10 Common Side Effects of Ketogenic Diets


 The components of the food we eat have a lot of impact on the body metabolism. Keto diet is highly recommended since it changes the body metabolism through Ketosis. A ketogenic diet is composed of low-carbohydrates and low-fat food. During Ketosis, the body will be running on Ketones form fats and not glucose. Reduction in the intake of carbohydrates reduces the amount of glucose available for storage by the body. Ketosis results in a significant shift in the body components and activities of your body. Both positive and negative effects are experienced during this shift.

Here are some side effects experienced when taking the keto diet: 

1. Fatigue

Ideally, the Keto diet should increase body energy. What’s the deal with experiencing fatigue after the change in diet? The answer is the lack of carbohydrates and electrolyte imbalance in the body.

The body needs electrolyte supplies from the food we eat. These electrolytes soften come from potassium and magnesium. Reduction in their amounts affects the body functioning.

Lack of carbohydrates in your meal means your body will have less glucose for oxidation. The oxidation process is vital in yielding energy for performing daily tasks. When you are on the Keto Diet, you will experience fatigue often.

2. Carbs Craving

Experiencing frequent cravings for carbs and sugary foods is very common when you are on Keto. At times the cravings are intense, and they are managed by taking 10 grams or 50 grams of carbs in your diet. The keto-adapted diet helps in suppressing the cravings until you achieve a stable state.

3. Frequent Urination

Is passing a lot of urine normal when taking a Keto diet? During the early days/weeks of Ketosis, you will experience a lot of peeing. Ketosis leads to the reduction of glycogen found in carbs. Glycogen causes water retention in the body. When Keto lowers its presence, more water will be passed out through urine. It is nothing to worry about.

Excessive passage of urine may result in weight loss and dehydration. It is recommended that you take at least 8 glasses of water every day.

4. Constipation

Studies conducted among keto dieters indicate 65% experience constipation. Dieters experience low bowel movement and difficulties in passing stool. The findings give the following as the possible reasons for constipation;

  • Dehydration

Excessive urine passing results to a lot of water loss causes hardening of stool. If enough water is not taken, the person will experience constipation.

  • Low Fiber Intake

Keto food has low fiber content. Fiber is responsible for bowel movement and easing indigestion.

  • High Fat Intake

Presence of high fats in the diet results to low or no growth of good bacteria in the gut. The result is a problem in stool passage.

5. Dizziness

Experiencing or lightheadedness is a symptom associated with the keto diet. Dehydration results in high passage of Potassium, magnesium, and calcium electrolytes. The other reason you may experience dizziness is that Ketosis suppresses your appetite. If you are not eating enough, the body becomes weary, and you will feel dizzy.

Taking vegetables such as avocados, spinach, and broccoli will increase the electrolyte concertation. Fish-meat, beef, and other proteins are also crucial for nourishment.

6. Muscle Cramps

The imbalance in electrolytes is the leading cause of pain in muscles. Magnesium and potassium electrolytes are responsible for muscle relaxing and contracting. Muscle performance is affected when the minerals are low. Dehydration also causes muscle damages which result in pain in muscles.

7. Headache

Dieters on Keto experience intense headache. The headache is described as sharp and shooting. The carb withdrawal and electrolyte imbalance are major causes of this severe headache.

The headache is also explained through dehydration. When the brain is dehydrated, it tends to shrink. Less oxygen will be reaching your brain. Less oxygen causes the brain muscles to strain, thus causing a migraine. The problem dealt with by taking very little amounts of carbs to minimize the withdrawal effects.

8. Nausea

Interference with the normal digestion process will make you feel nauseated. The body will be dehydrated and constipated at the same time. Taking a lot of fats and proteins also slows down the digestion process. Taking some enzymes that aid in breaking down fats can ease the feeling.

9. Insomnia

In the early days, most keto dieters experience sleeplessness due to carb withdrawal. Carbohydrates are responsible for an increase in tryptophan and serotonin levels. The tryptophan induces secretion of serotonin which is vital for neurotransmitter for depression. It is also useful in inducing sleep. Initial surges in hormones often cause loss of sleep.

When the body adapts to the new diet, most people experience long sleeps.

10. Bad Breath

Keto breath is unpleasant and makes a person feel ashamed in public. The bad breath results from Ketosis, which releases acetone. Chewing gums and fresh sprays work well for most people in early days. Once the body becomes keto-adapted, the unpleasant breath goes away. Taking 50 grams of keto meal may also reduce the smell gradually.


  • Most keto side effects are experienced during the early days before the body is keto-adapted.
  • Maintaining a balanced electrolyte and hydration level may counter most side effects.
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water when on the keto diet and eat vegetables with low-keto rich in keto-flu fighting electrolytes.
  • A rise in the ketone level causes most side effects of taking the diet.
  • Over time, the body gradually adapts, and the adverse side effects will be gone.


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