The Side Effects of Keto Diet: What You Need to Know!

Ketogenic low carbs diet concept. Healthy eating and dieting with salmon fish, avocado, eggs and nuts. Top view

Keto diet is admired by almost everyone in this modern age. The positive result of this diet has made it an inevitable product desired by most people without considering the side effects. The keto diet needs that you stick to an extremely low-carb, high-fat diet for you to shape your body into a metabolic shape known as ketosis – making your body productive at fat burning.

Recently, the keto diet has been all over the news as some expect declared that it can cause changes in the libido. “The ketogenic diet can ultimately result in a drop of libido at the beginning of the diet. The dieter will be experiencing low-carb symptoms and potentially the keto flu” – Dr. Nancy P. Rahnama

She said, at the end of the withdrawal and flu-like symptoms, the dieter must have been adapted to a lower-carb lifestyle. This will most likely reset the libido and potentially be better than the previous as a result of weight loss from the diet.

Stephanie McKercher (a Colorado-based registered dietitian and recipe developer at The Grateful Grazer) says, “Overall research of ketogenic is limited and there’s need for more studies to comprehend the entire side effects of the keto diet. She made it clear that the diet was initially developed for a medical purpose of helping people with epilepsy. However, there are common side effects that aspiring keto dieter should be prepared for. These include

#1. Heart and Kidney Damage

On top of the increased urination, the body could be low on fluid and can also lead to loss of electrolytes like magnesium, potassium, and sodium. This may result in acute kidney injury. Moreso, dehydration should not be taken lightly as it can result in kidney stone, kidney injury or lightheadedness.

In addition, the dieter may be at risk of a cardiac arrhythmia due to the necessity of electrolytes for the normal beating of the heart. Deficiencies of electrolyte are also serious and can result in a condition of irregular heartbeat, which can lead to death.

#2. The Keto Flu                 

Keto flu is widely known by dieters as it occurs at the beginning of the diet. It’s the outcome of a body that is adapting to the state of low-carb. The intake of lowering carb forces the body to burn ketones instead of glucose for energy. Once the body is in a state of burning fat instead of glucose – ketosis, then the keto diet is said to be working. You may not be aware of this at first, hence the term keto flu and its symptoms may include everything from weakness, irritability, and headache, to vomiting, nausea, and constipation.

At the beginning of the keto diet, the source of energy of the body changes from sugar to fat stored by the body. The body produces ketones in the process of breaking down fat, which is removed by the body’s frequent and increased urination. This process may lead to the body’s dehydration and flu-like symptoms like dizziness, muscle soreness, fatigue, irritability, and nausea.

There is also an inevitable loss of electrolytes during the frequent urination which can worsen the symptoms. Additionally, the removal of carbohydrates as a source of energy and stimulation will result in increased sugar cravings, difficulty concentrating, brain fog, and other similar withdrawal symptoms. The keto flu lasts about one week for most people.

#3. Dieting Patterns of Yo-yo

Due to the fact that most people have difficulty staying permanently on the restrictive diet, the keto diet may also lead to yo-yo dieting. This may have other negative effects on the body. The ketogenic diet has a few long-term studies which look difficult to follow, hence, people aren’t staying on it for a long time.

If trying to go on keto later leads to yo-yo, and then, becomes “on and off diet”, this has impact related to weight fluctuation and an increased mortality risk.

Other Impacts

Other negative effects may include constipation, fatigue, bad breath, sleep issues, decreased bone density, and irregular menstrual cycles. There are other side effects that have no root, this is because it’s difficult to track dieters on a long-term basis to discover the lasting effect of the eating plan.

Nutritional Concerns

Health experts believe that the high intake of such unhealthful fats would have a long-term side effect. In the short term, weight loss can confuse the data. This is because when people who are overweight lose weight, irrespective of how it’s achieved, they often end up with better blood glucose levels and blood lipids.

Moreso, keto diet is extremely low in some fruits, grains, legumes, and vegetables that have a general belief that they’re healthy. In the absence of these foods, dieters will miss out on certain vitamins, fiber, phytochemicals, and minerals that can only be found in these foods. With this, there’s going to be a long-term significant human health impact such as increased risk of chronic disease and bone loss.

A different number of studies suggest that diets that are rich in whole plant foods are linked with lower levels of diseases such as heart disease, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. So, do you want to risk your long-term health just to lose weight quickly?

Can Everyone go on Keto?

All patients cannot go on the keto diet, most especially those with chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions that can be the result of a previous diet. In addition, this diet can cause a big change in many people’s metabolic system as well as other bodily systems. Adhering to the diet can even go to the extent of changing the effectiveness of a person’s medication.

A physician needs to evaluate and monitor patients when they start a keto diet because of the level of dietary restriction. There may be a need to start electrolyte supplementation or change the medication dosages they take daily. Consider seeking a doctor’s advice before you start is a smart idea.

As long as patients do not have issues with their blood pressure, they may need to start with a sodium supplement, being an electrolyte that can be taken with a low overdose risk. Some patients may even need the prescription of potassium supplement. Keto dieter with an issue of continued hydration may have to raise their carb intake.

Keto is not considered as a long-term diet since it’s not a balanced diet but a diet devoid of fruits and vegetables. It will, therefore, result in a long-term micronutrient deficiency that may come up with other consequences.

Keto diet is good for short term fat loss in as much as the patient is under medical supervision. keto diet can also be used for rapid weight loss once done safely and it should be noted that it’s not a permanent weight loss solution. Health safety should be highly considered while on keto, as you’d not want to solve smaller problems to cause bigger ones.