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keto diet side effects

5 of the Worst Keto Diet Side Effects

Keto Diet has acquired a big space in people’s minds. Days have arrived when people are switching towards keto diet for weight loss. Keto Diet consists of 80% fats, 15% protein and 5% carbohydrates. The Keto Way of burning fat fast from the body is known as Ketosis. During ketosis, our body converts the fatty acids into energy.

Due to less intake of carbohydrates during Ketosis, the source of energy automatically shifts towards fat compounds. This results in burning of fat fast or in a layman language loss of weight. Keto diet is also beneficial for a lot of health diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and mental disorders. 

Following a low carb, high fat diet is of course a great option for weight loss, but it also carries a lot of side effects. A recent study has revealed that Keto Diet causes changes in libido. Due to loss in libido it not only affects the relationship between you and your partner but also increases the chances of getting “ Keto Flu”.

Although the symptoms of libodo starts to fade after sometime when the body begins to lose weight. But, there lies a lot of other side effects too which occur due to side effects. These side effects may not necessarily happen due to Keto Diet but can occur due to improper implementation of the diet. This typically happens due to the failure of intake of  balanced diet and nutrition rich food. 

5 of the worst Keto Diet side effects

Following are the top 5 worst Keto Diet side effects:

1. Keto Flu

Keto Flu usually happens in the early stages of commencing the Keto Diet. It happens when we start to take a low carb diet which our body is not used to. So, the body needs time to adapt to such changes. Once Ketosis begins, your body starts breaking down the fat component instead of carbohydrates for energy. During this time your body may not feel so great which we call as “ Keto Flu”

Symptoms of Keto Flu include nausea, vomiting, headache,Weakness,  constipation, etc. When you start a keto diet the body starts using the stored body fat due to which the body starts producing ketones,  which get drained from time to time by urination. This leads to dehydration,  dizziness  and muscle soreness. 

Due to frequent urination, the body loses electrolytes which results in increased sugar cravings, brain fog, difficulty in concentration and weakness. Most of the people suffer from keto flu for some starting weeks later on the body gets habitual with the change. More than 25% of the people who start the Keto Diet get affected from keto flu. 

You can minimise the symptoms of keto flu by taking enough water and sleep. You can also have energy rich drinks such as organic tea, coffee, juices,etc. 

2. Kidney and Heart Damage

Due to loss of electrolytes and fluid, the urination increases which leads to loss of electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium and sodium. This can cause kidney injury. A lot of doctors say that dehydration causes kidney stone, lightheadedness and kidney injury. Electrolyte deficiency is a very serious problem and can also cause Irregular heartbeat. This may lead to cardiac arrhythmia.

In addition to this, the consumption of meat during the keto diet also causes kidney failure. Kidneys have an important role in metabolizing proteins and eating too much nutrient rich can also harm the functioning of the kidney. Although Keto is about high fat and less protein, intake of meat is allowed in a ketogenic diet which contains a lot of fats. Saturated fats should be avoided. 

Loading your stomach with meats, and especially processed meats, may increase your risk factors for kidney stones and gout. High intake of animal proteins makes your urine more acidic and increases calcium and uric acid levels. This combination makes you more susceptible to kidney stones, while high uric acid can increase your risk for gout. 

Eating a low carb diet is linked with type-2 diabetes and obesity. Low carb diet is mostly based on plant food rich in fats and high protein can reduce the risk of heart disease by 30% but animal based low carb diet is dangerous. It may lead to high cholesterol levels, unsaturated fats and eventually diabetes. 

3. Constipation  

Constipation is a common side effect of a low carb diet. Due to less intake of whole foods such as grains, beans and some vegetables and fruits. Also the body is excreting more water which is resulting in clogged pipes. Because of less intake of fibre in Keto Diet, 65% of the people following keto diet suffer from constipation. 

Ketogenic eaters miss out on the benefits of fiber-rich diet such as regular laxation and microbiome support. The microbiome has been implicated in everything from immune function to mental health.

To get a balance over food and intake fibre one should eat items such as avocados, flaxseed, almonds, pecans and chia seeds that can all fiber while still keeping you in ketosis when consumed in the right amounts.

4. Vitamin Deficiency 

Keto Diet prohibits a lot of fruits and vegetables which causes vitamin and mineral deficiency. Keto in an imbalance diet. This imbalance in the diet has to be balanced and maintained properly because it may lead to many health malfunctions. Keto may prove harmful in the long term. Hollowness of fruits and vegetables creates malnutrition in the body. 

Due to loss of electrolytes and fluid, the urination increases which leads to loss of electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium and sodium. This causes fatigue, headache and other health disorders. So, if you are going for a keto diet make sure to form an eating plan of your diet which contains all the vitamins, phytochemicals and minerals required for the functioning of the body. 

That has significant human health impacts over the long term such as bone loss and increased risk of chronic diseases. Take supplements, a healthy diet and alternatives for the foods which you cannot cannot have during the Keto Diet. Make sure you end up with better blood lipids and blood glucose levels.

Diarrhea can also be caused due to a lack of fiber in the keto diet. It can also be caused by an intolerance to dairy or artificial sweeteners which you might be eating more of since switching to a high-fat, low-carb lifestyle.

5. Muscle Loss 

“You’ll lose weight, but it might actually be a lot of muscle”.Keto Diet can lead to loss of lean mass which includes muscle protein. For muscle building both proteins and carbohydrates are necessary. Protein alone is not effective for muscle building. Even after resistance training, a ketogenic diet loses muscles. A lot of LBM (Lean Body Mass) gets lost due to Keto Diet. 

Note that lean body mass contains water, glycogen, and muscle protein, by definition. It is hard to say with certainty that LBM loss implies greater "dry" muscle protein loss. "Wet" LBM can come and go quickly because it consists of water and glycogen."

When a person goes off the ketogenic diet and regains much of their original weight, it’s often not in the same proportion. Instead of regaining lean muscle, you’re likely to regain fat. Now you’re back to your starting weight, but you no longer have the muscle mass to burn the calories that you did before. That can have lasting effects on your resting metabolic rate, and on your weight long-term.

Besides all these long term effects, there are some short term effects as well. These effects occur in the beginning phases of Keto Diet. 

Short term side effects: 
  • Hypoglycemia 
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Hunger
  • Confusion, anxiety and/or irritability
  • Tachycardia
  • Lightheadedness and shakiness
  • Sweating and chills

Bottom Line

Keto is neither a long term diet nor a balanced diet. A diet which lacks fruits and vegetables will result in long term micronutrient deficiencies. Keto Diet can be used for short term fat loss but it cannot be taken as a permanent diet. Keto Diet is successful for rapid weight. People who are suffering from chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or other conditions should not go for Keto Diet. It may lead to bad consequences. 



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