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Diet for Narcolepsy Treatment

Narcolepsy is a sleeping disorder that is characterized by severe bouts of drowsiness and sudden sleep-attacks during the day. If you are suffering from this condition, you will find it difficult to stay awake for a long period of time, regardless of the circumstances you are in. Many people overlook this condition, because they believe that it can’t be very serious. However, left untreated, narcolepsy not only causes major disruptions in your life but could also cause you to sleep during a dangerous situation. Therefore, you need to manage the condition as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, there is no cure for narcolepsy, but you can control the symptoms to a great extent, with the help of medication.
The treatment or the management of this disorder also includes lifestyle changes and diet therapy for narcolepsy.

Many doctors claim that there is nothing like a narcolepsy diet, but several patients swear that they have seen a significant amount of improvement in this disorder, by following a diet that is free of high-toxic foods and restricting the intake of certain foods to a particular time of the day. Given below are a few common diet for narcolepsy recommendations:
  • Increase the consumption of low-fat cleansing foods like green, leafy vegetables and sea veggies
  • Include a high amount of foods that contain B complex vitamins, like brewer’s yeast, brown rice, oats and other whole grains
  • Keep high-protein foods like chicken, turkey, meat, soy, seeds and nuts for the middle of the day, as they increase alertness
  • Consume foods high in complex carbs, like fruits, vegetables, pasta, whole grains and pulses, towards the end of the day, as they promote sleepiness by calming the mind and the body
  • Eat foods that are rich in amino acids, like wheat germ, eggs, poultry and oats
In order to reduce the symptoms of narcolepsy, it is very important for you to exercise regularly. Make sure that you exercise around 3 hours or so, before your normal bedtime.

Before incorporating any of the narcolepsy exercise and diet recommendations mentioned above, it is best for you to consult a doctor and get a “go ahead”.

Narcolepsy Food

Several different food items help to alleviate the symptoms of narcolepsy. Some of the common types of narcolepsy food recommended include fresh fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy products, skim milk, lean sources of protein, and whole grains. Apart from narcolepsy food intake, you need to monitor your meals too. Instead of eating 3 square meals a day, try consuming about 5 to 6 small meals at more frequent intervals. Larger meals and heavy food induces narcolepsy and therefore you can avoid that by eating a smaller and lighter meal. Also make sure that you are regular with your meals at all times, without missing any. Schedule your last meal of the day around 3 hours before bedtime and make sure that it is the lightest.

There are certain types of food that aggravate narcolepsy by causing peaks and drops in the levels of energy and blood sugar during the day. Therefore such foods should be strictly avoided. Some of the foods that are bad for this disorder include:
  • Alcohol
  • Refined sugar and chocolate
  • Processed food
  • Junk, greasy and oily food
There are many people who try to beat narcolepsy by drinking coffee or tea. However, caffeine only leads to temporary alertness and can in fact worsen the condition in the long run. Therefore, if you do have narcolepsy, you are strongly advised to eliminate caffeine from your daily diet.

One of the factors that could lead to narcolepsy is a food allergy or intolerance. Determining which food items attribute to your narcolepsy food intolerance could be a bit of a challenge. You could maintain a journal, making a note of all the foods you eat as well as the bouts of narcolepsy that you experience. Over a period of time, this journal will help you to identify which food allergies or intolerances are causing narcolepsy in your case.

Narcolepsy Nutrition

Narcolepsy nutrition is mainly aimed at increasing alertness and levels of energy during the day. Given below are some of the commonly recommended narcolepsy nutrients:
  • Calcium and magnesium, to boost energy and your nervous system  
  • Chromium picolinate to regulate sugar metabolism and boost energy
  • Coenzyme Q10, as it promotes circulation to the brain
  • Lecithin granules or choline capsules for improving brain function
  • L-Glutamine or brain fuel, which promotes mental abilities
  • Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide for creating and transferring chemical energy, especially while you are breathing
  • Octocosanol to increase the utilization of oxygen and boost endurance
  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids that protect cell membranes
  • Vitamin B complex to protect the body against damage caused by free radicals
  • Vitamin D, as it is essential for the proper absorption of calcium
  • Vitamin E, since it increases circulation of blood and oxygen and protects the functioning of the heart as well as the brain cells
In case you do not get all the required nutrients through your regular diet, you may want to take some narcolepsy nutritional supplements, after consulting your doctor. Make sure that you keep your doctor informed about any food allergies and preexisting medical conditions you are suffering from. Make sure that you get daily recommended doses from your doctor.
Submitted on January 16, 2014