Episode 26 – Ketogenic Therapy for Epilepsy & Beyond | Beth Zupec-Kania (Charlie Foundation)

Episode 26 – Ketogenic Therapy for Epilepsy & Beyond | Beth Zupec-Kania (Charlie Foundation)

If you haven’t heard about Beth Zupec-Kania, then you’re in for a treat! Beth spent the last 27 years as a Registered Dietician helping many parents implement a keto diet for seizures. Through the Charlie Foundation for Ketogenic Therapies, Beth worked primarily with children using ketogenic therapy for epilepsy. Also the designer of the KetoDietCalculator, which has been around for 20+ years, Beth has been using keto long before it was a popular dietary approach. 

A pioneer in ketogenic therapy’s resurgence, Beth Zupec-Kania has been instrumental in spreading knowledge about the keto diet through the Charlie Foundation. She educates hospital staff and parents on how to implement ketogenic therapy all over the world, giving many families hope. So far, Beth and the Charlie Foundation have trained over 200 hospitals in ten countries! 

Founded in 1994 by Jim Abrahams, The Charlie Foundation came into existence because of Jim’s son Charlie, who found success with a keto diet for seizures. In 1993, when Charlie, a baby then, failed to respond to epilepsy medications, Jim wasn’t willing to take ‘good enough’ as an answer. Digging into the textbooks, he found a possibility in the ketogenic diet. Within a month, Charlie became seizure and drug free. Most important, now an adult, Charlie has never had a seizure again! 

Now in its 25th year, the Charlie Foundation is a non-profit organization. It provides information about ketogenic therapy for those with epilepsy, neurological disorders, and certain cancers. All donations are not only used directly for education but are matched by Jim Abrams. You can contact Beth through the Charlie Foundation Contact page for educational training. This is also a great resource for finding practitioners trained in the ketogenic diet for therapeutic use.

Note: Charlie Foundation’s Keto Ambassador series highlights stories of people who have found success using a ketogenic therapy for epilepsy. Gillian Szollos (featured on episode 23 of our podcast), is also a Keto Ambassador for the Charlie Foundation. She shares her story and favorite keto diet for seizures recipe here: http://bit.ly/GilliansStory

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Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial. Or, read on for more information about our latest podcast episode!

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In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • How Beth got started with the keto diet for seizures at the Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee. Also how she came to learn about Jim Abrahams from The Charlie Foundation, becoming their lead nutritionist [5:00]
  • Jim Abrahams’ story as a Hollywood writer, movie producer, and father. How his youngest son Charlie developed epilepsy around age one [7:45]
  • How available drugs fail 30% of those with epilepsy [9:42]
  • Why ketogenic therapy is really effective for those that have been on two anti-seizure medications, yet are still having seizures [11:00]
  • That the diet works in at least 50% of those who try it with medical supervision when the meds don’t work or surgery isn’t an option [11:05]
  • How after Charlie started the keto diet all of his seizures went away [12:15]
  • How Jim found information on the ketogenic therapy for epilepsy buried in textbooks [13:50]
  • Why First Do No Harm, the movie Jim created about a boy’s story with epilepsy, is still a large reason that people hear about the keto diet. Hence, showing how underutilized the keto diet for seizures is still used today [17:41]
  • That trials in children and several in adults show repeatedly the same statistic, no matter what type of seizure. (At least 50% have at least 50% or more reduction in seizures. About 15 up to 25% get complete seizure freedom, depending on the unique circumstances.) [20:50]
  • About the prep that has to happen before implementing a keto diet for seizures. Also learn about the resources Beth has created for the transition [23:00]
  • How just removing gluten or sugar can provide relief for a lot of patients before going full keto [26:00]
  • Why knowing your biomarkers can help you to identify things that are triggering your seizures [29:45]
  • About the Charlie Foundation and how people can get started using the keto diet. (Used for everything from autism and brain cancer to Parkinson’s and migraines, plus more.) [38:00]
  • The education Beth has done, conducting trainings in 250 hospitals across the globe with patients/staff. How she teaches others how to implement the keto diet for seizures [40:45]

References

Our Partners:

Learn more about LEVL, a clinical-grade ketone breath meter, which measures your level of fat-burning and ketosis through a simple breath. Find out more at HeadsUpHealth.com/LEVL.

