The keto diet is the latest fashionable must-do when it comes to healthy living and high-speed weight loss. For many who have tried it, the keto diet has proven to be a godsend, but as with any diet, there are certain side effects to consider, which can range in severity from the mildly irritating to the potentially fatal. In this article, we will explore the main side effects of the keto diet, the basis of which is the elimination of carbohydrates. Doing so allows your body to turn to its fat reserves for energy production so you are literally losing pounds all the time, even when you are just sitting down or simply reading a book.
There are quite a few side effects to deal with when you’re on the keto diet, but some of them fall under the category of side benefits rather than side effects. Key among these is improved complexion and skin tone, as well as a reduction in skin blemishes like pimples and blackheads. The reason for this is quite simple – cutting out carbohydrates means eliminating all of those sugary, delicious treats which we all enjoy but which can lead to poorer overall health, often resulting in outward markers like a dull complexion and acne. This simple change in diet is also linked to having more energy, greater concentration levels and better digestion in the long run.
That being said, people starting on the keto diet often experience a series of unpleasant side effects in the first few days and weeks of their program. As you start on the keto diet, your body experiences a bit of a shock as it learns to cope with the loss of its primary energy source, namely the complex carbohydrates it uses to make glucose.
Within the first few days, your body starts to adapt to its new source of energy as well as reduced insulin levels, but the change can leave you feeling unwell and irritable for several days. Generally referred to as the keto flu, this compendium of uncomfortable side effects is typically temporary and includes nausea, gastric distress, constipation, muscle aches, tiredness, and irritability. Many also experience a metallic taste in their mouth and bad breath as well as persistent dehydration and increased urination, which can last for several days until your body adapts fully to the lack of carbohydrates.
While most people recover from the initial flu-like side effects of the keto diet, there are other side effects that can prove more dangerous, especially when this diet is used over protracted periods of time. These include heart and kidney damage as the body works overtime to process the byproducts of ketone production and fat conversion as well as handle the increased urination caused by the change in diet.
The dramatic drop in insulin levels caused by the keto diet can also result in potentially fatal side effects for diabetics on the keto diet, such as seizures or loss of consciousness due to insulin shock. In women, long-term keto dieting can lead to a significant loss of bone density and an increased risk for osteoporosis.
Keto Diet with Care
In the final analysis, the best way to approach any diet is with an abundance of caution, an understanding of your own body’s particular needs and the collaboration of a certified medical professional. The keto diet is no exception – to gain the maximum benefit from it, you should follow it under medical supervision and make sure to discuss any side effects, mild or otherwise, with your doctor.