Though more research needs to be conducted on the link between caffeine and epilepsy, there appears to be two important aspects to the dangers of caffeine on epilepsy symptoms as follows:
1. Caffeine can trigger a seizure in large dosages and lower the seizure threshold for some people with epilepsy.
A scientific study entitled “Influence of coffee drinking on epilepsy control” by Barbara Błaszczyk in the Journal of Pre-Clinical & Clinical Research (1/2007 Vo1. 1) concluded:
“Caffeine is a global stimulant the increased intake of which leads to a lowering of the seizure threshold, which may result in reduced control of epilepsy.
Two cases are reported: a male with well-controlled epilepsy, and a female with drug-resistant, moderately-controlled epilepsy.
In both patients, temporary excessive coffee consumption led to increased seizure frequency, and withdrawal of coffee from the diet resulted in a return to the previous status.”
But, there is some contradictory research from 2019 as follows:
“Moderate coffee intake associated with few seizures in drug-refractory patients with epilepsy” according to Julie Bourgeois-Vionnet, MD, of the department of functional neurology and epileptology at Hospices Civils de Lyon in France (SUDEP; Epilepsy Behav. 2018 Mar;80:37-47) as follows:
“The effect of caffeine on seizures may be dose dependent, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Epilepsy Society.
Moderate doses of caffeine may benefit patients with epilepsy, whereas high doses – four cups of coffee per day or more – may increase seizure susceptibility”
2. Caffeine can affect the effectiveness of anti-epilepsy medicine.
For example, in animal studies, caffeine decreased the antiepileptic potency of some drugs, particularly in topiramate.
So, how can decaffeinated coffee help people suffering with epilepsy?
- It seems that, either way, those with epilepsy need to control their caffeine intake and decaffeinated coffee is an option.
But, coffee is a daily ritual for many people and it’s hard to not drink coffee!
But, this can be very easily controlled by drinking decaffeinated coffee instead of regular caffeinated coffee.
If you drink the right decaf coffee, for example, Swiss Water Decaf Process coffee, you will not tell the differenence in taste and you will still be able to enjoy your morning coffee?
- Experiment with blending 50% Swiss Water Decaf coffee with regular coffee to produce a Half Caff Blend with 50% less caffeine.
That way, you will be able to reduce your caffeine intake and wean yourself off excessive caffeine.