You can learn more about the Oura ring, a state of the art ring that can track sleep cycle analysis, activity, and recovery at HeadsUpHealth.com/Oura.

Learn more about Keto-Mojo, a highly accurate and affordable device for testing blood sugar and blood ketones. Check it out at HeadsUpHealth.com/Ketomojo.

All of these amazing products are integrated with Heads Up Health.

They all allow you to quantify your health in novel and powerful ways.

Thank you to our partners!

About Heads Up Health

Heads Up Health is a website designed to empower individuals who want to take a self-directed approach to managing their health. Instantly centralize your medical records, connect your favorite devices and apps (e.g., Oura, MyFitnessPal, Keto-Mojo, FitBit, Apple Health, MyMacros+, Withings and many more) and use your data to optimize your health.

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial now!

START TRACKING!

 

Episode 25 – How Terpinoids Can Help Patients Fine-Tune CBD & THC for Condition-Specific Treatments Like Cancer | Steve Ottersberg

Episode 25 – How Terpinoids Can Help Patients Fine-Tune CBD & THC for Condition-Specific Treatments Like Cancer | Steve Ottersberg

Steve Ottersberg is driven to change the way the world sees cannabis. He’s hoping to destigmatize the cannabis industry to allow more individuals to benefit from the use of CBD and cannabis for everything from anxiety and sleep to depression and cancer. Steve believes that consumers should understand and be armed with information on which terpenes are beneficial for their medical condition and whether or not they are contained in the product they are purchasing.

In this podcast, Dave Korsunsky, founder of Heads Up Health, interviews Steve Ottersberg, who is a wealth of information on all things CBD oil, cannabis, interpreting genetic data, and more! (In fact, when recommending  a cannibus product for use in a condition-specific treatment such as cancer, he first starts by looking at the genes that influence neurotransmitter metabolism.)

Have you ever wondered why some strains of CBD or THC make you feel either high or low?  Ready to go beast mode, or ready to hibernate for winter? Steve shares what makes the effects of the different strains more or less beneficial for different conditions and why he doesn’t believe in the classification of Indica or Sativa anymore. This is one episode you won’t want to miss!

Steve Ottersberg graduated from Fort Lewis College with a B.S. in biochemistry and has an M.S. in Bio-organic chemistry from Arizona State University, where he also taught both organic chemistry and nutritional-biochemistry. He also held a faculty position teaching chemistry at Fort Lewis College. Currently, Steve is Owner and Supervisory Analyst of Green Lab Solutions, living in Colorado with his wife, cancer survivor and thriver Dr. Nasha Winters, whose work (she is also the author of The Metabolic Approach to Cancer) complements one another. 

Listen in iTunes!

This podcast is brought to you by Heads Up Health, a web app designed to help you centrally track all of your vital health data. Instantly synchronize your medical records, connect your favorite health devices and apps and use your data to optimize your health!

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial. Or, read on for more information about our latest podcast episode!

START TRACKING!

In this podcast you’ll learn:

