Side Effects of Keto Diet – LCHF Diet

When you start following keto diet, many of you have some common issues. This article is discussing about the common side effects while starting keto diet and its remedies.

Common remedy for all those side effects is to increase your water intake and to add up some more salt to your diet. It’s better to start increasing water and salt intake to avoid these side effects.

Mainly there are six side effects. They are fever, muscle ache, constipation, bad breath (halitosis), palpitation and tiredness (lethargy).

Some more common issues include problems with lactating mothers, gall bladder stones, temporary hair loss, increased cholesterol, alcohol withdrawal, keto rashes, arthritis and increased morning blood glucose levels.

We will deal all those issues one by one in this article.

  1. Fever or Keto flu (Head ache, lethargy, nausea, confusion, sleepiness and disturbed state)

These symptoms are common in this diet especially during the first 2 – 4 days. You may feel head ache, tiredness, decreased activity, nausea etc. when you start this diet. You may be angrier than before.

Good news is all of those will be disappearing within a few days. The main reason behind those is because of dehydration and decreased sodium levels caused by increased urine output.


Increase the water intake and salt intake. Add half tablespoon salt to a big glass of water, take it daily. You can also try the soup as well. These symptoms will disappear in 10 – 20 minutes. If needed do this at least once a day for the first week of dieting.

Beef, Mutton soup will also help for this.

Initially you need to eat more fat. That will decrease tiredness. It’s also necessary for decreasing appetite and for more energy.

You can make sure that you are getting enough fat by adding butter to all of your dishes.

If the keto flu is not resolved even after increasing the water and salt content, wait for a week, it will resolve its own.

If the keto flu persists more than a week, eat some carb. Do this as last resort as this will make the ketosis process very slow.

  1. Leg cramps or Leg aches

This is not a common symptom and it’s not usually worse. Some people unfortunately get this symptom. Reason behind is reduced Magnesium levels due to increased urinary output.


Increase water and salt input which will reduce magnesium deficiency. Having Magnesium supplements will also help.

  1. Constipation

This is one other thing most of the people have to go through in the initial stages of diet.It mainly happens when our body tries to adapt to our new diet regimen.

You can solve this mainly in three methods.

Method 1 – Increase water and salt intake. Dehydration is main reason behind constipation.

Method 2 – Increase more fibrous green leafy vegetables in your diet.

Method 3 – This is the last resort. Use mild laxatives like Milk of Magnesia

  1. Bad breath

Bad breath is common among those who strictly follow the diet. This is a sign that they are in absolute ketosis process. It’s the scent of acetone.

Even their sweat will be smelly.

Bad breath usually resolves with one or two weeks after starting the diet. Unfortunately some peoples have this issue for longer time. They can try the following remedies

– Increase water and salt intake

– Try brushing twice a day

– Use breath fresheners

– Wait for 2 weeks. The smell will go away.

– If nothing works, try eating 50 – 70 g carb which will slower the ketosis process.

  1. Increased heart beat (palpitation)

Main reason behind is dehydration. Increase water intake. For people who have diabetes (type 2) if they continue to do insulin along with dieting, this can happen. It’s better to avoid all other drugs except metformin when you are on a keto diet.

People who are taking antihypertensive also experience similar effect. It’s because of reduced blood pressure as a result of keto diet. They may have to see the doctor to decrease the dose of medicine for BP.

  1. Tiredness

As told earlier, the main reason behind is one of the following.

– Dehydration – Add half a teaspoon of salt to a big glass of water before you are going to work.

– Body will take more time to use fat instead of carbohydrate for energy. Exercises increases this process.

  1. Temporary hair loss (alopecia)

This is common in 3 – 6 months, for those who follows diet. This is temporary phenomenon. Hair will come back after couple of months. If you take more fat and sleep more, hair fall can be reduced.

  1. Increased cholesterol

HDL, LDL – is increased in this diet. This may inurn increase the total cholesterol level. This is a good thing. Bad cholesterol or triglycerides get reduced in this diet. Risk for cardiac diseases is decreased after two years of following lchf diet.

Hike in Bad Cholesterol

Around 1 percent of people have their LDL or Total Cholesterol increased in dangerous levels. If your total cholesterol levels increases beyond 400 and LDL beyond 250, you need to do following things.

– Don’t take butter coffee in your diet

– Only eat when you have the right appetite. Fast on alternate days.

– Instead of saturated fats use Avocado, olive oil, fat rich fish etc.

– If none of the above is working, loosen your diet a bit. Try having 50 – 100 g of carb per day. Avoid sugar and self-rising flour from diet.

Statin medicines

It’s best to make life style modifications than taking statins.

Keto diet and alcohol

Alcohol makes more troubles in Keto diet. It’s better to avoid it.

  1. Gout

In lchf diet, we eat only controlled amount of meat. If we continue on this diet, gout is found to be cured. Sometimes uric acid level is increased in first few weeks. Usually gets back to normal in 3 – 4 weeks.

If you gets pain or other problems in between you can use two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar along with two teaspoons of lemon juice in a glass of water mixed with quarter spoon salt. Take it twice a day. This will help to relieve the symptoms.

  1. Increased fasting glucose levels

This mainly happens when your body uses fat instead of glucose for energy. The unused glucose is the reason behind this phenomenon. This will be more in fasting state than other times. This is also called adaptive glucose sparing.

This glucose comes from your liver through gluconeogenesis.

Also because of reduced glucose intake, insulin level will also be reduced which will cause more of the unused glucose in blood. You need to check Fasting insulin along with fasting blood sugar in order to get a clear picture.


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