With a mortality rate as high as 2.8 million per year, obesity continues to be a significant health hazard globally, despite the advances in medical technologies. In this fast-paced world, people often want to opt for diets that show ‘quick’ results.

While appropriately tailored diet regimens are known to help manage the obesity epidemic to some extent, people take on fad diet challenges without consulting weight loss specialists. They often don’t understand the side effects and end up with medical complications and ‘temporary’ weight reductions. One such diet, touted by celebs and influencers all over the world, is the Ketogenic diet.

How does the Ketogenic diet work?

Eat Fat To Lose Weight… Wait, What?

Also popularly known as just ‘Keto,’ the low-carb diet was first used by Dr. Russell Wilde in the 1920s to treat epilepsy. However, the resurgence of the diet as a rapid and effective weight loss formula is a relatively new concept. But only in the short run! 

Basically, you switch the body’s fuel from sugar to fats. Our bodies usually utilize glucose to produce energy. As the diet involves consuming foods with high fat only, you have to limit sugar intake and carbohydrates drastically. When our body feels glucose levels have been depleted, it shifts to use fats as a source of energy, resulting in rapid weight loss. This process is called ‘ketosis.’

Health Risks

The famous Keto flu

As it’s a drastic dietary change, transitioning to ketosis is often difficult for the body. People often face flu-like symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Mood swings


As the diet involves cutting back on high-fiber foods such as fruits, whole grains, and some vegetables, constipation is common.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Not eating a balanced diet accelerates the risk of potential nutrient deficiencies such as magnesium, minerals, electrolytes, and vitamins, leading to osteoporosis, gout, and other illnesses.

Kidney Stones

A high protein diet leads to a higher load on the kidneys, more acidic urine, and an increased risk of kidney stones. If you have chronic kidney disease and try to use this diet to lose weight without consulting experts, the acidic state can worsen the condition.

Cardiovascular Diseases

The Keto diet is high in saturated and trans fats that elevate your LDL (‘Bad’ cholesterol) and lower the HDL (‘Good’ cholesterol), leading to a higher risk of stroke, heart diseases, and artery blockages, according to the American Heart Association.


While ketogenic diet does help lose weight rapidly, in the short run, at least, the medical risks involved are alarming. Consult a family medicine specialist before trying any fad diets!

If you’re in Sacramento, Natomas Family Practice is a family medical clinic that provides an extensive range of medical services. Connect with our weight loss specialists to lose the extra kilos while maintaining overall good health.  After discussing various health issues, history, and other concerns, the doctor can design a personalized weight loss plan that suits you.   

Call us at 916-928-0856 to schedule an appointment or to learn more.