Will a specialized diet reduce my child’s seizures?
Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict whether a specialized diet will help reduce your child’s seizures.
The ketogenic diet often is effective for children with certain types of conditions that are associated with seizures, such as GLUT1 deficiency syndrome and pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency. However, the diet also helps some children with other types of epilepsy. The child’s age or epilepsy type does not seem to affect whether the diet will be effective. Our care team will talk to you about whether a ketogenic diet might be a good option for your child.
Which diet should I consider?
Following either diet can be a big adjustment for families, so it is important for you to learn all you can before making the commitment. You will meet with the dietitian and discuss your child’s nutrition history and preferences prior to starting the diet. The dietitian will work with you to decide which diet will be the best fit for your child.
Can a ketogenic diet harm my child?
No, but the diets do require close monitoring with the dietitian and medical team. Ketogenic and modified Atkins diets can cause minor issues, such as constipation and kidney stones, but these are avoidable.
Is a ketogenic diet forever?
In most cases, children remain on the diet for two to three years, if it is effective. Eventually, we may recommend introducing regular food into your child’s diet to see if the seizures recur. If the diet is not effective within a few months, it will be stopped.
How long until we see results?
Often, a period of fine-tuning is needed to determine whether a ketogenic or modified Atkins diet will be effective in helping a child achieve seizure control. After three to six months, our team will evaluate how well the diet is working. If your child is experiencing an improvement in his or her seizure frequency, we may reduce his or her anti-seizure medication at this time.