Epilepsy is a disease associated with many myths and traditions. In some societies, they believe it’s a curse.
However, medical experts have done enough research showing medical treatment and management for epilepsy seizures.
What is epilepsy? This is a neurological disorder in which the brain stops functioning at optimum levels leading to seizures. The attacks are scary for new people with no experience of epileptic people.
There is drug-resistant epilepsy best managed with diet and drugs, which help suppress the symptoms.
Research shows that low fat and high carb diet is responsible for suppressing brain seizure attacks.
The scientific concept behind the foods is that they are less palatable, and their execution is difficult.
Ketogenic diet and Atkins suit this category.
These foods include
- Dairy cream
Research shows that the foods come in handy to manage mild neurological conditions in which epilepsy falls in this category.
The high-fat diet stimulates the functioning of the mitochondrion, which further decreases the neurotransmitters’ function that decreases the seizures.
However, the challenge with this diet when taken in large amounts include
- Stimulates weight gain
- Leads to obesity-related illnesses
- Makes its consumers inactive
- Consumes less energy
- Restricts calorie absorption
- Limits absorption of glucose
Contrary to health protocols, epilepsy patients should have favorite BBQ dishes that have high fat and low carbohydrates not to heal epilepsy but to reduce the number of seizures. They may not get it from the restaurants due to cost issues, but investing in propane grillers comes in handy to have homemade BBQ dishes to get the nutrients, which is also on the ketogenic diet.
You may not understand the amount of fat that is suitable for these patients. Therefore ketogenic diet is the most suitable one since it has the right amount of low carbohydrates and high-fat content.
It is a diet that has been tried, tested, and proven to treat epilepsy seizures effectively.
As a victim of this disease, you can’t wake up and start this diet before seeking a food specialist’s guidance.
It helps in cases where the Anti-Epileptic Drugs fail to work. It works faster in children compared to adults.
The function of the diet on epileptic patients
Naturally, glucose is the lowest form of sugars- from carbohydrates- that are easily absorbed in the body.
Ketones are found in fat as the smallest unit when the body has to use fat to replace glucose.
This specific nutrient is what is responsible for reducing the brain function that causes seizures in epileptic patients.
Are all ketogenic diets good for epileptic patients?
Ketogenic diet comes in different categories. Although they have similar content, the quantity is different, and that’s why its nit food you should self-medicate. Here are a few of them
- Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) Diet
- Low glycaemic Index Treatment (LGIT)
- Classical diet
- Modified Atkins Diet (MAD)
- MCT diet is specifically formed individual fat contents, although the ratio of carbohydrates is higher than that of fats.
The carbohydrates come in different varieties. The fats are majorly oil emulsions; you don’t take it as a meal but as a mixer with their food components.
It is given to epileptic patients who have low muscle mass and have weight issues.
- Low glycemic Index Treatment (LGIT) diet has more glucose. It’s not recommended for this population since the main food component absorbed in the small intestine is glucose, which increases neurological functions, increasing the seizures.
On the other hand, the classical diet comes from dairy products, oil, and natural fatty foods. It is composed of proteins and carbohydrates but less fatty foods. Their food components are in existence but controlled portions.
- Other dietary treatment plans for epileptic patients
When these diets seem to fail, especially in the older population, these treatment approaches come in handy to save the situation.
The medical treatment plan with diet supplements comes in handy, but they are under strict supervision because of their adverse side effects.
The prescriptions are given after consultation and brainstorming sessions between dieticians, neurologists, and physicians, depending on the symptoms and the state of epilepsy on the patient.
Can you have a keto diet for long?
The body has different nutritional needs that are got from foods. Most dieticians prescribe this diet when you have constant epileptic attacks.
After careful monitoring, they wean you off not completely. Still, in stages, as they monitor the situation, however, they may also advise you on other food intakes that you can use, which have no side effects and can also relieve you of frequent attacks.
Therefore walk with your nutritionist if you have to benefit from this diet as a treatment plan for epilepsy.
Monitoring tool for epileptic patients on diet
The surest way of monitoring if you are doing well with the dietary treatment approach is to check on your ketone level either in the urine- urinalysis or in the blood- complete blood count.
Are there any side effects
Patient experience different side effects depending on individuals; some of the most common ones include
- Reduced energy levels
However, the side effects are mild, but if they cause other health challenges, it’s time to check them out.
One good thing is that they get to end if not reduce with time. Discuss this with your dietician to see what they can do- they are the experts in this.
Epilepsy is a manageable medical condition and not witchcraft, as most people tend to believe. It’s upon you to get the right medical personnel to walk the journey with you for success as much as there is no permanent cure for the disease.