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 >>
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 >>
The Dreaded Keto Flu
For all the excellent benefits of the ketogenic lifestyle, getting there can be a physically rough road. The primary reason for this is what is known as the “keto flu”. Almost everyone who has changed their life to the healthy ketogenic lifestyle has had to deal with the keto flu, and some have had a worse deal than others. Background The keto flu is the common name for the induction phase of ketogenesis. That means it’s the period of time when your body is getting used to the changes you have made to what you eat. When you change what you eat, you change everything about how your body operates and functions. Inside your gut (where close to 70% of your immune system lives) are billions of bacteria, and they are all battling for dominance. If your diet consists of highly refined carbs, the types of bacteria that thrive in your gut (e. coli, h. pylori, candida a, etc.) will be inflammatory and detrimental to your immune system. By changing your diet to be high in fat, those same bacteria die off rapidly, because they don’t have their preferred energy source. This massive bacteria death has consequences. These consequences are typically: Diarrhea Headaches Nausea Lack of mental focus and clarity Fatigue In short: You feel like you have the flu. That’s because, in a way, you do. Your immune system is taking a beating when you make the change, because it has grown accustomed to the way things have been. But once you get through the induction phase, and you start to feel better, your immune system will be several times stronger and more efficient. That’s one of the reason that Ketovangelists don’t get sick (and when they do, it’s not nearly as bad as it could have been). Changing Fuel Sources The best way to think about what you’re doing to your body is to i Continue reading >>
8 Ways To Blast Through Low-carb Flu And Dive Into Ketosis
Have you just started a low-carb diet? Do you find yourself feeling exhausted and overcome by tiredness? Perhaps you are thinking that going low-carb wasn’t a good idea after all… You might already know that these symptoms are not uncommon, especially if you are doing low-carb for the first time. Also known as “low carb flu” or “Atkins flu”, this phase is completely normal – although by no means pleasant. This condition occurs when you cut your carb intake sharply, to about 20-30g a day, in order to induce ketosis. What is low-carb flu? Your body is used to running on carbs. It’s been operating this way for decades. Cutting carbs in favour of fat is a huge change for your metabolism. Your body needs some time to adjust to this change. This period of adjustment can sometimes cause flu-like symptoms. Fatigue is the most common one, but you could also get muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness and mental fog. Some of these symptoms are markers of sugar withdrawal. Sugar addiction is real and common, so trying to break away can be difficult. Low-carb flu is not actual flu Please note that “low carb flu” does not include fever or respiratory cold-like symptoms such as coughing or sneezing. If you are experiencing any of these, it means that you might have actually caught an infection! So it would be a good idea to postpone starting your diet until you are all clear. How can you fight tiredness and other symptoms of low-carb flu? First of all, remember that it won’t last forever. Low-carb flu usually lasts around 3-5 days (although could be 1-2 weeks for some unlucky people with high metabolic resistance). Here are some simple tips on making this transition easier. 1) Eat more fat Fat is the key to this whole issue. You must eat lots of it – a lot more th 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 >>
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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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 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 & 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 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 >>
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? (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 >>
Ketosis Symptoms & Low Carb Flu Explained
What does Ketosis mean exactly, and what are Ketosis symptoms? There are a lot of questions about the Low Carb Flu, also known as “Induction Flu” (based on the Atkins Induction Phase). If you’ve just started eating low carb and you feel miserable, you’re experiencing the low carb flu. Ketosis symptoms include: Headaches, bad breath or a metallic taste in your mouth, irritability (like PMS on steroids! lol), leg cramps, insomnia, nausea, etc. It basically feels like you’ve been hit with a nasty flu. Symptoms vary from person to person. The good news is, it means you’re doing it right! The even better news is… it only lasts a few days. What Is Ketosis? It is a state in which your body burns fat for energy instead of carbs/sugar. A keto state means you are fueling your body on healthy fats instead of carbohydrates. So that saying that “You need carbs for energy!” is untrue. But you DO need either carbohydrates OR healthy fats for energy, which is why you can’t (or shouldn’t) eat “low carb, low fat”. See Low Carb, High Fat Diet Explained Your body and your brain actually operate much better on healthy fats. A ketogenic diet is known to reduce seizures, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, control diabetes and chronic pain issues (fibromyalgia, arthritis, etc) and remedy many other common health issues. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fuelling brain function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pas 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 >>
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 >>