John Hopkins Ketogenic Diet for Children Epilepsy Treatment

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John Hopkins Ketogenic Diet

John Hopkins Ketogenic Diet is also a method for treating the epilepsy. Who does not know ketogenic diet? Recent diets are popular with the method of regulating nutrition with high fat intake, moderate protein, and low carbohydrates. This diet is popular because it can lose weight quickly.

However, did you know that this diet was not originally to lose weight? This diet was originally done to treat epilepsy (seizures). Beginning in the 1920s, John Hopkins medical center in Baltimore, Maryland (USA) made studies on long-term ketogenic diets (more than a year).

The results showed that this diet can indeed treat the symptoms of epilepsy, although it is not known exactly how the mechanism of keto diet in controlling epilepsy. John Hopkins Ketogenic Diet has been shown to control seizures in 20-25% of children, reduce seizures by 50% in 30-40% of children, and 25-30% of children do not feel any effect after following a ketogenic diet for one or two months.

Then, what kind of John Hopkins Ketogenic Diet? What are the steps to follow this diet? Let us consider the following discussion.

John Hopkins Ketogenic Diet 1920s

The ketogenic diet has been managed and developed by the Pediatric Epilepsy team at Johns Hopkins since the early 1920s. Ketogenic diet is a diet that carries high fat intake and very low carbohydrates. At that time the ketogenic diet was used in children with epilepsy who were difficult to control with treatment. Although it can reduce symptoms of seizures in children, until now it is not known how keto diet mechanism in epilepsy disease.

The low carbohydrates that enter the body make the production of ketones increased. Ketones are the three compounds that are formed during the process of fat metabolism. This ketone is usually excreted in the urine. The high ketone levels in the body are called ketosis, which is the goal of this diet.

Ketosis conditions can change the way the body uses energy. The need for protein breakdowns for sugar is reduced and the use of fat and ketones as a fuel source increases.

Benefits Of Undergoing John Hopkins Ketogenic Diet

What are the benefits of following a ketogenic diet? Benefits to be gained from this diet is control seizure symptoms, reduce the frequency of seizures, even in some children are known to recover from epilepsy disease after undergoing this diet.

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In addition, by undergoing ketogenic diet, epilepsy patients can often reduce the use of anticonvulsant drugs gradually, even discontinued. Currently, after going through many studies and developments, it is known that ketogenic diet can also help lose weight and lower blood sugar levels for diabetics.

In addition to the benefits, there are also side effects of this ketogenic diet. Many reported side effects include stunted growth due to lack of protein, deficiency of vitamins and minerals, nausea, vomiting, constipation, after stopping the diet high blood fat levels, risk of kidney stones or gallstones, frequent infections due to weakened immune system, inflammation of the pancreas, dehydration, decreased bone density, and irregular menstruation.

There are two types of ketogenic diets. The main variation of this ketogenic diet is the MCT diet (medium chain triglycerides). The MCT diet carries the ketogenic diet with a slightly larger proportion of carbohydrates and proteins while still maintaining ketosis conditions. However, although as effective as traditional diets, it seems that the MCT diet is poorly tolerated. Many complaints that occur such as nausea, vomiting, cramps and diarrhea.

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The Johns Hopkins Classic Ketogenic Diet Procedure

This diet is generally applied to children with epilepsy aged 3-12 years with a ratio of 4: 1 or 3: 1 (fat: protein and carbohydrates). This ratio can vary and change in each patient according to their needs. The average child with epilepsy gets a doctor’s visit once in three months. During this diet, children should take a multivitamin, mineral supplement, and anticonvulsant drug (with a gradual decrease in anticonvulsant dose to stop).

The first step to a ketogenic diet is to consider whether this diet will benefit children’s seizures. Although this diet can treat epilepsy, most doctors prefer other treatments that can effectively control epilepsy without side effects. But if the use of drugs does not show progress, then ketogenic diet becomes the main choice so that children can lead a more normal life.

This ketogenic diet cannot be run alone by the child. Must be under strict supervision from parents and doctors. Parents should be able to measure the child’s eating portion and monitor the side effects that are feared to appear at any time.

Before actually undergoing this diet, the child must undergo fasting for 24 to 48 hours. The child should also be admitted to the hospital to be able to monitor the number of body fluids and possible side effects.

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In addition, the child’s diet for three days prior to admission should be noted so that the doctor can evaluate the child’s daily intake and keep the child’s body mass index in the 50th percentile. Protein intake for children is measured by age, kidney function, and mental stress factors, so the protein intake of each child may vary depending on the factor.

John Hopkins Medical Center sets a schedule for children with epilepsy during a ketogenic diet. On the night before registration, the child has started fasting at home.

  • The first day the child was taken to the hospital by staying fast. Parents should limit fluid intake and monitor blood sugar every six hours.
  • The second day, at dinner the child was given “eggnog”. The blood sugar control is stopped and check the urine to see the child’s ketone content (should range from 80 to 160 mg/dl).
  • The third day, “eggnog” was given at breakfast and lunch while the dinner portion increased to 2/3 servings (from 1/3 of the required portion).
  • On the fourth day, the children are given breakfast and lunch for 2/3 of the required portion and dinner with the whole ketogenic menu.
  • The last day, the fifth day, after the child has received a complete ketogenic breakfast, the patient’s recipe needs are reviewed. On this fifth day, the doctor determines the next appointment and the child are able to leave the hospital.

That’s John Hopkins Ketogenic Diet and how to go through the procedure. Again keep in mind that this ketogenic diet is not a diet that can be done alone by children. This diet is a therapy that requires careful supervision of parents and medical care.

Unfortunately, there is no way to predict the effectiveness of this John Hopkins Ketogenic Diet in children with epilepsy. We recommend that children follow this diet program for 6 months before deciding whether it works and can proceed or not and should be stopped.

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