Ketogenic Diet – A Safe Alternative To Seizures?
Recent studies have revealed a strong link between epilepsy and the gastrointestinal microbiome. In addition, the gastrointestinal microbiome may also be a protective mechanism to prevent epilepsy thus treated with a ketogenic diet. However, many unanswered questions still remain, such as the specific mechanism through which the gastrointestinal microflora influences the onset of epileptic seizures and the potential clinical applications of recent findings related to the gut.
Seizures are generally identified as sporadic brief seizures lasting less than 10 minutes that occur either in children or adults. The frequency of seizure can be highly influenced by the individual genetic composition, whereas the intensity and number of seizures can also depend on environmental factors such as stress, trauma or exposure to certain medications. Seizures are often a result of a biological mechanism such as abnormal brain cell activity, chemical imbalances or immune activation. A ketogenic diet can significantly alleviate the symptoms of epileptic seizures by reducing harmful short-term spikes in energy demands.
The ketogenic diet has been shown to normalize brain chemical levels and decrease energy demand during periods of physical stress. It has been shown to improve the function of the gastrointestinal tract by increasing the efficacy of the body’s immune system. In addition, a ketogenic diet can significantly reduce the chances of developing epilepsy or other seizure disorders through its ability to decrease glucose levels within the body. Glucose is a glycolytic substrate used by a variety of cells in the body, especially ones that are involved in energy production.
Several studies have reported positive effects of a ketogenic diet on patients with brain tumors, Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis (MS), even in the absence of antiepileptic drugs. The ketogenic diet has also been shown to benefit patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease and spinal cord injuries. In these studies, patients were put on the diet for a period of time while they received treatments. After the period of the ketogenic diet, tests revealed an improvement in both brain function and mental functions, as evidenced by an increased ability to remember things and complete tasks. Additionally, the ketogenic diet has been shown to increase overall brain health and function. In one study, for example, participants who had been on the ketogenic diet were found to have improved cognition, as measured by cognitive testing.
The ketogenic diet is often recommended for epileptic patients because it lessens the frequency and severity of seizures. However, this isn’t the only reason why some recommend this diet for those who suffer from epilepsy. Seizures can be triggered by anything within the body, not just food. Thus, any limiting of certain foods can have a significant impact on the likelihood of a seizure. Therefore, by putting together a diet plan specifically for epilepsy sufferers, you may find that you can control what you eat. Even if it doesn’t cure epilepsy, a seizure-free life can be yours with the right plan.
Other benefits of the ketogenic diet include weight loss, since ketones are used to break down glucose inside the brain. This, in turn, helps to reduce the amount of sugar that is consumed. A recent study showed that individuals on the ketogenic diet lost more body fat compared to those who didn’t use the diet plan. The ketone levels in the blood increased significantly, which could mean a better chance at weight loss.
One particular side effect of the diet has to do with memory. People suffering from epilepsy have suffered from memory loss. However, this is most likely related to the person’s particular case. However, this shouldn’t deter anyone who wishes to try the diet. This is especially true if the person wants to maintain a positive image and regain a sense of self-worth.
It’s important to note, however, that a ketogenic diet for epilepsy may not be helpful. It all depends on how severe the epileptic symptoms are. Even mild cases of seizures can lead to the need for medical intervention. This is why it’s important to discuss any treatment plans with a qualified physician. Even though the ketogenic diet may help, it’s not for everyone. It should only be used as a last resort when other methods have failed.