diabetestalk.net

How Does Ketogenic Diet Work For Epilepsy

Ketogenic Diet And Epilepsy

Ketogenic Diet And Epilepsy

What is Epilepsy? Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that is associated with a disruption in the normal electrical activity within the brain. The main symptom of this abnormal brain activity results in repeated seizures, which can range from brief lapses to severe and prolonged convulsions. Epilepsy is a variable condition that can differ in its impact from person to person. There are over 40 different types of seizures that people can experience. The classification of seizures is based on how much of the brain is affected: Partial (or focal) seizures= affects a small part of the brain Generalised seizures= where most or all the brain is affected Epilepsy is classed as one of the most common neurological diseases as it affects 50 million people worldwide, occurring at any age. What Causes Epilepsy? There exist several causes of epilepsy including genetic, environmental and physiological factors. All of which modify neuronal function or cause functional changes within the brain. The most common form of epilepsy, which affects 6 out of 10 people, is known as idiopathic epilepsy. The exact cause for this type of epilepsy remains unknown, with genetic factors appearing to be key. The presence of a family history is known to enhance an individual’s risk for developing epilepsy (1). For all other types of epilepsy that exists, the cause is believed to be secondary to an environmental or physiological factor. The term epileptogenesis is what is given to describe the development of the state of epilepsy (2). Such causes include: Brain damage Severe Head Injury Stroke An infection in the brain i.e. meningitis Brain tumours Certain genetic syndromes Is There a Cure for Epilepsy? At present, there is currently no known cure for epilepsy. However, there does exist some v Continue reading >>

New Study Validates Ketogenic Diet For Epilepsy Treatment In Adults

New Study Validates Ketogenic Diet For Epilepsy Treatment In Adults

Epilepsy can be caused by a variety of different conditions including head trauma, infection, brain tumor, and stroke, but by and large most cases of epilepsy have no readily identifiable cause. Epilepsy affects some 2.3 million adults in America and close to half a million children. Further, about one in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy at some point in their lives. It’s been estimated that there are approximately 150,000 new cases of epilepsy diagnosed in the United States each year and overall about $15.5 billion in medical costs as well as lost earnings and production are attributed to this disease. The mainstay of treatment for epilepsy is pharmaceutical intervention. As I recently noted, more and more we are seeing surgical procedures being performed for those individuals who have not had a significant improvement with drugs. I indicated that at least some individuals are gluten sensitive and may benefit from a gluten-free diet which potentially could keep them from undergoing potentially life-threatening surgery as a treatment for their epilepsy. But it is also important to understand that there’s another extremely effective dietary intervention that has proven itself quite useful in the treatment of epilepsy. In 1920 a New York physician, Dr. Galen, reported at the American Medical Association convention that he had had significant success in treating epilepsy by initiating a program of fasting. At that time the only pharmaceutical interventions that were available included phenobarbital and bromides. Interestingly, the patient he treated was actually a young cousin who had aggressive seizures. On the second day of fasting the child’s epilepsy abated and did not return over the next two years of follow-up. Further studies appearing in 1923, 1926, Continue reading >>

