A ketogenic diet helps reduce seizures for some children with seizure disorders. This high fat, very low-carbohydrate diet helps release chemicals called ketones, which disrupt seizure activity in the brain. Research has shown that the ketogenic diet helps from one-half to three-fourths of children who follow it.
But, the ketogenic diet is challenging. Meal plans must be followed exactly. Breads, pastas, cereals, crackers, and candy are off limits because of high carbohydrates. The diet does include butter, cheese, whipping cream, mayonnaise, meat, poultry, fish and non-starchy vegetables. Very small amounts of fruit and non-starchy vegetables are permissible.
But there’s another consideration: medications. Medications have carbs, enough to upset the careful balance needed in this diet. A single dose of Children's Tylenol can contain nearly 4,000 milligrams of carbohydrates, which could lead to increased seizure activity in children following this diet.
When your child needs a new medication or when a medication formulation has changed, a pharmacist should be able to verify the carb count so adjustments can be made to your child’s diet.
Have you ever had to track the amount of carbohydrates in medications and why? Where did you find the carbohydrate information and was it easily accessible?