The ketogenic diet is a very popular option for people who are looking to lose weight rapidly or "cut" without sacrificing too much muscle mass. It is also prescribed by doctors in certain situations to help reduce the incidence of seizures.
The idea of the diet is to avoid almost all carbohydrates and thus force the body to use protein as a fuel. Protein makes people feel fuller more quickly and for a longer time, thus helping control hunger pangs at the same time.
The Atkins diet is the most popular kind of ketogenic diet, so much so that some people mistakenly assume both are one and the same thing. Any diet which is low in carbohydrates can be a ketogenic diet, while the Atkins diet has a specific methodology that it prescribes, low carbohydrate intake only being one of its aspects.
Side Effects Of A Ketogenic Diet
Forcing the body to break down proteins means that there will be a rise in the level of ketones in the bloodstream. This condition is referred to as "ketosis" and a more severe form also occurs in people suffering from type 1 diabetes. If the levels of ketones go beyond a certain point, they can precipitate a state of shock and can even be fatal.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is the most common cause of fatality in young individuals suffering from type 1 diabetes.
Some people have also reported feeling dull and lethargic at the outset of the diet. This is a direct cause of the reduced carbohydrate intake which is readily broken down into sugar and helps provide a boost of energy to the body.
Ketones are also responsible for a peculiar and distinctive kind of smell, which can be perceived as halitosis (bad breath). Not everyone who is on the diet complains of this, but those who do may also complain of bad body odor in addition to bad breath.
A complaint of a skin rash after starting the diet is a surprisingly common one, with some researchers estimating that close to 10% of the people face this reaction, however, there does not seem to be any scientific reasoning to back it up. Numerous studies looking into the fact have concluded that skin rashes and a ketogenic diet have no correlation whatsoever.
Anecdotal evidence exists, however, of people developing rashes while on the ketosis diet and then recovering after they went back to a normal diet. A possible explanation could be an outbreak of urticaria due to a reduced immune system functioning because of increased protein breakdown in the body.
A ketogenic diet is an effective method to lose weight, particularly if the person is obese to begin with. It can be dangerous, though, and should only be followed under the supervision of a nutritionist or dietician.
It also comes with a number of side effects, some of which were enumerated earlier, however, the "ketosis rash" as it is popularly called seems to be an invention of the internet rather than anything that was scientifically proven.
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