Atkins Diet Warning
- Researchers do not recommend for Weight Loss due to Health Risks
March 17th, 2006
There have been
questions whether or not the Atkins diet is safe. A group of
researchers from the New York School of Medicine says it is not safe and
should not be recommended.
One of the complications that can
occur on this diet is called ketoacidosis which can be life threatening
if not treated. Diabetic ketoacidosis is more commonly seen, but with
low-carb dieting a person enters into a state called ketosis. The
Atkins diet encourages a person to get into the ketosis state for rapid
Klaus-Dieter Lessnau along with
colleagues did a case report about this life-threatening complication
when a 40 year old obese woman was on the Atkins diet. The woman was
following the diet strictly. She developed ketoacidosis which is caused
when excessively high levels of acids called ketones are found in the
blood. When starvation occurs the liver produces Ketones. Low
carbohydrate diets like the Atkins diet leads to Ketones being produced.
had an underlying ketosis caused by the Atkins diet and developed severe
ketoacidiosis, possibly when her oral intake was compromised from mild
pancreatitis or gastroenteritis," said professor Lessnau. "This problem
may become more recognized because this diet is becoming increasingly
Symptoms of ketoacidosis are
increased thirst, increased urination, tiredness, a feeling of not being
well. It left untreated, there is a risk of an eventual coma. Diabetic
patients are more at risk for developing ketoacidosis and are usually
educated to watch for Ketones in their urine.
Lyn Steffen who is from the
University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis
recommends the following, "Low-carbohydrate diets for weight management
are far from healthy, given their association with ketosis, constipation
or diarrhea, halitosis, headache, and general fatigue."
Although Atkins diet can produce
fast weight loss, it does not ensure safe weight loss. Every person
that plans on going on a weight loss diet should consult with a doctor
for any hidden health problems. The researchers recommend a
low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss and maintenance.