How Does the Keto Diet Help Epilepsy?

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If you struggle with epilepsy and medication has failed to control your seizures, the keto diet could be a solution for you. This diet forces the body to burn fat instead of sugar for energy production.

Since the 1920s, people with refractory epilepsy (those prone to drug-resistant seizures) have used a diet as an aid. Recent research has demonstrated that it alters genes which protect neurons from seizure damage.

Meat

The ketogenic diet changes the body’s fuel source from glucose to ketones, which have anti-epileptic effects. It works by blocking ion channels that stop neurons firing and increasing levels of a specific gene that protects these cells.

According to research, diet can significantly reduce seizure frequency and sometimes even eliminate them altogether. However, this should only be used as a last resort and only under medical guidance from your physician.

Meat is an integral component of the keto diet, providing a great source of protein. Plus, it’s packed full of B vitamins, zinc and iron which all aid in brain function.

Vegetables

A low-carb diet can help people with epilepsy manage their seizures. It shifts your body away from burning glucose (sugar) for energy and toward burning fat instead.

Vegetables can help you stay on the keto diet by providing plenty of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Avoid high-carb foods such as bread, pasta, potatoes or rice though.

Studies have demonstrated that people on the keto diet can reduce or even cease their seizures. This can be especially beneficial for children with refractory epilepsy, who often don’t respond to anti-seizure medication alone.

Nuts

Popularly referred to as nuts, these botanically indehiscent seeds come in many varieties and sizes and cannot split open to reveal their individual seeds (indehiscent). Examples of indehiscent nuts include walnuts, pecans and pistachios.

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Nuts are an incredibly nutrient-rich food source, packed with essential vitamins and minerals like zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, folate, potassium and magnesium. Furthermore, they contain significant amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, fibre and phytochemicals which have been linked to improved cardiovascular disease risk reduction as well as reduced inflammation levels.

Nut consumption has been shown to have numerous health benefits, as evidenced by several epidemiologic studies [9,10]. Most recently, the Nurses’ Health Study demonstrated that frequent nut consumers (>5/week) experienced a 25% reduction in coronary heart disease risk compared with non-consumers.

Eggs

Keto diet, also known as a low-carb, high-fat one, may help control epilepsy in children and adults whose seizures are resistant to medication. Furthermore, it reduces the risk of developing diabetes.

The keto diet uses chemicals called ketone bodies as energy source instead of glucose, potentially protecting brain cells from damage caused by seizures.

The keto diet may not be suitable for everyone, so be sure to consult a dietitian before beginning it. Eating plenty of fresh produce like vegetables, fruits and whole grains is especially important during this phase.

Dairy

Addition of dairy to the keto diet can help some individuals with epilepsy control seizures. This high-fat, low carbohydrate eating plan compels your body to break down fat into molecules known as ketones, helping it break down stored fat into useful energy molecules for energy production.

Research has indicated that certain types of diet can improve seizure control for some children with epilepsy, and may also be beneficial to adults.

But the keto diet can be challenging to follow and may not be suitable for everyone. It could lead to nutritional deficiencies, liver and kidney issues, as well as trouble thinking – so make sure you consult with your doctor before beginning this diet.

Oils

One way the keto diet may benefit epilepsy patients is by encouraging their bodies to produce chemicals known as ketone bodies, which inhibit seizures when produced when fat instead of carbohydrates are burned by the liver.

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The keto diet can be beneficial for children with seizures who don’t respond to anti-seizure medications. This diet consists mainly of fat, moderate protein intake and minimal carbohydrates.

The purpose of the keto diet is to induce ketosis, in which both the brain and body burn fat for energy. Although this requires time and patience, those with seizures who don’t respond to medication will find great benefit from following this plan.