Treating Childhood Epilepsy: The Origins Of The Ketogenic Diet

Treating Childhood Epilepsy: The Origins Of The Ketogenic Diet

Many people use the ketogenic diet today to manage symptoms of diabetes, lower triglycerides, and lose body weight. However, the high fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet was not first used for any of these purposes. Instead, doctors created it to help treat epilepsy in children. Below we give a brief overview of epilepsy, specifically pediatric epilepsy, and the origins of using keto to treat it. Then, we investigate the hard evidence from high-quality research showing its effectiveness. We hope that children and adolescents who utilize the ketogenic diet to treat epilepsy can use Ruled.me to live a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle. A Brief Primer on Epilepsy Epilepsy is a disorder of the nervous system in which someone experiences recurrent, unpredictable seizures. It is a result of abnormal activity in the human brain. Epileptic seizures can include physical symptoms such as muscle spasms, convulsions, and unconsciousness, as well as mental symptoms such as strange behavior, unusual emotions, and a warped perception of the outer world. Epilepsy is not a one-size fits all disorder. Some people experience severe, disabling seizures while others experience ones that are much less life threatening and more infrequent. Additionally, while epilepsy is a disorder of the brain and nervous system, its underlying causes can vary greatly. It can result from changes in channels between brain cells, unevenness between chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters, a disruption of brain wiring, or any combination of these or other causes. Someone is formally diagnosed with epilepsy when she or he has had two or more seizures without a clear cause in a period over 24 hours. [1] If someone has a single seizure due to something such as a head injury, alcohol withdraw Continue reading >>

What Is The Ketogenic Diet For Epilepsy?

What Is The Ketogenic Diet For Epilepsy?

Could the solution to your child's epilepsy be a diet loaded with butter, cream, oils, and mayo? It might sound weird -- and maybe not so appetizing -- but the ketogenic diet is real. And in many kids, it works. But the super high-fat, super low-carb ketogenic diet is not for everyone. It's strict and complicated. And it's not really "healthy" in the normal sense. If you're considering it, you need to think through how it affects your child's life -- and the impact on the whole family. The ketogenic diet has been curbing seizures since it was first developed in the 1920s. About half of kids who follow it have a big drop in how many they get. As many as 1 in 7 stop having seizures completely. The diet helps with many types of epilepsy, but works especially well with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, myoclonic astatic epilepsy (Doose syndrome), and others. It can also help people of any age, but it's mostly used in babies and children. That's mainly because teens and adults have so much trouble sticking to it. Because the ketogenic diet is so demanding, doctors usually only recommend it if a child has already tried two or three medications and they haven't worked. When the diet works, kids can often lower their medication doses or stop taking them. What's more, most kids who stay on the ketogenic diet for at least 2 years have a good chance of becoming seizure free -- even after they go back to eating normally. Your child's diet will have a lot of fat. To put it in perspective, in a healthy diet for kids, about 25% to 40% of calories come from fat. In the ketogenic diet, about 80% to 90% of calories come from fat. So your child's meals are loaded with fats while portions of protein and especially carbs are small. In the typical ketogenic diet, kids get three to four times as much Continue reading >>

How Can A High-fat Diet Treat Epilepsy? Dr. Besser Reports

How Can A High-fat Diet Treat Epilepsy? Dr. Besser Reports

Imagine treating childhood epilepsy with bacon, heavy cream and hot dogs. This may sound like an unlikely approach, but the extremely high-fat and low-carb ketogenic diet has been shockingly effective in treating kids with drug-resistant epilepsy. ABC News' senior health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser sat down with the director of pediatric epilepsy at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Elizabeth Thiele, to discuss this unusual approach to fighting epilepsy. For more information on the ketogenic diet and pediatric epilepsy, watch 'World News With Diane Sawyer' Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET on ABC Dr. Richard Besser: So what is the ketogenic diet? Dr.Elizabeth Thiele: The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low carbohydrate diet, and it was developed in the 1920s after people noticed that when epileptics fasted, for various reasons, seizures would be markedly reduced. Besser: So the ketogenic diet mimics what you'd see in someone who's fasting? Thiele: Right. When this was noticed, this observation was made in the 1920s, people started thinking, "Gee, what happens when someone fasts?" And when a person fasts, your body starts breaking down your fat stores. Obviously, fasting is not great for a treatment for epilepsy or other conditions because it doesn't provide adequate nutrition, so the thought was, "Gee, how could we mimic starvation and trick our bodies into thinking we're starving by using fats as the main energy source?" Besser: So this treatment is solely based on diet? Thiele: This treatment is solely based on diet. Besser: No medicines, nothing else? Thiele: We do supplement vitamins, because with the high-fat, kids can become deficient in some vitamins -- so while on the diet, all children are supplemented with vitamins and also calcium. Besser: So on this diet, s Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet

