Why Does The Keto Diet Help Epilepsy

For Adults: Johns Hopkins Adult Epilepsy Diet Center

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The ketogenic diet has been used to treat children with epilepsy for almost a century. Our center, which opened in 2010, is the first-ever clinic to offer ketogenic diet therapy specially designed for adults with epilepsy.

Our regimen is a modification of the classic ketogenic diet, similar to the Atkins diet. Recent studies have shown that this modified Atkins diet lowers seizure rates in nearly half of adults that try it, usually within a few months. Unlike the ketogenic diet for children, this therapy does not require a hospital stay, an initial fasting period, food weighing, fluid measuring, or calorie counting.

Your local neurologist will continue to be your primary neurologist and prescribe your seizure medications and the clinic provides consultative services.

What Foods Can Your Child Eat

Your child’s diet will have a lot of fat. To put it in perspective, in a healthy diet for kids, about 25% to 40% of calories come from fat. In the ketogenic diet, about 80% to 90% of calories come from fat.

So your child’s meals are loaded with fats while portions of protein and especially carbs are small. In the typical ketogenic diet, kids get three to four times as much fat at each meal compared to carbs and protein combined.

What does that mean in practice? Most high-carb foods — like bread, pasta, sweets, and more — are off the menu. Your doctor will usually start with this first, but there are also modifications. If it works, you can usually step down to more of a modified Atkins and slow introduce carbs. This usually involves carb counting and monitoring ratio of carbs to fats.

Your child may start the diet in the hospital so nurses and doctors can observe the first few days. They will probably need to go without any food for 36 to 48 hours before beginning the diet. After that, food is increased over a few days.

This diet does not provide all the vitamins a body needs, so your child will probably have to take sugar-free vitamin supplements.

How Does The Diet Work

Usually the body uses glucose from carbohydrates for its energy source. Chemicals called ketones are made when the body uses fat for energy . With the ketogenic diet, the body mostly uses ketones instead of glucose for its energy source. Research has shown that a particular fatty acid, decanoic acid, may be involved in the way the diet works.

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Fighting Epilepsy With The Ketogenic Diet

What is epilepsy, and who is affected?

Our brains operate incredibly, almost like a circuit board. In the brain, billions of nerve cells arranged in intricate patterns interact with each other through electrical circuits, resulting in all of our cognitive function. If a disruption hits any of these electrical circuits, a seizure could occur, presenting an uncontrollable disturbance in behavior, sensation or movement with altered states of alertness and comprehension. Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder that can affect anyone, and stems from a variety of causes, including genetic makeup, structural brain changes, tumors, prior infections and inflammation. However, the specific cause is often unknown in many cases.

Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological condition in the world, impacting over 65 million people across the globe and approximately 450,000 children in the U.S. Since epilepsy disrupts brain activity, it can also affect a childs ability to learn and function appropriately. Therefore, its imperative that epilepsy is addressed and treated.

When do you suggest the ketogenic diet for epilepsy patients?

How did the ketogenic diet come about, and how was it connected to treating epilepsy?

What exactly is the ketogenic diet?

Which foods are commonly used on the ketogenic diet?

Im interested in trying the ketogenic diet for my child. Where do I start?

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Keto Diet For Epileptic

Kid-sized kitchen tools and low tables make classes easier on the kids, but the parents benefit from finding a network of support from other families in the program. Watch Santis story to see how the program has helped his family.

For more information about the ketogenic diet program at Childrens Mercy call . You can also listen to a podcast with Dr. Ahmed Abdelmoity, Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Childrens Mercy, about the scientific and medical basis for the ketogenic diet.

Learn more about the diet and how it works from the Charlie Foundation.

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Ketogenic Diet For Epilepsy: Why Choose Johns Hopkins

As a patient, you benefit from the support of our highly skilled dietitians and neurologists who work together and customize the diets to fit your health goals and lifestyle.

