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Keto headaches are real: Tips for dieters to ease the discomfort

Consumption of fewer carbohydrates, especially sugar, can cause headaches in keto dieters.

Many dieters experience headaches at the beginning of a keto diet. Read on to know what causes keto headaches and what can you do to prevent or treat them.

Are you on a keto diet? If yes, then your frequent headache may be one of the side effects of this uber-trendy diet. A keto diet is one of the most popular weight-loss diets and it primarily consists of high-fats, moderate-proteins, and very-low-carbohydrates. Advocates of the keto diet also claim that this eating plan can also help lower blood sugar in diabetics and improve blood pressure. Many celebrities swear by this popular diet to drop unwanted pounds.

Unlike other diets, the keto diet is a fairly strict eating plan. When you're on a ketogenic diet, you should have about 75% fat, 20% protein, and only 5% or less than 50 grams of carbs per day. Further, there are also rules as to what foods to eat and when to eat them. Keeping track of all these rules and restrictions of the keto diet can give anyone a headache. But your headache is most likely a side effect of this popular diet. Yes, keto headaches actually exist and many keto dieters face this problem as they begin to follow this diet plan.

Why keto dieters get headaches?

In keto diet, the reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis, where the body begins to burn fat for energy in the absence of carbohydrates. When you start the keto diet, your body will transition into ketosis within two to seven days. This is the period when keto headaches occur. In addition, carb withdrawal can also lead to keto headaches.

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Consumption of fewer carbohydrates, especially sugar, can cause headaches, say, dietitians. As your body begins relying on ketones instead of glucose, your blood sugar levels may drop, this in turn may lead to low blood sugar. The transition into ketosis may strain your brain and result in a brain fog as well as headaches, they explained.

There are other factors that can also increase your risk of keto headaches. These include overuse of medications, diuretics, and other drugs that promote dehydration, poor sleep, stress, and skipping meals.

What to do if you get keto headaches?

The severity and duration of the symptoms may vary from person to person. While it could be only mild symptoms for some dieters, others may feel completely knocked out, and experience icky body and energy symptoms for hours and even weeks. But don't decide to drop the eating plan yet. There's nothing to be worried about. These headaches are usually a short-term effect. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent and treat them. Here are tips to ease the discomfort.

  • Drink plenty of water: It is important to drink adequate fluids to replenish the lost water in the initial phases of the keto diet
  • Limit your alcohol intake: The transition into ketosis can stress out your liver. Alcohol may further harm the organ.
  • Eat more low-carb, water-rich foods like cabbage, lettuce, zucchini, and tomatoes. They are nutritious and can keep you hydrated.
  • Have more electrolyte-rich foods:
  • Don't do intense exercise at the beginning of the keto diet

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