Keto Nausea: Myths, Causes and Cure

Keto Nausea

The ketogenic diet is one of the health trends that has been very popular. The results of this high-fat diet are very satisfactory and positive. That’s why people make this diet plan a part of their lives. It provides what it claims about. Mostly, people use this very low-carb diet for weight loss, other reasons may include maintenance of diabetes or hypertension, etc. In this article, we will discuss everything about Keto Nausea [1]

Keto Nausea: Myths, Causes and Cure Bariatric Station

The keto diet [2] is high fat and low-carb diet, you consume meals that are very low in carbs usually in the ratio of 5-10% per serving. However, the fat intake is about 65% to 75% per serving. The other nutrients percentage are minimal. When you take a strict low-carb diet, it stimulates a metabolic process in your body known as ketosis.

Ketosis [3] is the usage of fat molecules for preferred energy source due to the inadequate carb percentage. This metabolic process helps in the burning of extra fat of the human body which ultimately results in weight loss. When people often follow this low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet, they have a question in their mind that how will keto affect their health status? Is the effect being positive or negative?

Can Keto make you Sick?

This question is very normal and a must while being on any low-glycemic index diet [4]. Our human bodies are much synchronized in their functioning and they are very well balanced and organized. When you go on a keto diet, your body routines also change which includes eating and sleeping patterns, hormonal changes, etc. The real question that arises here is can keto make you sick? The answer to it is yes. You will feel some changes in your body while being on a ketogenic diet. But does these changes means a state of sickness for you?

Keto Sickness

Normally, your body uses carbohydrates as a primary energy source. But when you reduce your carbs intake on a strict low-carb diet, it forces your body to produce ketones instead of glucose. Ketones are a side product of fat metabolism. Usually, it is a secondary fuel source for the body. However, keto becomes the main source. This circumstance is known as ketosis which we know is the basis of a keto diet.

This sudden switch in the source of energy comes as a shock for the body and it will take some time for it to adapt to this change. During this adaptation period, some health changes will occur. They are not characterized as any disease. It is just a period of sickness before your body gets comfortable with the keto balanced diet plan. It is just like a sickness you will experience if you stop your caffeine intake.

Why it Happen?

The primary goal of this diet is to lower your insulin blood levels. It stimulates ketosis in the body, which results in the burning of fat. It takes some time for your brain and other organs to orientate with this diet plan. To the time they get to adapt to this new fuel source, they behave a little differently than usual. This is mainly the cause of keto sickness.

If you are not taking the exact ketogenic diet plan as suggested by your nutritionist or dietitian, then it also causes this sickness. They also give you some specific guidelines like using electrolytic water per day, less physical activity, etc. To prevent yourself from this irritating situation.

Common Symptoms of Keto Nausea

The collection of symptoms are very mild and can vary from person to person. [4] Some peoples may not experience these side effects as they are following the guidelines properly. The other peoples can have one or more following symptoms during the keto period.

  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Sleeping problems
  • Increased hunger
  • Weakness

Keto Nausea: Myths, Causes and Cure Bariatric Station

How you can Avoid Ketosis Nausea

If you do not treat your keto sickness at the time. It can cause major health issues which are not good. Although, keto is a very positive thing for a healthy lifestyle if you do not follow it properly or the way your nutritionist recommends you. Then it can have negative effects on your health.

There are several ways [5] to treat ketosis sickness which aids in the reduction of the unpleasant symptoms and also makes it very easy for you to go through the transition period smoothly.

No Physical Exercise Performance

When you are on a keto diet, avoid intense or strenuous workouts. As your body is going through different changes and also the energy levels are lower than usual. So, you shouldn’t do intense workout likes biking, running, cardio low-intensity exercise, etc. However, light exercise like medication, yoga walking can ease the flu-like symptoms.

Drinking Liters of Water

Staying hydrated is very crucial in a keto diet. As carbohydrates can hold body water inside the human body, are reduced. You will experience excess urination during this period.

To avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water throughout the day. Especially electrolytic ounces of water like salted or green vegetable containing. It will maintain your blood levels more efficiently.

Get Proper Sleep

When you are on a keto diet, you are very irritated as your eating pattern has changed. If you do not take enough sleep, it will release cortisol hormone which will result in increased stress levels.

Following ways can help you with sleep difficulties

  • Having a cup of chamomile tea before sleeping.
  • Take a bath with essential oils and Epsom salt. It will relax the body which will reduce stress levels.
  • Create a dark light setting around you while preparing yourself for sleeping.
  • Sleep and wake up at a proper time. Early to bed and early to rise is a very preferable thing during sickness.

Herbal Teas

Tea is a very good thing for sickness. It will provide you a sense of relief by lowering the stress levels. Drinking tea will make you feel relaxed.

