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 >>
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 >>
Get Rid Of Keto Flu – Keto Flu Treatment
Get Rid of Keto Flu – Keto Flu Treatment I am not a doctor all I share is IMHO and from experience I gained. Please get a physicians advice before starting any diet. Get Rid of Keto Flu So here you are a few days, or a week+ in and you feel like crap. Kind of feels like the flu, and you just want to stay in bed. Bad news is you probably have the keto flu, but the good news is you can get rid of it quickly. I’ve read things like: Came down with the Keto Flu HARD! Got dizzy, nauseous and weak. Have you ever thrown up with the Keto Flu? I have diarrhea all last night and today. How do I make this stop?? I’ve got a headache and I’m in a cloud, tired and weak. Since I got into ketosis, I’ve been constipated. I’m bloated and cramped. I’m tired and I am having muscle spasms and cramps. So why do they/we feel like this? Well, these are very common symptoms of the so named “keto flu”. And it is due to an electrolyte imbalance. Yes, yes it is. When we switch to a low carb or keto diet, we involuntarily cut way down on salt with not eating a lot of the salty items we used to. This lowers our sodium intake. As well we are consuming more water and also urinating more frequently (kidneys dump the water weight), taking sodium out of our body faster. During this time the kidneys also dump potassium to try and equal out the balance sodium to potassium. As well we are all commonly low on magnesium due to our eating habits for years, we all should be supplementing with magnesium. If you are experiencing muscle cramps or spams, you may need to supplement with magnesium. Super Fast Solution to Get Rid of Keto Flu One product I recommend and I use myself is mineral drops. It contains all three, potassium, sodium and magnesium (read on to find out why these are important). I Continue reading >>
Cheating And You
Cheating, or eating hidden carbs, whatever you want to call it. Let’s have a brief talk. What is cheating? Cheating is, in the most simple terms, eating a lot more carbs than you would normally. There’s no hard and fast figure, suffice to say that if you had somewhere in the realm of 50g – 100g you would likely break your ketosis, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world. It also stands to reason that you would possibly not have to go through unpleasant keto-flu again. How does it happen? Cheating can happen for a number of reasons, but there seem to be two main causes. Emotions Alcohol Comfort eating is something everyone I know does, and I’ll admit to eating an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s on my own, no problems at all, when feeling down. Though those days are also long gone. You could be stressed, sad, angry, or any number of other things, and may choose to seek comfort in sugary foods. After all, they raise your mood, though it’s only short term. You’ll probably feel down that you’ve stalled your progress or simply eaten foods that aren’t great for your body. You might even drink alcohol for a range of the same reasons, or, as is very often the case, it may be a social event. A birthday, after work drinks, oh how I could go on… One thing’s for sure, too much can and will impair judgement. The last time I cheated was definitely after a few refreshments and I said “Hey, you know what, chocolate is a GREAT IDEA!” But it wasn’t really. You’ll Feel Like a Failure – But that’s OK! The worst part is knowing that you’ve failed, but you must remember that it’s ok to fail, if you don’t, then you’re probably not doing a lot of trying or learning. I recently read some great advice on failing. It stressed one point, and one point only, Continue reading >>
Adverse Reactions To Ketogenic Diets: Caution Advised
As the ketogenic diet gains popularity, it’s important to have a balanced discussion regarding the merits of this diet. Let me emphasize right out of the gate that this is not a diet without merits (excuse the double negative); in fact, it has significant therapeutic potential for some clinical pathologies. However, it is also a diet with inherent risk, as evidenced by the extensive list of adverse reactions reported in the scientific literature—and this has not yet been a thorough enough part of the public discussion on ketogenic diets. The AIP Lecture Series is a 6-week video-based, self-directed online course that will teach you the scientific foundation for the diet and lifestyle tenets of the Autoimmune Protocol. This is the first of a series of articles discussing various facets of a ketogenic diet with an inclination toward balancing the discussion of the pros and cons of this high-fat, low-carb, low/moderate-protein diet. My interest in this topic stems from concerns I have over its general applicability and safety, simultaneous with its growing popularity. I feel a moral and social obligation to share what I understand of these diets, from my perspective as a medical researcher. The dangers of a ketogenic diet was, in fact, the topic of my keynote presentation at Paleo F(x) this year (links to video will be provided once available). This series of articles will share the extensive research that I did in preparation for this presentation, including all of the topics covered during my talk as well as several topics that I didn’t have time to discuss (also see the free PDF Literature Review at the bottom of this post). For every anecdotal story of someone who has regained their health with a ketogenic diet, there’s a counterpoint story of someone who derai Continue reading >>
