune system, while diet in toxin accumulation should be such that it increases the activity of liver to remove toxins from the body. As myoclonus is a symptom of the underlying disease, thus the diet should be aimed to manage the disease leading to alleviation of symptoms. Following are the foods to be incorporated in the diet of a patient with myoclonus
Modified Atkins Diet: Standard Atkins Diet is used for weight loss while its modified version is aimed for reducing the epileptic seizures rather than weight loss. As the frequency of seizures reduces, myoclonus is also managed. Patients with myoclonic-astatic epilepsy have an effect of the modified Atkins diet with chronic seizure control1.
Ketogenic Diet: Ketogenic diet is the diet in which there is very less concentration of carbohydrates and a high concentration of fats. The name Ketogenic arises as this diet puts the body in a condition called ketosis due to highly reduced availability of carbohydrates. This allows the body to use fats for energy. The fats get converted to ketones which provide energy to the brain. This diet results in reduced blood sugar levels and increased insulin sensitivity. The ketogenic diet is shown to be effective in Myoclonic status in non-progressive encephalopathy2.
Magnesium-rich foods: Magnesium-rich foods are to be incorporated the diet of patients suffering from myoclonus. This is due to the fact that imbalance in the calcium-magnesium ratio causes increased the contraction of muscles. Spinach, Quinoa, Almonds and avocado are some food supplements with sufficient quantity of magnesium.
Vitamin Supplementation: Vitamin supplementation is essential for the development and maintenance of the nervous system. The myoclonus is the condition of muscle jerking which is indirectly caused due to an abnormality in the nervous system. Deficiency of Vitamin B12 may cause numbness and tingling sensation4. Vitamin B6 is used in combination with Vitamin B12 and deficiency of Vitamin B6 may increase the frequency of muscle spasm. Thus, the patient should have food supplements rich in Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B6. Foods rich in Vitamin B6 include cabbage, eggs, fish, and peanuts. Another vitamin important for alleviating myoclonus is Vitamin D. Deficiency of this vitamin may lead to muscle twitching. Foods rich in this vitamin are fatty fish and cheese.
Increased Fluid: When the patient suffers from dehydration, there is an increase in muscle twitching. Water, non-sweetened juices and electrolytes are the best way to get dehydration.
What To Avoid When You Have Myoclonus?
The food that increases muscle twitching should be avoided. Thus, food increasing muscle contraction should not be incorporated into the diet. Following are the various foods to be avoided in case of myoclonus:
Calcium Supplements: Calcium is required for muscle contraction. Increased calcium supplementation may lead to a rapid rate of muscle contraction leading to muscle twitching. Excess of calcium as compared to magnesium may lead to muscle spasms.
Caffeinated Drinks: Drinks with a high concentration of caffeine such as coffee, tea, and colas may increase the risk of muscle twitching.
Other Foods: Other foods that increase muscle pain are processed food, Red meat, and some dairy products. Further, citrus fruits and refined carbs should also be taken in less quantity.
Foods that should be taken in myoclonus are magnesium-rich foods, vitamin B12, B6, and Vitamin D rich foods and remain properly hydrated. Foods that are avoided include excess calcium, caffeinated drinks, and refined carbs.
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