Bloating/Pain/Tired/Female Issues

(Jade Nicholson) #1


I’ve never been in a forum before to ask questions on anything before… but i am really struggling. And I dont know what to do.

I’ve been doing keto for just over 3 weeks now (in support of the bf who started it and I thought “hey, why not!”) And despite the depressing topic title, I have lost around 3 kg. However, i am having some serious issues and i just want to know if this is just me? Itll pass? Worth it ?? Because I actually feel horrible.

I feel exhausted. All. The. Time. EXHAUSTED. I cant express this point enough.
Im bloated. More bloated than I have ever been in my life. My stomach is physically swollen to the point it’s solid. And it hurts!
(I also cant poo.)
I pee like someone left a tap on inside me. Im waking up through the night hourly to go pee. I pee all day.
Did I mention that fact im exhausted?
My period is due in 3 days. However, I’ve already had it for 2 weeks now. My period is messed up. And im on the pill and generally run like clock work. (I’m 34 if it matters)
Trying to explain to my bf that my body just feels like its filled with heavy cream. Everything feels THICK. I feel like the blood flowing through my veins is syrup. Im beyond tired I can barely summon the energy to go a reasonable length walk, never mind actually exercise!

Im eating around 1400/1500 cals a day. Aiming for 40g max carbs (trying to incorporate more fibre) a rough ratio is 10%/60%/30% of carb/fat/protein respectively but I monitor it each day by the actual amount of carbs.

Iv previously worked in gym/hospitality for many years so fairly savvy on whats good for eating so im not literally living solely on meat, cheese and cream.

Im just suffering bad side effects and wondering if this is doing me more harm than good :frowning:

Anyone else had this??

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #2

Aside from other possible issues, which I’m sure folks with more precisely pertinent info will address, you are going through the Carb Withdrawal From Hell.

The good news is it will pass - regarding your bowels, yes, literally!

The not so good news is maybe not for a while. The most important thing you can do to help lessen the discomfort and pain is to increase your sodium, potassium and magnesium intake. Yes, more salt in the form of Redmond’s Real Salt and/or Himalayan Pink Salt (for sodium), French’s NoSalt (for potassium), and generic Epsom Salt for magnesium. Search this forum for recommendations regarding quantities of each. I’ll mention that Epsom Salt can be used as a laxative. But I recommend you try MCT oil first.

I know it doesn’t feel like it now, but if you stay the course you will discover that keto is the best thing you ever did for your health and well-being. :slightly_smiling_face:

(Edith) #3

Three weeks in is still early for fat adaptation. That takes anywhere from 6-8 weeks. And it’s a gradual improvement, not a switch. Your muscles will feel like lead until your cells learn how to use their new fuel source, fat. That’s what takes time and adaptation.

I would definitely work on electrolytes. Muscle glycogen stores 4 grams of water for each gram of glycogen. As you use up your stores, you lose a lot of water and with it sodium. You will want to get more salt in your diet. Drinking bouillon tea is a tasty way. I used make myself electrolyte water where I would have 32 oz of water and mix in 1/2 teaspoon salt and about 1/8 teaspoon of No Salt. Then I would drink that for my water. When I’m feeling lazy or too busy, I just toss down a 1/4 teaspoon of salt with some water.

Taking magnesium will help with your digestive tract. Mg helps muscles relax. All muscles, if you know what I mean. Lol. Natural Calm which you can mix into water is nice and if taken in the evening helps with sleep. Tablet form also works.

As far as menstrual trouble: there are several threads on the forum discussing the problems you are having. Do a search on the topic and you will find them. You can always revive an old thread. People will chime in.

From what I understand, estrogen gets stored in fat. When we burn fat, extra estrogen floods our system and that is what causes the irregularities.
The hormones do settle down over time. Unfortunately, I can’t help with the pill. I never took it. I believe it is also mentioned in some of those threads.

It will get better. The trouble you are having is frequently referred to as the keto flu. Once you get your electrolytes squared away it will make a big difference.

Welcome to the forum. We are a great group, if I do say so myself. :grinning:

(Susan) #4

Welcome to the forum, Jade =). I agree with giving your body time tyo adjust.

I found early on an important thing for me was upping my salt —so I bought Pink Himalyan Salt the little rocks of it and swallowed some daily, that helped me lots =).

