What are the Side Effects of the Keto Diet?

side effects of keto diet

The low carb and high-fat diet plan commonly known as the keto diet plan promises to quickly lose weight. But there are a few side effects of the keto diet that can cause complications. Nowadays keto diet is becoming one of the most popular things in weight loss plans. This diet allows you to cut your carbohydrates to gain a state of ketosis where your body starts burning fat for energy instead of sugar.

Health experts say that this diet can be extremely helpful in treating epilepsy and cancer. It also has anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. The Keto diet is also getting controversial, because of its side effects. The health experts warn that it can cause unpleasant side effects and serious health risks.

Here are a few things that you must need to keep in mind before starting a ketogenic diet. This diet promises to drop many pounds, but you also need to watch other side effects of the keto diet.

Keto flu

The keto flu is the group of symptoms that your body adopts while following a keto diet.

Lower carb intake allows your body to use and burn ketones instead of glucose for energy. Once your body is in the state of ketosis, it will start burning fat instead of glucose. This condition leads to keto flu. The most common signs and symptoms of ketosis include headache, constipation, vomiting, nausea, and weakness.

During the fat-burning process, your body starts producing ketones. These ketones are removed from the body by excessive urination. This process leads to flu-like symptoms such as irritability, soreness, dizziness, and fatigue. This frequent urination also results in the inevitable loss of electrolytes from the body.

Besides all this process, it also results in increased sugar craving and makes a person face the problem of poor concentration. Usually, for most people, this keto flu lasts for 7 to 10 days.

The effects of keto flu can be minimized by drinking plenty of water and getting enough sleep. Health experts also suggest incorporating more natural energy sources to diet to combat fatigue like organic coffee, herbal and green tea.


Another health problem that is caused by the keto diet is diarrhea. When you are on the keto diet, you may face the problem of diarrhea. It can be due to less fiber intake. Sometimes, this condition is also caused by an intolerance to dairy products and artificial sweeteners.

Kidney problems

Dehydration and loss of electrolytes are some of the most common problems faced by people on a ketogenic diet. Due to increased urination and loss of electrolytes, people are more prone to get kidney problems while on the keto diet. The deficiency of electrolytes can also result in an irregular heartbeat that can lead to serious damages.

People performing a ketogenic diet must increase their water intake to fulfill the deficiency of the electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium.

Changes in blood composition

Due to low carb and high fat intake, the blood composition of the individual changes. Usually, the individuals performing a ketogenic diet have a high level of lipids and cholesterol in their blood. If these changes persisted, then they can cause serious problems. People having high cholesterol levels in their blood may experience serious problems while following a ketogenic diet. Health experts say that a high-fat diet can raise the cholesterol level of individuals and increase the chances of diabetes. Therefore it is always recommended to consult a doctor before starting a ketogenic diet.

What are the short-term side effects of the Ketogenic Diet?

There are several short-term side effects of the ketogenic diet.

Excessive urination



Hunger pangs



Difficulty in concentration





These side effects of the ketogenic diet tend to improve when a person continues the diet. The body adapts to the changes and adjusts itself according to the source of the energy.

What are the long-term side effects of the Ketogenic Diet?

A ketogenic diet when performed for extended periods may cause adverse effects on the health of individuals.

Kidney stones are one of the most common problems in individuals following a ketogenic diet. This condition however is treatable. With a slight modification in your diet, you can overcome the problem. The low pH of urine encourages the formation of crystals which lead to the formation of kidney stones.

People following a ketogenic diet also have an increased risk of bone fractures.

Fruits, vegetables, and grains that are usually thought of as healthy are prohibited in the ketogenic diet. Without these healthy food choices, you can miss out on certain essential vitamins and minerals. It has a long-term effect on your bones and ultimately may lead to the weakening and fracture of the bones.

These side effects can be overcome by taking vitamins and minerals supplementation.

Is the Ketogenic Diet safe for everyone?

People having chronic health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes must refrain from following a high fat and low carb diet. This diet is not suitable for everyone.

The metabolism, blood composition, and overall health of a person vary from individual to individual. So it is not a good idea to perform a ketogenic diet without consulting your doctor.

It is not a good idea to perform a ketogenic diet on a long-term basis as it is not a healthy diet. This diet does not allow you to eat fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains which are an integral part of a person’s diet.

People looking for ways to lose weight on a short-term basis can follow a ketogenic diet under the supervision of their doctor. But for all individuals who are looking for a permanent weight loss solution, must restrict themselves from following a keto diet.

A Keto diet is one of the most effective ways for rapid weight loss, but you may face different health problems. So it is always advisable to look for healthy alternatives to lose weight on a long-term basis rather than performing a diet with serious health effects. 

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