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Epilepsy Center Ketogenic Diet Program
Epilepsy Center Ketogenic Diet Program

Ketogenic Diet

Children's Mercy offers one of the largest ketogenic diet programs in the U.S. The diet is an effective non-medication treatment for intractable epilepsy. It helps control seizures and minimizes the use of antiepileptic drugs, which can have unpleasant side effects.

How the Ketogenic Diet Plan Helps Kids

The ketogenic diet is high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrate. It is a major lifestyle change that requires the full commitment of children and families. Patients will stay at the hospital for three to five days when starting the diet. During this time, blood and urine tests are conducted daily as the patient is slowly weaned into a state of ketosis. This time is also useful for comprehensive parent and caregiver education. Follow-up clinic visits are scheduled one month after the diet starts and every three months after that. Families also have the option to schedule an appointment with the ketogenic dietitian at any time between follow-up visits with your physician or nurse practitioner.

Download the booklet (pdf)

Success Rates

We do not fully understand how the ketogenic diet works to control seizures. It is assumed that the diet calms the brain’s chemicals, which decreases epileptic events. This treatment for epilepsy has been in use since 1921 and continues to be successful. At least 50 percent of patients placed on the ketogenic diet have at least a 50 percent decrease in seizure frequency. Studies also show that parents report an improved quality of life after patients are placed on the ketogenic diet.

Program Staff

Your family will be supported by our team through every step of the ketogenic process. Our team includes a physician or nurse practitioner, staff nurses, social workers, dietitians, and a chef educator.

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