[Preview] Keto diets for epilepsy

[Preview] Keto diets for epilepsy

August 4, 2019 1 By William Morgan


So the idea of using diets
or fasting for epilepsy
goes very, very far back
probably 400 BC with Hippocrates.
And they really didn’t even know
what seizures were back then.
They thought maybe it was possession
or demonic possession.
They really weren’t sure, but they knew
that periods of starvation would help.
They thought maybe that was ill humors
and that by not giving foods
that would provide those ill humors,
patients would get better.
And it actually worked
if you sort of read these articles way back.
These references from Hippocrates,
they talk about prolonged periods of fasting
being helpful.
And then Galen in 200 BC
was a little more specific
again getting to ungendered humors
that may be necessarily negative.
We didn’t know exactly
what was going on back then.
This is where a lot of people think
sort of the reference
of using ketogenic diets for epilepsy
goes back to.
But again it was probably 400 years earlier
but the widely described references
from Jesus in Mark 9,
where they talked about an adult
who had what appears to be
childhood-onset epilepsy,
they didn’t know what it was,
the patient had a convulsion on the ground
and Jesus’s prescription
was prayer and fasting.
Neither are bad ideas.
And it worked, so they knew about this
for hundreds of years
even through the Middle Ages
that periods of abstinence
for whatever this condition was
seemed to be beneficial.