Ketosis is the name for the state achieved on a ketogenic or low carb diet. According to WebMD, when you are in ketosis, it means your body is burning fat for energy. When this happens, your body releases ketones into your bloodstream, and you enter ketosis. This state can cause different temporary symptoms. One of the most efficient ways is by following the ketogenic diet. If you want to know more about this diet, check out this article.
Understanding the Symptoms
Many dieters develop symptoms that let them know that ketones are present. For many people starting a low carb or ketogenic diet, ketosis enters after a few days of strict adherence to the diet. In fact, in many of the low carbohydrate diets, such as Atkins, Paleo, or Ketogenic, the initial phase includes consuming less than 25 grams. Carbs to kick start ketosis. You can test yourself with ketone test strips, or rely on symptoms to see if you’ve achieved ketosis.
The symptoms of ketosis vary, depending on how long you’ve been in ketosis. In the initial stages, the symptoms can be a bit unpleasant. Still, as your body adjusts to the ketones in the bloodstream, the symptoms may lessen. Initial symptoms usually last a few days or up to 1 week in some people. This period of symptoms is known as the “keto flu” ketosis flu. It may continue until your body gets used to burning fat instead of glucose. After this, ketone levels should be lowered, but that doesn’t mean you’re not losing weight. It means that your body has found a balance and is no longer over-producing ketones.
Some of the symptoms in this early stage include:
- Flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue or a headache
- Cloudy mind
- Unusual thirst
- Strong palpitations
- Dry mouth
- Ketone breathe, smell fruity and unpleasant
- Low energy and weakness
- Trouble sleeping
- Cold hands and feet
- Much desire to urinate
As your body adjusts to ketones, your symptoms may change or go away. If you are using keto strips, your urine may still contain ketones, although probably in small amounts. The amount of ketones in your urine is not correlated with weight loss.
As your body adjusts, you enter an optimal ketogenic state, according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, and you may start to notice:
- Increased energy
- Better control of blood sugar
- Fewer food cravings
- Better brain function and clearer thoughts
- Fewer migraines
- Improved metabolic status
Sometimes people on low-carb diets never reach a state of ketosis, or at least the test strips never indicate excess ketones. This may be because excess ketones are used up during exercise or because urine is diluted as a result of high amounts of drinking water. This does not mean that you will not be losing weight or burning fat, it just means that you are technically not in ketosis.
Coping With Symptoms
Ketosis is a common part of low carb diets, and of course, it is an essential part of the ketogenic diet, but not always a pleasant part. There are some things you can do to help lessen these symptoms:
- Get enough sodium. Sodium, an electrolyte, is lost in large amounts in low-carbohydrate diets.
- Don’t give up on proteins. Always include a high protein food like a chicken drumstick and this will reduce headaches and other symptoms.
- Take a multivitamin and increase your intake of foods that contain magnesium and potassium.
- Don’t overdo it. It will be good to moderate your exercise until your body adapts.
- Take amino acids. There are many shakes and foods rich in amino acids that will help reduce these symptoms. Just take care that they do not contain carbohydrates.
- Drink lots of water. It should replace all the water loss retained in your body and it will also help freshen your breath.