The Optimal Diet For Children With Epilepsy Disease

Discover how a specialized diet can be used to help children with epilepsy manage their condition. This blog explores the two main types of diet therapy, the potential benefits and side effects, and how long the diet plan may need to be followed.

Children with pharmacoresistant epilepsy can benefit from a ketogenic diet high in fat and low in carbohydrates. While there is limited evidence for adults, it may still be effective for children. However, strict monitoring and motivation are necessary, and medical professionals must closely monitor patients.

Learn more about how a dietary approach can help treat epilepsy in children.

What Is Epilepsy In Children?

Epilepsy causes seizures in children due to their neurological condition. Seizures can be triggered by various factors, including disruptions in brain cell connections. If a child experiences multiple seizures with no clear cause, epilepsy may be suspected.

Generalized and focal seizures are the most common types of epileptic seizures, affecting people of all races and ethnicities.

What is Epilepsy Diet Therapy?

Carbohydrates are the main energy source for the body. When carb intake is inadequate, the body turns to stored fat for energy, producing ketones. Ketosis, a state in which the body burns fat for energy, can help control seizures in some children with epilepsy.

Following a special medical diet, seizure control can be improved with diet therapy.

Diet Therapy Can Be Divided Into Two Categories-

  • Ketogenic diet
  • Modified Atkins diet

Both diets are as follows-

  • low-carbohydrate foods (like bread, sugar, and fruits)
  • low-to-moderate levels of protein (like meat and cheese)
  • saturated fats, particularly butter and oil

The Distinction Between Ketogenic Diets & Atkins Diet

Diet Type Ketogenic Diet Atkins Diet
Measured by Ratio of fat to protein and carbohydrates Carbohydrate intake limited to 15g per day
Diet Plan Strict set of meals with a specific nutrient ratio Less restrictive, includes a source of protein, portion of daily carbohydrate intake, and the rest of daily fat consumption
Consumption Plan All foods must be weighed, entire amount of food served at each meal must be consumed Food does not need to be weighed, can be more flexible throughout the day
Specialized Condition Hospitalization for 3-4 days to start, more strict No hospitalization needed, less strict

What Are The Potential Benefits Of Dietary Therapy?

While on a diet, some children exhibit improved conduct. There is a significant reduction in seizures in more than half of children who follow one of these diets. Anti-seizure medication may be reduced as a result.

What Are The Side Effects Of Dietary Therapy?

The following are possible adverse effects of the diet-

  • Constipation
  • Kidney stone
  • Low blood sugar levels
  • Reflux
  • Risk of broken bones
  • Weight gain problems

Your child may require additional vitamins or supplements from time to time. To avoid these complications, you can rely on health professional’s support. While your child is on a diet, the Doctor will monitor their blood work to make sure they're meeting all of their nutritional requirements.

What Are The Duration Of The Diet Plan?

  • The diet plan must be followed for a minimum of three months after the child begins.
  • The child may have to adhere to the diet plan for roughly two years if it is effective.
  • Some children may be able to follow the diet plan for a more extended amount of time.
  • If the diet plan is effective, the doctor can approve changing it to minimize the child's seizure frequency.

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