Posts Tagged Antiepileptic drugs

Ketogenic Diet – Treatment to Epilepsy in Children?

I would like to take this moment to express heartfelt condolence  to John Travolta who lost his 16-year-old son.

This blog entry is served as general information only, not meant to be taken as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before taking any action.

What is seizure?
Our brain contains billions of neutrons that communicate among themselves by sending and receiving electrical impulses. And when there’s something wrong or abnormal in the activity, it cause a sezisure.

Seizure in children alters their level of awareness, changes in behavior, and/or muscle contractions and movements. Usually, seizure only last a few seconds or minutes. However, if it occurs several times in the past, your children might have Epilepsy.

Why does it happen?  
Nobody knows why children suffer seizure, but they do rarely suffer long-term harmful side effect due to it. Most seizures can be controlled with medication, and the risk of seizures often declines as a child grows older. 

There are chances that fevers cause seizure in children. Poor diet and lack of water will result very low blood sugar and dehydration in the body. They too can trigger seizure.

What is the treatment?
The first step is always consult your doctor. The decision to treat a child who has recurrent seizures depends upon medical and seizure history – the type and number of seizures, setting in which seizures occurred, child’s age and family concerns. 

A complete physical examination is important. Doctor or medical practitioner will conduct a series of physical exams to evaluate a child with seizure.

An electroencephalogram or EEG for short, is a test to measure neutrons activity in your brain. The test is performed on a child with seizure to search for any abnrmoality in the brain wave. Any information gathered is crucial in determining where and why the seizure happens.

Antiepileptic drugs or AEDs is one of the medications that will be sued to prevent epilepsy. Healthcare provider usually considers the type of seizure or epilepsy that is suspected, as well as the properties of the various drugs that might be prescribed when choosing an AED. 

Ketogenic Diet is…?
Ketogenic Diet is a specially developed diet in 1920’s. It’s a diet that is extremely high in fat. A child with epilepsy is required to eat four times as many fat calories as calories from protein or carbohydrate. By reducing the number of carbohydrates a person eats, the body is forced to burn fat for energy.

Fasting too, has been a traditional seizure treatment for centuries, but it is not really neccesary for children.

Let’s kick start Ketogenic Diet then
No

There is certain considerations when you decide to start out ketogenic diet for your child with Epilepsy.  The first and foremost is to weight food precisely. Even a little lapse or misstep to trigger seizure. You might want to keep a close wath on your kid so that he/she follows the diet strictly.

Therefore, it is wise to consult doctor or dietician. According to Solomon L. Moshe, MD, Director of Clinical Neurophysiology and Child Neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, “It’s very important that a family have a doctor and a dietician working with them on this diet; otherwise, it won’t work and it isn’t even safe.”  

Reference:

1. Epilepsy in Children: The Ketogenic Diet, WebMD

2. Patient information: Seizures in children, Angus Wilfong, MD

3. Patient information: Treatment of seizures in children, Angus Wilfong, MD

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