Ketogenic Diet for Epilepsy: Effective Seizure Management


Epilepsy is a neurological disorder characterised by recurrent and unpredictable seizures resulting from abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Seizures can vary in type, duration, and severity. An individual suffering from epilepsy may experience seizures. These seizures do not last longer than a few minutes but can become serious if not treated with the medication at the right time. Epilepsy is regardless of age and gender. Anyone can be affected by it. The ketogenic (keto) diet, high in fats and low in carbohydrates, can help control seizures in some epilepsy patients by altering brain metabolism.

What is a Keto Diet?

There are many diets followed by people who wish to lose weight. A keto diet is a dieting method in which the individual consumes more fats and less carbohydrates. The ratio of a keto diet is divided into 70 to 80% fats, 5 to 10% carbohydrates, and 20% proteins. Initially, the diet originated in the 1920s for children who have epilepsy, but soon, the diet pattern was used as a fad for losing weight by many people. The diet is also helpful for people who have Alzheimer’s, autism, class III obesity, or diabetes.

What happens when an individual follows a ketogenic diet for epilepsy patients ?

A ketogenic diet helps to reset the functioning of the body. Usually, a body uses the stored carbohydrates for energy. Still, in the case of a ketogenic diet, the body learns to burn fat for energy production and helps one to lose calories. Thus, the diet is also considered effective in losing weight faster than usual weight-loss diets.

How is a keto diet helpful for epilepsy patients?

The ketogenic diet and epilepsy have been related since the 1920s. Initially, the diet was originated to cure epilepsy, but soon, the diet’s fad for weight loss increased rapidly. Researchers do not clearly state the relationship between following the diet and losing weight. Still, the combination of low sugar and high fat helps to lower the seizure attacks by lowering the brain’s excitement episodes. The diet is helpful for people who have epilepsy to lower seizure attacks. The diet highly helps kids who have epilepsy, also known as pediatric epilepsy. The diet can be difficult for adults to follow due to restrictions on eating and may make one a bit agitated.

How does a ketogenic diet help pediatric epilepsy children?

A Keto diet for seizures is not a diet to be started by one’s ideas. The diet should be started strictly under a doctor’s guidance. Usually, a child is admitted to the hospital and kept under observation to ensure the child follows the diet correctly. Doctors have also observed that a keto diet for epilepsy patients has helped to lower 50% of the seizure attacks in kids, and around 10 to 20% of kids have also noticed an improvement of 90% in seizures by following a keto diet.

A keto diet is recommended to people who cannot find any cure or other methods used to treat epilepsy. The diet requires the patient to visit the doctor once after 1 to 3 months to track the progress observed while following the diet.

In case the seizure attacks of the child are harsh and severe, the doctors may follow the steps mentioned below:

      • Initially, the diet begins by feeding the child water and sugar-free liquids.
      • After 24 hours, the child’s new diet begins.
      • The infants are fed with ketogenic, ready-to-use premixed formulas.
      • The patient’s blood sugar is monitored closely in the next 48 hours.
      • One may experience hypoglycemia at the beginning of the diet.
      • The patient may also be fed with required calcium and vitamin supplements to maintain the diet with less hassle.

Risks of the Keto Diet

The diet helps manage multiple mental disorders such as autism, bipolar disorder, and epilepsy and for losing weight, but it also has its share of side effects. Mentioned below are some of the side effects of the diet that can affect an individual’s health if followed for a long time:

    • Constipation– Low carbohydrate and fibrous diets like keto can make an individual following the diet feel constipated. Low fibre slows and obstructs a healthy digestive system.
    • Weak Bones– A keto diet involves low vitamin D intake and high acid load due to ketone bodies that lower bone mineral density, weakening bones.
    • Low Blood Pressure– Another observed risk factor of the low-carb keto diet is low blood pressure. It happens when an individual practising the keto diet cannot hold water and salt in the body, which leads the kidneys to feel pressurized and raises other issues such as kidney damage or kidney stones.

When to Consult a Doctor

Timely medical intervention can help cure many of these ailments or help in managing them. You can also get in touch with the expert Neurology doctors at Narayana Healthcare based in your city to get immediate attention and medical support to treat brain conditions, neurological disorders or any other health concern.


The ketogenic diet and epilepsy have been related since the 1920s as the diet was originated to cure mental disorders. The diet helps lower the seizure attacks in children; thus, it is an effective treatment option. The diet also has some possible side effects. It should be followed when suggested by doctors.


Q. What is a keto diet?
A diet high in fats and low in cards is called a ketogenic diet.

Q. Who can benefit from a ketogenic diet?
People with epilepsy, autism, bipolar disorder, or people trying to lose weight can see effective results by following a keto diet.

Q. What is the connection between keto diet and epilepsy?
The ketogenic (keto) diet, high in fats and low in carbohydrates, can help control seizures in some epilepsy patients by altering brain metabolism.

Reference Links

Narayana Health

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