The ketogenic diet was developed in the early 1900s as an alternative way to treat epilepsy, which causes seizures. In the 1920s, medical professionals realized that the body reacts differently when denied certain elements of normal caloric intake. This seemed to cure the seizures in some patients. Anticonvulsant drugs then became popular, and the ketogenic diet was all but forgotten. However, with more people wanting to find a natural way to manage seizures, the ketogenic diet resurfaced and has become quite popular once again as a method of controlling seizures through nutrition.
Begin the Diet
Before beginning the diet, prepare by purchasing the appropriate foods, which include those high in fats and low in carbohydrates. To begin the diet, you must fast for 24 full hours. The diet’s purpose is to fool the body into believing it is in a starvation state and the 24-hour fasting period is required so that the body will use up all its stores of glucose. After the 24-hour fasting period, a very special and strictly measured diet is administered. By denying the body essential elements of a daily diet, the body enters the state of ketosis in which it uses stored body fat to create energy. Your doctor will measure ketones with urine samples and if the diet is working, the samples will show a reading of 4+.
While you are on the diet, you must prepare appropriate foods and follow the diet exactly. For example, one sample menu you can make begins with buttered scrambled eggs, diluted cream and orange juice for breakfast. This should be followed by a lunch of spaghetti squash with Parmesan cheese and butter, a leaf of lettuce with some mayonnaise, and a diet orange soda mixed with whipped cream. Dinner in the sample diet consists of slices of hot dog and some sugar-free ketchup, buttered asparagus, chopped up lettuce with mayonnaise and a sugar-free vanilla cream popsicle. While this sample menu is representative of what you will make, you must formulate an exact meal plan with your doctor and follow it exactly.
Stopping the Diet
You should remain on the diet for an extended period of time. This can be up to two years. Your doctor will evaluate whether the diet is working. If seizures are reduced, you will continue the diet. After two years, you can slowly begin to try to reintroduce regular food. If your seizures begin again, you may have to go back on the ketogenic diet.