Ketogenic Diet's History with Epilepsy
Historically the is a high-fat, low-carb diet was used to help reduce seizures in some epileptic patients. Doctors have often recommended it for children whose seizures failed to respond to various medicines.
Under normal circumstances, the body utilizes carbohydrates for its energy. Since the keto diet minimises carbohydrate consumption, fats become the primary source of energy instead. The breakdown of fats produces ketones.
They can be detected in blood urine and breath. The higher ketone levels lead to improved seizure control.
- The First Step
The children begin fasting in the hospital for 18-20 hours under medical supervision. The diet is then started.
- Does it Work?
Over half of the children who went on the diet had a 50% reduction in seizures, and 10-15% became seizure-free.
Keto Diet for Weight Loss
The diet has gained popularity as a potential weight-loss strategy. This is due to the low-carb trend that began in 1970 with the Atkins diet. It was a very low carbohydrate, high-protein diet. Today, other diets are high in protein and moderate in fat except for the ketogenic diet. It has a very high-fat content (about 70-80%) with moderate protein.
How It Works
When the body is deprived of carbohydrates, which are the main source of energy, ketones are produced from stored fats.
Ketones are produced by the liver when all stored glucose is depleted. If the diet is followed carefully, the body uses ketones for energy as healthy persons produce enough insulin to prevent excessive formation of ketones.
Keto Diet for Diabetes
With type 2 diabetes, the body still makes insulin, however someone with type 2 diabetes doesn't respond normally to the insulin the body produces. Their bodies are unable to use carbohydrates as fuel and in turn, sugar levels rise in the blood.
The ketogenic diet, due to its low-carb content, has become an effective means to manage type 2 diabetes. Researchers have suggested that the keto diet can also reduce the risk of diabetes to people who don’t have it.
Impact on Blood Sugar Levels
A keto diet enables the body to maintain low but healthy levels of glucose. The low consumption rate of carbohydrates stops the large spikes in blood sugar and reduces the need for insulin.
Other Benefits of Keto Diet
- A lower blood pressure
- Improved sensitivity to insulin
- Reduced dependency on medication
It is important to note that people respond differently to the keto diet.
However what works for one person may not be the same way for someone else. People with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, liver problems, and kidney malfunction, should only use the keto diet under the prescription and supervision of their medical doctors.
Though it has lots of benefits, the keto diet should be used for a specified period to avoid any potential long-term effects.