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Ketosis for Women: The Benefits, Risks and Importance of Cycling - Part 3

Tuesday, August 29, 2023 9:36 AM

Potential Risks of Ketosis for Women
While there are many potential benefits to ketosis, there are some risks that women should be aware of. Here are the primary risks to consider:
• Nutritional Deficiencies if Not Done Properly: A keto diet can be perfectly nutritionally sound, but it can also be low in important vitamins and minerals if not done properly. Women should particularly ensure optimal consumption of iron, calcium and magnesium for bone strength and other aspects of women’s health. Pay close attention to your nutrient intake by eating a nutrient-dense whole foods diet and consider supplements as needed. My favorite way to boost micronutrients is to enjoy grass-fed organ meats (like chicken liver, beef liver, bone marrow) and shellfish like oysters, mussels, and crab. 
• Increased Risk of Kidney Stones: A keto diet can be high in protein, which can increase the risk of kidney stones in some women, especially for those who have a history of kidney stones or other risk factors for kidney disease. Stay hydrated and avoid excessive protein intake to reduce this risk. 
• Potential for Negative Effects on Thyroid Function: While you just learned that keto can HELP thyroid function, some women may experience negative effects on thyroid function. And while there is not yet a clear understanding of why this happens, watch your symptoms, and monitor your hormones levels with your health care provider.
• Impact of Keto on Female Hormones: Keto can help female hormones, via blood sugar balance and improved insulin sensitivity. However, some women may experience menstrual irregularity or fertility issues, particularly if they are consuming VERY low carbohydrates. This may be due to a number of factors, including stress when transitioning to ketosis and the potential effects on hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. If you’re a woman on keto, make sure you eat enough high-quality calories and ample protein each day.