Thursday, July 11, 2024
HomeHealthDoes Keto Affect Your Kidneys

Does Keto Affect Your Kidneys

Keto Diet After Kidney Transplant

How Does Keto Affect Your Kidneys?

Similar to other stages of kidney disease, mentioned above, there are no studies about the keto diet after kidney transplant.

The main points of a diet following a kidney transplant include continuing with a low sodium, high fiber diet.

To note, a keto diet after kidney transplant may make it more difficult to obtain the right amount of fiber. However, it may not be impossible. Working with a kidney transplant dietitian can be a great way to follow the individualized diet guidelines set after transplant.

Foods Not Allowed On The Traditional Keto Diet

As with many diets, there are foods that will not be allowed on a keto diet. Examples of foods to avoid include:

  • Sodas or higher-carb beverages like hot chocolate and juice
  • Breads and tortillas
  • Beans and legumes
  • Sugar, honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup

As a result, many people struggle with following a keto diet for a long period of time due to these restrictions.

Reason : Ketosis Affects Expression Of Genetics In Kidneys In A Good Way

The mices gene expression had altered.

Researchers discovered that genes associated with nephropathy- podocin, ZO-1, plus nephrin- reversed. It aided the kidneys of the mice to go back to functioning in a healthy way.

As a result, we can conclude that following the keto diet wont harm your kidneys as much as you think. As a matter of fact, chronic kidney disease can also be improved by following a high-fat low-carb diet, especially for folks managing their diabetes.

Recommended Reading: Can I Take Flomax Twice A Day For Kidney Stones

Vlckd Is Confirmed As A Safe And Effective Tool For Weight Loss And Metabolic Improvement In Subjects With Obesity

Ninety-two patients with obesity were consecutively evaluated. The mean age was 51.3 ± 12.2 years the mean BMI was 33.8 ± 5.8 kg/m2. Baseline characteristics are summarized in . After the dietary intervention, body weight and BMI were significantly decreased, and BIA data showed this was predominantly caused by a significant reduction in fat mass, with a minor yet significant and expected loss in muscle mass. Of note, 1.1% of patients were deemed as non-responders, with < 5% weight loss achieved 11% reached a weight loss between 5% and 10% the majority of patients lost 10 to 20% initial weight , with 24.2% reaching a weight loss equal to or exceeding 20%. A reduction in Total, Intra and Extra cellular water was also observed, consistent with the known diuretic effect of ketogenic diets . Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure improved over time, and 33.3% of those on antihypertensive medication had it reduced or discontinued due to the blood pressure lowering. Glucose metabolism evaluation showed a frank improvement, with a significant decrease in both fasting glycaemia and HbA1c. Lipid metabolism assessment demonstrated a significant reduction in total cholesterol and triglycerides levels, and no significant modification in HDL and LDL levels. Uric acid and ferritin were also significantly decreased .

Saturated Fat Is Not Harmful Its Beneficial

How Does Keto Affect Your Kidneys?

People have been led to believe that saturated fats are the reason for higher mortality and heart disease.

This is why many folks think that eating lots of meat on keto is bad for the kidneys and the heart. It was told that eating meat products high in fat, and red meat would be harmful to our health.

This is not correct. Unprocessed meat will not greatly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, but processed meat poses a risk.

Processed meats are not recommended on keto. Processed meats increase your risk of heart disease by 70%. Stay with grass-fed meats for better heart health.

Don’t Miss: Seltzer Water And Kidney Stones

Keto Could Cause Your Blood Sodium To Dip

When you start the keto diet, you lose sodium and other electrolytes in the urine due to reductions in insulin, says Yawitz. This is a major contributor to symptoms of keto flu. So its important to replenish sodium through the diet, especially if you exercise or sweat a lot. This can help ward off more serious side effects that are seen with long-term sodium deficiencies, says Yawitz. These include lethargy and confusion and in extreme cases, seizures, coma, and death, according to the Mayo Clinic.