  • The pediatric epilepsy team at Johns Hopkins has almost 100 years of experience in treating epilepsy with the ketogenic diet.
  • More than 1,500 children have been enrolled in our ketogenic diet program for seizures.
  • Johns Hopkins developed the modified Atkins diet in 2002 as a treatment for adolescents and adults and opened the worlds first adult epilepsy diet center.

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For Children: The Pediatric Ketogenic Diet Center

The pediatric epilepsy team at Johns Hopkins has used the high fat, low carbohydrate ketogenic diet to address seizures since the diets therapeutic origins in the 1920s. We are one of the premiere centers in the world for clinical and research expertise on the ketogenic diet, having treated over 1,500 children with this approach.

Our group collaborates with many other epilepsy centers around the world, including our partners at Johns Hopkins All Childrens Hospital in Florida.

How Long Do Kids Need A Ketogenic Diet

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You should know if a ketogenic diet works for your child within a few months. If it does, your doctor may recommend weaning your child off the diet after 2 years of seizure control. The weaning process is done over several months to avoid triggering seizures.

Some people stay on a ketogenic diet for years.

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Do You Know Keto Diet Was First Developed For Epilepsy Know How It Works

Keto is short for ketogenic, which is a high-fat, low-carb diet highly popular for weight loss.

Whether you are into fitness or not, trying to lose weight or not you might have heard of the keto diet. Many celebs have promoted it in the past, and so have fitness influencers. This low-carb, high-fat diet has proved to be highly effective for weight loss. A person on a keto diet reduces his/her intake of carbohydrates and switches to fat for energy. In this, the body undergoes a process called ketosis, which makes it highly effective in burning fat. Although, currently popular as a weight loss diet, do you know that it was initially developed for epilepsy patients? How does the keto diet help in epilepsy? For an answer to this question, Onlymyhealth spoke to Sreemathy Venkatraman, a gut health practitioner & wellness nutritionist and the founder of Mitha Aahara-Eat to Live.

Basics Of The Keto Diet

While the specifics of a keto diet plan can vary slightly for each person, a typical calorie breakdown for a keto diet is:4

  • 75 percent from fat
  • 20 percent from protein
  • 5 percent from carbs

Keeping the correct balance of fat calories to the other nutrients is important. Too many non-fat calories may prevent your body from going into ketosis and getting the benefits of the diet for epilepsy.4

It is recommended to work closely with a registered dietitian to help monitor your progress and solve any issues that come up.

When following the keto diet, your doctor will check if the diet is working by monitoring for ketones in your urine or blood. Your doctor or dietitian might adjust your treatment plan based on the number of ketones in your body.1

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The Future Of Keto As A Treatment

The diet is difficult for kids and families alike, and it’s seldom the only treatment. Childrens Colorado providers and the keto team feel that the diet should only be prescribed if a variety of easier treatment regimens like anti-seizure medications don’t work. Even with the diet, most kids do it in tandem with meds.

And, Oliver notes, the stakes are high: “They can’t cheat. If they cheat, they get seizures.”

Still, for many kids, it’s well worth the work. For older kids and teens who have more trouble sticking to the rigors of such a strict diet, there’s also a mounting body of evidence that a somewhat less restrictive version known as the “modified Atkins” can work just as well.

And researchers around the country and at Children’s Colorado are constantly refining the recommendations. There’s a growing movement to study the effectiveness of keto on neurological conditions from autism to brain tumors, though so far, says Oliver, the research isn’t strong enough to recommend it.

“This diet completely changes the mechanism of energy,” she says. “It affects every cell in the body.”

What Are The Benefits Of The Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet for Epilepsy and Sample Menu

The ketogenic diet has been shown to be effective in significantly reducing seizures in about half of the children who start it. A small number of children will become seizure-free on the diet.

For some children, anti-epileptic medications can be reduced, leading to a reduction in side effects of medications.Some families also report improvements in behaviour, learning ability, development and awareness.

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What Is The Keto Diet

The keto diet is a diet which is high in fat and low in protein and carbohydrates. In a normal diet most of your energy comes from carbohydrates . These foods get turned into sugar and are used by the cells in your body. However, if your body does not receive much carbohydrates it can use fat for energy instead. This is a state called ketosis.

