The ketogenic diet is a high fat, adequate-protein, and very-low-carbohydrate diet that results in a state of ketosis. Ketosis means the body uses fat for energy. For some people with seizures not well-controlled by anti-seizure medications, entering into a state of ketosis improves their seizures.

Wake Forest Baptist Approach to the Ketogenic Diet

Our ketogenic diet program offers 3 different treatments:

The Traditional Ketogenic Diet is recommended for children from 1 to 5 years old, or for any child under the age of 18 who is fed primarily through tube feeding. We require a hospital stay of at least 4 days while the child is starting on the traditional ketogenic diet due to the risk of complications in the first few days of the diet. During the stay, we educate the child’s caregivers on how to safely administer the diet at home.

Caregivers learn how to weigh special foods and formula on a gram scale according to specific recipes designed by our keto dietitian. After the hospital stay, children on the diet are followed on a quarterly basis by the keto team to prevent long-term complications. Keto lab (blood) draws are requested prior to each keto visit including the initial pre-keto visit.

The Modified Atkins Diet and The Low Glycemic Index Diet are recommended for children, teens, and adults who eat primarily by mouth. These are liberalized forms of the traditional ketogenic diet and focus on limiting the total daily intake of carbohydrate to 10-60 grams per day. The diets do not require a hospital stay and keto follow-ups are scheduled in conjunction with neurology visits. Keto labs are requested biannually; labs may be taken more often as-needed.