We believe that the Ketogenic Diet is an under-utilised treatment for epilepsy and other medical conditions.
Only a small fraction of people with epilepsy are offered Ketogenic Diet therapies. This is despite evidence demonstrating that Keto Diets lead to improvement for the majority of people that try them. In fact, Keto Diets are often only considered for epilepsy patients that have not responded to multiple medications, as a last resort.
Ketogenic Diet – an effective and safe option:
Keto Diets are very well researched as a treatment for epilepsy patients. Evidence shows us that up to 25% of people become completely seizure-free following a Ketogenic Diet (KD), and seizures are reduced in over half of people with epilepsy by over 50%. Studies are typically based on people that have already tried multiple medications that have not been effective in controlling seizures, so for intractable epilepsy. [1. Source Charlie Foundation: https://charliefoundation.org/epilepsy-drugs-vs-keto/].
Anti-Epileptic Drugs (AEDs)
AEDs are the go to treatment option for epileptic seizure control. AEDs are prescribed based on approved protocols and guidelines that consider factors such as the patient’s age, clinical history, diagnosis, and treatment history.
Whilst the treatment protocols rely heavily on AEDs research shows that only:
– 47% of people with epilepsy respond to the first medication they are prescribed.
– 1 in 3 people with epilepsy do not respond to medication, resulting in a lifetime of uncontrolled seizures and pharmaceutical management.
– Only 4% of people with epilepsy find an effective drug therapy if they have been failed by two drugs taken at a time.
Some Neurologists will consider KD, as a first line treatment for epilepsy, particularly with specific epilepsy conditions. Others might consider Ketogenic Diets alongside medication.
Keto Diets Contrasted with AEDs
The side effects of Ketogenic Diets are often emphasised and sited as a reason not to consider KD as an early treatment option. Some facts:
– Keto Diet side effects are a small fraction of those of AEDs
– KD side effects can be reduced or eliminated by making dietary changes.
– KDs provide potential cognitive protection.
Keto Diet side effects:
- KD side effects
- Far fewer than AEDs
- Reduced or eliminated (by making dietary changes)
- Can provide cognitive protection
Keto Diet side effects:
- AED side effects:
- Around 10 x more than those of Keto
- Dampen neuronal activity: potentially leading to learning difficulties, dementia (in adults), impaired memory and cognitive function.