The aim of a keto diet is to encourage your body to reach ketosis. To do so, most of the food in your diet needs to consist of fatty foods like butter, cream, oils, avocado and cheese.

Is This A Healthy Way To Eat

To make sure the diet is nutritionally balanced, an experienced dietitian works out exactly how much of which foods the person can eat each day. To help with this, people have individual recipes, are given support on how to plan meals, and are guided on which foods should be avoided. As the diet can be quite restrictive, the dietitian will recommend any vitamin and mineral supplements that are needed.

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Types Of Ketogenic Diet

There are different types of ketogenic diets which are used. The ketogenic team will advise on the diet most suitable for your child. The dietitian will calculate the diet to ensure that it is safe and nutritionally adequate. For certain types of the diet, some special products may be needed which are available on prescription.

Why Is The Keto Diet Good For Epilepsy

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We still do not know exactly why the keto diet helps people with epilepsy and there are a number of different theories.

One possible explanation is that the electrical activity in your brain that causes seizures requires lots of energy. It is easy for your brain to quickly get energy from sugar. On the other hand, if your body is making energy from fat, it gets transmitted slower. This then means seizures cannot start as easily. There are a number of other explanations too.

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What Is A Ketogenic Diet

If medicine doesn’t control seizures in epilepsy, sometimes doctors prescribe a ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet is a strict high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that can reduce, and sometimes stop, seizures.

It’s called “ketogenic” because it makes ketones in the body. Ketones are made when the body uses fat for energy. By replacing carbs with fat in the diet, the body burns more fat and makes more ketones.

The ketogenic diet is prescribed by a doctor. Kids on the diet need to be followed closely by a dietitian to make sure they follow the diet and get the nutrients they need. The diet starts with fasting during an overnight hospital stay.

This Diet Might Appear Very Ketogenic:

To lots of persons, but they have to understand that they shouldnt start this diet without professional advice. The problem of side effects is real, but you should remember that there are lots of hospitals who offer courses in this direction and who monitor people on the diet. If you ever want to start this diet, this is the best way to do it. Good luck!

Are you considering using the ketogenic diet in order to treat drug resistant epilepsy? Come visit our website today to learn more on this topic.

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Is There Evidence It Works

Research into seizure diets has shown promising results. The traditional ketogenic diet reduces seizures in most children. About 10 to 15 percent of children on the ketogenic diet are seizure-free.

A 2016 study published in Epilepsy and Behavior followed 168 people enrolled in diet therapy for epilepsy between 2010 and 2015. Among study participants who stayed on the modified Atkins diet the whole time, 39 percent either became seizure-free or had a 50 percent reduction in seizures.

In a of 22 participants on the modified Atkins diet, six had a greater than 50 percent reduction in seizure activity after one month. Twelve had a greater than 50 percent reduction after two months.

The low glycemic index treatment is also promising. A

Understand The Keto Diet For Epilepsy

Why Are Ketogenic Diets Difficult?

The keto diet for epilepsy can help people with drug-resistant epilepsy control seizures. Learn how it is used for children and adults with epilepsy.

If your seizures are not controlled by anti-epilepsy medication, your doctor may have talked about following the keto diet for epilepsy. This is a special diet that has been used to treat epilepsy since the 1920s.

The keto diet is effective for reducing or even stopping seizures among people with refractory epilepsy .

Here is everything you need to know about the keto diet and epilepsy.

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Is The Ketogenic Diet Right For Your Child

You have to decide if your family is ready for the ketogenic diet. You’ll need to change the food you have in your home and the meals you eat. That can be tricky if you have other kids in the family.

All caregivers for your child — from babysitters to teachers — have to understand the diet and be on board, too. Even a little cheating on the food plan could trigger a seizure.

If you think you’re up for it, talk to your child’s doctor. Going “keto” is never easy — but for many kids, it can be a big success.

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