June 7, 2019 by Adapt Your Life

Is Keto Dangerous? – Dr. Eric Westman

Dr. Westman has studied the keto diet for about 20 years and has used it in a clinical setting for about 13 years at Duke University, in a private practice setting, as well as teaching doctors around the country and around the world. He addresses the concern some people have about whether or not the keto diet is dangerous and the possible side effects of the keto diet.

Is the keto diet dangerous?

Dr. Westman says the simple answer is no. The keto diet is not dangerous, although that seems to be a common misconception in the media. Perhaps it’s because there’s always a need for controversy. If someone says it’s dangerous, they’re just not up to date on the latest science and the latest clinical knowledge about how to use the keto diet.

Is following the keto diet considered high-risk?

In the obesity medicine Association view, the guideline that they have is in the form of an algorithm. Their current treatment options for obesity panel shows that in the context of everything you can do to treat obesity (because keto diets are known for treating obesity), it’s actually the lowest risk option, it’s categorized as “lifestyle”.

For obesity treatment, obesity doctors have “lifestyle”, “lifestyle + medication” and “very low-calorie diets” where you don’t eat food, you just eat the products for a while. “Surgery” is all the way on the upper far right which means it’s the highest risk. “Lifestyle” is really the lowest risk option so there’s no risk if you’re not on medications.

Are there side effects when starting the keto diet?

Changing your lifestyle in any way will come with some possible side effects. Some people call it the “keto flu”. While many people don’t experience it, some may get headaches or fatigue for the first few days or weeks.

There are ways to reduce your chances of getting the keto flu, such as drinking lots of fluids. Make sure you don’t drink copious amounts of fats and oils because that’ll upset your stomach. 

Are there any long-term adverse consequences?

A recent review at a medical clinic said it was okay to use a keto diet but doctors have to inform their patients of the long-term possible adverse consequences. However, Dr. Westman says that through research and in the clinical use of this diet through the years, he hasn’t seen any of the concerns materialize. Just be updated with the information that you’re getting from good sources.

Is the keto diet beneficial for chronic diseases?

Dr. Westman has used the keto diet to not only help people lose weight but to treat type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome, arthritis pain, and many more diseases. The keto diet has not only proved to not be dangerous, but it is in fact highly beneficial and also therapeutic for many chronic medical conditions.

Is the keto diet dangerous for those on medication?

With the keto diet, patients can be taken off of medication, however, it will need to be monitored, especially for diabetics and individuals with high blood pressure and other serious medical problems. Dr. Westman doesn’t recommend doing it without the supervision of someone who understands how the medicines will be impacted.


Find out whether the rumors are true or not. Dr. Eric Westman answers the question “Is the keto diet dangerous?” Learn about the possible risks and the side effects when starting the keto diet and whether or not there are long-term adverse consequences from eating a keto diet.