Need help troubleshooting my symptoms


I am in very good general health, blood sugar usually very low, used to eat whole foods, my weight is perfect, and I work out regularly.
I started keto two days ago, have been eating little protein, plenty of veggies and avocado, and also taking magnesium chloride supplements.
I have been experiencing the following symptoms:

  • muscle cramps in my legs.
  • dull ache in the lower back/kidneys.
  • occasional light twitching in my right eye.
    The information I have read points to:
  • potassium or magnesium deficiency.
  • stomach too acid.
  • blood too alcaline.
    Could anyone give me some clues on how to fix this, or where to find pertinent information, since what I have found so far is a bit contradictory and confusing.


(Susan) #2

Welcome to the forum @black-clover.

If you drink this, and keep your carbs to 20 grams or less, NO sugar, drink a lot of water, and adequate proteins and healthy fats, you should be good. You are experiencing carb and sugar withdrawal and a lack of electrolytes and salt.

If you have any more questions, just ask, there are many people on the forum, all wanting to help you succeed in your Keto Journey =).

(Keto Cancer Fighter) #3

And always consult a doctor if you are really bothered by the symptoms, or if they don’t improve!

(bulkbiker) #4


(Eric - The patient needs to be patient!) #5

Protein is a required macro. It is not to be avoided. Please do your research on protein requirements.

(Sheri Knauer) #6

What sticks out for me is you mention stomach being too acid. What makes you think that may be the case? Typically it is the opposite. People usually have not enough stomach acid and that can affect a lot of other things. If your stomach does not have enough acid, then you can’t properly break down your foods and absorb the nutrients your body needs.
I suspect, as others have mentioned, that you need more protein, especially since you exercise regularly, and need to keep up with electrolytes, because as you deplete your glycogen stores, you also lose water and electrolytes.

(It's all about the bacon, baby!) #7

Welcome to the forums!

Most of the symptoms you report are from not eating enough salt. Try to get between 10 and 15 grams (2-3 U.S. teaspoons) a day, for maximum health. This will also help your body retain potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Also, making sure to drink to thirst will help keep your electrolytes balanced. Don’t overdo the liquid, as overhydration can have serious ill effects.

The main characteristic of a well-formulated ketogenic diet is low carbohydrate intake. This is to keep insulin secretion low, thus preventing the metabolic damage caused by chronically elevated serum insulin. We want enough insulin, but not too much. Carbohydrate, being mostly chains of glucose molecules, strongly stimulates the secretion of insulin, which is why you want to keep your intake strictly limited.

Protein, while it stimulates insulin secretion to some degree, is required in the diet. We recommend a moderate amount, between 1.0 and 1.5 grams per kilogram of lean body mass a day. If you are trying to build muscle, eat at the higher end of the range. You could even go as high as 2.0 g/kg/day.

The remainder of your energy then must come from dietary fat. The good news is that fat has a negligible effect on insulin, so it is a safe source of calories. In a low-carbohydrate context, fat will satisfy hunger and still allow any excess body fat to be shed. We recommend eating to satiety, not to an arbitrary caloric level, so as to avoid the problems posed by over- and under-eating. When insulin is kept low, the hormonal mechanisms that regulate appetite are free to work properly, making hunger and satiety good signals for knowing when to eat and when to stop eating.

(Robert C) #8

I get this regardless of being Keto or not. It instead happens when I overdo caffeine.

This link has a boatload of reasons for eye twitching (none Keto):


Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately, KetoAide is not available where I live.


Avoided meat last night and ate just cheese with spinach. Kidney pain improved noticeably.


I’ve read in Dr. Phinney and Dr Berg sites that is best to keep proteins low on the first days, 1/3 proportion to fats, to avoid gluconeogenesis. I have been eating about 60 net gr of protein for my weight, 69 kg.


I have seen a video where Dr. Berg says too much stomach acidity from eating too many protein could cause kidney ache. However, he also says in other videos that the same symptoms (together with cramps and eye twitching) might be caused by blood being too alcoholized or electrolytes deficiency. That is what confuses me. Anyway, I ate no meat last night and kidney pain is almost gone.


Thanks for the reply.

(bulkbiker) #14

I’m afraid I don’t rate Dr Berg in the slightest. Protein is essential and with only three macronutrients when you are cutting carbs then fat and protein consumption have to be raised.
GNG is demand driven and will only happen if your body requires the glucose.


Thanks for the link. I haven’t experienced the eye twitch before and is among the symptoms the most confusing cause there seem to be so many possible causes for it. By the way, the twitch is not in the eyelid but just below the outer corner of my left eye. It’s very mild but still unusual.

(Bob M) #16

I believe you make the ketoaide based on the formula provided.


I have noticed Dr. Berg contradicting himself sometimes. It’s good to know how these people are considered in the keto comminity.


OK, then I have it covered.

(Full Metal KETO AF) #19

Hey @black-clover, welcome to our forum. My question is when you say excess stomach acid are you referring to reflux? This is an indication of not enough acid in your stomach. The usual stupid medical solution is to put you on a PPI drug (proton pump inhibitor) to reduce stomach acid. This is a temporary fix at best but it tends to be something doctors prescribe and forget about, and they are harmful over time. Pepcid AC, omeprazole and others. What reflux is is undigested food hanging in your stomach starting to ferment. The expansion pushes stomach acid into the oesophagus. I used to use those drugs everyday, I have a hiatal hernia. I have quit them finally but take one occasionally when it flares up, usually after eating too much cooked concentrated tomatoes. I have heard lots of people here using ACV to increase stomach acid to heal this condition. The other part of this equation is salt. Here in Ketoland salt fixes almost everything. It will definitely help with the leg cramps. Kidney pain might be an indication of insufficient hydration which need to be kept up on KETO too. Make sure you’re using 2-3 teaspoons of salt per day. That sounds like a lot and it is compared with what most people use before KETO. When I get cramps or a headache salt is the first thing I try, Tylenol if that doesn’t work. I weigh out 3g. of pink rock salt and wash it down with about a pint of water. Usually I forget I was in discomfort within a few minutes. It’s magic! I agree with the others, dial back veggies and up your meat/protein intake.

I’m glad you joined the forum, good luck with your Ketogenic endeavours. :cowboy_hat_face:

(Murphy Kismet) #20

THIS ought to be on a shirt, or made into a meme, or be in some way immortalized.