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10 Health Risks of Crash Dieting

My Doctor Finder
January 12, 2022

What is Crash Dieting?

Crash dieting is a method of achieving quick weight loss by depriving oneself of food. Rapid weight reduction, according to research, can impede your metabolism, resulting in future weight gain and deprivation of critical nutrients. Crash diets can also compromise your immune system and put you at risk for dehydration, heart palpitations, and cardiac stress. This article discusses the health concerns of crash dieting.

10 Health Dangers of Crash Dieting

1. Weakened immune system 

Crash diet plan causes a weakened immune system. Susceptibility to infection is the most common sign of a weakened immune system. A person with a compromised immune system is more prone to contracting diseases than the general population, and these infections may be more severe or difficult to treat. These people may also acquire a condition that someone would not contract with a more incredible immune system. Disorders common in people with a weakened immune system include meningitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, and skin diseases.

2. Dehydration 

Without a healthy diet, there is dehydration. Dehydration is a condition caused by the body losing too much fluid. It occurs when you lose more fluids than you take in, and your body cannot function correctly due to a lack of fluids. Dehydration happens because of a lack of water in the body. Dehydration can occur due to the effects of crash dieting: diarrhea, vomiting, excessive sweating, urinating, fever, and insufficient hydration.

3. Abnormal heart rate 

Crash dieting causes an abnormal heart rate. A speedy heartbeat (above 100 bpm) or too slow (below 60 bpm), a fluttering sensation in the chest area, or skipping a heartbeat are all examples of abnormal heart rhythms. 

Although irregular cardiac rhythms are usually harmless, they can cause unpleasant symptoms such as dizziness, palpitations, hammering in the chest, fainting, shortness of breath, weakness, or weariness in some people. Some irregular heart rhythms can lead to abrupt cardiac death if left untreated.

4. Constipation 

Most crash diets require you to avoid high-fiber foods, which can cause bowel irregularity and severe constipation. Constipation is the lack of more than three bowel movements per week. Though constipation is quite frequent, some people suffer from chronic constipation, making it challenging to go about their everyday lives. Chronic constipation can also cause people to strain unnecessarily to pass gas. You should have a healthy eating diet to avoid constipation

5. Slow metabolism 

Crash dieting might not even work because it may cause slow metabolism. Unexpected weight gain is the most common symptom of a slowed metabolism. It could be your metabolism if you've been dieting and still gaining weight. Weight gain sometimes goes unreported and is attributed to a supposed sense of increased appetite. This gain relates to hypothyroidism, which causes the basal metabolic rate due to a lack of thyroid hormones, which are necessary for the body's metabolic activity.

6. Irritability 

You may experience mood swings such as being irritated because of your crash dieting. You lash out in frustration because of your abrupt food withdrawal. Other symptoms may accompany or precede your feelings of irritability in some circumstances. These signs and symptoms could include:

  • perspiration
  • pounding heart
  • rapid respiration
  • bewilderment
  • rage

A variety of other situations can cause irritability. Other signs and symptoms to look out for include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • hot flashes
  • irregular menstrual cycles
  • reduced sex drive
  • hair loss

7. Hair loss 

Hair loss is one of the adverse effects of crash dieting in some circumstances. Nutrient deficiencies, stress, and hormonal shifts can cause your body to react negatively to rapid weight loss, restrictive diets, or weight loss surgery. Nutrient shortages and the other consequences that immediate weight reduction can have on your body are significant causes of hair loss during weight loss.

A disorder known as acute telogen effluvium (TE) is linked to fast weight loss and restricted diets. TE is one of the most prevalent causes of widespread hair loss on the scalp.

8. Dizziness 

Dizziness might occur when you dramatically lower your calorie intake to lose weight. Low-carb diets, which are food to lose weight, cause dizziness. Dizziness can result from a lack of carbs since your brain, which governs your balance, favors carbohydrates as its primary source of energy.

Dehydration is a side effect of crash dieting. Mild dehydration could also be the cause of your dizziness or light-headedness. Dehydration can also induce a reduction in blood pressure, which can produce dizziness. Dizziness can result from mild dehydration caused by losing 1 to 2 percent of your body weight.

9. Headaches 

For effective weight loss in crash dieting, you must consume fewer calories than your body expends. However, if you are not getting the correct kind of nourishment, you may experience weariness, headaches, and dizziness for various causes.

Electrolyte imbalance can occur when you consume insufficient calories or eat an imbalanced diet. This imbalance suggests that sodium and potassium levels are out of whack (especially in this case), resulting in increased headaches.

10. Low blood sugar

Low blood sugar is a result of crash dieting. Most persons have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) when their blood sugar is 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or lower. Depending on how intense your blood sugar drops, you may experience different symptoms. They usually consist of the following:

  • Hunger
  • Shakiness
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Pale skin
  • Heartbeats that are too fast or too irregular
  • Sleepiness
  • Dizziness
  • Crankiness

As hypoglycemia worsens, the following symptoms may appear:

  • Blurred due to confusion
  • Passing out, losing consciousness, and having seizures are all possible outcomes.

Diet is crucial for your overall health if you're overweight. Even moderate weight loss can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. However, it's critical to reduce weight properly, which means gradually: most doctors recommend losing 1 to 2 pounds per week. A balance of food and exercise is the key to losing weight. It's not possible to do only one. So, go and exercise and have a balanced diet now!

 

Sources: cnn.com, medicalnewstoday.com, medlineplus.gov, memorialcare.org, mayoclinic.org, healthline.com, everydayhealth.com, webmd.com  

image sources: BLACKSTAR2020 from PxHere, rawpixel.com from PxHere, derneuemann from Pixabay, Thirunavukkarasye-Raveendran from Wikimedia Commons, MangoStar_Studio from iStock