Articles – Modified Atkins Diet (MAD) for Seizures

Find here list of articles on seizures, epilepsy, and the Modified Atkins Diet. Some of these are news stories, some are the stories and experiences of those who have used the diet. Other articles include some interesting studies and experiences relating to seizures – but not necessarily in conjunction with MAD.

These articles have for the most part been found by and recommended by readers of this site. Some have been written by and contributed by readers of this site. If you have an article you would like to contribute to our site, please contact us.

How to Start the Modified Atkins Diet

Diets and Adults – Does it Work? (opens in new window)

Dr. Kossoff’s Video Presentation on the Modified Atkins Diet

Seizures in Children – How Can Parents Cope?

Can Atkins Help Kids with Epilepsy? (opens in new window)

The Atkins Diet: A Promising Treatment for Intractable Epilepsy (opens new window)

Atkins Diet May Help People with Epilepsy (opens new window)

Atkins Diet May Reduce Epilepsy Seizures in Children with Epilepsy (opens new window)

Mozart ‘can cut epilepsy’ (opens new window)

The Power of Mozart (opens new window)

MAD being offered in South Carolina (opens in new window)

MAD in South Korea – Article by Dr. Kossoff (opens in new window)

What Does a Seizure Feel Like?

What Does it Feel Like to Have a Seizure – Part 2

* Guest Post – Atkins Meal Plan for Epileptics

* Guest Post – How Aromatherapy Can Help with Epilepsy

* Guest Post – Relaxation Techniques for Epilepsy

Stories From Families Visiting this Site

DJ’s Story (Ohio, USA)

Tor’s Story (Norway)

Yvette’s Story – TLE, Auras, and Triggers (South Africa)

Susan’s Story – Glucose Transport Deficiency?

Denise’s Story – HAAS Avocados

Sharon’s Story – Adult with Seizures

Please share your story! Thousands of people will be encouraged as they read they are not alone in dealing with the plague of epilepsy. It is also of great comfort to learn that not only are others coping with the same situation – many have found great quality of life and fantastic freedoms and accomplishment – while rising above any ‘seeming’ handicap that epilepsy brings.

Our Story

Our Story with the Modified Atkins Diet for Seizures


My wife Tammy and I live in Colorado, United States, with our four children. We have considered it a privilege to be able to put together and maintain this website. I hope this will be a resource that positively impacts the quality of life for you and your family, as the Atkins Diet for Seizures has impacted out life.

Our oldest child (daughter born November 1997) has had absence seizures since she was two years old. We’ve tried six different AED’s – with no positive impact. We found Dr. Eric Kossoff in Baltimore, Maryland, at the Johns Hopkins hospital and the Atkins for Seizures diet in August, 2004. What a difference it has made
in our lives!Of course, the diet involved plenty of work and lots of education to work this it into our daily lifestyle. But it has been worth it! It is our hope that this website will shorten the learning curve for families that are using this dietary approach to managing epilepsy.

We’ve Written an Ebook to Assist You

In addition to putting together this website, we’ve written an ebook about our experience with the Atkins Diet for Seizures. We wish there had been a resource like this available when we started the diet – but we are also thrilled to be able to bring it to you! Click below to learn more about the ebook “Atkins For Seizures – One Child’s Journey”.


Online Support

Online Support Groups – Seizure Diets

Online communities have been an essential support for us personally. We found emotional support, friends, recipes and more. We have a forum attached this to website & we encourage you to join. It can be accessed here, or by clicking on the menu button “Forum” above.

These three are all located on Yahoo! and can be joined for free. In most instances, you can read the messages without joining the group.

Our favorite has been: Atkins Diet for Seizure Control. This group was started and was moderated by one of the fathers in the same Johns Hopkins study that we participated in. Over time he added additional moderators who have children successfully using the Modified Atkins Diet. This forum has traditionally stayed strictly on topic and is a FANTASTIC place to get emotional support, advice on counting carbs, recipes, side effects, etc. The group was “frozen” on December 3, 2011 after over 25,000 posts. I highly recommend reading some of the history of this group if you are going to be following the diet.

The group: Ketogenic Support Group obviously focuses on keto diet issues, but is an excellent resource for trouble shooting, getting answers to questions, finding tips etc. With over 45,000 messages and hundreds of members worldwide, you will find many knowledgeable friends here!

Finally, Epilespy Research, is dedicated to discussing old and new therapies for Epilepsy. Not as frequently visited, it does have a diverse number of members who might be helpful in your specific situation.

The Johns Hopkins Pediatric Neurology Center, where the initial studies on the Modified Atkins Diet for seizure management were conducted is another great place to start if you are looking for referrals or direction.

