To begin this process, please call our Dietary Therapies for Epilepsy Clinic (also known as the Ketogenic Diet Clinic) at 202-476-3611 to make an appointment. Please complete the intake form (en español) and if possible, email it to us prior to your appointment.
At your first appointment, you will meet with a neurologist and a dietitian. You and your child will learn details of each of the diets, and discuss whether a dietary therapy would be right for your child. If the ketogenic diet is the best option, we will talk with you about it in detail.
Your child will start the ketogenic diet while staying at the hospital. The purpose of starting the ketogenic diet in the hospital is to monitor for immediate side effects in a medical setting and to be educated about the diet during daily meetings with a dietitian. The hospital stay usually lasts for four to five days (Monday through Friday).
Children’s National will then see you one month later and again three months after starting the ketogenic diet. If it is decided that your child will continue on the diet, periodic appointments will be made throughout the year to monitor his or her progress on the diet. Additionally, your child will continue to have follow-up appointments with his or her neurologist.
If it is decided that the modified Atkins diet or low glycemic index therapy are the best next steps for your child, you will not need to be admitted into the hospital to start either of those diets. Children’s National will continue to follow up with you and your child in an outpatient clinic environment.