Is Keto Bad for the Kidneys? An Expert's Perspective

The ketogenic diet has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many people turning to it for weight loss and other health benefits. But is it safe for everyone? In particular, is keto bad for the kidneys?The answer is not a simple yes or no. While the ketogenic diet can be beneficial in some cases, it can also be dangerous for people with certain medical conditions, including kidney disease. In this article, we'll explore the potential risks and benefits of the keto diet for people with kidney disease. First, let's look at how the ketogenic diet works.

The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy. This process is known as ketosis. When the body is in ketosis, it produces ketones, which are molecules that can be used as an alternative energy source. The ketogenic diet has been used since the 1920s to treat epilepsy in children. It has also been studied as a potential treatment for type 2 diabetes and other conditions.

In recent years, it has become popular as a weight loss tool. Now, let's look at how the ketogenic diet affects the kidneys. The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products from the blood and excreting them in urine. When you eat a high-protein diet, your kidneys must work harder to filter out these waste products. This can put extra strain on your kidneys and may lead to kidney stones.In addition, a high-protein diet can increase the acidity of your urine, which can worsen chronic kidney disease.

For this reason, people with kidney disease should restrict their protein intake to 0.6 to 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day (about 40-50 grams per day).Ketosis can also put extra strain on your kidneys. Very high levels of ketones make the blood more acidic and overload the kidneys. This can lead to kidney stones and other problems. Finally, people with diabetes should be especially careful when following a ketogenic diet. Ketosis in the presence of diabetes can lead to ketoacidosis and coma, which can be life-threatening. So, is keto bad for the kidneys? The answer depends on your individual health and medical history.

People with kidney disease or diabetes should talk to their healthcare provider before trying the ketogenic diet. While there are some potential benefits of the keto diet, there are also risks that must be considered. In addition, people on a very low-calorie ketogenic diet should supplement with potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, psyllium fiber, and vitamins B, C, and E to avoid nutrient deficiencies. Overall, while there is some evidence that a ketogenic diet may help with weight loss and other short-term health benefits, it may not be safe for everyone. People with kidney disease or diabetes should talk to their healthcare provider before trying this type of diet.

Bruce Chen
Bruce Chen

Medical & health reporter. Award-winning internet evangelist. Embraced the low-carb keto diet and lost 9 pounds.