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Signs of Ketosis

The signs of ketosis help one identify high levels of ketones in the body. This article provides information regarding the same.
Batul Nafisa Baxamusa
Last Updated: Feb 8, 2018
Ketosis is the state of metabolism, wherein there is a significant increase in the ketone bodies in the blood. Ketones are acidic compounds that contain a carbonyl group with two alkyl or aromatic groups attached to the carbon atom. The symptoms of ketosis are noticed when the body starts breaking down body fat instead of sugar or glucose to release energy. This happens due to gluconeogenesis, that is, breakdown of body fat. The body does not generally use fats for its energy requirement, it gets it from carbohydrates. However, when the body lacks these carbohydrates, it has no option but to burn fats for energy. The fats are converted into fatty acids and ketone bodies that work as an alternative to glucose. This increase in the level of ketones leads to this state.
The main cause is dieting, as the sudden drop in carbohydrates in the diet forces the body to use the fat deposits. A no carb-diet does not contain enough carbohydrates that contribute to normal blood-sugar levels. This lack of sugar for production of energy causes the body to undergo ketosis.
The first two days, the body does not burn the ketones in the blood. Only after 48 hours, the ketones are burned, and the body utilizes the energy stored in fat. The glucose is now stored as a reserve and used only in case of absolute need. Diabetics following a high-protein, low-carb diet are at risk as over production of ketones can put extra load on their liver and kidney that leads to ketoacidosis. This brings us to the point of common confusion between ketosis and ketoacidosis. These are two separate conditions, wherein ketoacidosis is caused by diabetes and shows symptoms like dehydration, hyperglycemia, ketonuria, and increase in glucagon level.
Signs and Symptoms
The early signs are visible after 2 days of burning ketones in the body. These are exhibited about 3 to 4 days after the process begins within the body. Some of the symptoms that many people exhibit include the following:
  • Bad breath that is a bit fruity, as if one has consumed alcohol
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling thirsty frequently
  • Headache
  • A metallic taste in the mouth
  • Nausea
  • Stomach ache
  • Sleep disorder
  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Fatigue
These are some of the symptoms that one may experience after following a high-protein diet menu. In order to reduce these symptoms, you should drink plenty of water. This will help flush out the ketones and toxins that are formed inside the body. You should have small, but healthy snacks that help provide the body with the much-needed carbohydrates, without increasing your weight. You should eat a high-protein snack like chicken sandwich as it will help reduce headache and other symptoms. You should take protein shakes, added with amino acid supplements that will help in reduce the signs and symptoms.
Many people tend to tolerate these symptoms as they desperately want to reduce the extra pounds. Instead, you should follow a strict healthy diet that helps shed weight and maintain the correct weight for your body type.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.