Some of the most effective treatments for Epilepsy, and in particular Doose syndrome, are dietary. These treatments are medically supervised and typically are paid for by insurance. This means that they are not considered “alternative” treatments, rather some research has suggested that they are better at treating Doose syndrome than most pharmaceuticals. There is significant evidence that these should be trialed as first-line treatments. The classic treatment has been the Ketogenic Diet, however, further research has shown other lower-carb diets are also effective. It is important to note that when using these diets for epilepsy treatment parents should not attempt to initiate them without the support of a medical team. Most childhood epilepsy centers have ketogenic diet centers including nutritionists and other support staff who initiate the diet through an inpatient process. To learn more visit www.charliefoundation.org
Keto (Classic/ Modified)
The Ketogenic Diet, or Keto for short, is a way of eating that mimics the effects of fasting. By consuming a diet rich in quality fats, adequate in protein, and low in net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber), the body’s metabolism begins to utilize fat as its main source of fuel. This breakdown of fat into useful energy is similar to the process that dietary carbohydrates undergo in producing glucose to fuel the body. In other words, ketones are to fat what glucose is to carbohydrates. Ketosis is defined as having blood ketone levels > .5 millimolar/L.
Achieving a state of ketosis can have many benefits from treating chronic illnesses to optimizing both mental and physical performance. While the benefits are well documented, the underlying mechanism of action is not entirely clear. The diet seems to enhance the ability of mitochondria, the power plants of our cells, to deliver our bodies’ energy needs in a manner that reduces inflammation and oxidative stress. Through optimizing the way our body uses energy, we fortify our bodies’ ability to take on the ever-growing stressors of our modern way of living.