Not to be confused with ketoacidosis, a condition most often seen in diabetics, ketosis is a state in which the body has to use protein and reserves of fat because it doesn't have enough carbohydrates, often as a result of a low-carbohydrate diet. Remaining in a state of ketosis for prolonged periods of time due to dieting has been a controversial issue. While some believe it is harmful for the body to experience high levels of ketones for long duration, others disagree. Therefore, it is advised for those on low-carbohydrate diets to seek advice from their medical practitioner regarding their level of ketones in the body and general health.
Mild ketosis side effects may include bad breath and gas while more severe symptoms may include weakness, nausea, and dizziness. For some, ketosis side effects may remain mild. For example, since acetone is created inside the mouth during ketosis, many dieters experience bad breath. Brushing the teeth, mouth and tongue frequently may reduce this symptom. In addition, drinking more water and eating vegetables may also reduce the effect of ketosis.
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Some people complain of other side effects — sudden dizziness, weakness, fatigue, and lethargy are quite common. In addition, most people complain of headaches, especially since their body is consuming significantly fewer calories when they are dieting. Although these side effects are not life threatening, they may cause people to make simple mistakes they would not normally make.
With any diet plan, it is always best to consult a medical provider. People with certain health concerns, such as high blood pressure and heart disease may be warned against high protein diets as well. If concerns arise regarding whether a person is going through more severe forms of ketosis, it is best to ask for medical advice.
Those suffering from diabetes, especially type I diabetes, are at risk of a more severe complication called ketoacidosis. However, in the case of type I diabetes, the individual experiences the condition because his or her body does not have sufficient insulin to use glucose, and the body relies on fat for energy. Ketoacidosis in diabetics is not to be taken lightly. If left untreated it may result in a diabetic coma. Regular urine tests to check for the level of ketones is an effective way for diabetics to prevent and apply for timely treatment in the case of dangerous ketone levels.