What the FAT is the Keto Diet for Epilepsy?

The ketogenic diet (KD) is a high fat, low carbohydrate, controlled protein diet that has been used since the 1920s for the treatment of epilepsy. The diet is a medical treatment and should be considered when at least two suitable medications have been tried and have failed to control seizures. Once a child has failed two anti-seizure medications, the odds of a third medication controlling their seizures is less than 10%. This is a medically prescribed diet, and must be under medical supervision. 

Statistically, the keto diet for epilepsy has a response rate of 50% of patients with uncontrolled seizures reaching 50-90% seizure reduction. The diet does carry some risk of adverse side effect, but is generally well tolerated. 

There are various forms of the diet to discuss with your child’s doctor:

Classic Keto Diet

Modified Keto Diet


MCT Diet 

All have shown clinical evidence of some form of seizure control in refractory epilepsy. Deciding which diet is best for your child is between you and your child’s medical team. There are several resources for more information:

The Charlie Foundation

Matthews Friends

The Keto Hope Foundation

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