  • About his work doing genetic coaching with clients in wife Dr. Nasha Winters’ practice bringing in the biochemistry of CBD into her practice and their work with Alex Swanson of Nutrition Genome [4:30]
  • Hear what gene markers Steve looks at when recommending a cannabis product [8:35]
  • How you may be functioning well on the surface, but biochemically you may be struggling, creating a higher burden on the body which can lead to cancer and other ailments [10:05]
  • About the terpenes in the plants and how Steve recommends CBD strains based on them for different ailments and conditions [12:20]
  • That hemp and marijuana are both cannabis Sativa but the difference between the two is marijuana has been bred to selectively produce THC [13:25]
  • How myrcene binds to opioid receptors [14:00]
  • A study in Japan showed smelling limonene was as effective as anti-depressants in an institutional setting [17:35]
  • How his lab is calibrated for 21 terpenoids, but it only seeing 5-10 at levels that are significant in a typical marijuana plant in Colorado [20:30]
  • Why Steve doesn’t believe in the Indica and Sativa classification anymore [21:0]
  • How beta-pinene and limonene counteract the sedative effect of THC to make them more uplifting [21:45]
  • What one of the most powerful antidotes to THC is [22:20]
  • How to reverse the effects of too many edibles that have snuck up on you [23:00]
  • Why we need to start with terpenoids and end with cannabinoids in our description and high THC needs to come to an end except in extreme cases [23:50]
  • Where most people go wrong with edibles [25:00]
  • What Steve wants to see in a dispensary, and how you should start with CBD vs CBD/THC strains [26:25]
  • How high myrcene strains can provide high pain relief rather than opioids [27:00]
  • About how some of the labeling laws differ in different states and what to look for [29:50]
  • Recommendation to consumers to ask for lab testing data from your dispensary, even if it’s not labeled [34:00]
  • Cannabinoids and cannabinoid receptors tune our neurotransmitters, and THC and CBD allow us to fine-tune our normal neurotransmitter function. The terpenoids are the way we as consumers can fine-tune CBD and THC for desired effects [36:25]
  • Steve’s plea to the growers [39:00]
  • Top terpenes and what they’re good for [40:00]
  • Steve’s work to publish a website and a book as a resource for patients seeking condition-specific support [51:45]
  • How in the future, Heads Up will be able to crunch all that data — genetic SNPS, terpene profiles, blood test data, blood sugar values and more — to help both patients and clinicians track data more efficiently. [52:25]

References

Our Partners:

Learn more about LEVL, a clinical-grade ketone breath meter, which measures your level of fat-burning and ketosis through a simple breath. Find out more at HeadsUpHealth.com/LEVL.

You can learn more about the Oura ring, a state of the art ring that can track sleep cycle analysis, activity, and recovery at HeadsUpHealth.com/Oura.

Learn more about Keto-Mojo, a highly accurate and affordable device for testing blood sugar and blood ketones. Check it out at HeadsUpHealth.com/Ketomojo.

All of these amazing products are integrated with Heads Up Health.

They all allow you to quantify your health in novel and powerful ways.

Thank you to our partners!

About Heads Up Health

Heads Up Health is a website designed to empower individuals who want to take a self-directed approach to managing their health. Instantly centralize your medical records, connect your favorite devices and apps (e.g., Oura, MyFitnessPal, Keto-Mojo, FitBit, Apple Health, MyMacros+, Withings and many more) and use your data to optimize your health.

Click on the button below to start your free 30-day trial now!

START TRACKING!

Ketogenic Ratio Tracking

Ketogenic Ratio Tracking

While a ketogenic diet may have gained a lot of popularity recently, it’s origin dates back to 1923, when Dr. Russell Wilder started using it at the Mayo Clinic for the treatment of pediatric epilepsy. At the time, pharmaceuticals were not available to treat epilepsy, and it quickly became the go-to treatment due to its efficacy.

Though we now have drugs to support the suppression of seizures in those with epilepsy, not all medications work for everyone, and some individuals have found they have even better control when they eat a ketogenic diet. And not to be exclusive, one therapy can exist with the other, meaning you can combine a ketogenic diet with the therapies you’re already on and may even find that over time you’ll be able to reduce those medications, though you should always communicate with your provider of significant dietary changes so they can monitor your medications. *never go off medication without your doctor’s support and guidance.  Sudden withdrawal of anti-seizure medications can cause seizures.

What is the ketogenic ratio?  