My Six-week Keto Diet Experiment
When Ros Lawrence first heard of a diet that allowed her to eat foods she normally denied herself, especially peanut butter, she immediately decided to give it a go. What would you say if I told you there's a diet where you can eat all the food you normally deny yourself, stop counting tedious calories, shift some weight, gain extra muscle and get an energy boost too? If you're anything like me you'd be asking 'where do I sign up?'! So when I heard about the ketogenic diet from a colleague I was immediately intrigued. This simply sounded too good to be true. Could I really eat fat and get lean? Enjoy peanut butter treats and squeeze into my skinny jeans? Never one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to see for myself, and so began my six-week experiment with the ketogenic diet… What is a ketogenic diet? In its simplest form, this is an extremely low-carb, high-fat diet. It's based on the principle that by lowering your carb intake your body is pushed into a metabolic state known as ketosis (pronounced key -tow -sis), where it switches from burning carbs as its primary energy source to burning fat. To be more precise, it uses ketone bodies or ketones from the breakdown of fatty acids in the liver – hence the name, ketosis. Now that fatty fuel can come from a meal you've just eaten or from the stores of fat on your body (aka, the evil muffin top). Ketosis is a metabolic process that the body initiates to help us survive when our food intake is low. Typically our bodies run on glucose derived from the breakdown of carbs – this is because glucose is the easiest molecule for the body to convert and use as energy, so it will be chosen over any other energy source. But when your body doesn't have enough carbs for your energy needs it will switch to ketosis to keep yo Continue reading >>
Why Ketones (and Ketosis) Can Cause Stomach Pain
This is not a “feel-good” post. We are going to talk about some of the not-so-pleasant side effects of transitioning into ketosis, especially looking at why ketones (and transitioning to ketosis, in general) can cause stomach pain. We will also talk about what you can do to solve the issues. Some are practical solutions; others have to do with summoning the mental strength to just deal with a little discomfort to get the rewards and results you want. If Captain Jack Sparrow were doing the ketogenic diet, he would probably say. “The stomach pain is not the problem… it’s your attitude about the stomach pain which is the problem.” I’ve been there too. The first time I ever tried exogenous ketones, I was about 16 hours removed from carbohydrates (In-N-Out burger) and I was feeling awful. I thought Perfect Keto would make it all better. I took a heaping scoop of Peaches and Cream and waited 30 minutes. The results? Significant stomach issues, to put it kindly. I thought surely these ketones are bad and I quit my attempt to “go keto” on the spot. Why Ketosis Causes Stomach Pain The short answer is dehydration. The process of keto-adaptation is going to dehydrate us. Remember that one purpose of taking exogenous ketones is to speed up keto-adaptation. This means taking ketones will also speed up the side-effects of keto-adaptation. Why Does Ketosis Dehydrate? Transitioning to keto means we are moving from using glycogen and carbs to using fat and ketones. There are two reasons this dehydrates us. 1) One of the main inefficiencies with glycogen and carbs is that it must be stored with water. It takes 4 grams of water to store a gram of glycogen. As you run through your glycogen you will lose tons of water (not literally tons but you get the point). 2) High Continue reading >>
What Is Keto Flu?its Symptoms And Treatment?
What is Keto flu? A ketogenic diet or “keto” as many now pass on to it, focuses on eating real, whole foods that are very low in carbohydrates. This very low carb diet keeps sweet and starchy foods to a smallest amount while providing your body with the nutrition it needs through sufficient protein and dietary fat intake. By eating this way, you will quite factually change your metabolism (the way your body processes food). Keto flu in its place of burning primarily sugars for fuel, your body will start burning fat as the favored fuel source. I like to call it “fat burning mode” because it sounds cool, but it’s more usually referred to as KETOSIS. Ketotic hypoglycemia: Ketotic hypoglycemia is a medical term used in two ways: (1) Broadly, to submit to any circumstance in which low blood glucose is accompany by ketosis, and (2) In a much more warning way to refer to recurring episodes of hypoglycemic symptoms with ketosis and, often, vomiting, in young children. Keto flu The first usage refers to a pair of metabolic state (hypoglycemia plus ketosis) that can have many cause, while the second usage refers to a exact “disease” called ketotic hypoglycemia. Keto flu Hypoglycemia with ketosis: the broad sense: There are hundreds of causes of hypoglycemia. usually, the defensive, physiological reply to a falling blood glucose is decrease of insulin secretion to untraceable levels, and release of glucagon, adrenaline, and other counterregulatory hormones. This move of hormones initiates glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis in the liver, and lipolysis in adipose tissue. Lipids are metabolized to triglycerides, Keto flu in turn to greasy acids, which are distorted in the mitochondria of liver and kidney cells to the ketone bodies— acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, 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 >>
