Are there Side Effects of Low Carbohydrate Diets?

In order to lose weight, people often take recourse to low carbohydrate and fat free diets. However, the question remains as to how healthy these diets are. Do low carbohydrate diets have negative side effects? Indeed there are, though many of the dieters are not aware of their existence, or maybe choose to ignore them. But there are some serious side effects like heart palpitations. Thus it is important to know more about these side effects before starting a low carbohydrate diet.

are there side effects of low carbohydrate diets

Common Side Effects of a Low Carbohydrate Diet

There are several common side effects of a low carbohydrate diet, such as a symptom named induction flue, palpitation in the heart, constipation, leg cramps, decrease in the level of physical performance, bad breath etc. Apart from these there are less common problems, such as elevated cholesterol level, gallstone problems, and temporary hair loss.

Induction Flue

During the first week of the low carbohydrate diet, people tend to experience a flue like situation with symptoms such as headache, nausea, irritability, confusion etc. Generally these symptoms disappear within a few days itself. As a cure, you can try water and salt, as they act very well for such conditions.


If you are a first time low carbohydrate dieter, chances are you may get constipated with this diet. In such cases, it is important to drink plenty of water and consume enough salt. Also consume vegetables or find other sources of fiber. If things get worse, you can try Milk of Magnesia.

Cramped Legs

When you are starting a low carbohydrate diet, it is normal to experience cramps in the legs. When your legs get cramped, make sure that you drink plenty of fluids, and if possible drink salt water. You can also take some magnesium supplement for this problem.

Palpitation of the Heart

It is also common to experience a bit of higher rate of heartbeat when you are on low carbohydrate diet. Commonly it is caused by dehydration. Therefore drink plenty of fluids, and make sure you consume enough salt.

Bad Breath

Some people experience bad breath when they are in a strict low Carbohydrate diet. Try a breath freshner regularly, and have some patience, since this problem tends to last only for a while.

It is difficult to fix the perimeters of a low carbohydrate diet, and in spite of these side effects, it is effective in dealing weight related problems.