Keto and Ketogenic Diet: Everything You Need to Know - The Ketogenic diet has a wide variety of uses. This includes as a practice for epilepsy by producing ketones. Body building and just overall dieting are some of the other practicle uses of the ketogenic diet. This websites focus is informational for epilepsy reference.
Table of Contents:
- WHAT IS A KETOGENIC DIET?
- WHAT ARE KETONES?
- HOW DO KETONES PREVENT SEIZURES?
- WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THE KETOGENIC DIET?
- KETOGENIC DIET SIDE EFFECTS
- HOW ARE KETONES TESTED?
- WHY ARE KETONES TESTED?
WHAT IS A KETOGENIC DIET?
The ketogenic diet is a high in fat, low-carbohydrate diet that aids to control seizures in various children with epilepsy and is used with body builders from time to time. It is strict on calorie intake, fluid and protein quantity
Ketogenic Diet itself means “keto” meaning ketone and “genic” meaning producing. The diet’s purpose is to produce ketones in the body. When the body burns fat for an energy source the body needs to produce ketones. The body typically uses carbohydrates, like bread, sugar and pasta, for its fuel, but since the diet is low in carbs, fats become the main source in its place.
WHAT ARE KETONES?
Ketones are an efficient source of energy for the body to use. In the response to an absence of sugars the liver starts producing ketones from fatty acids. These ketones result in a break down in of body fat. This state is called ketosis.
HOW DO KETONES PREVENT SEIZURES?
The burning of fat, as a substitute for carbs, will result in ketone levels in the body to increase. Once a state of ketosis is achieved certain amino acids inside the brain change increasing the amount of neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid also known as GABA. This causes the nerve cells to stabilize.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THE KETOGENIC DIET?
Children in the range of 1 – 12 years of age that medication has not helped are candidates for the ketogenic diet. Chilred with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and birth defects are most likely to require this kind of attention. Studies have shown the diet may be of use with adults that do not benefit from medication as well.
KETOGENIC DIET SIDE EFFECTS?
Loss of energy starting the diet for the first few days after beginning the diet. Other long terms effects of a ketogenic diet may include:
- high cholesterol levels in the blood
- bone fractures
- kidney stones
- slowed growth
- weight gain
HOW ARE KETONES TESTED?
When dealing with epilepsy or diabetes it is necessary to test the blood for a more accurate reading. Handheld units are making it easier to test since all is needed is a finger prick and a drop of blood for the testing strip as opposed to waiting in the doctors office to have your blood drawn.
Urine is also a very common way to test for ketones.
WHY ARE KETONES TESTED?
Ketones levels are tested to make sure they are present and not at an unstable level. If ketones reach a dangerous level what is known as Ketoacidosis "DKA" will result.