Those of us who have done low-carb for years are happy to sing the praises of the low-carb lifestyle--decreased weight and increased energy, plus improvements in blood pressure, triglycerides, HDL and blood glucose numbers. But in much the same way that the joy of having a new baby diminishes our memory of the pain of childbirth, we find it easy to forget that one of the aspects of low-carbing is very hard. It's called Induction flu, or Atkins flu. On the Standard American Diet (very aptly named the SAD diet) we are used to eating low fat, moderate protein and high carbohydrate. Our body's primary source of energy comes from the burning of hundreds of grams of carbohydrates we consume every day. When we change from a SAD diet to a low-carb diet, we abruptly remove the macronutrient that has provided most of our energy. Eventually our energy will come from the fat we eat, but in the meantime our bodies have a huge transition to make. Every nucleated cell in our body contains 46 chromosomes with over 3 billion base pairs of DNA. In that DNA is the information needed to make the enzymes required for us to metabolize both carbohydrates and fats into energy. Although the information is there, it is not translated into enzymes unless those enzymes are actually needed. A person eating a SAD diet will have all the enzymes he or she needs to convert carbohydrates into energy, but very few of the enzymes needed to convert fat into energy. Typically a low-carb diet is begun at a level of 20 to 30 grams of carbohydrate a day. Suddenly the carbohydrate conversion enzymes no longer have a substrate. They initiate Plan B, which is to utilize the glycogen stored in the liver and muscle tissue. Glycogen is converted to glucose, which is converted to energy. After about a day, glycogen i Continue reading >>
What Is Keto Flu ?
So What is Keto Flu Anyways!? I posted this What is Keto Flu article below back in the summer of 2013 when I had no idea what I was doing or what keto flu was. All I knew is that I was sick as a dog! I’ve learned so much since then and so many people manage to find this article, so I thought I should update it with the solutions that work! The Keto flu is also called Ketosis Flu, Ketogenic Flu, Induction Flu and Carb Flu depending on what groups you hang out in. It normally is what happens after your first couple of days without carbs. Not to every single person, but most people go through some sort of carb withdrawal and/or carb detox. What actually causes the Keto Flu Symptoms? Keto flu happens when our bodies shift from glucose or sugar burning mode to fat burning mode. It is basically an electrolyte imbalance. On a keto diet we need more magnesium, potassium and sodium. Luckily, this is a pretty easy problem to solve and I wish I had known about this 3 years ago! Can You Stop Keto Flu ? You know, for some of us, the keto flu is something we just have to go through for a few days. Think of it as a detox because bottom line, that is what is happening. You are detoxing from sugar, carbs, wheat, all those things that are holding you back from optimal health. But even though you likely can’t stop keto flu, you sure can minimize the symptoms! Drink lots of salty chicken broth. Use a magnesium supplement. You will be amazed at how helpful this will be! I recommend using Lo Salt or any similar blend that has potassium and sodium. My other go to remedy is a nightly drink of Calm. This is a magnesium drink that I swear by and I still use it almost every night. Not only does Calm prevent leg cramps but it also keeps me regular, which can be an issue for low carbers. It is Continue reading >>
Keto-flu: Cheating On Keto Will Give You A Bad Time
“Keto flu” is very common state during induction phase of Ketosis. This state is also followed by dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, or muscle cramps. Ketogenic life is real science, but don’t let loose yourself in a whole bunch of numbers. This article is very important for beginners, because they often have higher goals than experience. For some keto beginner’s, “Keto-flu” can be a real challenge for continuing or stopping with keto diet. Normalize your blood pressure People who ends up on Keto diet automatically ends up with cutting a lot of processed food rich with sodium. Reduced intake of carbs causing proper leveling of blood sugar, for that reason our body doesn’t need to elevate levels of insulin to stabilize blood sugar. The final effect is, low blood pressure In normal conditions our kidneys tend to store high levels of sodium. But on low insulin levels, kidneys change their behavior. There are a lot of hormonal activities which the kidneys put in diuretic type mode. In this mode kidneys release stored levels of sodium, potassium, and water through the urine. The major function of the salt is maintaining blood pressure, but if you do not replace your daily needs of salt as a side effect you can feel dizziness, fatigue, or weakness. For that reason introduce salt and fluids in your diet. Fluids are essential part for right leveling blood pressure. There are certainly kind of beverages that are carb-free or very low in carbs. Check out a few ideas in the link below (Premium Collection of Keto Beverages) Another easy way to overcome this state is preparing (Natural Sugar-free Ketogenic Electrolyte Drink). This drink refuels your daily needs for sodium, magnesium and potassium. Prevent nausea and diarrhea Some people have bad experience with Keto-flu foll Continue reading >>
How Long Does A Keto Flu Last?
