Friday, December 27, 2013
Boy Who Suffered Up to 50 Epileptic Seizures a Day Enjoys Christmas Without Fits Thanks to Fat Diet
Ben Fountain had to wear a helmet because seizures were so violent he once broke a leg - he now steers clear of carbohydrates and instead has a largely fat-based diet
A boy who suffered up to 50 seizures a day enjoyed this Christmas with no fits after a radical change to his diet.
Epileptic Ben Fountain, five, had to wear a helmet because his seizures were so violent he once broke a leg.
Diagnosed two years ago, Ben was resistant to drugs he was prescribed. But he has not had a fit in six months after following the high-fat ketogenic diet.
The special diet, which is carefully monitored at Nottingham’s Children’s Hospital, means Ben must steer clear of carbohydrates and instead has a largely fat-based diet with meals such as scrambled eggs and chicken with mayonnaise.
Mum Juliet, 43, of Woodthorpe, Nottingham, said: “Ben had a normal birth and, out of the blue, he had this horrific fit.
"One month later, he had another and they seemed to get more and more frequent - it was heartbreaking to see.
“The medication didn’t seem to stop the seizures and turned him into a zombie. It felt as if our little boy was slipping away.”
She added: “We had hit absolute rock bottom, so I started researching alternative treatments and found the ketogenic diet, which was offered at the hospital thanks to the Daisy Garland charity.
“The whole thing just feels like a bit of a miracle.”
Originally developed in the 1920s in America, the diet went out of favour following the discovery of anti-seizure drugs. It is formulated to mimic the effect of fasting.
When the body uses fat for energy instead of glucose, it produces ketones, which prevent seizures.
Juliet said: “Our beautiful, lively and sociable Ben was slipping away in front of our eyes. The medication he was on left him irritable, grumpy, lethargic and badly behaved - he was like a zombie.
“I felt really guilty as a mother giving my son this unhealthy food.
“It went against everything I had been told was right and responsible as a parent but, on the other hand, it’s meant he’s stopped having seizures, so it really is a case of weighing up what’s best for Ben.”
Dad Mark said: “His development started to regress and he would need supervision even to go to the toilet, as he may have a seizure and fall into or off the toilet. “But it’s like we have Ben back now.”
He added: “It was so nice when we went on holiday to Brittany and he could run around and play. “It all just feels like a bit of a miracle really.”
at 8:50 AM