What the Diet Does Normally, our bodies run on energy from glucose, which we get from food. We can’t store large amounts of glucose, however. We only have about a 24-hour supply. When a child has no food for 24 hours — which is the way the diet begins, usually in a hospital — he or she uses up all the stored glucose. With no more glucose to provide energy, the child’s body begins to burn stored fat. The ketogenic diet keeps this process going. It forces the child’s body to burn fat round the clock by keeping calories low and making fat products the primary food that the child is getting. In fact, the diet gets most (80 percent) of its calories from fat. The rest comes from carbohydrates and protein. Each meal has about four times as much fat as protein or carbohydrate. The amounts of food and liquid at each meal have to be carefully worked out and weighed for each person. Doctors don’t know precisely why a diet that mimics starvation by burning fat for energy should prevent seizures, although this is being studied. Nor do they know why the same diet works for some children and not for others. Trying to put a child on the diet without medical guidance puts a child at risk of serious consequences. Every step of the ketogenic diet process must be managed by an experienced treatment team, usually based at a specialized medical center. Chances of Success Often, a period of fine-tuning is needed before it’s clear whether or not a child is going to respond to the ketogenic diet. Doctors often ask parents to try the diet for at least one month, and even as long as two or three, if it’s not working at first. A child on the diet usually continues taking anti-seizure medicine, but may be able to take less of it later on. If a child does very well, the doctor may sl Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet Plan In Epilepsy Management

Ketogenic Diet Plan In Epilepsy Management

Description In the United States, epilepsy affects approximately 2.5 million people of all ages and backgrounds. Although many advances have been made in the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy, about one third of patients continue to have epilepsy that remains difficult to control despite multiple medications. Some of these patients may benefit from epilepsy surgery. In others, research has shown that seizures may be controlled through a stringent medically supervised diet such as the ketogenic diet—which is effective in some children as well as adults. When medical treatment is ineffective and surgery cannot be performed, the ketogenic diet is an option. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate regimen that needs to be implemented by a team of experienced dieticians and physicians. An important requirement for beginning the diet is commitment to the plan, as the diet requires extra time and effort. Nearly 50 percent of children on the ketogenic diet experience greater than 50 percent reduction in seizures. And nearly 10 percent of these patients will have greater than 90 percent reduction in seizures. However, the dedication to maintaining the ketogenic diet starts at the beginning. This plan needs to be followed for at least three months to decide whether if it is of benefit or not. An added benefit of the ketogenic diet is that many parents and caregivers report that children are more alert on the diet. If the diet seems to be beneficial to the child, doctors will usually prescribe it for about two years. Children on the ketogenic diet plan will experience a decrease in seizures, but usually need to continue taking antiseizure medicine—although they may be able to take less of it later on. Children who respond exceptionally well may be advised to slowl Continue reading >>

What Is A Ketogenic Diet?

What Is A Ketogenic Diet?

What Is a Ketogenic Diet? If medicine doesn't control seizures in epilepsy, sometimes doctors prescribe a ketogenic (or keto) diet. A ketogenic diet is a strict high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that can reduce, and sometimes stop, seizures. It's called "ketogenic" because it makes ketones in the body. Ketones are made when the body uses fat for energy. By replacing carbs with fat in the diet, the body burns more fat and makes more ketones. The ketogenic diet is prescribed by a doctor. Kids on the diet need to be followed closely by a dietitian to make sure they follow the diet and get the nutrients they need. The diet starts with fasting during an overnight hospital stay. Who Needs a Ketogenic Diet? Children with seizures that are not well-controlled by medicines (called intractable epilepsy) and severe epilepsy syndromes (such as infantile spasms or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome) might benefit from a ketogenic diet. Studies show that the ketogenic diet also may help treat other conditions, such as diabetes, obesity, and even cancer. How Does a Ketogenic Diet Work? Although the ketogenic diet for epilepsy has been around since 1920, doctors aren't exactly sure how the higher ketone levels works. Some seizure types seem to respond better than others to the ketogenic diet. In babies, the keto diet is given in formula. Young children may be fed by a tube that is place in the stomach by a surgeon. This helps the child stay on the diet. How Long Do Kids Need a Ketogenic Diet? You should know if a ketogenic diet works for your child within a few months. If it does, your doctor may recommend weaning your child off the diet after 2 years of seizure control. The weaning process is done over several months to avoid triggering seizures. Some people stay on a ketogenic diet for years. Are Continue reading >>

