‘The seizures stopped immediately and have not returned’
Callum (12 years old) suffered from epilepsy most of his life, and last year it worsened. He would have up to two seizures per day, and the neurologist thought that he would need increasing doses of medication to treat the condition.
At that time Callum’s father had been following a keto diet for about a year, and had heard that it could help epilepsy. He decided to try it on Callum, and the results were amazing. Not only have the seizures stopped, but Callum also has fewer side effects from the medications and enjoys a better quality of life.
An admin from the Diet Doctor Facebook group suggested I share our story here.
It’s about my 12-year old son Callum. He’s had petit mal siezures (epilepsy) most of his life (4 to 5.5 years, then 8 to 12 years). The medications that he is on are known to increase appetite, and he has been very chubby for many years. Meds also make him tired so he was always going for quick-fix carb/sugar foods. He’s mostly a happy kid but will often argue with his mother relentlessly when tired and grumpy.
Callum has been very good at karate for the last seven years or so, but was the slow overweight kid at soccer, and he was often left on the bench with the other slow kids. A shame as his ball skills were good.
On May 24 2019, Callum was up to having one to two seizures per day (petit mal 3 to 5 seconds long). This was probably due to his growing size, and he would likely require increased meds. We rang the specialist doctor (who we can only see every year and a half) and got an increase in Ethosuximide 250 mg. The same day I decided that he should try keto. I had started keto in November 2018 and found Diet Doctor a few months later. I was having great results so I thought it may help him as well, and I had heard that it could help with epilepsy. Epilepsy Australia says that it can be useful for uncontrolled grand mal seizures. The specialist said that it would be OK to try, but he did not think that it would help.
Well the petit mal seizures stopped immediately and have not returned. My nurse wife thinks it’s the extra meds. I think it’s mostly keto. He had a grand mal seizure two weeks later (only the second one in his life) which I put down to the med adjustment.Callum went from 62 kg (137 lbs) down to 50 kg (110 lbs) in three months which is huge for a 12-year old (20% body weight). He’s now a comfortable 48 kg (106 lbs). You can see the change from the photos taken one year apart, but they could have been taken just three months apart. It has been incredible. He has stopped arguing all the time, and he seems to have limitless energy. His schoolwork has improved significantly (the seizure meds had left him behind his classmates for years, so he’s got a bit of catchup to do). He’s a keen mountain biker now. And has lots of confidence. In October last year, after five months on keto, he place third in kata at he Australian National Shinkyokushin Karate championships, with a kata quite advanced for his age group. I used to bite my nails hoping he wouldn’t seize during kata competitions.
It’s like his maturity level has jumped two years over night, amazing.
We are seeing the specialist this Friday and are expecting the meds to be reduced. Even if the seizure’s aren’t fully cured, the other benefits have been amazing.
Happy for you to share story if you like
BTW, I lost 22 kg (49 lbs) in the last year and feel great too.
Thanks for sharing your and Callum’s story with us. As a parent myself, I know there is nothing we wouldn’t do to help our kids. But often I hear parents worry that having a kid change their eating habits is too difficult and problematic. Callum’s response is an amazing testament to how a nutritional change can have profound health and quality of life benefits. Thank you for showing us the amazing benefits of sticking with it.
/ Dr. Bret Scher
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