Simply put, the ketogenic ratio is the ratio of fats to carbs + protein in grams measurements in the diet. While most ketogenic diet followers won’t go quite this far with their tracking, it can be critically important for those following a ketogenic diet for therapeutic reasons, like epilepsy.

As you can imagine, calculating this out for every meal can be very time consuming if done manually, which is why automating these calculations whenever possible can decrease the frustration that parents or individuals sometimes feel when using a ketogenic diet for therapeutic reasons.

What is The Classic Ketogenic Diet?

A classic ketogenic diet requires a high level of fat with a very low level of combined carbs and proteins, usually 4:1 or 3:1 (fats to carbs+protein)

For example, on a 2000 calorie diet with a 4:1 ratio, you would have 200g of fat, and a combined total of 50g carbs + protein.

As you can see below, the carbs and the protein are further broken down based on the individual’s protein need to roughly 6% protein and 4% carbohydrates.  Your doctor or nutritionist may modify this depending on your body weight, activity level, and seizure control.

Keto_RatioNote* This is an example only. Your calculations will be custom to you and your dietary needs.

Which ratio is better?

That really depends on your goals. While a 4:1 ratio may be how the diet originated, most adults use more of a 3:1 ratio due to their increased need for protein based on weight, but this all depends on your level of seizure control and should be determined by your doctor. You can read more about the different ratios on the Charlie Foundation’s website here.

Isn’t a ketogenic diet hard?

When the ketogenic diet comes up in regards to a child’s therapeutic diet, it is often met with resistance because it seems difficult or hard to comply with.  However with the recent interest in the ketogenic diet for many applications-from diabetes, to cancer, to weight training, it has become much more common, with food bloggers making it a common household word.  Add in all of the apps available for calculating macronutrients, and pair it with your Heads Up Health profile removing all the calculating and it becomes much easier!

How can I do a ketogenic diet without calculating everything?!

Though macronutrient ratios need to be more specific and consistent with a therapeutic ketogenic diet, it no longer has to be complicated to track.  Heads Up Health has integrated another new feature to let you track your ketogenic ratio when linked to your food tracking app like Cronometer, My Fitness Pal, MyMacros+ or FitBit nutrition trackers.

Just enter all of your foods eaten into your food tracker, which will link with your Heads Up Health account, and the calculations for your ketogenic ratio are done for you, letting you know at a glance if you’re on track or not.  With the new mobile app (coming soon), you’ll have this info easily at your fingertips at all times.

How to set up your Heads Up Health profile for ketogenic ratio tracking

To get your ketogenic ratio widget, click on the “+” button at the bottom of your widgets, click on “data source,” and select keto ratio from the drop-down menu. From there you will enter your goal.  If you are aiming for a 3:1 ratio, enter 3 in this field.

Keto_Ratio_Add_Widget

Once you have your widget, you can drag it to the top of the screen, so it’s easily viewed.  Next, click on your username in the top righthand corner of the page, click on Settings and select either total or net carbs under the ketogenic ratio section.

Keto_Ratio_Total_vs_Net_Carbs

Total Carbs include the total amount of carbohydrates in your food.

Net Carbs is total carbs minus fiber in that food.  

If you select total carbs, you’ll be complying more strictly; however, you will be allowed much fewer carbs than if you choose net carbs and account for the fiber that slows the carbohydrate’s glucose response in your body.

Make sure your food tracker like Cronometer, My Fitness Pal, MyMacros+ or FitBit nutrition tracker is linked to your Heads Up Health account.

To connect your food tracker to Heads Up Health

Click on “Connect Data” in the upper right corner of the page near your name.

Connecting_Other_Data_To_HUH

Once you’ve gotten your food tracker connected and your keto ratio widget on your dashboard, rearrange them in a way that makes sense for you at a glance.  Here is an example of how yours could look.

Keto_Ratio_Dashboard

References:

For more detailed information on the therapeutic use of the ketogenic ratio and how it’s used in epilepsy treatment visit the Charlie Foundation.

 

Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.