Side Effects of Atkins

Typical Side Effects Usually Experienced by Following the Atkins Diet

There are many side effects that people tend to experience while following the Atkins diet. Some are just a short term inconvenience, however some experts believe that the Atkins diet can also have a more long term detrimental effect on your health.

Short Term and Instant Side Effects of Atkins

There are various side effects which people can experience while following the Atkins diet. Different people experience different variations and combinations of the below symptoms shortly after beginning the Atkins diet:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness and generally feeling weak
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Halitosis
  • Constipation

Causes of These Short Term Side Effects

Any sudden, drastic change in diet can cause your body to react and in doing so cause different side effects. These may very well be different for different people, however it is likely that you will experience at least a couple of the above symptoms. The symptoms of fatigue and feeling weak are a result of your body altering the energy source it uses. With the decrease in carbohydrate intake (its preferred energy source) your body must find other energy sources to use which can often make you feel lethargic, weak and sluggish. As you and your body get used to this change you will not experience these symptoms as much.

Long Term Side Effects of Atkins

Much research has been done into whether the Atkins diet has more serious long-term side effects. While much of this research is inconclusive, many believe that the Atkins diet can have quite a detrimental effect upon your health, particularly if followed over a long period of time. Many believe that the likelihood of having or experiencing the following is much increased by being on the Atkins diet for any length of time:

  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Osteoporosis
  • Premature aging
  • Cataracts
  • Kidney problems
  • Weak bones

Causes of These Long Term Side Effects

These side effects are generally agreed to be as a result of the Atkins diet’s reliance on what is essentially quite an imbalanced diet. The fact that many key nutrients do not feature in the diet is a cause of concern for many experts. Dr Atkins emphasises the importance of taking vitamins and other supplements to make up for this. However most nutritionists agree that taking pills to get these nutrients is no substitute for consuming the correct foods to get them naturally. The importance of dairy in your diet cannot be underestimated for the benefits it provides your body, specifically in ensuring your bones are strong and healthy.

How to Minimise these Side Effects

The best way to minimise these side effects is to do as much research as possible in advance. Similarly you should consult at length with your medical practitioner and a dietician or nutritionist. By learning all of the facts and risks then you can embark upon your diet as healthily as possible and taking as many precautions as possible.


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