Keto flu?

I’ve been considering trying low carb, where I would eat around ~30 grams of net carbs a day. Seeing as it can affect the brain in various way, like helping control seizures, for example, I’m curious and hoping that it will control my migraines and headaches. They are very much affected/triggered by blood sugar changes - sometimes even relatively small changes, and especially when I go low.

I assume this would put a type 1 diabetic in ketosis, just like it would a healthy person? If so, I’ve heard and read that some people have problems with the “keto flu”, causing headaches, muscle pains, fatigue, nausea etc.
How do you low carbers deal with this, if it’s even a problem for you? How long did it last?
I’m not particularly looking forward to more migraines and heachaches in the adjustment period…

migraines should be avoided.
I never went through the period of the Keto flu most likely because i started low carb eat 8 years ago very gradually. I started out at 50 to 60 carbs a day then worked my way lower. At the start my A1c was 6.3 and I have worked my way down to 30 carbs a day and at 5.6. I am a T2 No meds. It took about two years to be consistently at 30 or less. Maybe a slow introduction to Keto would help> What do Keto followers think.

I actually am no longer looking into the Keto program myself. I bought a Keto Mojo meter and found out that I was already in. Nutritional ketosis without starting the program. So the results where good for me, and I did not have to further restrict my WOE.

I started out limiting carbs to about 30 grams/day for a year or more , then I relaxed and floated up to 75 grams/day or so. I don’t remember any keto-flu symptoms but I think I was drinking bullion broth to mitigate the sodium loss.

When in ketosis, the body and even moreso, the brain runs on ketones. The brain is quite happy using ketones. There is an alertness brought on by the carb limits. I don’t know anything about migraine headaches but the extra ketones should, at a minimum, not make your headaches worse.

I say, give it a go. If it’s not working for you, then stop. I procrastinated for two years and I wish I hadn’t. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. Without much willpower I lost about 25 pounds in a few months. That was in 2012.


To help avoid the keto flu just make sure you are getting enough sodium in your diet. It’s recommended to drink bone broth or even plain soup broth to help ward off any flu-like symptoms. It only lasted a day or two for my husband and I.


I ate only 30 carbs a day for about 11 yrs. Towards the end of that time I was getting migraines along with flashing lights. Very unpleasant. I never blamed them on the low carb diet, but since I switched to a low fat plant based diet I have never had another migraine. Could just be a coincidence. I now eat about 300+ healthy carbs daily.

i lost more weight on this low fat diet and only take 23 units of insulin. I took about 17 when low carbing.

Since I have been a type 1 for 60 yrs, I have no working beta cells.

Best of luck to you.

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Broth even bullion cubes (for sodium) work great and I also take low dose potassium and magnesium everyday since I already had electrolyte imbalances before going low carb. The keto flu is caused by depleted electrolytes because carbs help you to hang on to those nutrients better. So just conservatively replace them and you shouldn’t have any issue.

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Thanks, I think I will try a few days to start with, and add extra sodium to my diet. :slight_smile:

I did try low fat high carb vegan diet for a month, and I did drop around around ~30% in my insulin need, but I found my BG to be a bit volatile, causing even more migrains, but on my good days I did feel great. I don’t really know how to explain it, it’s like the insulin reacted extra fast during that time, and fast changes triggered the migrains.

I’ve been type 1 for 14 years, and I currently take around 45 to 50 units/day of Fiasp, and the same amount of NovoRapid/NovoLog before. I don’t know if this is a particularly high amount?

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I will probably be mostly vegetarian to start with when I try low carb, but still use eggs, dairy and maybe fish - at least in the beginning. I’m really not a fan of land based meat. :stuck_out_tongue:
I use the app called Lifesum, and the people there a great help with a lot of things, including recipes specifically for certain times of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks), as well as tracking calories and macronutrients. You can also make meals plans there.

It looks like you have a plan. Good luck and let us know how you do.

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