What are the signs of ketosis?

What are the signs of ketosis?

The ketogenic diet aims to induce ketosis to burn more body fat. Knowing the signs of ketosis can help a person determine if a diet works or not.
Ketosis is a metabolic process that occurs when the body begins to burn fat for energy because it does not contain enough carbohydrates to burn. During this process, the liver produces chemicals called ketones.

The ketogenic diet, or keto, aims to induce ketosis to burn more fat. Supporters of the diet claim that it promotes weight loss and improves overall health.

According to a 2018 study, people who follow a well-ketogenic diet generally eat less than 50 grams (grams) of carbohydrates per day and about 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Despite these guidelines, some people who follow the diet may not know when they are in ketosis.

In this article, we include 10 signs and symptoms that can help a person determine if a ketogenic diet works for him.

1. Increase ketosis

A man undergoes a blood test to detect signs of ketosis.
A blood sample may indicate ketone levels.
The presence of ketones in the blood is probably the most specific sign of a person who has ketosis. Doctors can also use urine and breathing tests to check ketogenic levels, but these tests are less reliable than blood samples.

A special home test kit allows people to measure blood ketone levels. Or your doctor can take a blood sample and send it for tests. When a person has ketoacidosis in nutrition, blood ketone levels vary from 0.5 to 3 millimeters per liter.

Alternatively, people can use a breath analyzer to evaluate ketones in their breath, or they can use indicator strips to check their urine levels.

2. Lose weight
Some research suggests that this type of low carb diet is highly effective in weight loss. Therefore, people should expect to lose some weight when they are in ketosis.

The results of a 2013 meta-analysis that examined the results of several randomized controlled trials suggest that people who follow a ketogenic diet may lose more weight in the long term than people who follow a low-fat diet.

People who take a ketogenic diet may notice weight loss in the first few days, but this is usually just a drop in water weight. True fat loss may not occur for several weeks.

3. Thirst

Ketosis can make some people feel thirsty than usual, which can occur as a side effect of water loss. However, high levels of ketones in the body can also cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. Both reactions can cause complications.

Research in ketogenic diets for athletic performance lists dehydration as a side effect of ketosis. Athletes may also be at risk of developing kidney stones, a complication of dehydration.

To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water and other liquids. Consult your doctor if symptoms of dehydration occur, such as severe thirst or dark urine.

4. muscle spasms and cramps

Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance can cause muscle cramps. Electrolytes are substances that carry electrical signals between body cells. Imbalances in these substances disrupt the electrical messages that can cause muscle spasms and cramps.

People who follow the ketogenic diet should make sure they get enough electrolytes from the food they eat to avoid muscle pain and other imbalance symptoms.

Electrolytes include calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium. Anyone can get them from a balanced diet. However, if symptoms persist, your doctor may recommend supplements or other dietary changes.

5. Headache

A man with a headache was sitting on the couch.
Ketosis headaches can last 1 to 7 days or more.
Headaches can be a common side effect of switching to a ketogenic diet. It can occur as a result of consuming less carbohydrates, especially sugar. Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance can also cause headaches.

Headaches with keto acids usually last one to one week, although some people may experience pain for a longer time. Consult your doctor if your headache persists.

Interestingly, some recent research suggests that the ketogenic diet is a possible treatment for migraines and cluster headaches.

For example, a 2017 study suggests a diet for people with migraines or chronic migraines. In addition, a 2018 study suggests that the ketose system is a potential treatment for people with drug-resistant cluster headaches.

However, more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of the diet to treat or prevent this type of headaches.

6. Fatigue and weakness.

In the initial stages of the ketose system, people may feel tired and weaker than usual. This fatigue occurs when the body goes from burning carbohydrates to burning fat for energy. Carbohydrates provide a faster energy boost to the body.

A small study conducted in 2017 with athletes found that fatigue is a common side effect of ketosis. Participants generally observed this during the first weeks.

After several weeks on the diet, people should notice an increase in their energy levels. Otherwise, they should seek medical attention, because fatigue is also a symptom of dehydration and nutrient deficiency.

7. Stomach complaints

Any change in diet can increase the risk of stomach upset and other gastrointestinal discomfort. This can also occur when a person changes to a ketogenic diet.

