The Ketogenic Diet is a carefully calculated and closely monitored diet used for seizure control. It is very high in fat, low in protein and almost free of carbohydrates. It may be prescribed for children when antiepileptic medication has failed to control seizures or if undesirable side effects are present. Under this diet, the body is forced to break down fat, rather than carbohydrates for energy. This results in fewer seizures. Researchers are not entirely sure why the diet works but the effects are encouraging. Over half of the children who try the diet experience a 50% reduction of seizures. One third have a greater than 90% reduction. In some children, seizures are entirely eliminated. These results are dramatic because the diet is mainly used for children whose seizures have not been successfully controlled by other methods.
The Ketogenic Diet is a medical therapy. It is only administered under the supervision of a doctor and a dietitian.
Both the Modified Atkins Diet and the Low Glycemic Index Diet are diets that are less restrictive but achieve similar results in adults and older children. As with the Ketogenic Diet, they are overseen by a doctor and dietitian and require strict adherence on the part of the patient.