Does The Ketogenic Diet Work For Dogs?

Does The Ketogenic Diet Work For Dogs?

by WB Thomas DVM, Dipl.ACVIM(Neurology), University of Tennessee (reprinted with permission) T he ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-protein, low-carbohydrate diet used to treat seizures in people, mostly children. The diet is carefully and individually calculated and rigidly controlled. The ketogenic diet gets its name because the high fat content of the diet results in conversion of fat to ketones that are utilized as an energy source in place of carbohydrates. Although the diet has never been shown to be safe and effective for the treatment of epilepsy in dogs, it is discussed here because many people have heard of the diet and wonder if it is useful to treat canine epilepsy. History Fasting has been a treatment for epilepsy since biblical times. In 1921, the American pediatrician Rawle Geylin, reported the successful use of fasting to treat epilepsy in children. The antiseizure effects of starvation were attributed to the ketosis and acidosis resulting from starvation. When there is no ready supply of carbohydrates in the diet, the body utilizes other available stores of energy instead. In people, this results in the production of ketones, such as acetone, acetic acid, and p-hydroxybutyric acid. Accumulation of these substances in the body is referred to as ketoacidosis or ketosis. In 1921, Wilder proposed that the antiseizure effects of fasting could be obtained if ketosis was produced by feeding a diet very low in carbohydrates and high in fats. The Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN, USA) developed such a diet and subsequent reports found that the diet improved seizure control in about 60% of children with epilepsy. Throughout the 1930's the ketogenic diet was widely used, since available drugs, namely bromide and phenobarbital, were sometimes ineffective or had serious s Continue reading >>

Unraveling The Secrets Of The Epilepsy Diet

Unraveling The Secrets Of The Epilepsy Diet

For decades, neurologists have known that a diet high in fat and extremely low in carbohydrates can reduce epileptic seizures that resist drug therapy. But how the diet worked, and why, was a mystery — so much so that in 2010, The New York Times Magazine called it “Epilepsy’s Big, Fat Miracle.” Now, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) have proposed an answer, linking resistance to seizures to a protein that modifies cellular metabolism in the brain. The research, to be published in the May 24 issue of the journal Neuron, may lead to the development of new treatments for epilepsy. The research was led jointly by Nika Danial, HMS assistant professor of cell biology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Gary Yellen, professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School. The first author was Alfredo Giménez-Cassina, a research fellow in Danial’s lab. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterized by an electrical storm in the brain that can manifest as convulsions, loss of motor control, or loss of consciousness. Some epilepsy cases can be improved by a diet that drastically reduces sugar intake. Such a diet causes neurons to switch from their customary fuel of sugar to fat byproducts called ketone bodies. The diet, which mimics the effects of starvation, was described more than 80 years ago and received renewed interest in the 1990s. Recent studies corroborate that it works, but shed little light on how. Yellen was introduced to the ketogenic diet by his wife, Elizabeth Thiele, professor of neurology at HMS and director of the Pediatric Epilepsy Program at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, who was not involved in the study. “The connection between metabolism and epilepsy has been such a puzzle,” said Yellen. Continue reading >>

