The 11 Most Common Keto Side Effects
The 11 Most Common Keto Side Effects The ketogenic diet is a powerful new tool to hit the mainstream recently. This style of eating has substantial data behind it showing that it can boost fat-burning, reduce inflammation, boost cognitive performance, and more. What has not been covered quite enough are common keto side effects and how you can avoid them to make the best of this powerful eating style. Although there can be many different side effects that manifest while becoming keto-adapted, many of them stem from similar underlying issues. In this article, I outline what those underlying issues are, their related side effects, and simple strategies to overcome them so you can become keto-adapted as smoothly as possible. Three Primary Causes Although there are a variety of symptoms that can arise during keto adaptation, they mostly manifest from the same three underlying causes. Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction, and electrolyte/mineral deficiencies. While these three causes are seemingly different, they are actually all related. When becoming keto-adapted initially, your body has been running on sugar for years. When you suddenly switch to fats, your body has to essentially build the cellular machinery necessary to generate and utilize ketone bodies as a fuel source. This means that instead of generating tons of ketones from the very beginning, most people experience hypoglycemia for a period of time. With hypoglycemia comes a disruption in cortisol signaling which is what accounts for the HPA axis dysfunction. Finally, HPA axis dysfunction leads to an increase in secretion of minerals from the body in the urine. Together these three causes can create all kinds of side effects. Once you understand them, though, a lit Continue reading >>
Less Carbs, More Fat: Ketogenic Diet Makes Migraine Patients' Headaches Disappear
Before the ketogenic diet became the latest low-carb diet trend, it was used to treat childhood epilepsy. Doctors had observed that fasting reduced the amount of seizures, and eating mainly fat and little else mimicked the effect of starvation in the brain. In recent years, researchers have made similar positive observations with migraines. Cherubino Di Lorenzo studies the effect of a ketogenic diet on migraine patients and, in his latest paper, their brains at the Sapienza University of Rome. ResearchGate: What is a ketogenic diet? Cherubino di Lorenzo: The ketogenic diet is a particular nutritional regimen that mimics starvation by restricting carbohydrate intake. It was developed 95 years ago in order to treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children. Traditionally, the ketogenic diet is rich in fat and low in carbohydrates, but in the past decades another type of ketogenic diet was developed to treat obesity and metabolic syndrome: the low fat (10-15 grams/day) low carb (20-50 grams/day) diet, also known as the very low calorie ketogenic diet (VLCKD). RG: What does this diet do to the body and the brain in particular? Di Lorenzo: During a ketogenic diet, carbohydrate restriction induces the fat metabolism to produce so-called ketone bodies. These ketone bodies act as a replacement for carbohydrates and fuel several types of cells, including neurons. In the classic ketogenic diet, the fat that’s taken in with the food is the source for the production of ketone bodies . In the very low calorie ketogenic diet, however, the ketone bodies are produced from fats in adipose tissue. You could think of this process as the body’s own biochemical liposuction. Each molecule of ketone bodies produces more energy than glucose, but less oxidative stress, so the brain and the muscle Continue reading >>
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Common Ketosis Side Effects And Treatments
There are many awesome benefits with come with adopting a low-carb ketogenic diet, such as weight loss, decreased cravings, and even possibly reduce diseases risks. That being said, it’s also good to talk about possible ketosis side effects so you know fully what to expect as you start this new health journey. Not everyone experiences side effects when starting a ketogenic diet, and thankfully, those who do don’t usually experience them for very long. It varies with the individual, but just to make sure all your bases are covered, we’re going to breaking down each possible side effect and go over ways to manage and alleviate them if needed. KETOSIS SIDE EFFECT 1 – Frequent Urination As your body burns through the stored glucose in your liver and muscles within the first day or two of starting a ketogenic diet, you’ll be releasing a lot of water in the process. Plus, your kidneys will start excreting excess sodium as the levels of your circulating insulin drop. Basically, you might notice yourself needing to pee more often throughout the day. But no worries; this side effect of ketosis takes care of itself once your body adjusts and is no longer burning through the extra glycogen. KETOSIS SIDE EFFECT 2 – Dizziness and Drowsiness As the body is getting rid of this excess water, it will also be eliminating minerals like potassium, magnesium, and sodium too. This can make you feel dizzy, lightheaded, and fatigued. Thankfully, this is also very avoidable; all it takes is a little preparation beforehand. Focus on eating foods that are rich in potassium, such as: Leafy greens (aim for at least two cups each day!) Broccoli Dairy Meat, poultry, and fish Avocados Add salt to your foods or use salty broth when cooking too. You can also dissolve about a teaspoon of regu Continue reading >>
