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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Headaches From Ketosis?
I have been full Paleo for about 9 months and recently diagnosed with Hashimoto's. So, in response to that diagnosis, I took out all nightshades, eggs, nuts,..etc. I decided to eat only meat products and one (or two) cooked squashes each day. But, after a couple weeks on that diet, I learned I would be best off to eliminate everything except meat/fat products for a few weeks. Low in behold, I came down with a headache after two days with practically zero carbs. Today, I ate my regular breakfast of meat, still sporting a headache and decided to eat 3.25 oz. beef jerky at (11 am) that contained about 18 grams of sugar and it cut the headache immediately. Unfortunately, around 2 pm I had terrible diarrhea likely from the jerky - so I won't eat that again. Aside from the jerky diarrhea, do you think I messed up ketosis by eating that amount of sugar? And, will eating 20 grams carbohydrate from cooked squash hinder healing of my gut/Hashimotos? Do you think it is worth while to go about healing with this meat diet/ketosis for a few weeks in a fashion of a couple days all meat and one day with a bit of carbs from one cooked squash? Or, should I deal with the headaches in hopes my body will adjust to ketosis and they will go away? For more Paleo hacks: 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 >>
Keto Flu Symptoms, Low Carb Headache And Fatigue In Ketosis
I would have it as a guess that more than half of the people I have seen on the Ketogenic Diet have experienced to some degree what is known as Keto Flu or Low Carb Flu. Mostly a feeling of fatigue, slight headaches or nausea overcomes them. The symptoms of Keto Flu / Low Carb Flu usually occurs in the first two weeks of a person beginning a ketogenic diet and entering into ketosis. They can come and go if you’re not getting the right nutrition. Share the Infographic above on your site! The other half follow what is recommended and replenish themselves with essential minerals and electrolytes that are being depleted. These electrolytes are flushed from their bodies as they rid themselves of the water retention and sodium their old high carb diets made them hang on to. What are the symptoms of Keto Flu or Low Carb Flu? The symptoms of Keto Flu as you begin to restrict your carbs and enter into a state of ketosis varies from individual to individual. They differ in duration and severity, dependant on what high fat, low carb foods you include in your ketogenic diet and their mineral content. The Most Common Keto Flu Symptoms Experienced are: What is known as a Low Carb Headache, Diarrhea Fatigue Weakness Nausea Dizziness Low Blood Pressure Brain Fog What Causes Keto Flu / Low Carb Flu, Fatigue, Headache and other Symptoms of Ketosis? Firstly I’d like to bring this away from the technicalities of minerals and nutrients for a second and get people thinking laterally about what they are embarking upon. Essentially when going into a Ketogenic Diet, Ketosis or most Low Carb Diets, we are breaking an addiction. Most western populations are drawn to carbohydrates, or put even more simply sugar! Sugar gives us an instant rush and satisfaction as it flows through our bodies, co Continue reading >>
All About The “low-carb Flu”
What is “Low carb flu”? If you’ve ever dramatically reduced your carbohydrate intake, you might have felt it already: it’s that first few days of headaches, brain fog, crankiness, and constant, dragging exhaustion. At some point, you know the magic is going to happen and you’ll start feeling like a human being again, but the transition period is really rough. It feels like having the flu (hence the name), only you’re not sick; you’re just cutting carbs. Low-carb flu can include any of the following: You feel fuzzy and foggy, like your brain just isn’t working right. You might have a pounding or throbbing headache. You’re exhausted, cranky, and irritable for no reason. Going to the gym feels like an insurmountable challenge. If you do make it, your performance is completely down the drain. You’re ravenously hungry, tearing into everything in sight. You’re craving anything with carbs – bagels, pasta, pizza, sandwiches, mashed potatoes, candy… So what gives? Isn’t Paleo supposed to make you feel better, not worse? Yes it is – and yes it will, eventually. But for some people, there’s an initial period of adaptation while your body switches tracks. Here’s how it works: At any given time, your body can be burning either fat or carbohydrates for energy, but given a choice, it’ll start with carbs. If you eat a mixed meal (say, a potato with butter), you’ll burn the carbs first, and then start working on the fat. Metabolic flexibility is the ability to switch back and forth between carbs and fat for energy without a problem. This is how healthy humans are set up. If you eat a potato with butter, get up, and go along with your day, you’re metabolically flexible. First you burn through the carbohydrates in the potato; then you burn through t Continue reading >>
