People around the world use the ketogenic diet to lose weight fast and keep diabetes under control. In recent decades, this diet has seen a surge of popularity. But while the keto diet has many notable health benefits, it also comes with some important side effects you should be aware of.
Worst Side Effects of the Keto Diet
Are you following the keto diet already or plan to try it soon? Either way, it’s good to know that the effects of a ketogenic diet can have a long-lasting impact on your health. Discover now the most significant keto diet side effects to decide whether this diet is right for you or not.
The keto flu is a common side effect of the keto diet and it can last one week or more. It occurs early on, while the body adapts to the new diet and starts burning fat instead of glucose for energy.
Symptoms may include dehydration, fatigue, muscle soreness, dizziness, nausea, irritability, and constipation. Some people experience only some of these symptoms, and the intensity varies from person to person.
When you’re on a keto diet, ketones form as the result of the breaking down of fat. The kidneys expel these ketones through urine.
But in this process, you may lose sodium, potassium, magnesium, and other electrolytes. This increases the risk of acute kidney damage and promotes the formation of kidney stones.
Another side effect of the depletion of electrolytes can be cardiac arrhythmia or an irregular heartbeat. In more severe cases, this can lead to heart damage.
It’s good to know that some of the electrolyte-related keto diet side effects may be mitigated if you take supplements such as magnesium at the beginning of your diet.
Long-Term Health Concerns
The keto diet is not a balanced diet. People following this restrictive diet need to avoid fruit, starchy vegetables, and other foods.
There are not many studies on the long-term impact of the keto diet but avoiding all those foods and their benefits may have serious long-term effects on your health. In addition to consuming fewer carbs, you will also miss out on vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids, and other nutrients.
The consequences can include a weaker immune system, bone loss, and higher risk of developing chronic diseases.
Drop in Libido
Among the many effects of a ketogenic diet, one, in particular, has received a good deal of media coverage – the drop in libido. The initial carb withdrawal may lead to a temporary drop in libido. However, this side effect should only last until the body adapts to the new diet.
Is the Keto Diet Right for You?
Before following a keto diet, it’s good to balance the benefits against the potential side effects. Also, consider variants of the traditional keto diet, such as the cyclical keto diet, which could minimize some of the side effects. And don’t forget about supplements – they may help further reduce the unwanted effects.
In the end, it is best to talk with your doctor about the keto diet and whether it’s the right option for you.