The Ketogenic Diet

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

The Ketogenic Diet is a medically supervised diet that may be a treatment option for some people with epilepsy. It involves a high fat and very low carbohydrate and protein diet that makes the body burn fat rather than carbohydrate and protein for energy. This creates ketones, and when the body is in a high ketone state, called ketosis, the brain no longer uses glucose for energy but instead uses ketones. This can reduce seizure activity in some people. It is difficult to maintain ketosis but the Ketogenic Diet uses a carefully calculated regimen with rigid meal plans to deliberately maintain this state. Compared to other epilepsy treatments, less is known about the beneficial and adverse effects of the Ketogenic Diet. The way that ketosis reduces seizures is not fully understood. The diet was initially used in the 1920s and fell out of favour when new anti-epileptic medication was developed. Interest in the diet has regained over the last 20 years, and it is now used in many countries.

The Ketogenic Diet team at Austin Health

Ketogenic Diet Program Leader Professor Ingrid Scheffer, Paediatric Neurologist

Paediatric Epilepsy Nurse Karen Stewart, Ketogenic Dietitian Kellie Draffin, Ketogenic Dietitian Judy Nation

For more information contact Karen Stewart, Paediatric Epilepsy Nurse on: (+61 3) 9496 2259 or karen.stewart@austin.org.au

Children’s Ward (Ward 2W) at Austin Health (+61 3) 9496 5515

Click here to download a pamphlet to learn more about the Ketogenic Diet

Interested in buying Ketocooking, a book full of recipes for the Ketogenic Diet? Click here

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