Top 10 Side Effects of Ketogenic Diet


Every coin has two sides; therefore, ketogenic diet also has health benefits and side effects.

Looking into the side effect will help you know how to adapt to ketogenic diet.

This article provides you with the main side effects of ketogenic diet and their solutions.


 Side effects of keto diet

Actually, ketogenic diet is safe for healthy people.

A few side effects are reported especially at the onset of ketogenic diet.

Here are some of the side effects of ketogenic diet.

  1. keto flu  a side effect of keto diet

Keto flu is one of the most common side effect of keto diet that you must be ready to face.

Usually, initial subjection of the body to keto diet (extremely low-carb diet and high-fat diet), the body finds it difficult to adapt to the new changes in diet.

This is usually refers to as Keto flu and it occurs within one week and ends.

It is associated with headache, weakness, and irritability, to constipation, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, muscle soreness, and vomiting.

However, you can prevent it by taking low carb diet for few weeks.

  1. Low energy level a side effect of keto diet

Actually, when you change your diet, the body metabolism may be affected in one way or another.

Some people experiences low energy level at the start of following ketogenic diet while others don’t.

The production of energy levels may reduce.

However, you can eat low carbs or take ketogenic dietary supplements for some weeks to boost your energy level and enable the body to adapt progressively to get into ketosis.

  1. Mental function a side effect of keto diet

Ketogenic diet many cause mental issues for the first week.

This occurs in some people while others don’t experience it.

The receptors and other neurotransmitters may find it difficult to adapt to new changes in metabolism.

However, you can prevent it by eating low carbs diet for some weeks.

  1. Kidney and heart damage side effect of ketosis

Ketogenic diet can cause change in water level and mineral balance in your body at the onset.

This can cause kidney dysfunction and heart issues.

However, you can prevent this by adding more salt and minerals like potassium, magnesium in your ketogenic diet.

You can as well use mineral supplements.

Adding  3,000–4,000 mg of sodium, 1,000 mg of potassium and 300 mg of magnesium per day may help stabilize water and mineral in the body.

This reduces the risk of cardiac arrhythmia and kidney stone.

  1. Increased hunger  a side effect of keto diet

Ketogenic diet can cause increase in hunger level in some people.

This is one of the side effects of ketogenic diet, especially when induced to keto diet in the first week.

Usually, this does not last for long. It can take few weeks.

To reduce the hunger level, you can take low carb diet for 7 to 14 days to allow the body adjusts to ketogenic diet

side effects of keto diet

  1. Sleep disorders and low libido 

For the first one week of ketogenic diet, few people reports about sleep issues and low libido.

Actually, the change in metabolic rate may affect your sleep hormone and the response of sex hormones .

The extreme low carb diet and high fats drastically lower most of the body hormones.

This can cause sleep issues low sex drive. However, with low carb diet for few weeks, it will be no more.

Your libido and sleep will be boosted for the rest of your life, unless otherwise.

  1. Nausea and urine smelling fruity

Another side effects of ketogenic diet is nausea.

Nausea is one of the keto flu symptoms.

It usually occurs in the first week of ketogenic diet. You can prevent it by eating low carb diet to allow the body to adapt to keto menu.

On the other hand, you urine may smell fruit, Don’t be surprised.

 This is an indication that you are in ketosis state and this is due to the excretion of by-products. It will definitely end.

  1. Digestive discomfort and diarrhea side effect of ketogenic diet

Digestion issues usually arise when you start taking ketogenic diet. Keto diet may cause stomach discomforts.

However, this can happen in some people within the first week.

It ends immediately you start taking more high-fiber vegetables.  You may also use magnesium supplements to prevent constipation.

Let this not hinder you from following keto menu.

It only prepares you to get into ketosis.

  1. Decreased exercise performance, fatigue and body weakness

It is one of the side effects of ketogenic diet.

Ketogenic diet at the beginning may reduce your performance.

However, you can use supplements for ketogenic diet such as whey protein, creatine, BCAAs, MCT oil or ketones may help boost your exercise performance and prevent fatigue.

Alternatively, you can eat low-carb diet for few weeks to enable the body to adapt.

  1. breath smell a side effect of ketosis

keogenic diet can cause your breath to smell.

However, you can prevent this by drinking naturally flavored water or chewing sugar-free gum.

It will end soon after getting into ketosis.

Other side effects of ketosis 

Keto diet can cause an irregular menstrual cycle in women, decreases bone density and can causes you to yo-yo and go off and on diets.

Yo-yo diet is linked with weight fluctuations and increased mortality risk.

Summing it up

The side effect of ketogenic diet usually occurs at the beginning of following ketogenic diet.


They eventually ends in few weeks.

However, these side effects can be minimized by taking a low-carb diet and adding extra salt, potassium, and magnesium.


Furthermore, you should not  restrict  calories intake or not eating until you are satisfied abruptly.

Let the body adapt progressively.

Restrict calories intake, day by day to avoid the side effects of ketogenic diet.

If you are a beginner and need more information you can check out ketogenic for dummies.     

Note that ketogenic diet is safe after adapting to it and will allow you get into ketosis and help prevent several chronic illnesses.

About Victor Tannos

Vick is a researcher, freelancer, content writer, and lifelong learner with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. Vick uses that curiosity, combined with his experience as a freelance to write about valuable topics on health, fitness, and lifestyle.

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