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The Side Effect Of A Keto Diet

Everyone is on a praising spree for the keto diet. It actually has numerous positive effects on health but it is important to know about the other side i.e. the side effect before anyone decides to follow it.

Keto diet demands to be on an extremely low-carb, high fat diet, which puts the body on a metabolic state called ketosis. This makes the body efficiently burn fat.

However, there are certain well-known side effects which a person planning to follow a keto diet should be ready for.

The Side Effect Of A Keto Diet

The Side Effect Of A Keto Diet

Described below are the side effects:

Keto Flu

As the keto diet cuts down the carb intake to a great extent, the body needs time to adapt to the low-carb state.

Due to low carb intake, the body starts burning fats instead of glucose. It is known as ketosis. Also, carb laden food encourages water retention which disperses in a keto diet. The person may experience dehydration. This brings in a low feeling which is known as keto flu.

The symptoms of keto flu include a headache, constipation, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and irritability.

To minimize keto flu symptoms it is important to keep up the fluid level, electrolyte level, broth, and supplements.

Kidney and Heart Damage

Following a keto diet, the body can be low on electrolytes and fluids which can lead to loss of sodium, magnesium, and potassium. This can make people prone to kidney injury.

Dehydration can result in light-headedness, kidney stones, and kidney damage. All this can put a person at risk of cardiac arrhythmia as electrolytes are also important for the normal beating of the heart. This can lead to an irregular heartbeat which can be deadly.

Also, as the diet raises the fat intake, you might end up increasing the intake of unhealthy trans and saturated fats such as red meat, poultry, cheese, and butter. This would lead to an increase in the LDL or the bad cholesterol level, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease.

Those at risk of heart disease should speak with their doctor beforehand about health needs.

Nutritional Concerns

Keto diet has certain fruits, grains, vegetables, and legumes, which are generally considered healthy, removed from the list.

This can lead to a lack of fiber, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals which come in these foods. This can impact human health over the long term and can cause bone loss, and increased risk of chronic diseases.

In order to avoid nutritional deficiency, the diet should be well-planned ensuring that all the nutritional bases are met.


Ketoacidosis is a life-threatening condition and people with type 1 diabetes are at risk of it. It is caused by a high level of ketones and blood sugar and is one of the most common medical emergencies in diabetics.(1)

High levels of ketones are seen in those following a keto diet. Therefore those at risk of this condition need to be very careful or maybe should not go ahead with this diet plan before consulting a health professional.

Can Everyone Follow A Keto Diet?

NO! Not all the people wanting to follow a keto diet are eligible for it. Those suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions should not go ahead before consulting a doctor.

The keto diet can result in a big change in many people’s metabolic system, adhering to it may even change the effectiveness of the medication in use.

It is very important for a person to get evaluated first if planning to start on a keto diet. If there is a need to start on any electrolyte supplement or change in the medication dosage, it should be done beforehand.

Keto is not a great long-term diet as a diet devoid of fruits and vegetables can result in long term micronutrient deficiencies.

It is a successful way for rapid weight loss as long as done safely keeping all the benefits and side effects in mind.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 21, 2019

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