The keto diet is a popular strategy for rapid weight loss and can help with certain medical conditions like seizures and Type 2 diabetes.
But kidney doctors say if you’re not careful, it can be a recipe for kidney stones and other health concerns.
It’s not the diet itself that’s necessarily bad, but the way some people approach it.
Make sure you’re staying hydrated, and keep your intake of meats in check.
The keto diet, at its essence, is rather straightforward: stop eating carbs, munch on more fat.
It is a high-fat, low-sugar weight loss strategy that forces the body into its natural starvation mode, causing it to rely on fat for fuel, instead of sugars and carbohydrates — typically what our bodies like to burn through first.
Some people say it lifts mental fog while slimming their waistlines. Different versions of the plan have picked up a string of celebrity followers, from Kim Kardashian to LeBron James. The diet is especially popular among Silicon Valley tech workers, who see it as a path to better performance and reduced appetite, albeit with a side of bad breath.
But while decades of research suggest that a keto regimen can treat epileptic seizures and control blood glucose levels in Type 2 diabetes patients, there hasn’t been much study yet of what the diet can do for the general population.
If dieters aren’t careful, they can quickly become dehydrated, ramping up the amount of protein and uric acid in their body to dangerous levels. The keto diet itself has not been linked to an increase (or decrease) in kidney stone diagnosis rates, but some doctors say they’re already seeing a shift as more of their patients go keto.
Urologist Koushik Shaw at the Austin Urology Institute told Fox 7 Austin that he’s started noticing a worrisome trend.
“I’ve seen a huge spike in kidney stones,” Shaw said, mentioning that he hasn’t seen an uptick quite like this one before in his 14 years of practice. “A lot of it, I attribute to these high protein, low-carb, keto-type diets.”
He hypothesized that many of his patients are probably eating more meat and fish than they used to, which can increase calcium and uric acid levels, and acidify their urine.
“All of these things can contribute to a higher rate of kidney stones,” he said.
Higher levels of uric acid in the body can also lead to other health problems, like gout, which can happen when uric acid builds up in the body, “forming sharp, needle-like urate crystals in a joint or surrounding tissue that cause pain, inflammation and swelling,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
Other doctors aren’t sure that the keto diet is the true kidney stone-causing culprit.
“Some of the problem might lie in the way that people interpret the keto diet,” Dr. Thomas Chi, a urologist at The University of California, San Francisco, told Business Insider.
He says a combination of “tons and tons of meat,” and not enough water …read more
Source:: Business Insider