The Ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carb, low protein diet, where your body produces the ketones to be used for energy instead of glucose. The ratio of fat to carbs and protein, changes the way energy is created and used in the body. This combination of high fats and low carbs allows the fat to be converted in the liver into fatty acids and ketone bodies. Being in ketosis is having an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood which can also be detected in the breath and urine.
Ketosis is the Key
Ketosis is a normal metabolic process in which your body switches to an alternative (ketogenic) fuel source. The energy it provides is a better source of sustenance and energy for the brain of those affected with Glut1 Deficiency. Early diagnosis of Glut1 Deficiency is important so the Ketogenic diet can be started right away and the energy failure happening in the brain can be mitigated. The Keto diet is not a cure for Glut1 Deficiency, but it is a way of being able to control the symptoms of Glut1.
Keto Kids are Unique
The Ketogenic diet is not without side effects, and children should only use it under medical supervision. The diet will need to be tailored to the specific needs of your child and be adjusted and modified over time depending on how well symptoms are alleviated and side effects are controlled. Young Glut1 kids will need to continue the diet through puberty and perhaps even into adulthood. There is no universal consensus on what Keto ratio is the best for Glut1 Deficiency patients. Every Glut1 patient is unique and the diet needs to be continually fine-tuned and adjusted for them.
Standard of Care for Glut1
Classic and modified ketogenic diets (4:1, 3:1, 2:1, 1:1 ratios) are the standard care for young Glut1 Deficiency kids. Modified Atkins Diet (MAD) and MCT Oil diets are also effective with Glut1 Deficiency patients, especially older kids. Low-Glycemic Index Treatment (LGIT) is not recommended for Glut1 Deficiency.
Is this diet healthy for my child?
This is not a balanced diet on its own. Nutritional deficiencies can develop without supplements. Special vitamins and minerals will need to be prescribed. It is also very important to drink lots of water on the diet. Blood tests will need to be done to catch any side effects that can occur from being on the Keto diet long term, such as: Kidney stones, Constipation, Slowed Growth and Ketoacidosis