Side Effects of a Ketogenic Diet Part 2: Blood Pressure

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November 13, 2018

Lately there has been quite a bit of “buzz” about ketogenic diets, also called keto-diets, and the bene ts this nutritional lifestyle can have on your health.

Last time I addressed how nutritional ketosis can possibly lead to the formation of kidney stones and how supplementing with potassium citrate can mitigate this risk.

Another change, which can be seen as a positive change for many, is a drop in blood pressure. Insulin and potassium play parts here too.

One of insulin’s functions is to spare potassium by storing it in your body’s tissues. Since potassium is a salt it is stored in water, resulting in water retention. By eating a diet high in carbohydrate, a frequent release of insulin will lead to increased stores of potassium and retained water which increases your blood volume which raises blood pressure. If you make no lifestyle change this trend, and its associated risks, will continue.

When you switch to a ketogenic diet, your body releases little insulin so less potassium is stored, less water is retained, blood volume goes down and your blood pressure decreases.

Decrease in blood pressure becomes an issue if you start to feel faint or dizzy as a result of blood pressure dropping too low.  is is easily managed by making sure you are getting enough dietary salt, and possibly a potassium supplement, as well as drinking enough water to stay hydrated since your body is not retaining water as readily. If you make this adjustment your blood pressure will normalize on a keto diet.

Speak to the Live Well Team at Pharmasave Summerland to learn more about the “keto” lifestyle and how it affects your health.

- Dan Cassidy, Nutritional Product Advisor



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