To reduce the risk of stomach complaints, drink plenty of water and other liquids. Eat non-starchy vegetables and other fiber-rich foods to relieve constipation, consider taking probiotic supplements to promote healthy bowels.

8. Changes in sleep.

A ketogenic diet can alter a person's sleep habits. Initially, they may have difficulty falling asleep or wake up at night. These symptoms usually disappear in a few weeks.

9. bad breath

Krill oil versus fish oil can cause bad breath
A common side effect of ketoacidosis is bad breath.
Bad breath is one of the most common side effects of ketosis. This is because ketones leave the body through breathing and urine. People on the diet, or around them, may notice that the breath emits odors or unpleasant fruits.

The ketone called acetone is usually responsible for smell, but other ketones, such as benzophenone and acetophenone, can also contribute to bad breath.

There is no way to reduce ketosis breathing, but it can improve over time. Some people use sugarless gum or brush their teeth several times a day to mask the smell.

10. Better approach and approach

Initially, the ketogenic diet can cause headaches and difficulty concentrating. However, these symptoms should disappear over time. People who follow a long-term ketogenic diet often report better clarity and concentration, and some research supports it.

According to the results of the 2018 systematic review, people with epilepsy who follow the ketogenic diet give better attention and attention. In addition, these people showed more vigilance in some cognitive tests.

Other studies suggest that the ketogenic diet can improve cognitive function and provide neuroprotective effects.


People with ketosis may experience a variety of side effects and symptoms, including headaches, upset stomach and changes in sleep and energy levels.

For a more accurate way to determine ketosis, people can check their ketone levels in their blood, breath or urine.

Those who want to try a ketogenic diet should always talk to their doctor first, because a very low carb diet may not be suitable for everyone. It is also necessary to seek medical advice for persistent or severe ketosis symptoms.

It should be noted that the researchers carry out most of the scientific studies in the ketogenic diet for less than a year, so the long-term health outcomes are not yet known.


Aylıkcı, B. U. and Çolak, H. (2013, January - June). Bad breath: from diagnosis to administration. Journal of Natural Sciences, Biology and Medicine, 4 (1), 14-23. Recovered from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3633265/

Barbanti, P., Fofi, L., Aurilia, C., Aegean, G., and Caprio, M. (2017, May). The ketogenic diet in migraine: justification, results and points of view [Summary]. Neuroscience, 38 (1), 111-115. Recovered from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28527061

Bueno, N. B., de Melo, I. S., de Oliveira, S. L. and da Rocha Ataide, T. (2013, October). Very low carb ketone V diet. Low fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. British Journal of Nutrition, 110 (7), 1178-1187. Recovered from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23651522

Di Lorenzo, C., Coppola, G., Di Lenola, D., Evangelist, M., Sirianni, G., Rossi, P.,. . . Pirelli, F. (February 12, 2018). Efficacy of the modified Atkins ketogenic diet on chronic cluster headaches: a single-arm clinical trial. Limits in Neuroscience, 9, 64. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5816269/

Hallböök, T., Ji, S., Maudsley, S. and Martin, B. (2011, August August). Effects of the ketogenic diet on behavior and cognition. Epilepsy Research, 100 (3), 304-309. Recovered from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4112040/

Miller, V. J., Villamena, F. A. and Volek, J. S. (2018, February 11). Ketosis and mitohormesis nutrition: potential effects of mitochondrial function and human health. Recovered from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5828461/

van Berkel, A. A., IJff, D. M. and Verkuyl, J. M. (August 31, 2018). Cognitive benefits of the ketogenic diet in patients with epilepsy: a systematic overview. Epilepsy and behavior, 87, 69-77. Recovered from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S152550501830338X

Zajac, A., Poprzecki, S., Maszczyk, A., Czuba, M., Michalczyk, M. and Zydek, G. (2014, June 27). Effects of a ketogenic diet on metabolism and physical performance in off-road cyclists. Nutrients, 6 (7), 2493-2508. Recovered from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4113752/

Zinn, C., Wood, M., Williden, M., Chatterton, S. and Maunder, E. (July 12, 2017). The ketogenic diet benefits from body composition and well-being, but not from performance in an experimental case study of endurance athletes in New Zealand. International Sports Nutrition Society Magazine, 14 (1), 22. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5506682/

Recent Posts