What This Means For You

Ultimately, you can decide what diet works best for your health goals. If you want to start a keto diet, consider its risks and whether it’s sustainable for you. Discuss with your doctor or nutritionist about how the dietary plan could affect your health. While keto works for some people to control seizures or lose weight, there are long-term risks that may outweigh any short-term benefits.

Also Check: Is Vinegar Good For Kidneys

Because Keto Severely Limits Carbs You May Develop Nutrient Deficiencies

When carbohydrate intake is low, fiber consumption tends to be low, too. This doesnt come as a surprise when you consider fruits, whole grains, and starchy vegetables are decreased in your diet, says Asche. This can lead to one especially uncomfortable side effect .

Another possible nutrient deficiency: potassium, a mineral important for both electrolyte balance and blood pressure control, notes MedlinePlus. Inadequate intake of potassium is likely when consumption of fruits and starchy vegetables are decreased, says Asche. She recommends adding lower-carb to the diet, including avocado and spinach as well as lower-carb sources of fiber, such as chia seeds and flaxseed .

RELATED: 10 Quick and Easy Keto Snacks

May Stress Your Kidneys

Does Low Carb Diet (Paleo / Keto) affect Kidneys ? Detailed Explanation by Dr. Vijayapathi

High fat animal foods, such as eggs, meat, and cheese, are staples of the keto diet because they dont contain carbs. If you eat a lot of these foods, you may have a higher risk of kidney stones.

Thats because a high intake of animal foods can cause your blood and urine to become more acidic, leading to increased excretion of calcium in your urine .

Some studies also suggest that the keto diet reduces the amount of citrate thats released in your urine. Given that citrate can bind to calcium and prevent the formation of kidney stones, reduced levels of it may also raise your risk of developing them .

Additionally, people with chronic kidney disease should avoid keto, as weakened kidneys may be unable to remove the acid buildup in your blood that results from these animal foods. This can lead to a state of acidosis, which can worsen the progression of CKD.

Whats more, lower protein diets are often recommended for individuals with CKD, while the keto diet is moderate to high in protein .


Eating a lot of animal foods on the keto diet can lead to more acidic urine and a higher risk of kidney stones. This acidic state can also worsen the progression of chronic kidney disease.

Recommended Reading: Seltzer Kidney Stones

Not Enough Fruits And Vegetables On Keto Diets

Perhaps most importantly, keto diets are usually lacking in vegetables. And they are severely lacking in fruit. Fruits and vegetables play many roles for kidney stone prevention. Removing, or severely restricting them, is a likely cause of kidney stones on a keto diet.


Alkali production is a huge benefit of fruits and vegetables for kidney stone prevention. During metabolism of fruits and vegetables, our body produces alkali .

This alkali is a big deal because it helps neutralize acid that is produced in our body from protein metabolism. Excess acid is excreted in our urine. High levels of urine acid makes the most common types of kidney stones more likely.

On a keto diet, the lack of alkali from fruits and vegetables may be exacerbated by acid production from excess protein.


Citrate is a powerful kidney stone inhibitor. It stops kidney stones from forming. Low urine citrate is a risk factor for kidney stones.

Fruit adds a lot of citrate to our diet. Because a keto diet places strict limits on fruit, the lack of citrate may contribute to kidney stones.


Urine potassium is another inhibitor of kidney stones. The more potassium we eat, the more potassium in our urine. Although potassium is found in nearly all foods, fruits and vegetables tend to be a main source of potassium in our diet.

Keto diets may cause low urine potassium due to strict limitation of fruits and vegetables, contributing to kidney stones.

Keto Diet Could Hasten Kidney Failure Says New Research

Research suggests that the keto diet may not be that beneficial for health, obtaining only short-term weight outcomes, and is not more effective then other diets.

How beneficial is the keto diet in reality?

