EastEnders: Nancy Carters future plans in jeopardy because of health woes?
EastEnders: Mick Carter fumes at Nancy and Zack’s kiss
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Nancy (played by Maddy Hill) has suffered from epilepsy for years. To manage this, the determined EastEnders character keeps to a strict diet and exercises regularly. It’s partly, for this reason, she was left so worried after recently being badly injured – she believed her job as a personal trainer would be in jeopardy, and her seizures would get worse. But are viewers of the BBC about to see Nancy go too far with the dieting and potentially make herself ill? Express.co.uk recently spoke to Charlotte Caldwell, who, as the founder of the I am Billy Foundation, knows all too well the realities of epilepsy.
Charlotte’s young son Billy suffered his first seizure in 2005, at just four months old. She has since had to watch her son suffer through the pain of the condition while trialling different medications.
She explained: “What I’ve learned is the diet is really important. Studies have been carried out to show that food uptake helps, and I would say I know Billy is on medical cannabis which controls his seizures yes, but I believe his diet is absolutely playing a part in his seizure control.
“Billy has a really, really healthy diet, he gets a lot of good fats in his diet.”
Nancy is always seen on the soap drinking green juices, restricting what she eats and maintaining an exercise regime. But now that her routine has been interrupted, it’s possible she could rely solely on dieting.
Charlotte explained a healthy diet for epilepsy patients is advisable and she has seen positive results when it comes to her son, although everyone is different.
“I keep his carbohydrate intake very low,” she said. “And that’s from talking to people, Billy and I travelled all around the world – I scoured the globe to keep him alive.
“We had the privilege of spending time with some of the most eminent doctors in the world who are experts in epilepsy and diet is really, really important.”
The I am Billy Foundation is a campaign to open up patient access through publicly-funded cannabis prescriptions – as there is evidence cannabis helps to control seizures.
The campaign is pioneering for patients, public health and the industry and sets the bar high for regulation of medicine, understanding patient needs and gathering much-needed data for the NHS.
Charlotte dedicates her time to raising the message and trying to help other children with the condition.
“Billy has been on medical cannabis for five years now,” she said. “So this is Billy’s third stream of medical cannabis that he’s on.
“But it’s also the diet he is on that has a big impact.” Of course, the severity of epilepsy varies in patients, but Charlotte emphasised that sadly, there is still not an extensive amount that is known for sure when it comes to treatment or easing of the condition.
It would make sense for Nancy to attempt to keep her seizures at bay through the only thing she has control of in her injured state – her diet.
But could her reliance on this become too extreme if she isn’t seeking professional advice?
According to Charlotte, a huge amount of treatments have been trialled in epilepsy control.
“Cocktails of antiepileptic pharmaceuticals, diets, all sorts – and they haven’t worked.
“With antiepileptic pharmaceuticals, the chances of those controlling the seizures is about a 30 percent chance.
“But if you’ve tried the first two or three, then you go to using the fourth, the chances of them helping are reduced dramatically to about 10 or five percent.
“There’s risky surgery available but it often leads to infection, and that infection, in turn, leads to more seizures in many people.
“There is a lot more work to do and a lot more studies with medicine that needs to be done for epilepsy.
“They can’t guarantee it’s going to work, it’s basically an operation – it’s brain surgery.”
With such a lot of further studies needed in order to find out more about epilepsy, people often have to trial many different methods to try to find something that works for them.
Although a healthy diet is advised, Nancy may jeopardise her future by taking it too far, and not seeking the right kind of help.
If this happens, she may become weaker and more susceptible to suffering from seizures.
With the personal fitness instructor previously dating Zack in secret before Mick found out, will someone be able to pick up on her risky behaviour before she does any damage?
For professional advice and support regarding epilepsy visit https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/.
To find out more about the I Am Billy Foundation, visit https://www.iambilly.uk/.
EastEnders continues on Friday at 8pm on BBC One.
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