Five-year-old Leafy Liu suffered from severe epilepsy from the time she was a baby, often suffering as many as 60 seizures per day.
Worried about the side effects of anti-epilepsy drugs, they started her on the ketogenic diet. To their surprise, the change was noticeable in just two days. She was happier and more relaxed, and her seizures dropped off significantly.
According to a study published in the journal Neurology, 79 percent of patients who went on the Ketogenic diet stopped having seizures as a result. Other statistics cited by the Epilepsy Foundation show that as many as 15 percent of children can become seizure-free by making this change, while more than half of kids who go on the diet will note their seizures reduced by at least half.
Because the diet lowers a person’s intake of carbohydrates, the body goes into a state called ketosis and produces ketones by breaking down fats in the liver. It is believed to burn ten times the amount of fat that a standard diet does, even in the absence of exercise.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation, this diet can be helpful when children with seizures do not respond to medication. Studies have shown that it can help epilepsy conditions like Rett syndrome, Dravet syndrome, GLUT-1 deficiency, infantile spasms, Doose syndrome, and tuberous sclerosis complex.
It is often used under the guidance of dieticians because children need to eat the correct number of calories while ensuring they get 90 percent of their calories from fat. It might be challenging to adopt the diet in the beginning, but it’s far better than the side effects that come with seizure medications.