Epilepsy’s Big Fat Miracle

Epilepsy’s Big Fat Miracle

Once every three or four months my son, Sam, grabs a cookie or a piece of candy and, wide-eyed, holds it inches from his mouth, ready to devour it. He knows he’s not allowed to eat these things, but like any 9-year-old, he hopes that somehow, this once, my wife, Evelyn, or I will make an exception. We never make exceptions when it comes to Sam and food, though, which means that when temptation takes hold of Sam and he is denied, things can get pretty hairy. Confronted with a gingerbread house at a friend’s party last December, he went scorched earth, grabbing parts of the structure and smashing it to bits. Reason rarely works. Usually one of us has to pry the food out of his hands. Sometimes he ends up in tears. It’s not just cookies and candy that we forbid Sam to eat. Cake, ice cream, pizza, tortilla chips and soda aren’t allowed, either. Macaroni and cheese used to be his favorite food, but he told Evelyn the other day that he couldn’t remember what it tastes like anymore. At Halloween we let him collect candy, but he trades it in for a present. At birthday parties and play dates, he brings a lunchbox to eat from. There is no crusade against unhealthful food in our house. Some might argue that unhealthful food is all we let Sam eat. His breakfast eggs are mixed with heavy cream and served with bacon. A typical lunch is full-fat Greek yogurt mixed with coconut oil. Dinner is hot dogs, bacon, macadamia nuts and cheese. We figure that in an average week, Sam consumes a quart and a third of heavy cream, nearly a stick and a half of butter, 13 teaspoons of coconut oil, 20 slices of bacon and 9 eggs. Sam’s diet is just shy of 90 percent fat. That is twice the fat content of a McDonald’s Happy Meal and about 25 percent more than the most fat-laden phase of the Continue reading >>

What Are Ketogenic Diets? Can They Treat Epilepsy And Brain Cancer?

What Are Ketogenic Diets? Can They Treat Epilepsy And Brain Cancer?

Ketogenic diets are back in the news with claims they are a “cure-all”. Research shows that in epilepsy not controlled by current treatment, around 50% of children and adults following ketogenic diets have a reduction in seizures. For brain cancer, most research has been in animals. A number of human trials are underway testing safety, tolerance, interactions with other treatments, side-effects and the impact on cancer progression, quality of life and survival. So what are ketones? Although the main source of energy for the body is usually carbohydrate, which gets converted to blood glucose during digestion and metabolism, the body can also burn fat for energy. Ketone bodies, or ketones for short, are molecules produced by the liver when fat is metabolised. Ketones are used as the fuel source to produce energy for the body when glucose is not available. The three ketone bodies resulting from fat metabolism are acetoacetate, β-Hydroxybutyrate and acetone. Acetoacetate spontaneously converts to acetone, which is easily vaporised. Acetone crosses lung membranes and gets expired on your breath. That’s why people who are ketotic, meaning ketones are their primary fuel source, often have a “nail polish” odour. As blood levels of ketones rise, acetoacetate and β-Hydroxybutyrate cross the blood-brain barrier to become the main source of fuel for the brain. Ketones also appear in urine. Their presence is tested for using “keto” strips that change colour from buff to pink to maroon, depending on the concentration. It’s thought the metabolic changes associated with being “ketotic”, in combination with lower blood levels of glucose, are the important issues in epilepsy and cancer. What is a ketogenic diet? Ketogenic diets should only be used as part of medical Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet is a form of dietary therapy for epilepsy. The traditional or "classic" ketogenic diet usually involves a ratio of 3 to 4 g of fat to every 1 g of protein plus carbohydrate. This means that about 90% of the calories in the child’s diet come from fat. Some children may need a slightly different ratio. Children on the ketogenic diet have to eat mostly fatty foods, like butter and cream. They cannot eat starchy foods like bread and pasta. Benefits of the ketogenic diet Although it does not work for every child, the diet has been shown to reduce seizures, even in children whose seizures have failed to be controlled with medication. In some children, it may eliminate seizures altogether. The diet may be effective as soon as one week after starting; however, it can take a few months to judge whether the diet will be effective. If it is successful in controlling seizures, it may be continued for several years under the guidance and monitoring of your child's doctor. The ketogenic diet may also have some other positive side effects, including improvements in mood, behaviour, attention, and social functioning. The ketogenic diet is primarily used to treat epilepsy. However, there are some metabolic disorders in which the body is unable to efficiently use carbohydrates as a fuel, including glucose transporter protein deficiency and pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency. The ketogenic diet is a preferred treatment for these conditions as well. Limitations and side effects of the ketogenic diet The ketogenic diet may cause some mild side effects in some children, including dehydration, constipation, vomiting, high cholesterol, and kidney stones (due to uric acid build-up in the blood). Some families notice mood changes such as hyperactivity or irritability. More se Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet

