Long Term Health Risk When You are on Keto Diet

A new twist on extreme weight loss is catching on in some parts of the United States. It’s called the “keto diet.” People promoting the diet say it uses the body’s own fat burning system to help people lose significant weight in as little as 10 days. It has also been known to help moderate the symptoms of children with epilepsy, although experts are not quite sure why it works. Proponents say the diet can produce quick weight loss and provide a person with more energy.

So What’s Exactly Keto Diet/Ketosis?

As the name suggests, the “keto” diet is a very low-carbohydrate diet that puts the body into a state of ketosis (a metabolic condition). In a low-carbohydrate diet, chemicals called ketones build up in the bloodstream, causing Ketosis. Low carbohydrate levels cause blood sugar levels to decline, and the body begins breaking down fat to utilize as energy.

If you’re in ketosis, you’re in a moderate type of ketoacidosis. A large majority of patients with type 1 diabetes are affected with ketoacidosis. Among patients with diabetes who are under 24 years of age, this is the primary cause of death. The ketosis itself is not hazardous, say several specialists. The ketogenic diet may be safe for persons who are severely overweight or obese, according to several studies. In other clinical evaluations, individuals on low-carbohydrate diets recover part of the weight they lost after a year, the researchers found.

When It’s Unhealthy?

Keto-type diets, argue its critics, are typically only effective in the short term and can be dangerous. Lisa Cimperman, R.D.N., a clinical dietitian at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says most of the weight loss is water weight. Once your body enters ketosis, you begin to lose muscle, get exceedingly tired, and finally reach a state of hunger. “It gets much more difficult to lose weight,” she says.

Dr. Francine Blinten, an Old Greenwich, Connecticut, professional nutritionist and public health expert, says keto diets should only be taken under medical supervision and for short periods of time. In combination with chemotherapy, they have been able to shrink tumors and decrease seizures in epileptics.

Experts in the field caution against it, citing unpleasant side effects, health concerns, and the diet’s inherently unsustainable nature. Even many proponents of the ketogenic diet agree that, if the diet isn’t done “the correct way” it might have the opposite effect of healthy eating. So, takeaways from several studies Health Inspection Team suggest that, before you use Keto diet as a weight-loss strategy following long-term health concerns or issues you should know which may arise with weight loss:

Beware of Keto Flu

A normal carbohydrate consumption on the keto diet is less than 50 grams per day, which can be a shock to the body. The flu-like symptoms may occur when your body depletes its carbohydrate reserves and transitions to utilize ketones and fat as fuel during the beginning of this eating pattern.

Dehydration and electrolyte imbalances occur when your body adjusts to ketosis and can cause headaches, dizziness, tiredness, nausea, and constipation. It’s crucial to monitor these symptoms throughout the keto diet, remain hydrated, and consume meals high in salt, potassium and other electrolytes if you suffer the keto flu.

Kidney Stress

Ketogenic dieters eat animal products high in fat since they don’t contain carbohydrates. The danger of kidney stones increases if you eat a lot of these items. Your blood and urine can become more acidic if you consume a lot of animal products. This leads to greater calcium loss through urine.

Ketogenic diets may also lower urinary citrate levels, according to certain research. Citrate may bind to calcium and prevent the production of kidney stones, thus a reduction in its levels may increase your chance of getting kidney stones.

If you have CKD, your kidneys may not be able to eliminate the acid accumulation in your blood that occurs from eating animal products. A condition of acidosis might result, which can exacerbate the course of chronic kidney disease. The ketogenic diet, on the other hand, is moderate to high in protein.

Responsible for Digestive Issues and Changes in Gut Bacteria Nature

It might be challenging to satisfy your daily fiber needs on a ketogenic diet, which limits carbohydrates. Because they are heavy in carbohydrates, many of the richest sources of fiber are excluded from the diet.

Consequently, the ketogenic diet might cause intestinal pain and constipation. Children with epilepsy on a ketogenic diet reported constipation as a prevalent adverse effect in a 10-year research. A fiber-rich diet also nourishes the good microorganisms in your gastrointestinal system. It may enhance immunity, promote mental health, and reduce inflammation by keeping the stomach healthy.

The gut bacteria may be badly affected by a low-carbohydrate diet that is low in fiber, such as keto. However, current research on the issue is equivocal. Flax seeds, chia seeds, coconut, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens are some keto-friendly foods that are high in fiber.

