American Family Children's Hospital

Epilepsy Services: Adult Epilepsy Dietary Therapy Clinic

High-fat foods like avocados are staples of the modified Atkins diet offered by the University Hospital Epilepsy Clinic.UW Health's comprehensive epilepsy program offers state-of-the-art care for patients with epilepsy and one of the many treatment options we offer is dietary therapy.


Dietary Therapy to Reduce Epileptic Seizures


Ketogenic Diets


Ketogenic diets are low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets that alter the body's metabolism to produce ketones, which puts the patient into a state called ketosis. The state of ketosis has been linked to reduced seizure frequency in some adults with epilepsy. Studies have shown that approximately 50 percent of patients on this diet experience a 50 percent or greater reduction in seizures.


Modified Atkins Diet


In adults, the type of ketogenic diet typically used is the modified Atkins diet. Carbohydrates are limited to 20 grams per day and the intake of foods containing fat is required to get into the state of ketosis. For example, foods such as heavy cream, oils, avocado, eggs, butter and meats are encouraged; whereas conventional breads, pastas, cereals and cakes are restricted.


We have a dedicated dietitian who provides patients with individualized nutrition education, meal planning and resources, as well as recipes including some for ketogenic-friendly breads and desserts. Cooking classes and demonstrations for patients are also currently under development. Patients on dietary therapy will be closely monitored by a neurologist, Dr. Elizabeth Felton, who was trained in adult dietary therapy at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.


Adult Epilepsy Dietary Therapy Clinic


The clinic currently takes place on Monday afternoons. To participate, please discuss with your regular neurologist, who can refer you to the Adult Epilepsy Dietary Therapy Clinic if they think this is an appropriate treatment consideration for you.