Johns Hopkins Studies

Johns Hopkins Studies

Posted below are reports writen by Dr. Kossoff that discuss using the Atkins Diet for Seizures. Thank you, Dr. Kossoff, for sharing this with us. Note these are in pdf format.

First Atkins Study: “Efficacy of the Atkins Diet as Therapy for Intractable Epilepsy

Another report: “More Fat and Fewer Seizures: Dietary Therapies for Epilepsy

This Report by Dr. Kossoff is dated November 2, 2006:
A Modified Atkins Diet is Effective for the Treatment of Intractable Pediatric Epilepsy

Note: Because of the success and spreading popularity of this manner of treating seizures, more and more doctors, nutritionists, neurological centers and hospitals are offering support. In some cases, the work with studies (and grants) is being repeated in new parts of the world. Ask your doctor for a referral!

Recommended Reading List

Recommended Reading List – Atkins for Seizures

If you or a family member is considering the Modified Atkins Diet for seizures, the ebook “Atkins Diet for Seizures” (available on the right) is a great resource to prepare you many of the day to day issues you will face. Besides this book, here is a list of additional books that helped us.

Please note: Michael Koski is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to If you purchase anything from Amazon after clicking on the links below he will earn a commission.

The first two books in this list are the most important. The updated version of “The Ketogenic Diet” has a terrific chapter on the Modified Atkins Diet. The second book “Diet for Seizures” is the paperback version of our eBook. The information is the same other than this version is very slightly updated, is formatted for paper and has a new forward written by Dr. Kossoff, the pioneer and lead investigator for the diet.

The next three books will help you learn to count carbs and find recipes. All three books provide recipes and meal plans that can be used or modified to fit the Atkins Diet for Seizures protocol. If you only get one of these, pick up Atkin’s book.






Getting Started on MAD

How to Start The Modified Atkins Diet

After 100’s of seizures everyday while heavily medicated, our daughter is now seizure and medication free thanks to the Modified Atkins Diet. If we had to do it all over again here is how we would approach the diet. Please understand this is one family’s opinion, not necessarily the only or best way to treat epilepsy. Every person is different. This information is presented to give you a starting place.

Seek Medical Assistance: It is critical to have support from your doctor. Testing may be required before starting the diet to establish a baseline to measure changes in cholesterol, uric acid, medication levels or other items of concern. A doctor can also assist with complications that may arise and has a network of professionals and resources to draw on you simply don’t have quick access to if an emergency arises.

Get Educated: Whether you have seizures or are the primary care giver for someone with seizures, it is important to understand you are your best advocate for healing. No one knows your situation better. Knowledge in your hands will be more powerful than anything else. This website is a great place to start. Read the article section, look for the recommended books at your library, and learn all you can about the specific diagnosis you have along with the medications you are currently using.

Enlist Support: Changing your diet is more difficult than taking medication on schedule. Hundreds of people are doing this successfully, but it is much easier if you have the support and cooperation of your family members. Schools and friends need to be alerted – as one well meaning friend with a piece of candy or a soda could undo weeks of hard work. Joining some of the online forums for both MAD and Ketogenic diets can also be a big help.

Start a Seizure Journal: A significant part of our journey was learning what triggered seizures in our daughter and taking steps to remove those triggers. Journaling can help tremendously. Does a seizure come after a certain type of food? Are there more seizures on laundry and/or cleaning day (chemicals)? Are they more common in the morning before breakfast (possibly related to blood sugar levels)? Browse the list of seizure triggers on this website to get an idea of what you might be looking to journal and either rule out or eliminate. This journal would be a good place to track or graph frequency of seizures, number of daily carbs consumed and ketosis level (we checked twice a week and additionally whenever their was a change in seizures).

Life Style & Environment Changes: Stress makes everything worse. We took a hard look at everything our daughter was exposed to and made changes to eliminate possible allergens, toxins and stressors in her life. This seemed to raise her “threshold” and gave her body more time to heal. Here are some of the areas we addressed:

* Black out shades for her bedroom window. Sleep is critical!
* Switched all cleaning and laundry products to non-toxic (see Resources tab).
* Changed personal care products (lotions, shampoo, sunscreen, etc. – Resources)
* Introduced some regular massage & chiropractic care.
* Enforced a new house rule of no shouting – “inside voices” only.
* Eliminated much of the “junk” food in the house for the rest of the family.

Put Together Recipes and Shopping List : There are lots of sources of recipes. Check this website, the recommended reading list and the forums. Having a dozen printed out and ready to try at the beginning gives you a starting place to learn about counting carbs, cooking low carb, and figuring out what foods are tolerated. Why not try a few experimental meals before switching completely to the diet?