Low-carb Side Effects & How To Cure Them
Are you struggling while starting out on a low-carb or keto diet? Do you get headaches, leg cramps, constipation or any of the other more common side effects? Use the information on this page to avoid them – and feel great while losing weight. The main solution to most common problems when starting low carb is to increase the intake of water and salt. It’s even better to do it preventatively during the first week. If you do, you’ll most likely not experience any of these problems, or they’ll only be minor. Use one of the shortcuts below for specific problems – or just continue reading for all of them. Top 6 common problems when starting Less common issues on low carb Low-carb myths Leg cramps Leg cramps are not uncommon when starting a strict low-carb diet. It’s usually a minor issue if it occurs, but it can sometimes be painful. It’s a side effect of the loss of minerals, specifically magnesium, due to increased urination. Here’s how to avoid it: Drink plenty of fluid and get enough salt. This may reduce loss of magnesium and help prevent leg cramps. If needed, supplement with magnesium. Here’s a suggested dosage from the book The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Drs. Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney: Take 3 slow-release magnesium tablets like Slow-Mag or Mag 64 a day for 20 days, then continue taking 1 tablet a day afterwards. If the steps above are not enough and the problem is bothersome, consider increasing your carb intake somewhat. This should eliminate the problem. The more carbs you eat though, the weaker the impact of the low-carb diet. Bad breath On a strict low-carb diet some people experience a characteristic smell from their breath, a fruity smell that often remind people of nail polish remover. The smell is from acetone, a ket Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diets And Migraines: What You Need To Know
The links between diet and migraine are well established. Most migraineurs recognize certain foods that either trigger an attack or make an episode worse. Avoiding personal food triggers soon becomes a lifestyle choice that’s vital in managing the condition. Research into diet and the ways in which what we eat affects our bodies is constantly evolving, with new or alternative ideas appearing all the time. The ketogenic diet, while not new, has been found to have a beneficial effect for some migraine patients, and research into how this diet works provides interesting links to migraine causes that may encourage sufferers to experiment. How Does a Keto Diet Work for Migraines? At its most basic level, a ketogenic diet is one that stimulates the liver to produce ketones. But what does that mean? Ketones are produced when the body burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates (glucose). A ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates, and has several alternative names including the low-carb diet or a low carb high fat (LCHF) diet. DOWNLOAD OUR FREE MIGRAINE DIARY TODAY! » In a normal regular diet, one that contains a high amount of carbohydrate, the body uses glucose as the main form of energy. Being the easiest molecule to convert into energy, the body chooses glucose over other energy sources, producing insulin to process the glucose and carry it around the body. When glucose is used as the main energy source, other fats are not needed so the body stores them. The most common reason for adopting a ketogenic diet is to lose weight, since when we drastically lower our carbohydrate intake we put the body into a state of ketosis. This is a natural physical defense to protect against starvation when food intake is very low. Deliberately introducing this particular metabolic s Continue reading >>
Results Weight loss Most people can lose weight if they restrict the number of calories consumed and increase physical activity levels. To lose 1 to 1.5 pounds (0.5 to 0.7 kilogram) a week, you need to reduce your daily calories by 500 to 750 calories. Low-carb diets, especially very low-carb diets, may lead to greater short-term weight loss than do low-fat diets. But most studies have found that at 12 or 24 months, the benefits of a low-carb diet are not very large. A 2015 review found that higher protein, low-carbohydrate diets may offer a slight advantage in terms of weight loss and loss of fat mass compared with a normal protein diet. Cutting calories and carbs may not be the only reason for the weight loss. Some studies show that you may shed some weight because the extra protein and fat keeps you feeling full longer, which helps you eat less. Other health benefits Low-carb diets may help prevent or improve serious health conditions, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. In fact, almost any diet that helps you shed excess weight can reduce or even reverse risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Most weight-loss diets — not just low-carb diets — may improve blood cholesterol or blood sugar levels, at least temporarily. Low-carb diets may improve high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and triglyceride values slightly more than do moderate-carb diets. That may be due not only to how many carbs you eat but also to the quality of your other food choices. Lean protein (fish, poultry, legumes), healthy fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) and unprocessed carbs — such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products — are generally healthier choices. A report from the Ame Continue reading >>
What Is The Keto Flu Or Low Carb Flu And What To Do About It?