Keto Flu: Symptoms And Relief
Many people (not everyone!) who start a low carb diet experience what’s called the “keto flu” or the “induction flu” in the first few days while the body is adapting to burning ketones instead of glucose. What is keto flu? The basic symptoms are: headaches nausea upset stomach Lack of mental clarity (brain fog) sleepiness fatigue It’s called the “keto flu” for a reason: you feel sick. I’ve gone through it, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Fortunately, it only lasted four days (2 of them were pretty bad) but then suddenly I woke up feeling much better, less hungry and my energy level was high and consistent throughout the day! While at one point (or three or four) I thought to myself: “what the serious F am I doing? I’m going to die!” but I plowed through it, and when it was over I didn’t regret a thing because what I gained mentally and physically was 100% worth it. Keto and autoimmune disorders I have an autoimmune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis, and Fibromyalgia to top it off. So, I’m no stranger to brain fog and fatigue, but the fatigue and brain fog that comes with keto flu is a little different, and feel much more like having the regular flu. How long will the keto flu last? It depends. Some people don’t experience any symptoms at all, but some suffer anywhere from a day to a week. In rare cases up to 15 days. Everybody’s bodies are different, and some people handle switching over better than others. You might consider starting keto on the weekend or sometime when you’re able to get good rest deal with the symptoms. For those of you that are going through the keto flu, don’t give up! I know you feel like it’s never going to get better but stick with it and you´ll be so happy you did! I’m telling you, waking up r Continue reading >>
Keto Headache Guide
Try 5 keto headache remedies proven to work within 30 minutes. Learn why a keto headache happens on a low carb diet and find out how long yours will last. See how to prevent a keto headache from recurring in the future. Keto Headache Cures If you need immediate keto headache relief, here are five different proven remedies you can use to cure it within 30 minutes. This works just as well if you have a keto headache first day in versus a keto headache two weeks in. 1. Drink warm water with half teaspoon of table salt. You might want to try the simplest solution first. Add half a teaspoon of table salt to a 24 ounce glass of warm water (3 cups) and drink it. This should cure your headache within 20-30 minutes if it’s being caused dehydration or sodium deficit. I have tried this drink both cold and warm. When the water is cold it’s damn near intolerable, but when the water is warm, I can get it down. 2. Drink a carton of bone broth. If warm salt water isn’t to your tastes, then try sipping down a carton of bone broth. You can drink chicken or beef bone broth, doesn’t matter. Drink 16 ounces (2 cups) or more to ensure you get enough sodium. The beef bone broth pictured above is a bland, almost tasteless drink that I much prefer with a spoonful of butter added. Butter improves the taste and keeps you inline with your keto macros as it adds a lot of fat. 3. Drink vegetable bouillon dissolved in two cups of water. Boil two cups of water in the microwave, then drop in a bouillon tab and stir it with a spoon to help it dissolve. Drink up. This is a good headache remedy if you’re doing vegan keto. It’s also surprisingly delicious. The vegetable bouillon is definitely the best tasting of the 5 keto headache remedies. I had never even heard of it before I started my rese Continue reading >>
5 Most Common Low-carb Mistakes (and How To Avoid Them)
A few months ago, I read a book called The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living. The authors are two of the world's leading researchers on low-carb diets. Dr. Jeff S. Volek is a Registered Dietitian and Dr. Stephen D. Phinney is a medical doctor. These guys have performed many studies and have treated thousands of patients with a low-carb diet. According to them, there are many stumbling blocks that people tend to run into, which can lead to adverse effects and suboptimal results. To get into full-blown ketosis and reap all the metabolic benefits of low-carb, merely cutting back on the carbs isn't enough. If you haven't gotten the results you expected on a low-carb diet, then perhaps you were doing