Dr. Ronald Thibert Answers Your Questions
Dr. Ronald Thibert
Q We have one question for Dr. Thibert. our daughter started the diet in October 2012 and after about 5 weeks she was seizures free. 3 months later her neurologist decided to lower her medication but because of this her absences came back. When is the best time to start lowering the meds? She is in ketosis and we are really careful that she gets the good ratio.
A That is a great question. There is no clear answer but we usually wait 6-12 months before coming off medication after the diet begins – similar to what we would do if we added a new medication that appeared to be working well. If there are clear side effects from the medication then you could consider coming off sooner but 6-12 months would be a good time frame to try weaning medications under the supervision of your doctor.
Q Will the diet effect my child’s weight? My child is over weight. My child is under weight.
A This is one of the reasons we always start the diet under the supervision of a dietitian as well as a doctor. The idea is to have children at an optimal weight so for kids who are overweight the diet will be designed to lose weight and for kids who are underweight the diet will be designed to help gain weight. Height and weight should be checked at least every 3 months to be sure kids are growing adequately and maintaining a good weight for their age and height.
Q Can my child start the diet if they are on multiple medications?
A Yes, in fact many people who start the diet are on multiple medications which have not worked well. One of the goals of dietary therapy is to minimize the amount of medications needed.
Have more questions for Dr. Thibert? Email Lizzie@angelmantoday.com
Ronald L. Thibert, DO, MsPH is the Co-Director of the Angelman Syndrome Clinic. A Pediatic Epileptologist with a interest in the treatment of epilepsy in children with autistic spectrum disorders at Boston Massachusetts General Hospital