9. Is a ketogenic diet safe?
The normal state of ketosis and the resulting excess ketones are generally not harmful to your body. Under normal conditions, any ketones that your liver produces which are not needed as fuel or for brain function will simply be excreted harmlessly through your urine. You can in fact, easily check your state of ketosis using inexpensive urine testing strips each morning.
That being said, there are one or two possible complications that you should know about. Ketones are acidic and too high a blood ketone level can result in ketoacidosis and organ failure. A normal healthy body will adjust its acidity by producing more bicarbonate to buffer the acid. Your risk for kidney stones increases following a ketogenic diet, drink plenty of water and ensure adequate hydration. You may also be at risk for constipation as you are eliminating many fibrous carbohydrates. Constipation can be avoided by increasing fluid intake and adding medium-chain triglyceride oil or MCTs to your diet.
While generally safe for healthy individuals, all who follow the ketogenic diet should monitor their ketones and acid levels and increase their fluid (water) intake.
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