The ketogenic diet comes with the caveat of experiencing the keto flu. The keto flu can stop you from getting into ketosis quickly as it may place a psychological barrier in from of you preventing you from continuing with the diet. Here’s a basic outline on why keto flu occurs and the simple and effective steps you can take to minimise the negative effects. The keto flu is generally a sign that the ketogenic diet is working. There are some measures you can take to firstly, speed up how quickly you get into ketosis and secondly reduce the symptoms of the keto flu. Ketosis (using fat for energy) occurs when your diet is comprised of high fat and low carb. Generally, this entails consuming 5% carbohydrates (or 50g per day). The keto flu describes the symptoms (flu-like) which come when people transition from using glucose as their primary source of fuel to ketones as their primary source of fuel. The body may fail to quickly enough as it struggles to use the dramatic change in macronutrient ratios effectively. Flu symptoms may include: Fatigue Craving for sugary foods Nausea Headaches Brain fog Problems sleeping Irritability The keto-flu duration and severity is different for everyone and this is going to depend on a few key factors. The first reason is based on how drastic the reduction of carbs are. You will enter the state of ketosis much quicker this way, but the downside of this is that the symptoms of the keto flu are likely going to be more pronounced. Symptoms are dependent on the drastic of the cut of carbohydrates but also your age, gender, exercise frequency. The flu will generally last about a week. This may last upwards of several for some individuals, or as little as a few days if you are lucky or take more extreme measures such as incorporating a prolonged Continue reading >>
Stomach Flu Remedies
When stomach flu hits, it hits hard. Nobody likes getting sick, but the stomach flu delivers its own brutal mix of symptoms. When it hits, it can quickly render you nonfunctional and utterly miserable (i.e., lying on the bathroom floor within constant reach of the sink or toilet). The initial stages start with chills, fever, and nausea, which transition into vomiting, diarrhea, and severe aches and pains. It’s awful, and there is no cure. Stomach flu has to run its course. That said, the remedies below may provide relief from the most difficult symptoms and help get you back on your feet once the toughest phase subsides. Fluids are critically important since you’re losing vital bodily fluids through sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you are having trouble keeping liquids down, try taking small sips at regular intervals or chewing ice chips. The best fluids to drink are: clear liquids, such as water and broth over-the-counter preparations like Pedialyte (good choice for any age) sports drinks, which can help with electrolyte replacement (this should be reserved for older children and adults) certain teas, such as ginger and peppermint, which can help calm your stomach and alleviate nausea (avoid highly caffeinated teas) What not to drink Most likely, you won’t be in the mood for these during a bout of stomach flu anyway, but avoid: Caffeinated drinks like coffee, strong black tea, and chocolate. They can affect your sleep at a time when getting enough rest is crucial. Avoid alcohol, which acts as a diuretic. All of these things can also upset your stomach. Keeping food down can be difficult with the stomach flu. Don’t force yourself to eat if the mere thought of food makes you cringe. When you do finally feel you can get something down, it’s best to start sl Continue reading >>
How To Deal With The Keto Flu
If you are about to begin the Keto diet, you may have heard about the Keto Flu. This is one way your body reacts to the drastic changes in the foods you are used to eating. As your body begins to go into ketosis, you may have reactions that, for some, feel like the flu. These tips are to help you learn How to Deal with the Keto Flu! How to Deal with the Keto Flu To begin, don’t forget to check out our tips for How to start the Keto diet and our easy Beginner Keto Diet Shopping List. Both of these posts will help lead you in the right direction right away! Your health journey will take off and you’ll start feeling great and losing weight in no time! If you aren’t sure if you have the Keto Flu, the following are common symptoms: Headaches Nausea, vomiting Exhaustion, sleepiness, fatigue Foggy brain or struggles to concentrate Test regularly for ketosis Using the keto urinalysis test strips on a regular basis in the first few days and weeks of your keto journey will help you to understand your body and reactions. As you begin to see changes in your diet happening, your body will react by going into ketosis. Using the test strips will help you to determine if what you are eating and your portion of carbohydrates each day is right for your body and working. Yes, you can feel ill for many reasons, so doing the tests a lot at first helps make sure you know you are on the right track. I like to use the Smackfat Ketone Test Strips. They are affordable and work great. Stay well hydrated Staying hydrated will help you during the keto flu process. It usually doesn’t last long, but you don’t want to compound the issue by getting dehydrated. As your body adjusts to changes, it needs extra fluids to help. Keep sugar free electrolytes on hand Electrolytes are much needed duri Continue reading >>