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Epilepsy Miracle Diet Cuts Seizures Drugs Can't

(CBS) What do you call a father who makes his grade-schooler eat heavy cream, butter, bacon, eggs, and whole-fat yogurt mixed with coconut oil? If the child has epilepsy, you might call him a good dad. Sounds implausible, but research has shown that a super-high fat, low-carbohydrate diet can cut the frequency of seizures in kids with epilepsy. One dad familiar with the diet, Fred Vogelstein, wrote about it recently in the New York Times. His nine-year-old son Sam has epilepsy, and before going on the diet he had as many as 30 seizures a day - and they couldn't be controlled with antiseizure medication. Sam's diet - which is almost 90 percent fat - "tricks" the body into starvation mode, which causes it to burn fat, and not carbohydrates, according to Vogelstein. "Remarkably, and for reasons that are still unclear, this process - called ketosis - has an antiepileptic effect," he writes. The ketogenic diet - "keto" for short - is not some fringe treatment. It was developed almost 80 years ago, according to the Epilepsy Foundation website. And it helps two out of three children who try it, preventing seizures completely in one out of three. But the diet has its downsides. Sam has to Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. packet_wrangler

    TLDR: Lab results for 41/M after 10 months, and 16 months, on a Keto diet. Kidney function is a concern.
    I've been eating a keto diet for 16 months. I feel consistently better than I've felt my entire adult life, and have enjoyed better sleep, energy, and mood.
    Last December, I decided to undergo more extensive blood work, not due to any specific concerns about my health, but to get a better handle on my risk factors. I repeated that test again earlier this month.
    My doctor has expressed concern with my Kidney function (GFR=65, Cystatin C = 1.16), which places me in stage two of Chronic Kidney Disease. Around the time I started Keto (February 2014), I did blood work with my general practitioner at the time, who told me that my Kidney function, Electrolytes, and Blood Sugar chemistry looked good, but I did not receive specific numbers and I don't know what his lab work included.
    Are there any known connections between a Keto/HFLC diet and Kidney function?
    For those interested in how some of the other numbers in my results changed, I made the following changes to diet/supplementation, during the period between the first test and the second test:
    I ate primarily an egg based diet, eating a dozen eggs, 4 slices of cheese, and 4 tablespoons of coconut oil a day
    I added 1 shot of vodka (with very little alcohol prior to that)
    I increased fish oil consumption to two tablespoons (about 7000 mg)
    I increased Vitamin D3 supplementation from about 2500IU to 7500IU.
    My doctor prescribed AAKG, Calcium Folinate, 5-methyl THF, Betaine Anhydrous, and Methylecobalamin.
    I also supplement Creatine (5g) as well as a few others.
    Edit: My blood pressure is consistently low.

  2. _madworm_

    Simple, get those numbers that were "supposedly OK". Then you have something of substance to compare with. Blaming a number X on the diet without knowing what it was before is a waste of time and a fallacy.
    If you are concerned and your weight etc. permits it, you could try a more relaxed diet (LCHF) for a couple of months and then retest.
    So far I haven't read anything that would indicate people "pop" their kidneys like Grandpa Simpson on a keto diet, quite the opposite. One study [1] (on mice) described reversal of diabetic kidney disease.
    I take fish-oil myself, but not that much. Whether that makes a difference, I don't know. According to recent data on D3, your supplementation appears to be a bit high, but still reasonable [2-3], assuming you haven't been diagnosed with a deficiency. I take a more conservative 3000IU/d on average, but haven't had any levels checked. Given that I hardly get any sun, I think I shouldn't take any less tough.
    Anyhow, you need more data!
    Please also note that I'm just some dude on the interwebs, so choose wisely what you take as advice and what you discard as nonsense.
    [1] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0018604
    [2] http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/7/3/1688
    [3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4210929/

  3. keto_does_it_4_me

    Straight up kidney disease is vastly different than diabetic kidney disease. The former is irremediably irreversible (in most cases), the latter is mostly reversible with a low carb diets. 2 different beasts.

  4. -> Continue reading
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