Traditional/classic ketogenic diet therapy for epilepsy

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Learn about the benefits and limitations of the traditional/classic ketogenic diet therapy for childhood epilepsy, how it is started and how it is used at home.

Key points

  • There are 4 ketogenic diet therapies.
  • All ketogenic diet therapies provide at least 70 per cent of a child's calories from fat, with most of them providing more than 85 per cent fat.
  • The diet therapies are shown to reduce seizures and may also improve mood, behaviour, attention and social functioning , which may be related to the reduction in seizures.
  • Negative side effects of the diets range from dehydration, constipation and vomiting to loss of bone density, poor growth and kidney stones. Your child will be monitored closely to check for these side effects.
  • The diets are very restrictive and need to be followed carefully under the guidance of a ketogenic diet therapy team which could include a dietitian, neurologist, nurse practitioner and nurse.
Last updated: March 12th 2021