While the Atkins diet may give results, there are numerous controversies surrounding it which leaves people guessing about the safety of doing it. The controversies that the Atkins diet face vary from health scares to general side effects that overall could impact others not even involved with the diet. Dr. Atkins would defend his diet theories regularly, but even that was sometimes not enough.
There are several health related issues that could potentially be linked to the Atkins diet. Many people feel these are because of the strict guidelines that must be followed while doing the program. It has been claimed by many people in the medical field that because of the high proteins and low carbohydrates, the chances of a person developing a heart condition is increased. Furthermore, and again this is due to the high levels of protein being ingested, but the chance of contracting gout are increased. Yet another controversy is the fact that the dieter is putting a high strain on their kidneys which could lead to prolonged kidney disease, once again, due to the levels of protein. While these potential ailments are rare, they do exist in people who have attempted the Atkins program, and as with most other diets, there is a valid explanation and potential solution as well.
Beyond the health aspects that could develop with a person trying to better themselves, there are also many lesser side effects that can develop as well. During the first stage of Induction, when the body is going into a type of shock from lack of carbohydrates, several things can happen. Weakness, rashes, constipation and/or diarrhea could occur during this stage. Even more so a person can suffer from muscle cramps as the body is lacking some of the basic nutrition that it needs to function. Many people have also claimed to be “living in a fog” for the first several days of the diet and quite often have a hard time functioning for those first few days. What makes things hard for other people is when the body of the dieter goes into a state of ketosis. This is when the body is officially burning the fat within as opposed to burning the carbohydrates ingested. When a person is in ketosis, they can experience severely bad breath. This is by no fault of their own, but can be quite unpleasant for those around them.
While vitamins are a recommended supplement for those doing the Atkins diet, they still do not compensate for everything that could occur during this diet. It is to be understood however, that the cases where something severe happened, that they were rare. As with all diets or changes in lifestyle there are some health risks involved. One of the best things that a person can do is to be aware of these risks. When a person is aware of their own body and the symptoms that can occur, they can also make the decision to stop the diet or seek medical attention.