What is the ketogenic diet? The "classic" ketogenic diet is a special high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that helps to control seizures in some people with epilepsy. It is prescribed by a physician and carefully monitored by a dietitian. It is usually used in children with seizures that do not respond to medications. It is stricter than the modified Atkins diet, requiring careful measurements of calories, fluids, and proteins. Foods are weighed and measured. The name ketogenic means that it produces ketones in the body. (keto = ketone; genic = producing) Ketones are formed when the body uses fat for its source of energy. Usually the body uses carbohydrates (such as sugar, bread, pasta) for its fuel. Because the ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates, fats become the primary fuel instead. The body can work very well on ketones (and fats). Ketones are not dangerous. They can be detected in the urine, blood, and breath. Ketones are one of the more likely mechanisms of action of the diet, with higher ketone levels often leading to improved seizure control. However, there are many other theories for why the diet will work. Who will it help? Doctors usually recommend the ketogenic diet for children whose seizures have not responded to several different seizure medicines. The classic diet is usually not recommended for adults, mostly because the restricted food choices make it hard to follow. However, the modified Atkins diet does work well. This also should be done with a good team of adult neurologists and dietitians. The ketogenic diet has been shown in many studies to be particularly helpful for some epilepsy conditions. These include infantile spasms, Rett syndrome, tuberous sclerosis complex, Dravet syndrome, Doose syndrome, and GLUT-1 deficiency. Using a formula-only Continue reading >>

Super High-fat Diet Can Work Miracles For Seizures In Kids

Super High-fat Diet Can Work Miracles For Seizures In Kids

Nine-year-old Jack O'Connor's parents feed him a steady diet of bacon, heavy cream, sausage, and on special occasions, allow him a "treat" of a few strawberries or a slice of apple. Jack's diet is so fat-rich and nutrient-poor that he needs to take daily calcium and vitamin supplements so as not to stunt his growth. While this may sound like malnourishment, this food is Jack's medicine, and this strictly regimented 90 percent fat diet offers relief from his debilitating epilepsy in a way that no drug ever could. To learn more about Jack and other children like him, watch 'World News With Diane Sawyer' tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET on ABC As of a year ago, Jack suffered 50 seizures a day, while his parents, Juliet and Chris O'Connor, bounced desperately from doctor to doctor, trying "X" number of medications. But nothing worked -- until doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital Epilepsy Clinic suggested trying what to the O'Connors sounded like a shocking regimen: a high-fact ketogenic diet. Stricter from a fat standpoint than the Atkins diet, about 90 percent of its calories -- measured down to the tenth of a gram -- come from fat. "Many children get started on a 4:1 ratio -- meaning they get four grams of fat to every gram of carbohydrate plus protein. So a typical meal would be bacon, and often lots of it, with sometimes a small amount of carbohydrate in the form of vegetable or fruit," Dr. Elizabeth Thiele, director of pediatric epilepsy at Massachusetts General Hospital, told ABC's "World News." The children are then given vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure normal growth. The diet has made all the difference for Jack and many children like him for whom pharmaceutical drugs have failed. "After two months, we started to see a decrease in the seizures. They were cut i Continue reading >>

More in diabetic diet