Anxiety actually coming back slightly on Keto


You mention anxiety after coffee. One thing I have noticed in my own Keto journey is that I am MUCH more sensitive to substances than I used to be. Caffeine or alcohol hit me WAY harder. Just bringing it up as carbs or carb timing may not be the issue.

(Bunny) #22

Dr. Axe has some really good information on Tryptophan and on side effects as well.

“…Supplementing with a combination of calming, anxiety-reducing amino acids and herbs — such as L-tryptophan, St. John’s wort and 5HTP — has been shown to help people overcome addictions by increasing serotonin and melatonin production. L-tryptophan is often given to people trying to quit smoking in order to improve the effectiveness of conventional treatment programs that teach people to control impulses and their emotional states better. (6) …” …More

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #24

And that balance should be heavily away from high-carbohydrate foods and greatly in favour of low-carbohydrate foods. Sticking to real, whole foods and avoiding the hyperprocessed junk on the market is a good approach.


Hi Lion,

I have similar problems. Dave MaCleod (climber - suffered moderate depression fixed by keto) supports carbs at night to help with training saying it boost’s training - I’m going to try this out.

Can you advise where to learn about Tryptophan and Serotonin - any books you’d recommend?

I was on one meal a day for a few months which was great for my MH but I think it masked the cause. I’m working on that through TalkWorks but I do think nutrition has a big part to play in staying at the right end of the spectrum. If you’re nutrition forces happiness then you’ll naturally change in attitude and thinking.

Talking about MH is important to break the Stigma too (they won’t send you away any more - we can come out of hiding) so great to see posts on this.

Please please let me know how you’re getting on long term. If I find any solutions I will post.

TalkWorks recommended.

Great post thanks.

(Eve) #26

@Lionheart. I have had exactly the same experience as you and came to the same conclusions about serotonin, ssris, low carbs etc. I have posted some of this in the mental health section, but basically, my serotonin has always been low , and going on the keto WOE has gradually resulted in me suffering depression and anxiety again. I have had many physical benefits from keto so have been very reluctant to go above 20g carbs, but l am almost positive now, that for me and my neuro chemistry, l need more carbs, particularly at night. So l was very interested to read your posts.
As many say on this site, everyone is different, we need to listen to our own bodies and the keto diet is not for everyone.

(Bob M) #27

Have you tried higher fat, similar to Amber O’Hearn’s idea of eating animal fat first? What about exogenous ketones?

I’m just wondering whether it’s ketone related for some? That is, if you initially got good results, but get lower results (more depression symptoms returning for instance) over time, could that be related to a lower level of ketones over time?

(Eve) #28

I absolutely agree with what you have written Lionheart!

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #29

The Hacking of the American Mind, by Robert Lustig.

(B Creighton) #30

To support serotonin levels eat some fiber to feed the gut microbes that make it. I ate cruciferous veggies all through keto with success.

It is also possible you are experiencing some histamine issues from an imbalanced gut. Histamines can produce anxiety in some, but if you aren’t having other inflammation issues, it is probably something else. Some probiotics will actually turn the histadine from proteins into histamine, but we all have to have protein, so the answer is to introduce probiotics which don’t produce histamines.

(M) #31

I don’t know if this can be of help for you, but some things I have noticed cause me anxiety:

caffeine, coffee for sure (a bit of unsweet tea were ok in the past but I skip it all together now)
especially if I had caffeine and no protein in the morning or afternoon that would not be good…
coconut oil - for whatever reason I can take this at night and it helps me sleep but I get dizzy from it, almost like a high, and than in the morning I noticed I have worse anxiety.
lack of protein - the less protein I eat the more I go into panic mode
lack of sleep - causes mw more anxiety during the day
rising mercury from seafood seems to bring it on as well


Anxiety can be quite complex and can sometimes have unexpected triggers. It’s possible that the change in your diet might have impacted your serotonin levels or cortisol patterns. Since you’ve had positive experiences with moderate carbs in the past, it’s worth considering a balanced approach. Listen to your body and maybe experiment with adjusting your carb intake. If anxiety persists, you can try the best kratom vendors to treat it. I hope that helps!

(Eve) #33

That is very possible!

(Luke) #34

Hi L. Coffee is the worst trigger for my anxiety. I noticed you said , your worries came about while enjoying your coffee in the morning. Don’t worry I still sneak them in , depending on what’s going on. I love the taste and ritual of coffee but have to admit it’s so bad for my anxiety and can last half a day.

(KM) #35

I’d agree with this. The intensified awareness / awakeness and slightly elevated heart rate are great when you’re in a good mood but feeling a bit underpowered, but can just exacerbate anxiety, which produces some of the same effects, if you’re already feeling concerned about something.

(deliomask) #36

It’s interesting how dietary changes like Keto can impact mental health. Sometimes, alterations in diet affect the body’s chemistry, including the production of hormones like serotonin. Anxiety might fluctuate during such transitions. It’s crucial to observe these changes closely and seek professional guidance if needed.

(Mark) #37

I LOVE coffee but unfortunately the caffeine also makes my anxiety issues worse. I have been decaf since October and it has worked well for me and I still get to enjoy drinking coffee.