The ketogenic diet is high in fat and low in carbohydrates. Doctors may recommend the ketogenic diet for children whose epilepsy does not respond to AEDs.
What does it involve?
The ketogenic focuses on a diet very high in fat, very low in carbohydrates, and moderate in protein intake. The purpose of the diet is to force the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy, increasing the level of molecules called ketones in the blood. For some children, a high level of ketones reduces seizure activity.
Children may stay on the ketogenic diet for up to two years.
The ketogenic diet may help reduce the frequency of seizures.
Studies show that the ketogenic diet helps more than 50 percent of children reduce their seizures by half. As many as 15 percent of children become seizure-free on the ketogenic diet. Although the results of clinical trials show that the diet is equally effective in adults with epilepsy, most adults find it too difficult to follow.
The ketogenic diet can be very difficult to follow due to restricted food choices.
Some children experience gastrointestinal problems or behavioral issues on the ketogenic diet.
People on the ketogenic diet must take nutritional supplements.
If the ketogenic diet is continued long-term, it may cause weight gain, constipation, kidney stones, high cholesterol, bone fractures, and slowed growth in children.
Ketogenic Diet – Epilepsy Foundation
Ketogenic diet for treatment of epilepsy – PubMed