Keto flu symptoms, mitigation and getting over excess carbohydrates Any major dietary or lifestyle change has the potential to cause discomfort or lets face it, even mess you up for a bit. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘flu’. It’s the most common time during which people will quit their dietary or lifestyle shift as many simply feel they are unable to function without significant carbohydrates and snacking throughout day. Here we’ll discuss the major downside to starting a ketogenic diet or a low carb one, and how to minimize the discomfort often accompanying this adaptation period. Like most people you’ve probably spent 20 – 60 years feeding your body a significant amount of carbohydrates and much of them from poorly chosen overly processed sources. Your cells, organs, central nervous system and brain have all adapted to it through hormonal and metabolic responses normally running in the background. Switching fuel sources, like eating less carbs and more fat, is likely to throw your body and brain for a loop. To be clear, the “keto flu” label is a bit of a misnomer. It’s more akin to carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms resulting from a shifting hormonal states and imbalanced electrolyte adjustments that are along for the ride. Regardless, this buzz term is in the general consciousness now so we might as well keep using it for now. Before diving into the details, keep in mind that the following four books should teach you nearly everything you need to know about low carb and ketogenic diets, including how to handle the keto flu. The rest of the relevant science is dispersed amongst hundreds if not thousands of papers only a search away on PubMed. If you want to ask questions about it or be part of our community please visit Ask BreakNutrition. Sympto Continue reading >>
How To Treat And Prevent Low Carb Diet Headaches
Strict "no carb" phases of low carb diets have developed a reputation for giving dieters severe headaches. Dietitians have identified a number of different factors that could cause these headaches. They vary from person to person. One of the factors is caffeine. Most low carb diets prohibit caffeinated drinks because they cause fluctuationsin blood sugar, which can potentiallyjeopardize the efficacy of the diet.The Atkins diet suggests that dietersbegin scaling-down caffeine consumptionbefore they start the induction phase of thediet to minimize unpleasant withdrawals. Another factor is wheat and sugar addictions, which can be the byproduct of reliance on refined carbohydrate products fora quick boost in blood sugar levels.If you snack to increase your bloodsugar level, you may be addictedto carbohydrates, according toDr. Atkins. Again, you may want tobegin scaling down your snacksbefore you start the inductionphase to minimize withdrawal symptoms. The last factor is dehydration. If youare losing weight rapidly on a "nocarb" initial phase, you are alsolosing a lot of water that is bound upin your carbohydrate reserves.In fact, you are actually losing four-timesas many grams of water as you are grams ofglycogen (or stored carbohydrates). In addition to preventing dehydration,your body needs to replenish all of thewater it loses daily to simply maintainorgan functionality, flush out toxins, replace electrolytes, and promotegood skin health. Most low carb dietitians suggest thatyou consume 8 eight-ounce glassesof water each day. This is especiallyimportant if you are losing more thanthe average amount of water each day, so make sure you are sticking to the "8 x 8"--or whatever amount you candrink comfortably each day--so you don't become dehydrated during the first phaseof Continue reading >>
Symptoms Of Ketosis:
If you are considering the ketogenic diet or have already started down this carb-free road, you may wonder what you can expect. Here’s the thing. Ketosis looks different for everyone, but I will share many of the most common symptoms with you today. If something other than what’s listed here is happening to you, just do a quick Google search for that symptom and keto. You should be able to find what you’re looking for! The Early Signs: The early signs of ketosis vary from person to person. The biggest impact on how quickly you notice the symptoms of ketosis will have a lot to do with how you ate before you started the diet. If your diet was very high carb, you might get hit pretty quickly and furiously with what we like to call the “Keto Flu.” This can last anywhere from 3 days to a week or more. Once your body has adapted to burning ketones for energy instead of glucose, you’ll be golden so don’t give up! Here’s what you can expect within the first 2-3 days of starting the Ketogenic Diet: Fatigue & Weakness (lack of concentration) Headaches Metallic taste or sweet taste in your mouth (I experienced this, and it tasted like blood in my mouth) Lightheaded / Dizzy upon standing Heightened Thirst Hunger / Sweet or Carb Cravings Dry Mouth possibly paired with “Keto Breath.” Stomach Discomfort / Mild Nausea / Cramping Trouble Sleeping or Staying Asleep (early waking) Water weight loss (perhaps an excessive loss of weight within the first two weeks) Frequent Urination Allergies or cold like symptoms may flair up For the ladies: Period issues: You may experience a longer, shorter, earlier, later period because of Keto. Seriously it causes all of that. Each woman is different, and I have experienced every one of those issues with my period since starting ket Continue reading >>
Low Carb Diet Side Effects
