Ketogenic diet epilepsy also called epilepsy in German, has been around for centuries. Just as long as doctors are looking for possible treatment methods.
One of the oldest treatment options for Ketogenic Diet Epilepsy, which has recently been forgotten in Germany. For which forms of epilepsy it is suitable and how it is carried out, you will find out in this Ketogenic Diet Epilepsy article.
Epilepsy is one of the most common chronic diseases of the nervous system. A single epileptic seizure is a sudden event that ends after a few seconds or minutes. If the seizure occurs only once, it is called a “casual seizure”.
About 5-10% of all people have such a seizure once in their lives. “Opportunity” in this case means that the seizure has a recognizable cause, a trigger.
THIS COULD BE, FOR EXAMPLE, A BRAIN INJURY FROM AN INJURY OR INFLAMMATION, OR A MASSIVE DROP IN BLOOD SUGAR, ALCOHOL WITHDRAWAL, POISONING OR LACK OF OXYGEN.
In infants, a rapidly rising fever can lead to a seizure, a so-called “fever attack”.
If there is a clearly identifiable cause, it is called a “provoked casual attack”. If no trigger is identifiable, from “unprovoked casual seizure”. This can be due to long-standing brain damage or the occurrence of epilepsy in the family.
Even if occasional seizures are more common, one does not yet speak of epilepsy. An epilepsy is based on at least two unprovoked seizures, which are triggered by a long-term, usually hereditary change in the brain.
This leads to a disruption of brain function. The chemical and electrical processes in the brain are finely tuned. When an epileptic seizure occurs by a disorder now to a simultaneous discharge of different nerve cells.
AS A RESULT, INDIVIDUAL BRAIN REGIONS ARE IRRITATED. THIS UNFAMILIAR IMPULSE TRIGGERS THE ATTACK.
The manifestation of seizures depends on which brain area is affected. Some seizures last only seconds and almost go unnoticed, causing slight muscle twitching or tingling or pauses in consciousness.
Others take 1-2 minutes, leading to loss of consciousness, violent convulsions and uncontrollable twitching.
There are many different types of epilepsy and not every one is considered a burden. Some patients are rarely affected by this disease in their everyday lives, especially if they rarely have seizures that hardly affect them.
Others suffer from severe and frequent seizures. Whether a therapy is necessary is thus also an individual decision. Usually, treatment is given when more than two onerous attacks occur each year.
THE NATURE OF EPILEPSY ALSO AFFECTS THE THERAPY METHOD.
There are drugs that reduce the risk of seizures, called anticonvulsants, also called antiepileptic drugs. In some cases, surgery or a stimulation procedure can help.
Before there were operations and drugs for epilepsy, it was tried to alleviate the suffering with the help of nutrition. Back in antiquity, Hippocrates discovered that fasting leads to a strong reduction of seizures, or even stops them altogether.
However, since dietary renunciation is not a permanent solution, American doctors developed the ketogenic diet in the 1920s, which mimics the condition of fasting.
KETOGENIC DIET EPILEPSY
In Germany, this therapy method has simply been forgotten, since there are drugs for the treatment of epilepsy. German doctors have been paying more attention to the ketogenic diet for some years now.
However, there is a lot of experience in the treatment of epilepsy due to the ketogenic diet. Scientifically researched on this topic, for example, Dr. med. Freeman at the John Hopkins Hospital.
For whom is the ketogenic diet epilepsy suitable?
The ketogenic diet is especially used in difficult-to-treat forms of epilepsy, when medications do not help and surgery is out of the question.
This is especially true for infants and toddlers. However, new studies show that ketogenic nutrition can also improve in adults with epilepsy.
The ketogenic diet is a high fat and low carbohydrate diet. How exactly it works is still unclear. It is believed that the ketone bodies, a change in the acid-base balance or the increased concentration of fat in the blood are responsible for the improvements.
HOW IS THE KETOGENIC DIET EPILEPSY PERFORMED?
Before the ketogenic diet is introduced in epilepsy patients, mostly in children, the previously taken drugs are reduced in advance, usually sultiam or topiramate. Due to the altered metabolism, otherwise dangerous side effects can occur due to the medication.
The beginning of the ketogenic diet is usually carried out strictly monitored in a clinic. Doctors and nutritionists monitor the patient strictly and accompany him during the conversion.
It begins with a phase of fasting until the first ketones are detectable in the urine. Thereafter, patients start a diet in which the ratio of fat to carbohydrates / proteins is between 4: 1 and 2: 1.
Which ratio is chosen will be determined and adjusted at the beginning, whichever is best tolerated.
KETOGENIC DIET EPILEPSY – ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES
This results in a strict diet plan that defines exactly what should be eaten when and at what time. How long the ketogenic diet is performed on epilepsy depends on whether and how well the patient responds.
If the ketogenic diet is well tolerated and the seizures reduced, it is often maintained for up to 2 years, sometimes longer.
In some cases, the ketogenic diet can even lead to seizure freedom. Thereafter, the diet is adapted to the usual rules, with some children still remain free of seizures even after the conversion.
QUITE SIMPLY, THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A KETOGENIC DIET IS NOT. THE CORRECT NUTRIENT RATIO MUST BE STRICTLY MAINTAINED.
Parents need to pay close attention to what their children eat. It also requires some dedication and creativity to prepare delicious food for the kids.
Even the children themselves have to bring discipline and understanding if, for example, they are invited to a birthday party and are not allowed to eat a cake.
However, a ketogenic diet can lead to a strong reduction in seizures in epilepsy, so the dose of the antiepileptic drugs can usually be greatly reduced.
Another positive effect may be fat loss, especially in overweight patients. In some cases, no seizures occur during the ketogenic diet. As a positive side effect patients or their parents report a better concentration and an increase in attention.