Just as we adapt to a carbohydrate diet, our bodies have the ability to thrive when carbohydrates are limited. The body can use carbohydrates, proteins, and fats for fuel, depending on what is available. But it is important to understand that each fuel source creates different effects in the body.
Low-carb diets cause you to lose vital minerals and fluids, which can cause fatigue, weakness, headaches, dehydration, constipation, and diarrhea. This is why it is important to increase the intake of water, salt, and minerals.
In addition to the threat of dehydration and mineral loss, it is important to consider issues such as insufficient breathing and gut health.
Most of the side effects disappear after a few weeks:
- Bad breath is an unfortunate side effect of ketosis, but it disappears as the body adjusts to the byproducts of ketosis. This usually happens after a couple of weeks.
- Bowel problems such as constipation can occur when the diet is deficient in fiber from non-starchy vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Just because you don’t eat a lot of carbs doesn’t mean you should only eat meat. Make sure each meal contains high-fiber foods to help you maintain gut health.
- Long-term side effects are much less common, but if you are experiencing fatigue and weakness that isn’t related to mineral loss or dehydration, it’s important to get your thyroid tested.
In general, you will experience minor side effects if you have enough fat, protein, salt, water, fiber, vitamins, and minerals in your diet.
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