Ketogenic Diet Could Cause Lower Blood Pressure, Kidney Stones, Constipation, Nutrient Deficiencies, and Increased Risk of Heart Disease. Strict diets such as the ketogenic diet could also cause social isolation or eating disorders. Keto is not safe for people with a condition involving the pancreas, liver, thyroid, or gallbladder. Kidney stones are a well-known potential side effect of the ketogenic diet.
Research published in the Journal of Child Neurology found that among children who followed the ketogenic diet as a treatment for epilepsy, 13 of 195 subjects developed kidney stones. Children who took potassium citrate supplements in the study noticed a decreased likelihood of kidney stones. Talk to your healthcare professional about supplementation if you are concerned about kidney stones. 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 in 30 elite walkers found 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-carb diet (1) Some evidence suggests that high-fat, low-carb diets that focus on animal-based foods can lead to poor health outcomes, while diets that emphasize vegetable 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) low-carb diets were associated with a lower rate of death from heart disease and from all causes ( 2). 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.
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. They concluded that keto could also lead to long-term health complications, such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease for most people. Here, we'll delve into 11 potential dangers of the ketogenic diet that any beginner considering the approach should know. Since the ketogenic diet restricts several foods, especially nutrient-dense fruits, whole grains, and legumes, it may not provide the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, adjunct professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and co-author of the study, tells Verywell that ketogenic diets contain the types of foods that are associated with cancer risks. In an effort to control blood sugar and weight, some people are turning to the ketogenic diet to manage type 2 diabetes. Some keto-friendly foods that are high in fiber include flaxseed, chia seed, coconut, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens. While the ketogenic diet may seem new and modern, it has actually existed since the 1920s as a treatment for epilepsy.
Here are a few things to know about the ketogenic diet before you try it as a way to lose weight. In addition, people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) should avoid keto, because weakened kidneys may not be able to eliminate the buildup of acid in the blood that results from these animal-based foods. A small, month-long study suggests that keto as a treatment option for low T in certain men is worth exploring further. As your body adapts to using ketones and fats as its primary source of energy, you may experience flu-like symptoms at the start of the ketogenic diet.
If you experience any of these symptoms while on the ketogenic diet, see a healthcare provider right away. . .