01/08/2014

#104 Our 18 year old son J. had a seizure 3 weeks ago at school.

[QUESTION CONTINUED] After an EEG and other tests he was diagnosed with epilepsy and started on the anti-seizure medication “generic Keppra”. Even on a half pill twice a day he could barely open his eyes. This dose was making his school work almost impossible. He's was a straight "A” student and I was afraid that he was falling too far behind. We spoke to the neurologist about alternatives to drugs but he said there was no alternative that he knew of. We were not happy with this.

Needless to say I've spent every waking moment researching other options and came across the Johns Hopkins studies. With the help of all the online resources, this site and others we started J. on a high fat low carb diet and weaned off the small dose of Keppra. I'm monitoring ketones with the urine test sticks.

We have an appointment with a new Neurologist on Jan. 7th. How best should we approach this new Dr.? We're afraid that she too will want to put him on meds as a first line of attack. For us, the strict diet and lifestyle change is far more acceptable than drugs but we would very much appreciate the support of a dietitian and blood monitoring.

Today is three weeks since J's seizure. Hoping that's a good sign. Thanks for any advice.

[RESPONSE] If your neurologist is not willing to accept the fact that your child is improving on a ketogenic diet, it’s time for a new neurologist! What state are you in? You may need to travel to get to a center that has an experienced team. You will find a list of centers on our Hospital link.

Teenagers and adults are most often started on a liberal version of the ketgogenic diet. The Charlie Foundation has recently published a booklet called "Modified Ketogenic Diet Therapy: for 1:1 and 2:1 ratios”. It's more flexible than the Classic Ketogenic Diet but still should be used under medical supervision with a nutritionist to assist you. This booklet provides advice on carb restriction, ensuring enough protein and getting the best fats in your diet. It also provides advice for nutritional management and preventing adverse effects. It is our version of the Modified Atkins diet (which has even more simplified guidelines). You may order this booklet through the Keto Store of this web-site. Best wishes! Beth