The latest health, lifestyle and pop culture trends delivered to you!

Fb. In. Tw. Be.



Ketosis is a metabolic stage when the body releases ketones from burning fats for energy instead of carbs. Although it may result in weight loss if continued, you need to know its safety and related side effects.

Ketosis is a metabolic stage experienced when the body is deficient in carbs and burns fats to release energy. It can happen if you fail to eat over a long period or start a ketogenic diet. Although it can result in effective weight loss if kept, it has some side effects which you need to know about. Ketosis may result in bad breath, muscle cramps, reduced energy levels, athletic performance, and flu-like signs. As such, it is only sensible that you go into ketosis with the supervision of a doctor. Here is everything you need to understand about ketosis, its side effects, and safety.

Understanding ketosis

First thing first, we need to fully understand ketosis. As stated previously, it is a usual part of metabolic stages that occurs when the body is deprived of carbs, as when you don’t eat for long or are trying the ketogenic diet. During ketosis, carb deprivation compels the body to release fats for energy instead of carbs (glucose). As such, the fats are broken down into ketones, and almost every part of the body, including the brain and muscles, take part in fat burning. Ketosis leads to weight loss over a short time, especially when supervised by a doctor, but the related temporary side effects make many stop the process. However, if you give the body time to ‘get used’ to using ketones for energy and the side effects, rest assured to reap weight-loss benefits.

The keto flu

Ketogenic diets seem good until ketosis starts and you start experiencing flu-like symptoms. This stage is characterized by fatigue, sleep issues, decreased athletic performance, nausea, brain fog, and increased hunger. These symptoms resemble the flu, hence why the stage is called keto flu. The good news is that these symptoms should typically disappear within days and weeks, and you will be good. However, people lose hope at this stage, missing out on the health benefits that would follow after.

Ketosis will result in bad breath

A common symptom of ketosis is an unusual pungent smell in breath. It comes from acetone, a byproduct of metabolism that the body releases through breath. When ketosis starts, acetone levels in the blood rise due to ketones burning, resulting in bad breath. Occasionally, urine and sweat may also have this smell that resembles nail polish remover’s pungent smell. The good news is that within days, the bad breath goes away.

Digestive problems may accompany ketosis

Many people experience digestive problems, including diarrhea and constipation, as they go into ketosis. This is because of not taking enough fluids and fiber. Fibers usually help in digestion and preventing constipation, and once you cut them off from your diet, you experience digestive issues, including diarrhea. The good side of this is that the symptoms disappear in weeks as you prepare to realize weight loss benefits.

You might have leg muscle cramping with ketosis

As you go into ketosis, your athletic performance and physical activities may go down further because of cramping in the leg muscles. This is mainly due to reduced mineral density as you focus on more fat-rich foods. Besides, ketosis comes with dehydration, which is another leading cause of cramping in the leg muscles. Remember, glycogen (the storage form of glucose in human cells) is hydrophilic and binds a lot of water. However, when you reduce your carb intake, glucose and glycogen levels go down, and so do water levels. As such, you need to drink more water during ketosis. This will help reduce the muscle cramps in the legs and prevent kidney problems and keep electrolytes well balanced in the body.

Heart palpitations may accompany ketosis

As you prepare to register for the ketogenic diet, be prepared for heart palpitations as well. This condition describes increased heart rates that accompany ketosis but may also come during the first few weeks of a ketogenic diet. There are many probable causes of heart palpitations, with dehydration being the most probable. Besides, low salt intake may also worsen this condition. As such, you need to boost your water intake to solve dehydration. If the heart rates keep getting higher and higher, you might have to consider taking carbs, but you have to watch out not to jeopardize ketosis.

Slackening on the ketogenic diet may lead to weight regain

Many people fear the ketogenic diet because going off it is quite easy. You only need to keep off the diet and indulge in carbs for a few days, and you will be off the ketosis track. This is the case because the diet is quite restrictive, and many people find it challenging. Before you know it, you will be fully back to your old diet. With the new old diet back in the system and instances of overindulgence, you will likely regain weight, in fact, more than what you had at first.

The keto diet and ketosis may result in serious medical conditions

For some people, the body does not welcome the keto diet. As such, once ketosis kicks off, they have more room visits than ever before. For this reason, doctors advise that you only go on ketosis after consulting with your doctor, who should examine you and check your medical records to see whether it’s fit for you.

Ketosis is safe and natural, but it is not for everyone

While ketosis may result in successful weight loss, it is not for every Tom, Dick, and Harry. In fact, if you suffer from porphyria, liver failure, pancreatitis, and carnitine deficiency, or any condition that jeopardizes fat processing, ketosis is a no-go zone for you. As such, consulting with your doctor before trying a keto diet is a must-do.


Ketosis is a natural process of metabolism that manifests when you deprive the body of carbs by not eating for long or registering for a ketogenic diet. Although it may result in significant weight loss, it has related temporary side effects, including bad breath, reduced athletic performance, flu-like symptoms, heart palpitations, and leg muscles cramping. Consequently, it is critical for you to consult with your doctor before going into ketosis. Additionally, some conditions are ketosis-unfriendly, and having them means not trying the keto diet. They include porphyria, pancreatitis, liver failure, and any fat processing-jeopardizing condition.

Post tags:

MS, University of Tartu Sleep specialist Using the acquired academic and professional experience, I advise patients with various complaints about mental health - depressed mood, nervousness, lack of energy and interest, sleep disorders, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts and anxieties, difficulty concentrating, and stress. In my free time, I love to paint and go on long walks on the beach. One of my latest obsessions is sudoku – a wonderful activity to calm an unease mind.

You don't have permission to register
.mkdf-page-footer .mkdf-footer-bottom-holder .mkdf-grid { width:100% !important; }