Keto or ketogenic diet is considered to be a fad. The fad diet has some celebrity endorsers and it has hence become quite popular among teenagers, young adults and some grownups who do not really know the side effects and risks of keto diet.
A Brief Reintroduction of the Ketogenic Diet
Ketogenic diet is developed on the concept of ketosis. This is a metabolic process wherein the energy is derived from ketones instead of the glucose in our blood. The latter is called glycolysis. Ketogenic diet should be rich in fat and low in carbohydrates. The priorities are proteins and fats. The purpose is to reprogram the body to burn fat for energy, not glucose or carbohydrates.
Dangers of a Keto Diet
No one really knows the long term dangers of a keto diet. The human body is supposed to convert glucose to energy. Our system is biologically programmed to store some fat as a reserve for energy when one does not eat or there is a deficit of calories. We are not supposed to eat more fat than what is naturally available. The fats in nuts and seeds, fish and other meats, eggs and dairy are natural. If someone has to consume only fats or the content of fats is around eighty percent of the nutritional intake, then the body will suffer from a serious nutritional deficit. The purpose of a ketogenic diet is weight loss but at what cost.
Keto diet can cause serious short term and long term problems. Nutritional deficiency or imbalance is the immediate concern. There can be an instant effect on metabolism and digestive health. Various bodily functions can be impaired since you are depriving yourself of the necessary nutrients. Blood pressure, blood glucose, bad cholesterol in blood, heart rate, breathing and even the composition of your blood may change in a few days. The long term dangers are beyond fathomable right now as enough people have not tried the diet in the last hundred years and those who have endorsed it did not actually follow the diet for a substantial period of time for significant damage to be done. The long term dangers are also expected to vary like the short term side effects depending on the health of a person.
Keto Diarrhea is a Common Side Effect
Keto diarrhea is one of the common side effects of this fad diet. Keto diarrhea is not the same as ordinary diarrhea. It is caused by the diet but it is not keto flu. Almost everyone who has tried keto diet has experienced flu like symptoms. Keto flu is caused due to the change of diet. The body is not accustomed to the new system of sourcing energy that you would be forcing it to do. Hence, it suffers from what is called keto flu. Diarrhea is one of the many symptoms of keto flu. Other symptoms are nausea, headaches, sleeping troubles and lack of concentration or focus. Keto diarrhea is not necessarily going to make you feel nauseous, there may not be any issue with concentration but you may anyway lose focus due to the repeated urges to go to the toilet, there will be effects on sleep due to the diarrhea but insomnia is not reallythe case and there could be headaches because of the frequent trips but not as a physiological condition.
Keto flu subsides on its own, usually in a fortnight. Some people take longer. Keto diarrhea would not subside on its own. It may persist for as long as you follow the fad diet. It is possible you would have the problem linger for a few days after you have stopped the fad diet. If you are experiencing keto diarrhea, then it is best to stop the diet immediately. Even better is to avoid embarking on this fad diet to say you from all troubles.
Keto diarrhea is caused by the inability of your system to digest and process fat. Not everyone can digest every type of nutrient. Many people are lactose intolerant. Likewise, many people do not have the natural ability to digest and process all the fat they consume. This is why whenever you eat more fat while remaining on a normal diet, the stool becomes softer or more fluid and the color changes too. Since keto diet is mostly fat, the digestive system fails to process it thoroughly, thereby affecting the absorption of nutrients, and the undigested or partly broken down fats pass through the colon into the rectum before being excreted as fluidic stool.
You may eat more fiber to cleanse the colon and your stool would be better bound, bulked up and almost solid. You may cut down the high fat content in your meals. You may quit the keto diet entirely and resume normal meals. Do not try to endure keto diarrhea. You may facilitate worse conditions in the process, from gastrointestinal disorders to pancreatitis and others.