ABSTRACT Objective: To determine the effectiveness of low saturated fat diet (LSFD) in patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Design: 1) Internet forum where patients could request a 10 page LSFD plan, and 2) Follow-up assessment done by a retrospective 20-item questionnaire. Duration of treatment—2 months to 13 years. Pain rated on a Visual Analogue Scale and reported as typical, atypical, or both, defining typical TN as intermittent quick jolts/stabbing pain and atypical TN as continuous never ending discomfort. Setting: General community. Patients: 55 unselected patients, most with unilateral, severe and daily symptoms in V2 and V3 distribution for a mean duration of 8 years and on medications. 84% had pain level 9-10 before treatment, 89% had daily attacks and 31% had undergone surgical procedures. Intervention: LSFD for 2 months-13 years (mean 20 months). Main outcome measure: VAS score and medication use before and after LSFD treatment. Results: Reported SF content was 3-25 gm. With treatment 96% typical TN (p < 0.0001) and 71% atypical TN (p < 0.002) improved to level 0%-2. 9% improved in less than a week, 47% in 1-2 weeks and 44% in 3-4 weeks. 66% rated their compliance with diet as excellent and 27% as good. There were no side effects except weight loss. 72% of those on medications reduced or discontinued them. All patients with post-surgical residual severe typical TN also improved (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: LSFD is effective in TN with high compliance, few adverse effects and may result in reduction/ elimination of medications even in most severe cases.
Cite this paper
Verma, N. and Sherwood, F. (2013) Low saturated fat diet is effective in trigeminal neuralgia. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3, 402-406. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2013.36054.
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