Naomi’s Story


Naomi at 1 year on the Modified Atkins Diet

Naomi’s keto journey began on a dare from one of her neurologists: Try the ketogenic diet for three months for a chance of becoming seizure free and able to drive some day.

Born at 28 weeks gestation and a surviving twin, Naomi was diagnosed with migraines and absence epilepsy at age 13. She tried six different seizure medications in various combinations over a period of 4 years. On her worst days she was having a seizure every minute for the first few hours of her day. Medications, which sometimes briefly worked, brought evil side effects: not being able to learn or remember new information, weight gain, not being able to wake up in the morning. And that’s not to mention the ominous risks of liver and bone marrow failure.

So while driving was a great incentive for seizure freedom, losing these dangerous and life-changing side effects was equally motivating.

Naomi began the Modified Atkins Diet ‘MAD’ on November 1, 2014 at the age of 17. The first few days and weeks were hard and scary. Would it work? Were we doing it right? Could we ever eat in a restaurant again? How would Naomi manage the diet at summer camp or college?

With lots of guidance from dietitians who never tire of our questions; neurologists who are supportive; recipes and love and support from online friends, Matthew’s Friends and the Charlie Foundation, I am proud to say: We did it! There have been many bumps on the road, but Naomi has made her way to a steady state of ketosis.


Naomi’s delicious MAD lunch, using Matthew’s Friends golden flaxseed bread recipe.

Initially, Naomi recognized great improvement in her memory and her ability to do schoolwork. Eventually we saw a reduction in her seizures, and she is now having many days with no seizures at all. She has weaned off of the most dangerous of her seizure medications and remain on just two medications a day. We hope that she can wean off more in the future.

Naomi has moved on to college, and with some help from Mom (for example, refilling her freezer with treats every so often) and a supportive college dining service, she is managing to stay keto on her own at school. The Modified Atkins Diet is proving to be highly beneficial to Naomi. She rocks it with her grit and determination to eliminate her seizures.