one of these 5 common mistakes. There is no clear definition of exactly what constitutes a "low carb diet." Some would call anything under 100-150 grams per day low-carb, which is definitely a lot less than the standard Western diet. A lot of people could get awesome results within this carbohydrate range, as long as they ate real, unprocessed foods. But if you want to get into ketosis, with plenty of ketoness flooding your bloodstream to supply your brain with an efficient source of energy, then this level of intake may be excessive. It could take some self experimentation to figure out your optimal range as this depends on a lot of things, but most people will need to go under 50 grams per day to get into full-blown ketosis. This doesn't leave you with many carb options except vegetables and small amounts of berries. If you want to get into ketosis and reap the full metabolic benefits of low-carb, going under 50 grams of carbs per day may be required. Protein is a very important macronutrient, which most people aren't getting enough of. It can improve satiety and incr 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
First Week: Top 3 Keto Conundrums
The low carb lifestyle is known to sculpt some serious fat off your body. Many followers of the keto diet experience rapid weight loss, low hunger levels, and good energy levels. Since you cut out most of the high sugar foods, controlling your calories becomes a breeze. Sounds like an easy plan to success, right? Those who joined the ketogenic army can attest that the early weight loss comes with a toll. The first week of low carb living can be daunting, both mentally and physically. As your brain and body are adapting to a life without glucose, you may become outright miserable. Don’t go shoving cake down your neck just yet – the misery passes. To have an idea what you’ll go through, check out these common side effects that most go through when switching to a keto diet. Usually they only last for the first few days to a week, but preparing yourself for what might come will always help. Mental and Physical Fogginess The first major sign – coming 2 or 3 days into your ketogenic transition – will be the fogginess. You’re brain likes to take it easy and it if had a choice, would run on only glucose. As your body is switching from glucose to ketones as its main source of energy, your body will continue to burn the last stores of glycogen. This results in a foggy haze that might make it hard to concentrate. You might find yourself staring into space or feeling lethargic, but have no fear – it will pass. Headaches might pound at your door, nausea can pit in your stomach, muscle cramps can ruin your day and irritability can spark arguments, but knowing this can help you plan. Switch your diet in the middle of the week, so you will have the weekend to fully rest and recover from your transition. What we suggest is to go super low carb for the first week, which mea Continue reading >>
Of The Keto Diet?
There are many awesome benefits that come with adopting a low-carb ketogenic diet, such as weight loss, decreased cravings and even possibly reduce disease risks. With that being said, it’s also good to talk about possible ketosis side-effects when ingesting these specific ketone supplements, so you know fully what to expect when you get started on this mission. If you’ve already heard about some of the side-effects that come with this special diet and are starting to freak out, don’t panic. We’re going to break down everything you need to know when it comes to what your body will experience when using these supplements for the first time. It’s important to remember, not everyone experiences side-effects when starting a ketogenic diet and thankfully, the symptoms are all very temporary and it can pass very quickly. It varies with the individual, but just to make sure all your bases are covered, we’re going to break down each possible side effect that you could possibly experience. 1. Flu Symptoms Within the first 2-4 days of beginning this diet, a common side-effect is known as the “ketosis flu” or “induction flu” because it mimics the symptoms of the actual flu. This means you might experience: Headaches Lethargy Lack of motivation Brain fog or confusion Irritability Although these symptoms typically go away completely within a few days, they are also completely avoidable if you stay very hydrated and increase your salt intake and like always, be sure you're eating enough fat. 2. Dizzyness & Drowsiness As you start dumping water, you'll lose minerals such as salt, potassium and magnesium. Having lower levels of these minerals will make you tired, lightheaded or dizzy. You may also experience muscle cramps, headaches and skin itchiness. Fatigue Continue reading >>