In my research, I do research especially for changes I plan on making or medications I will be taking, I look for the weird and less likely things that may happen. I look for these less common side effects because I am usually the weird person who gets them, it’s happened to me on several medications where the things that happened were “rare” side effects.
So before thinking about trying Keto for my brain and body and multiple health issues I wanted to find out what weird and wonky things may happen if I did.
“Keto Flu” this is the most common thing to happen to a person who changes their eating habits to a low carb, high fat diet. The severity depends on how much of the processed foods, simple carbs and simple sugar you were consuming in before changing. Awesome, this one will definitely suck because I love soda, ice cream, potatoes and bread… sigh.
It’s called the flu because that is what it feels like, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, stomach pain, brain fog, muscle soreness, confusion and trouble sleeping. Hmmm, maybe it won’t be so bad because I have all of these things most days already. This happens to your body when you stop giving it easy to burn simple carbs and sugar, because now it has to work so much harder. Symptoms usually start the first or second day and can last up to a month.
From this article it states “As soon as insulin levels drop, sodium is released from the body, taking water along with it. This can cause up to 10 pounds of water weight to be lost during the first 5 days of the ketogenic diet.” It is important to remember to take in salt while on this diet so you don’t get dizzy and pass out (trust me on this one because I did a regular low carb diet in 2014 and blacked out at a movie theater and fell down a bunch of stairs).
“Keto Rash” itching and rash, when it happens it is symmetrical. It is caused by the reduction of carbohydrates and is caused by ketones in the sweat. The easiest and fastest way to resolve this is by bumping your carb intake up to 50mg (supposedly you still have benefit, perhaps just a touch slower). The other suggestions include comfortable clothing and shower after you are done sweating since the theory is that being on such low carbs causes ketone body acetone in the sweat.
“Keto Breath” can happen during the keto flu or really any time. It is not just from being in ketosis, any low carb diet can cause this. Not everyone will get this, I have noticed dry mouth more than anything and I am drinking more than 120 ounces of water a day so I keep sugar free gum in my purse.
When you increase your protein intake it creates more ammonia to be excreted from your body, this can also cause changes to your breath. Solutions can be drinking more water, change the balance of your protein intake and adjust the amount of carbs you consume.
“Hair Loss” this one is rough for me since I already have alopecia, but apparently after being on keto for a couple of months you can experience more hair loss than usual. This will happen in the people who lose a significant amount of weight and will grow back once your body adapts to the new way of eating. Check out this link for some good science information because she has done all the research and I really like the information on her blog.