Keto Headache: Causes, 7 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of It

Keto headache is one of the most common symptoms that affect anyone who follows the keto diet for the first time, and it is one of the symptoms that indicate that the body has begun to search for alternative sources of energy instead of carbohydrates.

Symptoms of a “keto headache” often appear in the first week of the keto diet, but they disappear quickly, especially as the body adjusts to burning fat and begins using it for energy production.

There are many measures you can take to avoid a keto headache, and there are many foods and nutrients that can help treat this problem.

Keep reading this article to understand the reasons that can cause “headache” when following the keto diet, as well as the actions and tips you can take to prevent and avoid “keto headache”, to enjoy the wonderful health benefits of the keto diet.

What is the keto diet?

The keto diet (low in carbohydrates and rich in fat) is an ancient diet that has spread widely among many patients who suffer from nervous system diseases, convulsions and brain diseases.

* The keto diet has helped reduce epileptic seizures, especially in children.

Also, this diet has become popular with many people who want to lose weight without depriving themselves of fatty foods like meat, poultry, eggs, etc.

Learn more about keto for epilepsy treatment in children…


What exactly happens to your body when you start keto?

Most people eat a lot of foods that contain large amounts of carbohydrates in their diet, and the foods most of us eat often contain a lot of refined and artificial sugars.

Reliance on a diet that includes a lot of carbohydrates means that your body cells, hormones, and brain are adapted to using these carbohydrates as their main energy source.

Usually, the transition to the use of a new energy source such as fat, as is the case in the ketogenic diet, causes some imbalance in the metabolism in the body for a temporary period.

This metabolic imbalance will leave you suffering from several negative side effects of the keto diet for some time, the most important of which is a tired keto headache.

Note: Don’t let this scare you or get in the way of your progress on the keto diet.

A keto headache is normal at the start of the keto diet, and it doesn’t last long, but rather lasts from two days to a week, and sometimes more.

* The best solution to get rid of a keto headache is to get into ketosis quickly, by reducing the number of carbohydrates to the limit on keto. 

Causes of a keto headache

A keto headache is a result of the major nutritional changes that occur in the body.

It can be said that this case is not just limited to the keto diet alone. Because any diet that limits the number of carbohydrates a person eats can cause headaches.

* Here are some things that can trigger a keto headache:

  • Dehydration
  • Hypoglycemia
  • An imbalance of electrolytes in the body such as sodium, magnesium and potassium.
  • A keto headache is a common symptom of the keto flu.

How long can a keto headache last?

In fact, symptoms of a keto headache may not appear in all people, and how long these symptoms last can depend on many factors related to the same person. so why?

For example, if you were on a low-carb diet before you started the keto diet, and if you eat leafy greens and good amounts of nutrients that contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber, you are less likely to experience severe symptoms of keto headache.

* Sometimes these symptoms can be of short duration and you may never experience them.

But in general, a headache caused by a keto diet lasts for a period ranging from 24 hours to one week, and in some cases that are considered extremely rare, headaches can last as long as 15 days.

Note: Some people prefer to start their ketogenic diet over the weekend. Because in this case, it is easy to deal with these symptoms(keto headache)during the vacation period in order not to affect their lives and work.

How To Treat a Keto Headache

Headaches occur at the start of the keto diet when your body begins to adapt to burning fat as its main energy source and to prevent this from happening, you must improve your body’s ability to metabolize and burn fats and ketones more effectively.

Improving your body’s ability to burn ketones means your body will be more adaptable to the new energy source, and this will make the symptoms of keto headache disappear quickly and you won’t feel them when your body gets used to ketones completely.

* Here are 7 tips to consider for treating and avoiding “keto headache”:

1. Drink water and add salt to it

Drinking enough water is an important remedy for a “keto headache” because when you follow the keto diet for the first few days, a person loses a large amount of water in his body.

In addition to that, it is necessary to drink water that contains a good amount of salt, and not to drink water alone in large quantities because this will lead to the disposal of more sodium with the water excreted out of the body.

2. Eat more vegetables that are low in carbohydrates and rich in water (Leafy, non-starchy vegetables)

There are plenty of low-carb vegetables that are rich in water, such as:

  • lettuce,
  • cabbage,
  • zucchini,
  • tomatoes,
  • cucumbers, peppers,
  • mushrooms,
  • kale,
  • and spinach.

So eating a good amount of this vegetable is essential in the keto diet, and at the same time, it can help treat a keto headache.

3. Try to eat more fats

* You may ask yourself, What are the best healthy fat sources that can help me avoid a keto headache?

Fatty fish like salmon is a rich source of protein and natural fats, as well as vitamins and minerals, so it is recommended that you eat them in moderate amounts during the keto diet.

You can also make your ketogenic meals based on some fatty meats like ribs or bacon, chicken thigh meat, as well as butter or coconut oil.

* Fats should make up about 65 – 70 per cent of your total daily calories.

4. Nutritional supplements

In many cases, nutritional supplements help speed up your body’s recovery from a keto headache, as well as help you enter ketosis quickly (adapt to fat).

Note: These supplements should not be considered a substitute for healthy foods that you should eat.

* The most important vitamins and minerals that can help relieve a keto headache are:

a. Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil): It is a natural anti-inflammatory antibiotic that helps reduce triglyceride levels in the body.

b. L-carnitine (Carnitine is necessary for the fat transfer procedure): A high intake of fats on the ketogenic diet, means you need to transport more fatty acids into the mitochondria for these fats to be oxidized. 

c. Co-Enzyme Q10: It is a very useful antioxidant that works to generate energy for the body’s cells.

* This antioxidant can effectively help you reach a state of ketosis faster.

5. Try to avoid high-intensity exercises

We all know that exercise improves the flexibility of the body’s metabolism, increases fat burning during the keto diet, and thus helps you lose weight.

* But be careful!!!!

To prevent a keto headache, a person should avoid intense exercise because it strains the body and increases the loss of fluids and important electrolytes from the body.

6. Take some ketone supplements

You might need to take an exogenous ketone supplement, why?
In summary, it can greatly help you in relieving the symptoms of keto headache.

* They are medicines that contain ketones that contribute to raising energy levels in your body.

* Ketones supplements can also contain essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and sodium.

7. Visit your own doctor

In the end, you have to pay attention if you have tried all these tips and instructions and are still suffering from a keto headache, we recommend that you consult your doctor.

Because if the keto headache lasts for a long time, know that the keto diet is not suitable for your health.

Final recommendations for a keto headache

* Don’t let a keto headache discourage your spirits.

The keto headache may make you feel hopeless and may make you think about not continuing the keto diet, but remember that taking some measures and steps will be sufficient to reduce all symptoms of the keto flu, including the headache you feel during the first days of keto.

Remember that having a headache due to a low amount of carbohydrates in the body is a natural condition that occurs for everyone and is not a problem that concerns you personally.

Believe in yourself, stick to your goal and continue to follow this diet, in order to lose weight and improve your overall health, you deserve it.

And always remember, this headache is only a temporary condition that will go away with time.

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