Low carb diet side effects are manageable if you understand why they happen and how to minimize them. Understanding your physical reactions will help you avoid the worst of the symptoms, and keep you from quitting before you get out of the chute, so to speak. After several weeks, these side effects will subside as you become "keto-adapted" and able to burn fat instead of glucose for fuel. The list below includes the most common low carb diet side effects, and I've included tips on how to handle them. The only caveat is that you have no contraindicated health conditions. I have detailed here who should NOT follow a ketogenic diet. Frequent Urination After the first day or so, you'll notice that you are in the bathroom urinating more often. Your body is burning up the extra glycogen (stored glucose) in your liver and muscles. Breaking down glycogen releases a lot of water. As your carb intake and glycogen stores drop, your kidneys will start dumping this excess water. In addition, as your circulating insulin levels drop, your kidneys start excreting excess sodium, which will also cause more frequent urination. (see this reference). Fatigue and Dizziness As you start dumping water, you'll lose minerals such as salt, potassium and magnesium as well. Having lower levels of these minerals will make you very, very tired, lightheaded or dizzy, give you muscle cramps, and headaches. You may also experience skin itchiness. Fatigue and dizziness are the most common of the low carb diet side effects, and they can be avoided for the most part by making sure you stay ahead of mineral loss. You can counteract mineral losses by eating more salt or sipping salty broth throughout the day, and eating potassium rich foods. (Dairy foods, green leafy vegetables and avocados are high in potas Continue reading >>
What Is Keto Flu & How To Help!
Symptoms of Keto Flu: Keto flu is the name given to a set of symptoms some people experience when first starting keto. It’s not actually a flu and definitely not contagious, but it can become quite tiring. Keto flu symptoms are very similar to that of your regular flu and can last anywhere from a day to a few weeks! You may experience fatigue headaches cough sniffles irritability nausea Many people who experience these symptoms in the beginning of their ketogenic diet will believe the diet is to blame and carbs are good after all. Ironically, seeing these symptoms is a sign that you were very dependent on carbohydrates! Your body is going through withdrawal from sugar and carby foods. Subscribe for a FREE copy of our 14-Day Keto Meal Plan Withdrawal from Carbs There are studies that have shown sugar has the same effect on our bodies and brains as cocaine and heroine!1 The same areas of the brain are activated when one eats sugar as when one ingests cocaine. In addition, when we eat sugar, our brain sends messages for the release of dopamine, the “feel good” hormone. After some time, the release of dopamine is more or less regulated and less is sent out each time we eat sugar. The absence of large amounts of dopamine triggers our need to want more sugar, to get that same “feel good” feeling back. Coincidentally, drug addiction is exactly that. The brain remembers what made it feel good, even if you don’t- cravings aren’t random. When we stop eating sugar (or carbs altogether) our bodies can go through withdrawal. Many people report irritability and mood swings from the hormone surges, or lack thereof. Our bodies are recalibrating themselves without the influence of heavy factors such as carbs. Readjusting to Fat Headaches and fatigue can come from the sudde Continue reading >>
Here Are The Keto Flu Symptoms And How To Beat Them
Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard from a few low carbers who had questions about some issues they experienced. They all say that they had rapid weight loss, but some had severe headaches, some had joint pains, one even claimed they had diarrhea. One lady thought that I didn’t know these diets can do this, but alas I was fully prepared. These people were suffering from dreaded keto flu symptoms. Not only was she wrong in assuming I didn’t know about these pains, I’ve actually experienced all of these over the last few years. Some of these are easier to manage than others, but any one of these will send you running to the nearest fast food restaurant. That’s why I wanted to write everything I know about the keto flu and how to get over each of these common symptoms. Update: If you take a look at the comments section, you’ll see that MCT oil is my recommendation for many of the issues people ask about. So, I decided to write a few posts on what it is and why you HAVE to include MCT in your diet. Here’s the first post! Keto Flu Symptoms The format for this post will be where I list each of the common symptoms and I’ll describe it as best as I can. After that, I’ll write everything I know about how to beat the pain. Most of my recommendations come from my own experience while others will be from trusted sources. Also, I’ll continue to update this page as people reply with more symptoms. The Ketosis Headache Often describe as a migraine, the ketosis headache is one of the most painful of the keto flu symptoms – in my opinion. This mostly occurs in the first 24-76 hours of an LC diet. People suffering from this describe the pain as being in the head but hard to pinpoint it to any particular region. The entire outer head feels stuffy and the pain is ofte Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis And What Are The Symptoms?
