Three Cons Leaving whole grains, beans, fruits, and many vegetables can cause nutrient deficiencies and constipation. Common short-term side effects include fatigue, headache, mental confusion, and an upset stomach, also known as the “ketogenic flu.”. Long-term health risks include kidney stones, osteoporosis, and liver disease. The ketogenic diet, also known as the ketogenic diet or simply ketogenic, is a big thing in weight loss plans, touted by celebrities such as Halle Berry, Kourtney Kardashian and Jenna Jameson.
The diet involves reducing carbohydrates, to 50 grams a day or less, to help the body reach a state of ketosis, in which it has to burn fat (instead of sugar) for energy. Josh Axe, doctor of natural medicine and clinical nutritionist, estimates that about 25% of people who try a ketogenic diet experience these symptoms, with fatigue being the most common. That's because your body runs out of sugar to burn and get energy, and you have to start using fat, Axe said. That transition alone is enough to make your body feel tired for a few days.
If you find yourself running to the bathroom more often while on a ketogenic diet, a quick internet search will show you that you are not alone. Yes, People Tweet About Ketogenic Diarrhea. Diarrhea can also be due to a lack of fiber in the ketogenic diet, Kizer said, which can occur when someone greatly reduces their intake of carbohydrates (such as whole grain bread and pasta) and is not supplemented with other fiber-rich foods, such as vegetables. It can also be caused by an intolerance to dairy products or artificial sweeteners, things you could eat more since you switched to a high-fat, low-carb lifestyle.
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you shouldn't follow the ketogenic diet unless you have your doctor's permission and close supervision, Kizer said. In fact, ketosis can be useful for people who have hyperglycemia problems, but you need to take into account your blood sugar level and monitor your glucose levels several times a day, Kizer explained. This is because, for people with diabetes, ketosis can trigger a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis. This occurs when the body stores too many ketones, acids produced as a by-product of fat burning, and the blood becomes too acidic, which can damage the liver, kidneys, and brain.
If left untreated, it can be fatal. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include dry mouth, frequent urination, nausea, bad breath, and difficulty breathing. If you experience any of these symptoms while on the ketogenic diet, see a healthcare provider right away. Because the ketogenic diet is so restrictive, health experts say it's not an appropriate plan to follow in the long term.
Even Axe said it's best to do it for 30 to 90 days, followed by a more sustainable diet plan. Most research suggests notable results in the first 2-3 weeks of starting the ketogenic diet, and some studies suggest benefits for up to 6-12 months. Most people who have tried this diet report initial symptoms of bad breath, headaches, muscle cramps, nausea, and constipation, which are collectively known as the “ketogenic flu.”. Long-term health risks remain unknown.
Some specialists recommend restricting the diet to 3-6 months, with a gradual progression to a Mediterranean or plant-based diet. Others recommend avoiding any overly restrictive diet or lifestyle changes that may be unsustainable in the long term. A 10-year study of children with epilepsy on a ketogenic diet found that 65% reported constipation as a common side effect (. A study evaluating the nutrient composition of common diets found that very low-carb eating patterns, such as Atkins, which is similar to the ketogenic diet, provided enough for only 12 of the 27 vitamins and minerals the body needs to get from food (.
In particular, guidelines for physicians who manage people on a very low-calorie ketogenic diet for weight loss recommend supplementing with potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, psyllium fiber, and vitamins B, C, and E (1.In particular, some studies suggest that keto may help lower hemoglobin A1c levels, a measure of average blood sugar levels (12, 13, 1.However, people with type 1 diabetes may be at high risk for further episodes of low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia), which is characterized by confusion, tremors, fatigue, and sweating. Hypoglycemia can cause coma and death if left untreated. A study of 11 adults with type 1 diabetes who followed a ketogenic diet for more than 2 years found that the median number of episodes of low blood sugar levels was close to 1 per day (1). People with type 1 diabetes tend to have low blood sugar levels if they are taking too much insulin and not getting enough carbohydrates.
So, a low-carb ketogenic diet can increase risk. Theoretically, this could also happen to people with type 2 diabetes who are taking insulin medications. Several animal studies link the ketogenic diet to decreased bone strength, likely due to losses in bone mineral density, which can occur as your body adapts to ketosis (16, 1). In fact, a 6-month study of 29 children with epilepsy who were on the ketogenic diet found that 68% had a lower bone mineral density score.
after following the diet (1) Another study of 30 elite walkers determined that those who followed keto for 3.5 weeks had significantly higher levels of blood markers for bone breakdown, compared to those who ate a higher carbohydrate diet (1) Some evidence suggests that diets high-fat and low-carb foods that focus on animals can lead to poor health outcomes, while diets that emphasize plant-based sources of fat and protein provide benefits (20, 2.A long-term observational study of more than 130,000 adults linked low-carb animal-based diets to higher rates of death from heart disease, cancer and all causes (2). plant-based low-carb diets were associated with a lower rate of death from heart disease and from all causes (2. .