Using a Ketogenic Diet to support epilepsy
by Sue Kira, Naturopath & Clinical Nutritionist
Client name and identifying information changed
I could never claim that a ketogenic diet clears anyone of terrible conditions like epilepsy, but when a desperate mother of a 26-year-old girl (who had epilepsy for the previous two years) came to see me because she had tried every drug and therapy available for her daughter and nothing worked, I decided to see how I could help in any way.
Apparently, April was a totally fine, healthy young lady without a care in the world, and then one day she just started getting seizures. April had been to many doctors and specialists and had lots of tests and scans. The tests confirmed their fears that she had epilepsy, but every drug they tried didn’t help and her seizures were getting worse as time went on.
Totally house bound by this stage, we spoke via Skype as April couldn’t leave the house as she feared a sudden seizure could break her body again. Every time she had a seizure she would suddenly drop to the floor and frequently break a bone, so she had to be in a ‘safe place’ most of the time.
I made recommendations of some good oils and nutrients reported to help with epilepsy as well as pyrrole disorder. But I had also researched the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet which I shared with April and her mum. They were willing to give it a go as they certainly had nothing to lose by trying it. Along with ketogenic, the diet was also gluten and dairy free to reduce other potential compounds that may have been affecting her.
After about six weeks on a very low carbohydrate diet with high amounts of good fats/oils, including some supplemental ones, April and her mum noticed that the number of seizures per day had dropped by about 50% and the duration of the seizures was less. This was by no means a cure but it all helped.
A few months later, they contacted me and said they were trialling a new drug which seemed promising at that point, and the specialist also recommended that April stay with the diet as he felt hopeful that the combination of the new drug and the diet would have a positive effect.