Adopting a low-carb ketogenic diet can produce great benefits such as weight loss, decreased cravings, and even possibly reduce diseases risks. However, it’s also good to know what the possible side effects of keto diet are before you jump in with both feet.
#1 Flu-Like Symptoms “The Keto Flu”
During the first 2-4 days of starting your keto diet, a common side effect known as “ketosis flu” may mimic symptoms of an actual flu. You may expect to experience headaches, tiredness, lethargy, brain fog, or become irritable. These symptoms typically go away completely within a few days.
#2 Dizziness & Drowsiness
The Keto Diet causes the body to release lots of water. During the process, you will also be eliminating minerals like potassium, magnesium, and sodium too. While losing these minerals you may feel dizzy, lightheaded, and fatigued.
#3 Frequent Urination
Within 1 to 2 days after starting a ketogenic diet, your kidneys will start excreting excess sodium as the levels of your circulating insulin drop. This will give you the feeling of needing to pee more often throughout the day. This side effect wears off once your body adjusts and is no longer burning through the extra glycogen.
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#4 Cravings for Sugar
Initially you will have stronger cravings for sugar & carbs as your body adjusts. If you stick it out you’ll reap the benefits and be pleased with the reduced, and often eliminated, cravings.
#5 Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar is another common ketosis side effect when starting this diet. If you’re used to eating high amounts of carbs each day, your body is accustomed to putting a certain amount of insulin out to handle the sugar.
When your sugar intake is drastically reduced on a keto diet, you may experience short-term episodes of low blood sugar. This will make you feel tired, hungry, or even shaky until your body adjusts.
#6 Bad Breath
When eating very low amounts of carbs, acetone is created during ketosis. This gives your breath a characteristically fruity smell similar to nail polish remover and is a signal that your body is in ketosis. Most people report it usually going away within a couple of weeks once the body fully adapts to ketosis.
#7 Muscle Cramps
Losing minerals in the beginning of the keto diet often causes muscle cramps. Leg cramps are the most affected region of the body reported by most people. Drinking lots of water and eating salt can help prevent cramps and reduce mineral loss.
#8 Inconsistent Sleep Patterns
After starting a ketogenic diet, many people have reported issues with getting a good night’s sleep. Often this indicates that your serotonin and insulin levels are lower than usual. The increased intake of foods like cheeses, avocados, bacon, and eggs can hinder sleep as they are rich in histamines that cause anxiety in some people.
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During the Keto Diet, your digestive system will start to adapt. Initially you may experience some constipation caused by dehydration. The frequent urination causes your body to release more fluids as you’ll be going to the bathroom more often. You can remedy this by drinking more water to moisten the contents of your colon.
The previous mentioned side effect may also cause minor issues with diarrhea in the first few days. It’s a common result of your body adjusting to the macronutrient change occuring in the system. Be sure not to make the mistake of limiting your fat intake along with the carbs. This will cause your intake of protein to be too high and can lead to diarrhea.
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