Dietary Treatments for Epilepsy and Ketogenic Diet
A balanced diet is recommended for every person in order to keep healthy and active. However, there is little evidence that a balanced diet has a direct effect on seizures. Also, there is currently no evidence that any type of food consistently triggers seizures in people with epilepsy. Nearly 20% of patients who take prescription antiepileptic drugs also take herbal supplements. Unlike drugs, herbal therapies are classified by the Food and Drug Administration as dietary supplements and are not subject to regulations concerning their preparation, safety, or effectiveness. These items can both be of significant concern and/or promise because they may potentially be efficacious or dangerous either by a direct pro-convulsant (induce seizures) effect or by interacting with ongoing antiepileptic drug treatment. Dietary treatments such as ketogenic diet can help some people with poorly controlled seizures by using specific levels of fat, carbohydrate and protein. The ketogenic diet has been shown to be particularly helpful for some epilepsy conditions such as epileptic encephalopathies. Several studies have shown that the ketogenic diet does reduce or prevent seizures in many children whose seizures could not be controlled by medications.