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Ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet therapy is a treatment method for children and adults with refractory epilepsy. The diet is considered when the patient does not respond to AED’s of when there are undesirable side effects and epilepsy surgery is not possible. The diet can reduce the occurrence of epileptic seizures.

The diet is based on high-fat nutrition containing few carbohydrates (starch and sugars) and a normal amount of proteins. The body switches to fat burning, ketones occur and the body arrives in a state of ketosis. Scientific research has shown that the diet yields a positive result in 30-50% of the patients. Applying a ketogenic diet as a treatment method against epilepsy only works when it is strictly adhered to.

Generally speaking, the positive effects of the diet become clear within four months, sometimes sooner. If it does not help, the diet is phased out in the course of several weeks. If successful, the diet must be followed for two years.

Kempenhaeghe applies several types of the ketogenic diet, including the MCT diet, the classical ketogenic diet and the modified Atkins diet (MAD). With the MCT diet, the patient receives a special fat emulsion in addition to a sophisticated diet of normal food. The MTC diet and the classical ketogenic diet are recommended for children. MAD is mostly used by adults and, in specific situations, also by children.

Setting up and executing the diet requires diligent supervision by a specialized dietician, nursing specialist, (pediatric) neurologist, pediatrician (in the case of children) and an internist (for adults).

On you will find various recipes and examples of composed diets (in Dutch only).