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The Ketogenic Diet for Control of Epilepsy in Paediatic Patients and a Gluten Free Diet

Posted May 16 2008 1:49pm

As the mother of a son with Tonic Clonic Epilepsy there have been many trials and triumphs along what has at times been a very difficult journey ...

Getting a diagnosis of epilepsy for some forms of epilepsy can sometimes be difficult. Once you have a diagnosis you move onto the treatment phase, trying to reduce or stop the seizures. For many people with epilepsy good control can be achieved, sadly this isn't always the case. So for some starts the battle to get as good a control as is possible

For people in the UK struggling with any form of Epilepsy, there has always been somebody at the end of the phone for me at Epilepsy Action . They provide leaflets and general information at all of the Neurological Centres of Excellence

Sometimes the need for information can be strong, when it was strongest, I logged onto my computer, accessed the internet, and did a Google-search. Hey presto! I found Brain-Talk (now known as Neuro Talk ). Neuro Talk is an online community for people with all sorts of neurological disorders, providing forums for people to communicate their problems and their solutions. It was here that I discovered that I wasn't the only mother isolated by chronic neurological disease in their child. They helped me to find a way through, both for myself and for my son. They also opened my eyes to the possibility of manipulating epilepsy with diet, which I duly did, a relaxed form of the Ketogenic Diet that was fairly low in Gluten

The Ketogenic Diet is getting a lot of press here at the moment, due to the results of clinical trials in London. It is not new, it was developed in the 1920's. Paediatric epilepsy patients in the USA were using the diet, or a form of the diet at least ten years ago, that I know of, some with good results. It was developed to help with seizures in paediatric patients for whom seizure control is the most difficult. It is a very strict regime with increased levels of fats, normal levels of proteins and minimal levels of carbohydrates (naturally gluten low)

If you want to know more about one woman's true life struggle with her son's epilepsy, you could do much worse than watch the film, First Do No Harm, starring Meryl Streep. It follows a mothers journey from her sons diagnosis of a severe form of epilepsy through to the eventual trial on the Ketogenic Diet. It is released by The Jaffe/Braunstein Films Ltd Production Company and I acquired it as a giveaway from the Daily Mail

I was as a result of the Ketogenic Diet and Neuro Talk, that I eventually started to resolve my own food issues. I knew I was ill at the time, but had other issues to deal with! As a result of being low in gluten on a relaxed form of the Ketogenic diet I released why I was being sick all the time. It later got to the point where I couldn't tolerate gluten at all .... but that is another story!

I believe that some epilepsy patients do rather well on a gluten free diet!

Food for Thought :)
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