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Ketogenic Diet for Controlling Seizures in Children

05.08.2019 | 10:53 am

While medications are predominantly used for treating epilepsy,  ketogenic diet could also be prescribed by doctors as an effective way to control seizures. The diet could complement medication or could also help in cases when medication have not shown any response.

The ketogenic diet consists of a greater proportion of fat as compared to carbohydrates and proteins. To enter into a state called ketosis, the body burns fat in place of carbohydrates to produce energy, creating ketones instead of glucose. 

Ketones, also known as ketone bodies, serve as fuel for the brain, keeping it energized and active. As a result, this diet has shown results in treating children with epilepsy, reducing seizures, and at times, preventing them altogether. The diet is not a replacement for medication, but can be tried alongside it. 

When should children turn to a ketogenic diet?

In “difficult to control” epilepsy cases, a ketogenic diet is a suggested course of treatment. Sometimes, seizures are not controlled by medication alone, and at other times, during severe epilepsy syndromes, medication might not be enough. Children on a ketogenic diet will be given a detailed plan by a pediatric dietician and need to be closely observed and monitored to ensure that they are consuming all the required nutrients.  

What does it consist of?

The ketogenic diet usually consists of 3 to 4 grams of fat for every gram of protein and carbohydrates. As such, a child on such a diet would obtain 90% of their calories from fat, which the body will burn to produce ketones. The ratio is generally 4:1 for most children and 3:1 for infants. 

How does it work?

Studies suggest that ketogenic diet either reduces the frequency of seizures or at times stops them completely where medication alone could not help. In fact, according to research, children who have undergone ketogenic diet have shown a 50% reduction in the occurrence of seizures, and 10-15% of those children stopped having seizures altogether.

At Neuropedia our specialist pediatric keto dietician along with our Pediatric Neurologists will draw out a detailed diet plan for your child after a thorough evaluation. If your child is having refractory seizures, please book an appointment with us.

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