You may have heard about the ketogenic diet, or the keto diet, as a way to lose weight. This diet was first made for childhood epilepsy to reduce the risk of seizures. If your child is suffering from epilepsy and anti-epileptic medicines are not effective enough in treating their epilepsy, it may be worth trying the ketogenic diet. It is a safe and healthy way to try and treat epilepsy without medicine – read on to find out what it is and how it can be used as a treatment.

What Is the Ketogenic Diet?

The ketogenic diet is a diet consisting of high fat foods and a low intake of carbohydrates, with a controlled amount of protein to cause the body to go through something called ketosis. This diet is usually used when two different anti-epileptic medicines have been used on your child, and both have failed to reduce the number of seizures. The diet is fully backed by healthcare professionals and is used as a treatment. If you want to know more about the diet, visit If you wish to try this diet with your child, speak to your doctor and a dietitian first. The diet can be altered for all ethnic preferences and those with allergies, although this can make the diet a lot more limited. It is suitable for most types of seizures and types of epilepsy including Dravet syndrome and West syndrome.

How Can the Ketogenic Diet Reduce Seizures?

The ketogenic diet has been used since the 1920’s to reduce the number of seizures your child may experience. Usually when you need energy for bodily functions, your body uses glucose broken down from carbohydrates that you have eaten. When you increase the number of fats you are eating, your body is forced to use these for energy instead. This forces the body to produce two chemicals, decanoic acid and ketones, the process of which is called ketosis. These chemicals can help stop seizures in some children, although there is no guarantee it will work in every child.

How Can Any Progress Be Measured?

The best way to measure progress with this diet is to keep a diary of the number of seizures your child is having before you start the diet and carrying on once the diet has started. This can be used to compare the amount of seizures as well as how long they are lasting as the diet begins to work. You will have regular follow-ups with your doctor and dietitian to check the diet is right for your child and blood or urine tests can be done to ensure that ketones are being produced.

If your child is suffering from epilepsy, as a parent you will want to do anything you can to ensure they reduce their seizures and have their epilepsy controlled. Usually medicines can do this on their own but sometimes a diet is needed to help reduce these seizures. Talk to your doctor if you want to give this diet a try to see if it is right for your child and to get a diet plan according to your child’s individual needs.

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