My face turns red after breaking fast

(Cagla Ersoy) #1

I’ve been doing 20/4 IF for 10 days now. and it’s going pretty well so far… but the past 4 nights I’ve been having red cheeks after breaking fast. it doesn’t happen immediately after the meal, but like 2 or 3 hours later my face starts to heat up. I’ve been avoiding sugar completely. I don’t eat anything high in carbohydrates. I don’t have any allergies as far as I’m aware… is this normal?
I’ve only experienced this in the past if I drink alcohol or eat too many sugary things…

my face literally burns right now that I can’t sleep. I splashed cold water to my face chest arms and it doesn’t seem to be effective.
is there anyone who experiences/experienced this? what should I do? I’m desperate :confused:

(Cagla Ersoy) #2

I only ate meatballs, mushrooms and green salad tonight.

(Robin) #3

Sorry to hear about your hot face. I have rosacea, so coffee, alcohol anxiety, all have an affect on my face. Not sure why you are having issues now. Hopefully someone will be able to answer this. I’ve been KETO for 1.5 years and am not giving up my coffee or vodka, lol. Good luck!

(Windmill Tilter) #4

How long have you been keto? What did you eat the other 4 nights? What did you drink? Maybe there is a common denominator?

(Carl Keller) #5

From what I’ve read, flushing can be caused by a reaction to certain foods with histamines or even MSG.

Foods that are high in histamines are:

  • Alcohol
  • Pickled or canned foods – sauerkrauts
  • Matured cheeses
  • Smoked meat products – salami, ham, sausages….
  • Shellfish
  • Beans and pulses – chickpeas, soy beans, peanuts
  • Nuts – walnuts, cashew nuts
  • Chocolates and other cocoa based products
  • Vinegar
  • Ready meals
  • Salty snacks, sweets with preservatives and artificial colorings
  • Spinach

My face gets flushed when I drink alcohol and I found that taking ibuprofin and drinking lots of water helps reduce it. Some other suggestions I found in various articles suggest a cold compress, a cool shower and coconut oil applied to the affected areas.

I hope this is helpful @cagla_ersoy.

(Cagla Ersoy) #6

it has been 10 days. I drink 3 or 4 cups of black coffee during the day. I only eat 1 meal at the evenings and it’s mostly chicken or canned tuna, with green salad, steamed broccoli or cauliflower. sometimes I add mushrooms or eggs but that’s pretty much all.

(Cagla Ersoy) #7

@CarlKeller Thank you for your suggestions!

(Cagla Ersoy) #8

Maybe coffee is the problem. Ill try to not drink coffee tomorrow and see how it will be :coffee::coffee::coffee:

(Rosalie Thayer) #9

Do your salads contain spinach? I have been breaking my fast with 2 eggs, 4 ounces of potatoes, avocado and 2 cups of spinach and this has been happening

(Kelli Flagg) #10

I am not keto but I am fasting and this happens to me as well. I break fast usually around 12:30pm and by 2:00 or so my face is red & hot. It’s very strange! Did you find when you quit coffee it helped? I usually only have 1 coffee in the a.m so I don’t see why it would affect me 7 hours later.

(Ethan Anwar) #11

Hi guys!

Any updates on this topic? I’ve been having the same issue. I was breaking fast between 1pm and 4pm and my face burned up for hours. The longer the fast, the longer my face burns.
I was also drinking a lot of coffee during the day and eliminating it seems to make things a bit better but not by much.
I also tried a 48h fast and when i broke it, things got a lot worse, the burning was much more intense and for a longer time.
I would really appreciate what you guys discovered since so we can get to the bottom of this. Thanks a lot!

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #12

One question I would have is whether this sensation is associated with a rise in body temperature. Have you tried taking your temperature before ending the fast, and then again, once your face feels hot?

Also, what happens after the normal night fast, namely between supper and breakfast? Does that produce the same result? Is the strength of the facial sensation related to the length of the fast?

(Ethan Anwar) #13

Hi @PaulL and thanks for your interest!

In my case, after many tests, the burning intensity and duration are directly proportional to the length of the fast.

It’s just my head that feels hot, not the rest of my body. I have taken my temperature multiple times and it’s the same normal value during and outside the fast. So even if I feel a burning sensation, the temperature is normal.

If I eat breakfast nothing happens. So the night fast is either too short or somehow it doesn’t trigger the same reaction. That’s what I’m doing at the moment: I force myself to eat every morning so that i break the fast early and it doesn’t get to the burning sensation in the afternoon.

But after over a week of eating breakfast, I tested fasting until 4pm again and the burning came back immediately while I was eating (I ate grilled chicken breast. No salt, no garlic, nothing ).

It’s good that I know how to go around it for the moment, but I have no idea what’s causing it. It’s a long stretch but I’m thinking it might be some bacteria in the stomach/ intestines that’s multiplying while fasting and some sort of reaction takes place when the digestion process begins (maybe killing some of those bacteria). Or something insulin/pancreas related…


The simple answer is to stop fasting. It sounds like it could be a hormonal response. Introduce a 16/8 protocol 2-3 times per week. Shift your eating window so that you have your first meal within 30 minutes of waking up.
In Dr. Jason Fung’s program, he recommends a form of keto combined with IF. Fung says, “People may lose weight while fasting because the body uses two different types of energy: sugar and fat.” Once glucose runs out, the body will turn to fat stores. This is known as metabolic switching. Generally, he recommends IF 2-3 times per week. Note that Dr. Fung does not fast himself.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #15

Well, that’s one potential cause checked off the list. Obviously, then, something is stimulating blood flow to your face. I wonder what?

So it definitely correlates with the duration of going without food, then. Interesting.

I agree, and was going to make the same suggestion.

@ethananwar: Fasting is not necessary for success on keto, and you sound new enough to this way of eating for even intermittent fasting to be inadvisable, even if it weren’t causing you this particular problem. I would suggest that for now, you concentrate on keeping carbs low, while eating three meals a day. Once you find yourself forgetting to eat breakfast, or not being hungry at suppertime–that’s the point at which to start tinkering with your meal pattern. I suspect that by then, you will be over whatever is currently causing the pain and redness in your face.

(Robin) #16

I agree…. Fasting usually will just happen naturally, if at all. It’s not a nec.

(Bob M) #17

My guess is that it’s probably not bacteria-related, at least not bacteria in the gut. But I don’t know.

I wonder what would happen if you fasted but tried an oral probiotic:

This is a random one. You’d have to find one that was “clean”, without too many additives. And this helps a bit to narrow down what to look for:

You’d fast with this probiotic and then see if your face issues lessen.