Health Diet – Ketogenic Diet to Assist With the Treatment of Epilepsy
The emphasis of this diet is high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrates and therefore definitely not developed for any weight loss as it is the opposite of any other diet you can think of.
Scientific studies however have proved that this diet could assist with reducing or preventing epilepsy in youngsters even the hard to treat cases that could not be controlled by medication. It has been medically proven that over half of the youngsters that go on this diet have a 50% reduction in their seizures and at least 10-15% become seizure free.
Most of the children on the ketogenic diet continue to take their seizure medicines however some are able to take smaller doses now that they are on this diet and depending on their physician this reduction can be started, safely, as early as the initiation period of this diet.
Be very aware however that if the child goes off the diet [even for one meal] the effect of the diet may be lost, it is very difficult for the parent to get the child to maintain this diet 100%, especially if the youngsters siblings are eating normal diets and have free access to the fridge. Strict control over the youngster is needed and a dietitian could assist in designing a ketogenic diet that is interesting and containing some of the child’s favorite foods.
Breakfast: Cheese omelet, olive oil and steamed broccoli
Snack: Wedge of cheese
Lunch: Hamburger patty topped with cheese and a salad with mayonnaise
Snack: Protein shake with coconut oil
Dinner: Salmon with asparagus and olive oil
This ketogenic diet forces the body into burning fats rather than carbohydrates [similar to the Atkins diet] and this generates glucose which we know helps with the functioning of both body and brain. This is due to the low carbo intake which forces the liver to convert fats into ketones and as more ketones are produced the body goes into a state of ketosis, this is beneficial to the children with hard to treat epilepsy as ketosis acts as a anti-convulsive.
Easy to solve/prevent side effects
1) Nausea and vomiting due to the high fat content, this can be minimized or prevented by a slow increase in the fat over a few days.
2) Drowsiness and lethargy due to the increase in the ketone levels, take note of the child’s energy levels before the diet and as your child adjusts to the ketones you will see an improvement in their alertness and a lot less drowsiness.
3) Constipation, a common side effect that can be avoided by a good fluid intake and including high fibre, low carb vegetables into the diet. A daily dose of a stool softener could also help the child with no ill effect.
4) A less common side effect is kidney stones, avoid this by ensuring the child has a good daily fluid intake.
Other side effects
Elevated blood lipids, checked on a follow up, should return to normal levels when going off the diet and can be controlled with additional supplements.
Remember: All parents considering a ketogenic diet for their child should discuss this with their doctors.
Candice is a full time author and loves to write about her interests. These include a variety of diets, be it for weight loss or for the benefit of ones health she puts pen to paper. She also loves shopping, bowling, beading, dabbles in the forex market and enjoys internet marketing. You can visit her at Black Chrome Wheels to find the black chrome wheels you have always wanted.