We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Are the Side Effects of a Low-Carb Diet?

K.C. Bruning
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The side effects of a low-carb diet are primarily related to metabolism and a direct physical response to the types of food consumed. Excessive gas and constipation are two of the most common problems associated with this kind of diet. Often a low-carb diet will draw food energy from an increase in protein, of which there can also be an excess in the body. This kind of diet is often referred to as ketogenic, as insufficient carbohydrates can cause ketosis, a condition in which the individual loses unhealthy amounts of water and sodium.

Other common side effects of a low-carb diet include uncharacteristic muscle weakness or cramps and headaches. Some patients also report bad breath and unexplained rashes. These symptoms can be traced to a deficiency of carbohydrates and sugar, which the body needs to create energy and process food properly.

A ketogenic diet is a regimen in which the consumption of carbohydrates is not sufficient to sustain good health. It leads to ketosis, a condition where an excess of ketone bodies impedes the body’s ability to process glucose, a key source of energy. Ketone bodies develop as a result of the breakdown of fatty acids for energy. When there are too many ketones, fat metabolism is compromised and the body begins to excrete excess salt and water. This can often cause a deficiency in those elements.

The muscles and the liver store the energy provided by carbohydrates. As these supplies can last for quite a while, the side effects of a low-carb diet may take a while to develop. Still, it is possible for the body to begin to malfunction in the early stages of a low-carb diet, depending on the health of the individual and the extremity of the diet.

There are several weight lost diets which center on a low-carb regime. Many of these diets focus on high-protein meals with lots of vegetables. One of the most famous of these is the Atkins diet, which was at the peak of its popularity in the 1990s. It has since been discredited by many doctors due to the fact that, while the diet does help with weight loss, the high protein and fatty foods it promotes tend to compromise the general health of the dieter.

Despite the many potential negative side effects of a low-carb diet, there are several conditions for which this kind of regimen is prescribed. It is commonly used to treat diabetes, epilepsy, and obesity. Some doctors may also suggest it for patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome or chronic fatigue syndrome.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
K.C. Bruning
By K.C. Bruning , Former Writer
Kendahl Cruver Bruning, a versatile writer and editor, creates engaging content for a wide range of publications and platforms, including The Health Board. With a degree in English, she crafts compelling blog posts, web copy, resumes, and articles that resonate with readers. Bruning also showcases her passion for writing and learning through her own review site and podcast, offering unique perspectives on various topics.

Discussion Comments

By Spotiche5 — On Jan 28, 2015

@rundocuri- There are some concerns when it comes to eating a low-carb diet, but your friend should continue eating foods that fit this category if this is what her doctor recommends. You should advise her to talk to her doctor about the best diet plan for her that will meet her needs but won't deprive her of important vitamins and minerals.

That being said, complex carbs are much better for people than simple carbs like white rice, white flour, and junk food. Though your friend should check with her doctor first, I think that eating complex carbs like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in addition to lean meats and dairy products will help her avoid the negative side effects that can result from a low-carb diet. As with all foods, moderation is the key to maintaining her health through her diet.

By Rundocuri — On Jan 27, 2015

After reading this article, I'm concerned about a friend who has to eat a low-carb diet. What does she need to do to eat a healthy low-carb diet that won't cause some of the side effects described here?

K.C. Bruning

K.C. Bruning

Former Writer

Kendahl Cruver Bruning, a versatile writer and editor, creates engaging content for a wide range of publications and...
Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.