While speaking at the Barnes and Noble in Madison, Wisconsin, several in the audience had surprised expressions when I gave statistical information about medication and epilepsy. For many, it is shocking to hear that after the first medication fails to control seizures, there is less than a fifty percent chance the second medication will work. After the second medication fails, there is less than a twenty percent chance that medication will ever control seizures. If we knew this information going into that first doctors appointment, would it change the treatment plan for seizures? I hope so.
As recommended by Epilepsia (a publication for neurology professionals) after the second medication fails, the ketogenic diet should be tried. The ketogenic diet carries less risk than any drug on the market, and has a proven track record of nearly one hundred years. So why are so few kids and adults prescribed *dietary therapy for seizure disorders?
Knowledge. The answer to the question above, is simply lack of knowledge and understanding of the diet by medical professionals who treat seizures. In the 1950's when anti-seizure medications were developed, the diet became prehistoric in a sense. Most thought the answer to seizure control was here; but it hasn't arrived for more than forty percent, of the three million Americans who suffer with epilepsy.
If you are the parent of a child that has uncontrolled seizures, and are considering dietary therapy, take the above statistics with you the next time you visit the doctor. When you know the facts, and are aware of all the treatment options, it's easier to make a confident decision. Become empowered.
*Dietary therapy for seizures includes, the ketogenic diet, modified atkins diet, or low glycemic diet.