Dangerous Side Effects Of The Keto Diet

Dangerous Side Effects Of The Keto Diet
Dangerous Side Effects Of The Keto Diet

Potential side effects of the keto diet include keto flu, dehydration, and hyperproteinemia. Long-term side effects of the keto diet include kidney stones, fatty liver disease, and mineral and vitamin deficiency in the body.

Nowadays, the keto diet is trending. It is considered magic to lose weight. Obesity, no doubt, is a consistent problem worldwide and comes along with other ailments including hypertension, increased cholesterol level, and heart problems. Diet is an easy and appropriate choice to lose weight. You wanna know if keto is dangerous or not?

Every year, this is a trend that the fad diet has added a few new food items, to promise quick weight loss. A fad diet is specific for every individual according to his metabolism and body requirement of calories. A fad diet is suggested for every person by taking an account of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in it.

As a dietitian, I would recommend you to take a personalized diet plan that is balanced and meets your goals.

Many diet plans are restrictive in nature.

If you are dieting, you have no need to remove certain food groups from your diet. Developing such an unhealthy attitude towards food can lead to serious complications later on. It is recommended to devise a food plan by considering calorie counting and the nutritional value of food. 

What is the keto diet?

This diet emphasizes the intake of protein and more and more fat, while impedes the carbohydrates. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the three main components of every moderate diet. Restriction of any of these can be harmful to health.

Although it is known to be quite successful for weight loss, a history of slow proceeding side effects up to 2 years is reported.

The fact is that it was present in 1920 and used as a medical therapeutic treatment in that era. It was used against epilepsy. But its use was gradually abandoned with the invention of antiepileptic medicines.

Dangerous Side Effects Of Keto Diet
Dangerous Side Effects Of Keto Diet

How does the keto diet work to lose weight?

If you are on a keto diet, firstly understand what your body gets out of it. In general, the keto diet adds:

Carbohydrates: 20-50 grams/day

Proteins: 1 gram/1 kg of body weight

Fats: ln excess amount

Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for our bodies. It provides energy when needed. When you drop the carbohydrate intake below 50 grams, the Body switches to an alternate source of fuel that is fats. When your body starts utilizing fats as fuel, the process is called ketosis.

Ketosis is a metabolic state and its onset depends upon fasting, too much exercise, and low intake of carbohydrates. During ketosis, your liver focuses on breaking off fats to produce energy, which results in weight loss.


How do you know that your body is in a state of ketosis?

You may experience the following symptoms when your body goes into the state of ketosis.
Your body produces a high level of ketones and keto bodies.

Bad breath

Fatigue or low energy

Loss of appetite or less appetite

More ketones in urine and blood

Weight loss

Dangerous Side Effects Of Keto Diet
Dangerous Side Effects Of Keto Diet

Dangerous side effects of the keto diet

1. Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose level)

A very low intake of carbs may result in hypoglycemia, that is low blood sugar level. It can cause fatigue, blurry vision, improper speech, and dizziness with a few more serious complications in diabetic patients. Diabetic patients should carry a hypoglycemia kit with them so that glucagon can be administered when needed. Although diabetic patients are recommended to lower down carb intake but ketogenic diets demand very low carb. So, if you are using insulin, be very careful about keto intake and monitor your blood sugar level regularly.

2. Hepatic Steatosis (fatty liver disease)

It is a condition in which fat is accumulated in liver tissues in excess amounts.

There are two types:

One is NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), in which the liver is enlarged but patients have no pain.

Another is NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis), which results in inflammation as well as liver damage.

A person who is eating keto may have a risk of developing these diseases. The best way to help yourself is to opt for plant-based fat, avocado oil, olive oil, and fish oil. Red meat should be avoided.

3. Keto Flu

According to dieters, the following symptoms are reported as presenting "keto flu".


Loss of appetite

Mood swings


Loss of sleep



All these symptoms are associated with a low-carb diet. If you are not eating properly, you may experience these symptoms.

4. Dehydration

During ketosis, more ketones are produced and more water is required to excrete them out. It results in ion imbalance such as sodium and potassium. So, the initial few pounds that lose is water and mistaken as fat loss. So it is recommended to drink a lot of water to help yourself in healthy weight loss.

Dangerous Side Effects Of Keto Diet
Dangerous Side Effects Of Keto Diet

5. Kidney stones

Kidney stones probably developed by the high intake of animal proteins and shortage of water. Animal protein stimulates the formation of acid that removes calcium from the body. It results in the formation of kidney stones. A safe option is to avoid red meat and consult your doctor to make sure that your kidney condition is well monitored.

Kidney stones cause back pain, pain when urinating, and abdominal pain. Kidney stones keep producing in the kidneys and pass out with urine. But the problem arises when stones become larger than 5 millimeters and get stuck in the ureter.

6. Hypoproteinemia

Hyperproteinemia is the low level of protein in the blood. Low protein in blood can be due to the following reasons

  • Limiting proteins in the diet
  • Liver problem

Although Keto diets focus on moderate amounts of proteins, there is a possibility that a person on a keto diet may develop hyperproteinemia.

7. Vitamin and mineral deficiency

Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) deficiency is common in dieters as they limit the intake of carbs as well as carb-dense fresh fruits and starchy vegetables to meet the low carb demand of the keto diet. This deficiency can lead to serious health issues including cognitive decline, eyesight problems, osteoporosis, and lack of immunity. Vitamin deficiency as well as taking too many vitamins can cause serious health problems.

Know how your body reacts if you are taking too many vitamins.

As you decrease carbohydrate intake, you limit the portion of refined sugar in your diet which affects motor and sensory nerves.

Dangerous Side Effects Of Keto Diet
Dangerous Side Effects Of Keto Diet

Last words

The effects discussed above are research based on the knowledge of physiology. Long-term studies are required to know the possible hazard of the ketogenic diet on human life.

If you ask about my opinion, I will suggest a moderate diet with all the important components in it, such as legumes, grains, fresh fruits, and starchy vegetables such as avocado, broccoli, cauliflower, coconut, and plenty of water. A moderate and balanced diet reduces the risk of potential side effects.

If you want to delve into any diet trend, take into consideration of your current medical condition, discuss its effects either long-term or short-term with your doctor or dietitian. 

Post a Comment