There has been much interest over the past decade or so in how the Atkins Diet might help epilepsy sufferers. Low carbohydrate diets were in fact used widely as a treatment for epilepsy as early as the s but fell out of fashion as anticonvulsive medications became available. A resurgence in interest in the low-carbohydrate regimes occurred in the s, particularly for those who had failed to find an effective anti-convulsive. A modified version of the Atkins diet can provide an alternative to more traditional ketogenic regimes, which is simpler to adhere to and easier to manage both at home and when eating out. Although widely used to treat children with epilepsy, this article deals exclusively with the use of the diet for adult sufferers. Firstly, it is important to note that the Atkins diet does not reduce seizures in all patients, although well over half experience a marked improvement in their condition. Where it does have an effect, this seems to be because given a low level of carbohydrate in the diet, the liver is driven to convert fat in the body into fatty acids and ketones. These ketones replace glucose as an energy source for the brain. It is the elevated level of ketones which seems to reduce the frequency of seizures.
Learn about the benefits and limitations of the modified Atkins diet for childhood epilepsy, how it is started, and how to use it at home. As its name suggests, this diet is a modification of the Atkins diet for weight loss. Children on this diet can eat no more than 10 g of carbohydrate per day at first. Some children may be able to increase to 20 g or 30 g of carbohydrate per day after a few months. Although it does not work for every child, the modified Atkins diet has been shown to reduce seizures in many children, sometimes by more than 90 per cent. It is easier to follow than the traditional ketogenic diet and offers a wider range of food. Children can order food that is appropriate for the diet in restaurants and cafeterias. Although research is still limited, children on the modified Atkins diet seem to have fewer side effects than with the traditional ketogenic diet. If it is going to work, the modified Atkins diet often starts to work quickly, although it can take several months to see the full effects. If the modified Atkins diet is successful in controlling seizures, it may be continued for several years under the guidance and monitoring of your child’s doctor. Studies so far have found few side effects from the modified Atkins diet. Overweight patients may lose weight, which can sometimes be desirable.
The ketogenic and related diets in adolescents and adults—a review. Search form. Use of a modified Atkins diet in intractable childhood epilepsy. Back Book Mt Eden Booking. If it is going to work, the modified Atkins diet often starts to work quickly, although it can take several months to see the full effects. Our Mission The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.