Set a Start Date and Stay Positive: While the list above may at first seem long – it really is not that much work. Make an appointment with the doctor and while you are waiting for that day to roll around you can get all the other things in place. This initial “preparation” phase along with the first couple weeks of learning to shop and cook all over again are the most time consuming. Very soon you will settle into a routine of repurchasing and preparing again the favorite foods – with the added benefit of (hopefully) getting better!

Our daughter was on the diet for two years. The next two years we were careful to avoid a couple of the biggest food triggers we had identified during the course of the diet (for her it was processed sugar, a certain type of noodle we ate regularly, and too much bread). She has now completely healed and can eat/drink whatever she wishes.

I hope you have the same experience!

Diet for Epilepsy Resources and Low Carb Recipes

One thing you will not find here is medical advice. We are families that have benefited from this approach not pediatric neurologists. We will share our experiences and resources, but each child is different. Please seek qualified medical guidance. Dr. Eric Kossoff is an excellent resource and may be able to assist you in finding the guidance.

Download the eBook

Download eBook “Atkins for Seizures”


Watching your loved one have seizures – or having them yourself can be a very emotionally difficult thing to do. Our daughter struggled with over 100 seizures every day – even while heavily medicated (and we were scared of the medicine we were giving her). We felt helpless. We took it personal. We tried everything we could find.

For us, the solution was found through Johns Hopkins, Dr. Kossoff, and the Atkins Diet. In a short period of time, the Modified Atkins Diet allowed our daughter to go off all her medication – and reduced her seizures to just 15 a day. Now, a couple years later, she is seizure and medicine free. We sincerely hope our experience will help you.

Please download by clicking on the book cover below:


The ebook is written in story format and details our experience with the Modified Atkins Diet for Seizures. It has been downloaded by hundreds of families, doctors and nutritionists around the world. It is not a “Do – It – Yourself – Guide”, as we are not doctors and we strongly advise you observe this protocol under the direction of your doctor.

This story will dramatically shorten your learning curve. We spent many hours online, at the grocery story and on the phone with our doctors trying to figure out the answers to the worries you will find in our story. This book is exactly what we wish we would have had when we started out!

Considering the
Atkins Diet for Seizures?

“The Modified Atkins Diet for Seizures”
is a

Great resource!


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Most Commonly Asked Questions


Does The Modified Atkins Diet Work for Adults?
– YES. In fact the ebook includes interviews with two adults who are successfully using the diet to manage their seizures.

Is the Book Only Available as a Download?
– NO. However, this is the fastest way to get the information. The ebook comes in pdf format or word document format. It can be read on any computer, ipad or Kindle. If you would prefer to order the paperback version it is available on Amazon at this link to Amazon. Please note the title is different “Diet for Seizures”, but the information is the same.

Does the eBook Include Recipes?
– YES. There are some recipes included in the book. You will also find recipes on this website and in the resources I list on the resource page of this website.

I am a Doctor or Nutritionist – Will the eBook Help Me to Help My Patients?
– YES. Through our story you will learn about the side effects and hurdles your clients will likely face and how you can assist them to overcome these potential set backs. You will also learn the various theories as to WHY this protocol is working – and through this may be able to discover/craft a therapy more specific to your patient. Important too is learning the differences between the traditional Atkins Diet and the Modified Atkins Diet for Seizures.

Can I Get My Money Back if this Isn’t What I was Looking For?
  – YES. Just email me and I am happy to refund you if you are not happy with your purchase. My email address is on this webpage and comes with the ebook when you download it.

Also Learn Answers to:

– How much time is required to implement the Atkins for seizures diet?
– What are some of the emotional hurdles that may be faced?
– How can we get our child to eat differently than the family and her classmates?
– What kind of complications and side effects may arise?
– Can we still go out to eat? What about school lunch?
– Where can I find financial assistance for this project?
– I thought the Atkins diet is for weight loss – how can I keep my growing child from losing
weight on the diet?
– Why does this work? – theories behind the diets.
– Recipes and resources.

The book “Atkins For Seizures” includes several interviews after the main story:

Hear from Dr. Eric Kossoff lead investigator for the Atkins Diet For Seizures Studies.

Listen to Mike McHugh – the parent of one of the children in the same study that Brooklyn participated in. Mike is also the founder and moderator of the Yahoo support group, Atkins4Seizures.

– Read Lisa and Wanda’s stories – two adults who have found great success using the Atkins diet to manage their seizures.

“The Modified Atkins Diet for Seizures”
is a
Great resource!

If you are not satisfied, or end up not using it, please contact me for a Full Refund


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Please note, our eBook and story should not be used as a substitute for medical advice. This therapy should be undertaken under a doctor’s supervision