A review in Frontiers in Nutrition has claimed that keto diets place pregnant women and kidney disease patients at risk of adverse health effects, and found that for most people, the possible long-term risks including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimers disease outweigh its possible benefits.

Lead review author Lee Crosby nutrition education program manager at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, described the keto diet as, a disease-promoting disaster.

Loading up on red meat,processed meat, and saturated fat and restricting carbohydrate-rich vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains is a recipe for bad health, he explained.

The review claims that higher-protein levels caused by the keto diet could hasten kidney failure in those with kidney disease, as well as raise bad cholesterol levels.

The term ketogenic diet generally refers to a diet that consists of low carbohydrates, is modest in protein, and high in fat, aimed to induce ketosis.

Keto diets have not only been promoted for weight loss, but though less common for other health reasons, such as seizure disorders, all of which were considered in the review.

Also Check: Yerba Mate Kidney Stones

Does The Keto Diet Have Any Kidney Benefits

Despite these potential problems, there are actually some powerful kidney benefits that come along with the keto diet. Specifically within those who struggle with diabetes, the keto diet has been linked to reversing the effects of diabetic neuropathy, which is a result of impaired kidney function from diabetes.

It has this effect on diabetic neuropathy primarily via increasing our bodys ability to control glycemic levels, and by altering the actual genetic expression within the kidneys.

For glycemic levels, one study found that diabetic mice who were placed onto the ketogenic diet saw results of more controlled glycemic levels, with normalized blood glucose levels.

In a recent study, researchers found that the genes that are responsible for neuropathy within diabetic patients were reversed within mice that were placed on a ketogenic diet and were confirmed in states of ketosis.

Lastly, the ketogenic diet has also proven to be beneficial for those who already struggle with kidney disease, particularly when it comes to cardiovascular health.

Those that have chronic kidney disease , have a directly increased risk in developing cardiovascular disease , and that those with CVD have an increased risk of developing CKD conversely.

What Does Kidney Pain On Keto Feel Like

Ketosis and Kidney Function: Heres What the Science Says

Kidney pain can be hard to pinpoint and distinguish from pain of the lower back.

There are some common associated symptoms however that come along with kidney pain

The pain can feel like its taking place on the left or right side, dependent on whichever kidney is affected and may even end up affecting both if youre particularly unlucky!

As we mentioned, if the pain is particularly severe and or youre suffering from one or more of the following common symptoms of kidney pain wed highly recommend you go see a medical professional.

  • Fever
  • A persistent need to urinate
  • Flank pain
      • Nerve Pain
      • Arthritis

If youre experiencing severe pain in the lower left flank, wed again have to advise you go see a medical professional. Always better to be safe than sorry!

Read Also: Watermelon Good For Kidneys

Kidney Pain And Keto: Everything You Need To Know

Are you getting frustrated with that sharp lower back pain you’ve been dealing with?

It’s a good thing you’re in the right place! In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • What causes kidney pain on a Keto Diet?
  • What does kidney pain on Keto Diet feel like?
  • What to do about kidney pain on Keto Diet?
  • And a whole lot more!

A number of the ketogenic community may suffer from sharp lower back pain and be completely perplexed of the underlying cause.

The issue itself may not be related to your back at all, but instead your kidneys.

Whilst many will jump on the bandwagon to condemn the ketogenic diet and its possible contribution to kidney issues, were going to take an objective look – why people believe keto is the culprit, identify other possible causes for the aforementioned pain and strategies you can use to work towards improving the condition.

Misconception : Ketones Overwork Kidneys As A Result Of Greater Acid In Urine

It is a myth that the nutritional state of ketosis can alter the pH of a persons urine. The myth states that the urine will go from a neutral state to an acidic state and as a result overwork the kidneys.

But this only occurs in a state of ketoacidosis, not during ketosis.

What is ketoacidosis? It is an issue that comes about as a result of very high blood sugar and ketone levels and happens mostly in folks affected by type 1 and 2 diabetes. The blood becomes excessively acidic and has a negative effect on the kidneys and liver.

