High-fat diet can not be given to kids without medical management

April 8th, 2009 - 6:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 8 (IANS) A high-fat therapy comprising whipped cream, butter and vegetable oil to reduce seizures in kids, requires long-term medical management and parental commitment.
The study, by Mary L. Zupanc, professor of paediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Beth Zupec-Kania focuses on a thorough diet history and metabolic assessment of the child, long-term seizure, nutrition, and medical monitoring, and vitamin-mineral supplementation.

“This diet cannot be tried by parents without close medical management and follow-up,” cautioned Zupanc. “It requires careful metabolic monitoring and precise supplementation of missing nutrients.”

Their approach has been effective, as seen in a yet unpublished study of 43 patients at Children’s Hospital, between the ages of 12 months and 15 years.

Of these children who started on the ketogenic or a high fat, adequate protein, low carbohydrate diet between 2002 and 2006, half had a greater than 90 percent reduction in seizure frequency.

The majority of the children who responded to the diet had either a severe form of childhood epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or symptomatic generalised epilepsy.

Their brain activity, as measured by electro encephalograms also improved significantly, paralleling the dramatic changes in seizure control.”Lack of compliance or of consistent medical monitoring can lead to poor growth, impaired nutrition and seizure recurrence,” said Zupanc.

“There has to be careful monitoring and consistent communication between the dietitian and the physician managing the diet. Metabolic screening should be performed after the first month and every three months afterward,” she added, according to Wisconsin release.

“The family should keep a detailed seizure diary. Growth and weight parameters require ongoing monitoring, as do side effects such as lethargy or nausea, which may indicate a hidden metabolic defect,” said Zupanc.

These findings appeared in Epilepsia.

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