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Understanding Ketogenic Diets

Dr KammerDr. KammerLast week, the staff at PHS had the opportunity to hear Dr. Nancy Kammer from Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare speak as she came into the office to educate on the topic of ketogenic diets. Not sure what ketogenic diets are? Read on to learn what we heard last week – and then check out the resources listed below if you’re interested in gaining a more in-depth understanding of this therapy. As always, your doctor is the best resource for more information about ketogenic diets and if it could be an option for your child.

The Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet is one that is high in fat, supplies adequate protein, and is low in carbohydrates. This combination changes the way that energy is used in the body, with ketone bodies being elevated (a state known as ketosis) and glucose levels lowered in the blood.

Candidates for the Diet

The keotogenic diet is commonly used in the pediatric epileptic population, where seizures can be very frequent, but all seizure types might respond. The patient is often between 12 months and 12 years, and is typically treated for two years, but both factors can vary. Your doctor will know if your child is a candidate for the ketogenic diet.

Understanding More

Dr. Kammer explained that although it is not completely known why, when the body is in the ketosis state, seizure frequency is often times reduced or even eliminated. Although there can be side effects of complications, like any treatment, it has shown a promising amount of success within the pediatric patients that have been candidates for this diet – allowing them to live a life with far fewer, if any, seizures.

Learning More

The Charlie Foundation

To learn more about ketogenic diets, one great resource we were introduced to is The Charlie Foundation – there you can learn more about the foundation, explore recipes, resources and tools, and more. The Epilepsy Foundation also provides some great information related to ketogenic diets and tips for parents.

Do you have a kiddo who has benefited from this diet? We’d love to hear your family’s story!

Originally published: February 28, 2014

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