Ketogenic diet for management of uncontrolled Epilepsy

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Ketogenic Diet in Epilepsy

  • A high fat low carbohydrate diet generates ketone body production

    What is uncontrolled epilepsy?
    Epilepsy is primarily treated with medication. For many decades there were only 3-4 medications available, namely, Phenobarbitone, Phenytoin, Carbamazepine, Primidone and Sodium  Valproate. Since the last decade or two there has been an explosion of choices with Clobazam, Clonazepam, Gabapentin, Lamotrigine, Levetirecetam, Topiramate, Vigabatrin etc.. In spite of all this around 25-30% of all patients with epilepsy will not be controlled with any medication. Uncontrolled epilepsy is by definition the occurrence of 3-4 seizures per month in spite of the use of  2-3 appropriately chosen medications used in a maximally tolerated dose.

    What is Ketogenic diet?
    The ketogenic diet is based on the ancient observation that fasting controls seizures. The dietary approach to the treatment of epilepsy can be traced back to the 5th century BC, when Hippocrates described a man whose seizure was cured by abstaining from all food and drink.
    The use of the ketogenic diet (KD) was started in India in 1996 by Dr. J Nathan after training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, USA with Dr. J. Freeman and Ms. Millicent Kelly.

    To mimic the anti-epileptic effect of fasting a high fat low carbohydrate diet called the ketogenic diet is administered to produce ketone bodies. The ketogenic diet is a scientifically calculated but a highly individualised diet that is useful in controlling those with uncontrolled epilepsy.

    Before starting the diet therapy, it is important for the parents to understand many aspects of this mode of therapy, such as the following-

    • Medications to be used should all be sugar free
    • Importance of the exactness of the  diet
    • Use of weighing scale and other equipments
    • Preparation of recipes, methods of preparation
    • Vegetables and fruit exchange list
    • Water allowance and timings
    • Importance of meal timings
    • Method of checking the urine ketones and maintaining the record                                                             

    Additional information about the Ketogenic diet  is available at
    Asian Institute of India - http://www.ketogenicdietindia.org/

    To refer to some recipes developed by Dr.Nathan and his team, please follow this link - http://www.ketogenicdietindia.org/ketogenic-diet-recipes/keto-recipes/

    To understand more about Keotgenic Diet in simple words, please see the video by Dr. Nathan given below

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that this guide is for information purposes only. Please consult a qualified health practitioner for safe management.

    Read more to understand the science behind the Ketogenic diet.

     

    Epilepsy
    Nutrition
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