What you should know about ketosis Ketosis is a state of metabolism whereby your body uses fat rather than carbohydrates as its main fuel source. In other words, ketosis occurs when insufficient amounts of glucose are consumed to meet the body’s needs and it turns to burning fat to make up for any deficit. This energy source is known as ketones. What are ketones? Ketone bodies are a by-product of the body burning fat stores for energy rather than glucose, think of them as exhaust fumes from when fuel is burned. To encourage ketones, the amount of insulin in your bloodstream must be low. The lower your insulin, the higher your ketone production. How do I know if ketones are present? You can test for ketones using strips you dip in your urine or you can buy a blood ketone testing meter. These are available from pharmacies or online chemists. If you’re diabetic you should have a ketone testing meter which you can get from your GP or diabetic nurse. Ketosis and Diabetes A ketogenic diet can help you lose excess fat, which is closely linked to type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and metabolic syndrome. So, what’s ketoacidosis? Less common in type 2 diabetes, but dangerous for type 1 diabetics with consistently high blood glucose levels, ketones can develop into a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). This happens when there is a severe lack of insulin and the body cannot use glucose for energy. The body then starts to break-down fat and body tissue as an alternative energy source. Ketones are the by-product of this process. While a certain level of ketones can be safe in non-diabetics – they can build up to a high level they cause the body to become acidic – hence the name, ‘acidosis’. To make it even easier and give you an informative breakdown of what you ne Continue reading >>
What Is Keto Flu? (plus 6 Ways To Cure It)
You’re tired and dizzy, you crave sugar, bread, pasta, and your mind wanders like crazy. You just started a ketogenic diet (or a Paleo or other low carb diet) and you’re suspicious if your new diet is making you feeling this crappy. Removing carbohydrates from your diet all of a sudden may well be the reason why you’re barely able to concentrate on this sentence! This can happen even on a Paleo diet if you remove too many carbs from your diet. And all this feeling of crappiness is due to something people call Keto Flu (or Carb Flu). Read on to find out what is keto flu, how long keto flu lasts, and of course, how to cure keto flu. (CARB FLU = KETO FLU) KETO FLU INFOGRAPHIC – please pin! Please feel free to pin and share this infographic about the keto flu. WHAT IS KETO FLU? Keto flu describes the flu-like symptoms that people starting a low-carb diet often experience. These symptoms are caused by your body being too used to receiving carbohydrates from the food you eat and not being able to change your body’s energy source when you stop eating carbs. (If you’re interested in the science, then this article provides a very detailed explanation of why keto flu happens.) Some people explain keto flu as symptoms resulting from withdrawal from carbohydrates (think drug addiction here). And indeed, there are studies showing that sugars (which are a form of carbohydrates) can cause drug-like additions. But don’t panic if you think you have keto flu. I’ve listed several ways to shorten that period of feeling crappy below. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF KETO FLU? If you just started a low carb or ketogenic diet, then you might experience keto flu symptoms like: Fatigue Sugar cravings Dizziness Difficulty focusing (or Brain Fog) Nausea Difficulty Getting To Sleep Irritab Continue reading >>
Scientists Believe A Low-carb, Low-fat Diet Can Help Your Splitting Migraines
Migraines are a painful and widespread problem. They afflict an estimated 1 billion people worldwide, including about 38 million in the US alone. There are all sorts of purported remedies for them, but a team of scientists in Italy has identified what it believes could be a simple way to avoid the debilitating headaches. The answer? A diet low in carbohydrates. The scientists believe avoiding carbs allows your brain to work more efficiently and reduces migraine-causing inflammation. The team, led by Cherubino Di Lorenzo of Sapienza University of Rome, looked specifically at the effects of a “very-low-calorie ketogenic diet.” The typical ketogenic diet, which is high in fat and low in carbohydrates, was first introduced in 1921 as a way to treat drug-resistant epilepsy. The low-calorie version, however, is low in both fat and carbohydrates. The team first had the idea to study the diet’s effect on migraines after being alerted to the case of twin sisters who found their frequent migraines disappeared after they started on a ketogenic diet for weight loss. They decided to examine its effects by studying two groups of overweight, female migraine sufferers who were seeing a dietician to aid with weight loss. One group was put on a very-low-calorie ketogenic diet for one month, and then switched to a standard low-calorie diet. The other group did the full six months entirely on a standard low-calorie diet. The scientists found that members of the first group saw their headaches “significantly reduced after the first month of diet,” but as they transitioned to the standard diet, their headaches worsened (though they remained improved from the initial baseline). The other group only started seeing significant decreases in the number of days with headaches after the t Continue reading >>