(Bacon by any other name would taste just as great.) #5

As others have mentioned, constipation is one of the symptoms of lack of sodium, which we excrete more readily when we stop eating so much carbohydrate. If you increase your salt intake enough, it should make bowel movements a lot easier. (If your bowel movements get too much easier—if it happens, you’ll know what I mean—then cut back a bit on the salt.

You probably don’t need to worry about fibre, since most people on keto find that it is a hindrance, rather than a help. As one well-known doctor in the keto world likes to put it: “Carbohydrate is poison, and fibre is the antidote. If you’re not eating the poison, you don’t need the antidote.”

Lack of sodium could also be making you a bit hypovolaemic (low blood volume), which doesn’t help with the energy issues.

As for the women’s issues, a lot of women report that they had to go through a period of hormonal regulation for a few weeks before things settled down. But they generally have found keto to be worthwhile in the end, so I would encourage you to hang in there for a bit before giving up on this way of eating. There are plenty of posts about woman-specific issues in the Health forum. If you don’t see Health listed on the list of categories, send me a private message, and I will give you access. (We lock it to keep people’s personal information from being accessible to Internet search engines.)

Lastly, it sometimes happens that people who embark on a ketogenic diet coincidentally develop an unrelated health problem at the same time. So if things don’t seem to be getting better soon, a visit to your doctor might be in order.

(Jade Nicholson) #6

Thank you for the reply! One thing I think I had massively overlooked on this was the importance of replacing the electrolytes! Since I seem to be flushing them out a lot more frequently than I was before.
And I’ll have a look into the MTC oil as well, thank you for the recommendation!

(Jade Nicholson) #7

The little anecdote about the poison and antidote does make a lot of sense that you have worded it like that, quote a useful little nugget of information.
The electrolytes is something I am going to work on replenishing so hopefully that helps get things moving along a bit better.
I’ve had a little look into the hormonal side of things and how estrogen is stored in fat cells, so when you start burning fat cells you essentially flood your body with higher volumes of estrogen. Takes some getting used to apparently

So im going to stick at it another few weeks.
Im determined.

(Jade Nicholson) #8

Thank you for the tip! And the welcome! I hugely overlooked the salts when embarking on this. I think that might have something to do with my general fatigue and bloating etc. Will start getting them in from now on!

(Jade Nicholson) #9

Thank you! My muscles feeling like lead couldnt be more accurate. Sluggish, thick, slow, puffy. I could go on.
Thank you, your post is really helpful and informative with the glycogen stores, salt, magnesium etc all helpful to know. Im going to be working on the electrolytes, something I definitely overlooked when starting this.
I was reading up about the estrogen this morning. And out of all of this, I think this will be the one thing that causes me to give up. Two weeks so far. My regular week coming up. Im so tired. Its too much for me to handle.

Im determined to try and stick with it. But that’s the one side effect im struggling with the most right now. Its draining me. :slightly_frowning_face:

(Robin) #10

I’m going to be indelicate and concentrate on your lack of poop. I take Magnesium Citrate in the powder form. (Natural Calm, mentioned above.) It recommends one scoops (325 mg). I take two, in a full glass of water, with stevia for taste. It gurgles and growls in my gut and makes me me a bit gassy. But… I always have loose stools (to put it mildly). I love this! Maybe because I was constipated for years. But once or twice a day, I feel like my whole system just got flushed. Heaven!

And yes, poop is a regular topic on this forum. You’re in good company here. No judgement. Just support. You got this!


I absolutely needed fiber at the beginning of my keto journey. Now, almost a year later, it doesn’t seem as much of necessity. I used an app to help guide me in nutrients needed and point me in the right direction and then made adjustments accordingly. Cronometer is what helped me figure out what was lacking. I think everyone gave you some ideas to try if you are someone that doesn’t like to track.
As mentioned, after a year of keto, my cycle is still irregular. I am 42 so that could be why but prior to keto I had a 30+ day cycle consistently and now I am barely making 28 days. Mostly less than. I don’t know if it will ever correct itself and I hopefully don’t have many years left of this. I don’t use birth contol because I had my tubes tied many years ago. Sorry to be the pessimist here but I feel I should share that it may be a long road ahead.