Ketogenic Diet Plan is a special medicated high-fat diet plan, which has exclusively been designed to save children from epileptic seizures. Many children have got benefited from the diet plan. And the best part of the diet plan is its impacts persist, even after discontinuing the diet plan.
Jim Abraham, Hollywood producer used the diet plan to treat his child who was suffering from severe epilepsy. He also formed Charlie Foundation to sponsor the diet plan.
What Ketogenic Diet Does?
Human body takes energy from glucose but glucose cannot be stored by your body for more than 24 hours. Should the children suffering from epilepsy be kept hungry for more than 24 years, their body will naturally start finding some other source of energy. And this is the time when their body will start burning fat to gain energy from it.
The diet plan consists of food items having 80% fats and 20% proteins and low-carbs. Each and every meal of ketogenic diet has been allocated in the ratio of 4:1 for fats and carbs to proteins. All the food items including liquid diets has to be carefully designed. Only certified dietitians and nutritionists should tailor the diet plan for your children according to his particular symptoms.
Work Mechanism of Ketogenic Diet
Ketogenic diet is high in fats, moderate in proteins, and low in carb. When fat enters the body of your children, their liver transform it into fatty acids or ketone bodies. These ketone bodies reach to the brain and provide required energy to it. Elevated level of ketones in the blood leads to a state named Ketosis, which combats against epileptic seizures.
Success Rate of Ketogenic Diet
There have been mixed results in children kept on ketogenic diet. Whereas some children got great relief from seizures, others didn’t get much relief. And there were some other children who didn’t show any improvement in their situation.
Almost one third of children kept on ketogenic diet have been able to get complete relief from seizures. Another third part of children got half relief and rest of them couldn’t continue with the diet plan, due to exceeding side effect of the diet. Doctors have been unable to figure out the reasons why high fat diet is so effective in treating seizures. In addition to that, variation in response to ketogenic diet is also beyond their understanding.
How to Check The Suitability of Ketogenic Diet?
For checking the suitability of diet plan on your children, doctors recommend to notice the impacts of the diet plan on your children for at least one month. Should you notice any improvement in the condition of your children while using the diet plan, you can stick to the diet plan. You can also continue the medication for your children, along-with the diet program to get faster results.
Doctors generally recommend keeping the children on same diet for two years and when they notice improvement in seizures, they gradually starts including normal foods into their diet plan.
Side Effects of Ketogenic Diet
Just like all other popular treatments for epilepsy, ketogenic diet also has some side effects. However, should they be entertained earlier and treated properly, they disappear. Adult women and children on ketogenic diet may suffer from following side effects.
- High cholesterol level
- Diminished growth in child
- Kidney stones or Gall stones
In Adult Women
- Menstrual Irregularities
- Reduced bone density
- Eye Problems
Children and adults kept on ketogenic diet have to be monitored continually. Since the diet plan lacks in vital vitamins, you shall take several vitamin supplements to fulfill their deficiency. Also, children suffering from seizures from their birth might find it hard to process fats. So, all these situations require strict supervision of team of medical experts.
Some Simple Tips For Parents
- Don’t strain yourself too much whether your children will adhere to the diet plan or not. When there will be a reduction in seizures due to the diet, they indeed will eat according to the plan.
- Once or twice in a week, prefer preparing the meals adored by your children to surprise them.
- Appreciate your children for supporting and cooperating with you in abiding by the diet plan.
- Try to chop the fruits and vegetables in creative and alluring shapes, which pep up your children to eat them.
Should you try ketogenic diet on your children for treating epileptic seizures, always do that under the guidance of medical experts. Trying it on your own, without any expert recommendation, might jeopardize the life of your children.