A classic Ketogenic diet has a ratio of approximately 3 to 4 grams of fat to every 1 gram of protein as well as carbohydrate. Of course some children might need a different ratio, but in case they are on diet they tend to eat more food that contains fat in the form of cream and butter as compared to starchy foods like pasta and bread.
Benefits of Ketogenic Diet
Although results vary from child to child, but generally Ketogenic diet shows good results and reduces the number of seizures even among those children amongst whom there is difficulty controlling them even after using medication.
The Ketogenic diet has a number of positive side effects and helps in improving the child’s mood, attention as well as behavior. Ketogenic diet is also helpful in cases where they are metabolic disorders like pyruvate dehydrogenase deficiency.
Ketogenic Diet: Limitations and Side Effects
Like any other form of treatment Ketogenic diet might also have some side effects like constipation, high cholesterol, kidney stones or even dehydration. Therefore it is always better to consult a physician before starting a child on a Ketogenic diet.
Always keep in mind the following:
- Ketogenic diet is very restrictive in nature hence it may have effect on the child’s mood
- It has to be followed very religiously in case it has to show some good results
- It may be time consuming to prepare this type of diet
- It cannot be continued for long since it is not a regular or balanced eating regimen
- It may not be safe for certain children who have metabolic disorders
- Since there are Side Effects that meeting place it is better to do it supervision of doctor only
How to Administer Ketogenic Diet
Before starting on Ketogenic diet it is important to understand how to administer it to the child. There would also be need to train into how to measure things like blood sugar levels as well as ketones. There would be a need to keep a proper eye on the child initially for the period of at least 5 days and only if there are no complications the diet may be continued further.
Points to Note before Starting the Ketogenic Diet
- We must get a full evaluation done before starting any child on this type of diet.
- Get the child admitted in the hospital since it has to be done under supervision
- There may be a need for child to go on fast before the diet is started
- Regular check on ketones as well as sugar levels should be done throughout the periods of dieting.
- There may be a need of supplements in form of material vitamins and minerals to keep the right balance in the body
- In case it is not done in the hospital then services of a regular caregiver may be taken essential
Precautions While Dieting At Home
If the child has been put into it on a diet at home it is important to see that there is always someone around to monitor the child’s seizures. It may take quite some time for the seizures to stop or reduce and hence it would need a lot of patience and care on your part.
Also keep in mind that regular checkups are continued since it is important to keep track of the child’s blood sugar, fluid intake, and ketones level. There may also be a need to adjust the diet midway to suit the child’s condition.
When to Discontinue This Diet
The diet can be reduced or completely withdrawn once the child starts showing improvement gradually. Also, in case that child is having negative effect or finding it too restrictive, the diet can be tapered or withdrawn completely.