Isn’t Ketosis Dangerous?
Disclosure ~ This awesome Keto post contains awesome Keto affiliate links.
No, not at all. Many people confuse ketosis with ketoacidosis and they are not the same at all. In addition, your body fluctuates throughout the day and can be in and out of ketosis. With the ketogenic diet, the purpose is to achieve and maintain a state of ketosis, and that is not dangerous.
Ketosis and Ketoacidosis
Despite the similarity in name, ketosis and ketoacidosis are two different things. And because of the similarity in the name, it can be easy to confuse the two.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a process that the body does every day, regardless of the number of carbs you eat. Your body processes different types of nutrients into the fuels that it needs. Proteins, fats, and carbs are all processed for use. The ketogenic diet, a low carb, high fat diet, ramps up this process.
This process, ketosis, is a metabolic state where most of the body’s energy comes from ketone bodies in the blood. Ketone bodies are molecules that occur when your body burns fat as an energy source.
You can be in ketosis if you’re on a low-carbohydrate diet or fasting, or if you’ve consumed too much alcohol. If you are in ketosis, you have a higher than usual level of ketones in your blood or urine, but not high enough to cause acidosis.
Symptoms when you are in ketosis:
1. Bad Breath: Bad breath is a common side effect due to elevated ketone levels. The culprit is acetone. Sugar-free gum or mints can be used to solve the issue. And rest assured, it is not a permanent thing, it will go away.
2. Weight Loss: Fast weight loss can occur during the first week.
3. Increased Ketones in the Blood: Reduction in blood sugar levels and an increase in ketones
5. Appetite Suppression: Many people report decreased hunger while following a ketogenic diet.
6. Increased Focus and Energy: Eliminating carbs can help control and stabilize blood sugar levels. This may further increase focus and improve brain function.
7. Short-Term Fatigue: Initially, you may suffer from tiredness and low energy. This will pass once your body becomes adapted to running on fat and ketones.
8. Short-Term Decreases in Performance: Short-term decreases in performance can occur. However, they tend to improve again after the initial adaptation phase is over.
9. Digestive Issues: You might experience digestive issues such as constipation when you first switch to a ketogenic diet.
10. Insomnia: Many people report insomnia or waking up at night when they first reduce their carbs drastically. However, this usually improves in a matter of weeks.
What is Ketoacidosis?
Ketoacidosis refers to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and is a complication of type 1 diabetes mellitus, where an individual with uncontrolled diabetes is starving due to the lack of insulin. Insulin brings glucose into the cells and without it the body switches to ketones. The brain can function with the energy from glucose, fat, or ketones.
Ketoacidosis can be caused by not getting enough insulin, having a severe infection or other illness, becoming severely dehydrated, or some combination of these things.
Symptoms of ketoacidosis:
• Flushed, hot, dry skin.
• Blurred vision.
• Feeling thirsty and urinating a lot.
• Drowsiness or difficulty waking up. Young children may lack interest in their normal activities.
• Rapid, deep breathing.
• A strong, fruity breath odor.
• Loss of appetite, belly pain, and vomiting.
The symptoms are very different and make it easy to see why achieving and maintaining ketosis is not dangerous. And because the symptoms are so different it is easy to determine when you are in ketosis.
There are many great resources including product suggestions, recipes, and keto info in My Keto Pantry.
There are also many great books on keto on Amazon. Check out my top picks.