The teas that you can have while ketosis sickness is

  • Ginger
  • Peppermint
  • Meadowsweet
  • Chamomile

Fat Intake

Take enough fat content in your food as the carbs content is already reduced. Also, remember one thing, always reduce your carbohydrates intake slowly and increase the fat and protein content smoothly.

The Time Duration of the Ketosis Sickness

The time duration of the sickness that you experienced on a keto diet, is usually between 5-7 days. It does not last for a longer time which is very fortunate.

Underlying Health Problems that you can diagnose on a Keto Diet

The minor side effects of keto can reveal different sub-clinical deficiencies. As it magnifies these health problems very efficiently. When you go on a keto diet, the nutrients requirements change a little bit that can help you in recognizing the deficiency you have.

For this purpose, we will look at the symptoms of ketogenic sickness. So, that we can know about the deeper problem.

Keto Nausea

If you have nausea on Keto. Feeling nauseous on keto is very common. It means that your gall bladder has some abnormality like a stone or other vitamin deficiency which includes vitamin A, K-2, C, or D. these problems can occur if you have a fatty liver. You can also experience ketosis vomiting due to nausea.

There is a huge connection between a fatty liver and gall bladder problem. So, you can use these clues to pull the string to see whether there is an underlying problem or not.

Fatigue

If you experience fatigue while being on keto. It means that you low B-1 vitamin and manganese in your body. These nutrients help in the production of glucose for energy or fat for energy. They act as a spark plug in your mitochondria. So, over time if you continue this diet plan without doing something about the fatigue.

The last option you will have is to quit the diet. Instead of that, you can have some nutritional yeast or more vegetable to maintain the levels of these nutrients in your body.

Bloating

If you have a bloated stomach on a keto diet. The possible reason for this is SIBO small intestine bacterial overgrowth. It means that unnecessary bacteria are growing in your small intestine. It occurs when you eat probiotics and vegetables in excess.

Keto Nausea: Myths, Causes and Cure Bariatric Station

So, you have to lower vegetable intake, avoid probiotics and fermented foods. You can also have some herbal antibiotics like garlic, oregano, etc. Also, you have to increase the acidity levels of your body. You can do that by drinking 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water.

Keto Flu

If you have keto flu, it means that you have a sodium deficiency. There is a decrease in your salt intake. You can treat it by taking electrolytic water like salt and lemon water per day. One thing to remember, if you have this deficiency, do not take potassium which is the opposing mineral. It can make the situation worse.

Dark urine

Dark urine means dehydration. If you are not drinking at least 8 glasses of water on a keto diet, this situation may occur. The simple way to treat is by drinking enough liters of water and also adding some electrolytes to it.

Gout problem

If you have a hurting toe on this plan. It means you have an excess of uric acid in your blood. The increased uric acid means that you have eaten protein in excess.

Take the medications for gout and also decrease your protein intake.

Rash

A keto rash means a Vitamin B-3 rash. It means that your vitamin B3 intake is increased. The rash is harmless. You can treat the rash by using the creams suggested by your doctor.

Bleeding gums

When you are taking foods rich in vitamin C. it can cause a medical condition called scurvy. Bleeding gums is one of its symptoms.

The treatment for this is to just increase your vitamin C intake.

Cramps

Cramps may occur during the diet. It usually happens when you have a low intake of magnesium and potassium. If you do not look after this deficiency, it can cause heart problems. These minerals help in the contraction and relaxation of muscles.

The easiest way to treat this deficiency is by taking foods high in magnesium and potassium.

The Peoples Who Should Avoid Keto Diets

The ketogenic diet is one of the best diets out there. It is very helpful and beneficial for anyone who follows it. However, certain persons should avoid this diet plan [6]

  • Persons with liver, pancreatic, or kidney diseases
  • Breastfeeding or pregnant women
  • The person who is sensitive towards dietary cholesterol.
  • Diabetic patients can follow but only after consulting with their doctors.

Conclusion

Keto diet is a very healthy way of losing weight. However, due to the change in Nutritional requirements. You will feel some sickness. But is very mild and negligible. You can easily avoid it by following some guidelines like drinking electrolytic water, herbal teas, enough sleep, etc. You can follow your diet very easily. The ketogenic diet is a very positive thing for your body

Author: Idrees Samih

Founder, Certified Ketogenic Diet and Ketosis Health Coach.

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1 thought on “Keto Nausea: Myths, Causes and Cure”

  1. Thank you. All the information I needed. I have been doing the keto for 5 days, lost 6.5 lbs but felt very nauseas. Also discovered that my one kidney and also stage 3 disease may have contributed to this worsened effect so I have stopped the plan.

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