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Keto diet: experiencing headaches after starting keto? Side effects explained

Patrick Denker/Flickr

The ketogenic diet, or more popularly known as the keto diet, has become one of the most popular diets around because not only will you lose weight fast, but it can also help you manage your sugar levels.

It is a low-carb, high-fat diet, but in simple terms, it is minimizing the calories you get from carbohydrates and getting it more from fat and protein. This means you cut back on food that is rich in carbohydrates such as those with high sugar content like soda and pastries, white rice, white bread, and many more.

When your body runs out of carbs for energy because you ate less of it, it will instead use fat and protein, and this is where you can lose weight.

Of course, when you change something that your body has been used to like the food you eat, your body will need to adjust. For some, this is not much of a problem, but there are some who will experience side effects.

If you have just started on your keto diet and you are having headaches, worry not because headaches are a common side effect of switching to a keto diet.

Your headache is a result of you eating fewer carbohydrates, especially sugar. These ketosis headaches, as some health experts call it, can last from a day to a week or even longer.

Drinking plenty of water can help in easing these headaches until your body gets used to your new diet. You may also take it east on your exercises, at least until you no longer experience the headaches.

Ironically, the headaches are a sign that your keto diet is working. In fact, there have been claims that this ketogenic diet could be a potential treatment for migraines and cluster headaches.

Although more studies are needed to affirm the effectivity of keto diet on migraines and cluster headaches.

Aside from headaches, another side effect is what is known as the keto flu, a range of side effects such as cramps, tiredness, diarrhea, and weakness.

However, as your body gradually gets used to the keto diet, these side effects will also go away.

Although, if the headache persists, it is best if you visit a doctor and have yourself checked.

Image credit courtesy of Patrick Denker/Flickr

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