High-fat, low-carb diet helps Suffolk boy with epilepsy

When traditional medications failed to help a 12-year-old boy with epilepsy, his Wading River family tried a dietary change that was bizarre and effective. Shea

Shea McGivney suffered from seizures for years before doctors at New York University suggested a ketogenic diet, which is high in fat and low in carbohydrates.

Shea McGivney suffered from seizures for years before doctors at New York University suggested a ketogenic diet, which is high in fat and low in carbohydrates. (2/3/16)

WADING RIVER - When traditional medications failed to help a 12-year-old boy with epilepsy, his Wading River family tried a dietary change that was bizarre and effective.

Shea McGivney suffered from seizures for years before doctors at NYU Langone Medical Center suggested a ketogenic diet, which is high in fat and low in carbohydrates.

"It's twice as much fat as protein and carbs combined," says mother Julie McGivney.

Among Shea's favorite dishes became chicken wings and pork rind pancakes.

Dr. Judith Bluvstein, of the NYU Langone Medical Center Epilepsy Center, says that the diet is a medical treatment.

"It's not something you can get off the Internet and do at home. You need to make sure the patient is getting the right amount of calories and that the ratios are healthy enough," says Bluvstein.

Shea has been back to eating a regular diet for about a year. He was closely monitored while on the ketogenic diet. His bloodwork and cholesterol are fine and he remains healthy and active.

 

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