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This article was published in October 2012. The information may be out of date. Please check our epilepsy information or our site A-Z.

TV programme shows ketogenic diet

19 Oct 2012

Next week, the UK’s Channel 4 is showing a programme called ‘The Food Hospital’. The series talks about the links between diet and health. In the programme Charlie, four, from Epsom near London, has recently developed what doctors call a ‘catastrophic’ case of epilepsy.

Charlie from the Food Hospital programmeCharlie has up to 300 seizures a day and his parents have been told that his condition is so severe that, in the future, he might not be able to recognise them.

Charlie is prescribed the ketogenic diet, a radically high fat diet. The diet mimics starvation and switches the metabolism in the body so that fats are used as fuel instead of carbohydrates.

Will this new diet help his condition and put his parents at ease?

When Charlie first started having epileptic fits, the seizures were so frequent and severe that he had to be admitted to a paediatric intensive care unit. He has since been put onto anti-epileptic medication. However, he still has seizures where he will suddenly drop to the floor for a few seconds. He has to wear a helmet to protect his head when he falls.

Charlie’s parents say his medication has changed his personality, and they find it terribly distressing when he has a seizure. His seizures are usually brought on by tiredness or emotional stress.

Charlie’s story will feature in Episode 6 on Wednesday 24 October at 8pm

More information on the programme

More information on the ketogenic diet

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