It is more likely to happen in people battling type 1 diabetes because they cannot produce insulin.

Nutritional ketosis is not the same, as your ketone levels are at a normal number. While in ketosis, we have greater ketones in our blood than normal, but not so many that ketoacidosis happens.

Its all about staying in ketosis on the keto diet, definitely not ketoacidosis!

Don’t Miss: 4mm Kidney Stone Actual Size

Other Possible Contributors To Kidney Pain

Although we fairly debunked those two primary arguments against ketosis causing kidney pain, it isnt to say that there may never be a link between the two.

However, here are the major contributors that you need to keep an eye out for. Note that, treatment requires accurate determination of the underlying cause so, if youre not confident in identifying that cause, please seek a medical professionals help!

Aside from kidney stones, you may suffer from discomfort/pain as a result of:

  • Blood clots in the kidney – The most common cause of this clot is typically from another condition known as Nephrotic Syndrome. Nephrotic Syndrome is a condition in which large amounts of protein are lost in the urine, and blood flow then gets an increased tendency to form clots within the kidneys.
  • Blunt force trauma to the lower back – Kidneys are located just in front of your lower back, and are very sensitive. If you get hit at the right angle, fall or suffer any other form of impact to that area, you can cause some serious damage to the structure of your kidneys .
  • Urinary Tract Infection – A U.T.I leads and can cause fairly severe pain all the way up to the kidney along the urinary tract.
  • Kidney infection – A kidney infection takes place when bacteria from an associated infection of the bladder has started to spread to the kidneys. Kidney infections cause a great degree of inflammation which in turn can contribute to the pain sensation, particular across the lower back.

Reason : Better Glycemic Control


Ketone bodies such as BHB or beta-hydroxybutyrate can balance out blood sugar, and lower the bodys answer to glucose, which helps those with type 2 diabetes.

Keeping healthy levels of blood glucose is also good for the reduction of mortality in patients affected by kidney disease.

One study was conducted in which 24000 participants affected by diabetes mellitus took part. Researchers examined these participants and examined the HbA numbers of the participants as an indication of control over glycemics. This is a commonly used indicator of healthy levels of blood glucose.

The study found that those with CKD and diabetes who had lower levels of HbA numbers had higher mortality numbers.

A different study examined nephropathy in mice with diabetes. The mice were placed onto a keto diet and 7 days later levels of blood glucose had normalized. Meanwhile, mice that were in the studys control group, which were given a high carb diet, did not fare as well as several of them died.

2 months after it was discovered that DN had reversed for the rodents following the keto diet.

This suggests that the keto diet is effective in terms of glycemic control plus the prevention of early death as a result of kidney disease.

Read Also: Osteocleanse Reviews

May Lead To Nutrient Deficiencies

Since the keto diet restricts several foods, especially nutrient-dense fruits, whole grains, and legumes, it may fail to provide recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals.

In particular, some studies suggest that the keto diet doesnt provide enough calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and phosphorus .

A study that evaluated the nutrient composition of common diets revealed that very low carb eating patterns like Atkins, which is similar to keto, provided sufficient amounts for only 12 of the 27 vitamins and minerals your body needs to obtain from food .

Over time, this may lead to nutrient deficiencies.

Notably, guidelines for clinicians who manage people on a very low calorie keto diet for weight loss recommend supplementing with potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, omega-3 fatty acids, psyllium fiber, and vitamins B, C, and E .

Keep in mind that the nutritional adequacy of this diet depends on the specific foods that you eat. A diet rich in healthy low carb foods, such as avocados, nuts, and non-starchy vegetables, provides more nutrients than processed meats and keto treats.


Some studies suggest that keto provides insufficient vitamins and minerals, including potassium and magnesium. Over time, this could lead to nutrient deficiencies.


Most Popular