Causing Nutrient Deficiencies

This is because the keto diet limits numerous items, including nutrient-dense fruits and entire grains. Keto diets may not supply adequate calcium, vitamin D, magnesium and phosphorus according to certain research. Diets with very low carbohydrate content, such as Atkins, which is comparable to keto, supply just 12 of the 27 vitamins and minerals your body needs to get from food. It may eventually lead to nutritional deficits.

As a result, guidelines for doctors who treat patients following a low-calorie, high-fat ketogenic weight reduction diet advocate supplementing with potassium and salt as well as vitamins C and E and omega-3 fatty acids. Keep in mind that the nutritional quality of this diet relies on the individual items that you eat. Low-carb meals like avocados and almonds give more nutrition than processed meats or keto delights.

Elevated Blood Sugar Level

In patients with diabetes, low-carbohydrate diets like the ketogenic diet have been found to help control blood sugar levels. The ketogenic diet, in particular, has been linked to a reduction in hemoglobin A1c, a marker of blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is characterised by disorientation, shakiness, tiredness and perspiration. If left untreated, hypoglycemia can cause coma and death.

In a study of 11 people with type 1 diabetes who maintained a ketogenic diet for almost two years, the median number of low blood sugar episodes per day was close to one. Low blood sugar is a common occurrence for individuals with type 1 diabetes who are taking too much insulin and not ingesting enough carbohydrate. In other words, a low carbohydrate ketogenic diet may raise the risk of heart disease. Diabetes type 2 patients who are on insulin may theoretically experience the same thing.

Damage Bone Health Condition

In addition, the ketogenic diet has been linked to a decline in bone health. The ketogenic diet has been associated with lower bone strength in several animal studies. This is likely due to a drop in bone mineral density that occurs when your body adjusts to ketosis. 29 children with epilepsy were put on the ketogenic diet for six months, and 68 percent of them had decreased bone mineral density scores following the diet.

After 3.5 weeks on the ketogenic diet, 30 top walkers showed considerably greater levels of blood indicators of bone disintegration than those on a carbohydrate-rich diet.

Weight Regain Issues

It’s not recommended to follow the keto diet long term because it’s so restrictive. After 30 to 90 days, Josh Axe, a doctor of natural medicine and clinical nutritionist recommends a more sustainable eating regimen. Kristen Kizer, RD, a nutritionist at Houston Methodist Medical Center adds that most people will gain back a lot of the weight they lost as soon as they start eating carbohydrates again.

As with any fad diet, Kizer adds, “it’s a problem that’s exacerbated by ketosis”. As a result, he says, “those who want to try it because their buddies lost weight will get it all back”. Kizer adds that these sorts of weight fluctuations might contribute to disordered eating, or aggravate an unhealthy connection with food already present. People who have trouble with portion control and binge eating may find the ketogenic diet appealing, she believes. They need a lifestyle coach or a professional counselor to assist them figure out what’s actually going on with them.

Increases Risk of Chronic Diseases and Early Death

The effect of a ketogenic diet on your risk of chronic illness, such as heart disease or cancer, is highly contested and not fully understood. Some research shows that high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets that rely on animal foods may contribute to poor health results, whereas diets that stress vegetable sources of fats and proteins may bring benefits to your health.

Over 130,000 individuals participated in a long-term observational research, which associated animal-based low carb diets with increased odds of death from heart disease, cancer, and all causes. On the other hand, vegetable-based low carbohydrate diets were related with a decreased incidence of mortality from heart disease and all causes, according to the study.

On the other hand, a research of over 15,000 individuals showed similar results, except that both low and high carb diets were associated with a higher mortality risk from all causes than were low and moderate carb diets, where carbohydrates represented 50–55 percent of total daily calories.

So, Should You Avoid the Keto Diet?

Keto diet may be helpful for some people but people with the condition, for example-the ketogenic diet may not be appropriate for pregnant or breastfeeding women, children and teens, unless it’s being used therapeutically under medical supervision. Or diseases for example: CKD, liver disease or pancreatic conditions, for them this diet is not suitable. Also for diabetic patients without consulting a doctor people shouldn’t follow this diet.

Make sure you have pleasure and fullness from the meals you’re eating and that you feel well and are receiving great nutrients from a range of foods. That’s what will help you keep it up and keep the weight off. If you find this article helpful for you plz comment below and give a thumbs up.

Anika Bushra
Creative, strategic and collaborative professional with hands-on-experience and broad knowledge in Copywriting, Content Writing, Campaign Ideation, Feature Writing, Public health, Biochemistry, Molecular biology, Genetic engineering as well as Biotechnology. Currently working on sustainable agriculture projects and my recent mission is to discover new things related to sustainable developments


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