Edema after a few weeks on low carb

(Tim Cee) #1

Question for a friend: “Meat based low carb diet eating lots of meat products, eggs, and vegetables. I like sausage a lot. Why are my feet swollen? I have been losing weight though and walking.”

(bulkbiker) #2

Any medication?

Its unusual because mostly we shed water very quickly when on keto…

(Tim Cee) #3

Not that I know of. He is fairly averse to medication.

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #4

How old is he, does he have other medical conditions? Is walking a bunch a new activity for him and could this be from that?


Also, any hot humid weather conditions and/or mosquitos or other allergies? Those things can exacerbate water balance changes as the body released excess water previously stored by carbs, and also creates new water processes as fat cells switch out fat for water before they shrink (as Nurse Cindy is famous for saying: fat is like water balloons).

I went through some very frustrating edema my first late summer on keto and second full summer on keto, despite excellent electrolytic support and wondered if it would ever end, and it did eventually balance out as the weather cooled and my working conditions had less humidity.

(Tim Cee) #6

He is 33, has just started walking in the last two weeks. It is winter here—cold and rainy. Also, he is 6’5 and 380lbs.


too much salt. sometimes we overdo it big time for us when we don’t need that much??

(Allie) #8

Electrolytes? Even if he’s getting enough salt, what about potassium? They need to be in balance.


Context my dear @Fangs. It’s not full-on ketocarnivore, where salt reduction is a consideration for some strict carnivores.

This big man is 6’5” (a twin to the FrankOBear) and still eating some vegetables in the ketogenic mix, so it is more likely not enough salt due to the insulin drop and fluid loss in this context.

Edema, especially dependent edema, is likely due to not enough salt at his stage in his case.

Caveat: Oedema of the feet and ankles can be a symptom of heart disease. So that really should be checked.



I am thinking swelling. Would more salt help swelling happen plus we don’t know the menu truly? Meat products, sodium loaded? What sausage product, sodium loaded? I don’t know :slight_smile: That was my heading on this. Edema can be so many things in a way…like a combo of bad making that swelling so too much salt combined with other things???

that is why I did two ?? at the end of my sentence LOL

(Full Metal KETO AF) #11

I think the new walking activity is also at play, if he’s spending more time on his feet than before. Maybe excess drinking too. Faster than his kidneys can clear it. I had reduced kidney function before failure and had the same issues. Tell him to keep his feet up when he’s sitting if possible. I can still get edema if I drive several hours on a road trip. It might be water still coming out of fat too considering his weight. Hopefully it will sort out shortly. If not I would talk to my doctor. :cowboy_hat_face:

(Tim Cee) #12

He drives a truck 3500 miles per week in the states so there’s no shortage of being seated.

(Tim Cee) #13

New development, he called me today and said he went into the doctor (did not tell them he is low carb) and they gave him glucose to fix his low blood sugar (60) and then he, “peed like an elephant.” Today he is not peeing enough again. Also they said his kidneys are in good health. We talked about balancing vitamins and minerals. He is going to have the doc check his vitamin levels.

(Bob M) #14

Ooo, that’s not good. Does he have access to something like Virta Health?

I only get to 60 if I’ve been fasting at least 4+ days. He probably needs a doctor’s help in the beginning. And if he weighs that much, maybe he backs off the walking for a while?

(Coco Silk) #15

I noticed swelling in my fingers a few times since eating low carb and I think it’s something to do with the salt balance - I tried eating a more carnivore diet for a couple of days, plenty of salt, then at the end of one of those day I ate some zucchini, carrot and mushroom and later that night my fingers swelled a bit. So I think the fibre in the vegetables starts making your body hold fluids (and salt) again, so if you are eating a lot of vegetables, maybe watch the salt. Or just eat meat and salt and not so many vegetables. Maybe the second option would be better if he has a blood sugar that dropped down that low. If he needs any help with potential diabetes symptoms, the diabetes.co.uk forum is fantastic. Lots of folk over there maintain normal blood sugar eating low carb/keto/carnivore and I’m sure they would give you lots of good advice about the blood sugar issue too.

(Tim Cee) #16

My apologies for not giving the result sooner. My friend got better by being a little more liberal on the salt. He ended up losing more than a hundred lbs and thriving.


It was worth the wait as an update! Fantastic news.


wow very cool on that update…more power to him :slight_smile: