Diet and cotogen with epilepsy
A ketogenic diet for epilepsy is prescribed when antiepileptic drugs do not show the expected effectiveness, or provoke the development of unwanted side effects. The diet implies that the diet contains about 70% fat, and only 30% proteins and carbohydrates.
This diet is mainly used in children’s practice.
The mechanism of the ketogenic diet is the anticonvulsant activity of ketones – organic compounds that are formed as a result of fatty breakdown and significantly reduce the stimulation of seizures by the brain. Fats, in turn, are broken down when there is a glucose deficiency in the human body, during fasting, or with a sharply limited amount of carbohydrates in food. Based on this, the essence of the ketogenic diet can consist in a certain combination of the amount of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the daily diet, simultaneously with a pronounced decrease in the volume of fluid consumed.
Thus, a rather meager and monotonous diet is prescribed, consisting mainly of fats: vegetable oil, animal fat and fatty meat, dairy products with a high percentage of fat content (cream, butter, etc.). In some countries, special high-fat products are produced for such patients – these are very fatty yoghurts, a variety of curds and canned meat.
Diet for epilepsy in children
Most often, it is the ketogenic diet that is used in pediatric patients. This diet is considered to be especially effective in children from 1 to 12 years of age. Treatment of children with a diet must necessarily take place under the supervision of a specialist in baby nutrition and a neuropathologist.
The child is put on inpatient treatment and fasting is prescribed for two to three days, in the first days, when the baby is starving, he is allowed to drink only water and tea without sugar. After about a day, a quick test for the content of ketone substances in the urinary fluid is used: if there are enough ketones, then you can start introducing food with a high degree of fat into the diet.
It is important that the doctor carefully monitors what the child eats, since even a small increase in the calorie content of the diet can negatively affect the effectiveness of dietary treatment.
Usually, a sick child is discharged after about a week, while there is a decrease in the frequency of seizures over the next 3 months. The duration of dietary treatment for a particular patient is determined individually.
Side effects with a ketogenic diet sometimes include nausea, difficulty in defecation, and hypovitaminosis.
Diet for epilepsy in adults
The ketogenic diet for epilepsy in adults is used somewhat less often than in children, due to certain contraindications that are relevant specifically for older patients.
Due to the high fat content in the diet, the diet is not prescribed for people with functional disorders of the liver and kidneys. The fact is that with an excess of fatty foods, these organs are overloaded, and they may not be able to cope with the excretion of metabolic products, which will lead to a relapse of chronic pathologies.
In addition, the ketogenic diet is not recommended for patients with epilepsy, cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis.
In all other situations, the doctor makes a decision on the appointment of a dietary diet, focusing on the patient’s general health and the presence of background diseases, especially of a chronic nature.