A woman whose child suffered from seizures as a child claims that a keto diet helped control them.
Susan Hall says her son’s rare form of epilepsy “spinned out of control” in 2000 when he was just 18 months old; he suffered up to 80 seizures a day, with anticonvulsants barely helping him.
Desperate, Hall turned to the ketogenic — or keto — diet, which claims to help control seizures in children.
“Research has found that about half of children with epilepsy who follow a keto diet see a 50% reduction in their seizures, and 10-20% of children’s seizures have been reduced by 90% or more,” Hall told Insider, citing a report. from the Cleveland Clinic. “Apart from treating seizures, doctors do not recommend the keto diet for children and adolescents.”
Hall’s son was on an 80% fat diet, consuming about 800 calories a day.
The keto diet focuses on fat — which provides up to 90% of daily calories — aimed at forcing your body to use another kind of fuel.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, instead of relying on sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates — such as grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits — the keto diet relies on ketone bodies, a type of fuel the liver produces. from stored fat.
Hall says she consulted with Judy Tomer, a registered dietitian who led the ketogenic diet team at the University of Michigan’s Mott Children’s Hospital, and told her the diet wouldn’t be easy. Hall was told that her son should enter and maintain a “high degree of ketosis,” which Tomer says is “the state that causes the body to produce ketones, which are believed to be responsible for seizure control.”
The concerned mum described the diet as ‘grueling’, with an example of a breakfast consisting of a ‘small serving’ of carbs with an equal amount of protein. The rest of the meal would consist of fat, with Hall occasionally giving his son a spoonful of olive oil.
Hall said her son still has daily seizures – but she and her husband only have five or 10 now, not the previous 80.
Her son stopped the diet after a year when his neurologists suggested ‘more aggressive therapy’ to treat the seizures.
“While most people with epilepsy don’t have intellectual disabilities, years of uncontrolled seizures took a toll on my son’s brain,” Hall says. “But his life is anything but a tragedy.”
New York Post