Racing heart and brain fog


I started eating keto style оne week ago in a try to help my chronic gastritis/reflux. I consume mainly soups from broth with green vegetables, low carb nuts and avocado because I do not want to stress my stomach with heavy food at this point. I have a problem with most diary products, so I avoid them since a long time. Anyway, the problems started from day 3. I woke up with racing heart and brain fog. I thought it’s a low bp so I called my wife from next room to bring me salty water, because I could not get off the bed. Throughout the day the feeling didn’t change much. Heart pounding hard, lightheadness, fatigue. I read about electrolyte disbalance, so I upped my Mg supplement to 750-1000 mg a day, make sure to consume more salt and drink more water. Also eat food high in potassum - broth, avocado, nuts evert day. Taking brazil nuts for selenium etc. I believe the broth soups which contain the soft tissue as well should make up for not eating dairy and the calcium intake. It’s 7th day and today I feel just slightly better, but nowhere near well. I was used to do moderate workouts before, but right now I can’t even imagine doing one. Is this going to pass away soon?

(Allie) #2

Electrolytes, you need lots more salt (good quality salt, not table salt).


Hi, thanks for your reply. What do you mean by quality salt? Is pink Himalayan salt ok? Also how much salt?


I don’t know what your problem is but I think you should eat, well, food. Proper food. You have problem with dairy, fine. What about eggs or meat? You can eat even lower-fat if that works for you better (though nuts are high-fat too) but living on nuts and avocado seems very inadequate to me (it’s just snacking from my own, admittedly biased viewpoint, I would feel horrible for sure). Even if it’s just a few days so it wouldn’t be a problem for many (at least to the body, it’s quite restrictive but sometimes we need and can handle that), you may be an exception.
If you have some super good reason to eat like this, ignore me.
I don’t know what is heavy food for you.

If sodium does nothing, maybe it’s not that but how much do you consume from it?

Dizziness is usually lack of food or (the super rare) lack of sodium in my case, surely there are lots of other options but these two are quite common.

(Karen) #5

Sounds as though you are not eating nearly enough. I agree with @Shinita. You maybe need to give us a log of your food intake per day with your current stats, height weight etc… there are a number of long term ketoers on here who will no doubt pass on their views.

(Bacon is better) #6

The essence of a ketogenic diet is to control carbohydrate (keep daily intake under 20 g) prioritise protein (get at least 1.0-1.5 g per kg of lean body mass daily, possibly as much as 2.0 g/kg), and fill with fat (i.e., eat enough to satisfy your hunger). This is a way of eating that promotes low insulin and metabolic health, with weight-normalisation as one of its effects.

You probably need more protein and fat than you are currently getting. Also, salt intake should be in the range of 10-15 g of sodium chloride daily (including salt already present in food), with water drunk to thirst. Getting enough salt will help your body hang onto its magnesium and potassium.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #7

I started keto at the age of 71, in Jan 2017, with a 4-day water fast. One of the first things that happened to me - within a week or 10 days - was the end of a life-time of flatulence, reflux and indigestion. If I got no other benefits than these, I would still eat keto for the rest of my life. Starting keto is the best thing you’ve done for yourself and your current distress will pass if you stay with it and figure out your electrolyte balance. One possibility to consider: you may be supplementing sufficient sodium, potassium and magnesium, but need to supplement trace elements as well. Himalayan pink salt is a decent source of trace minerals, but they’re not very bioavailable because they’re crystalline. Dissolving the salt in water and drinking the water will help make them more bioavailable. A better source of trace minerals is ionic minerals from sea water. You can find many brands of this at any health food store. And they’re well worth the seeming inflated price, since you only need a very small amount daily.

Suggestions: drop the veggie broth, there’s next to zip nutrients in it and most is probably carbs; drop the nuts, even ‘low carb’ nuts have too many carbs; avocados are OK, but they also contain significant carbs (8% of total weight - yes, I know most is fiber, but not all) so it’s easy to ‘carb out’ with them, one or two or three large avocados per day will get you a long way towards 20 grams of carbs. Are you measuring/weighing food portions? If not how do you know how many carbs you’re eating?

If you can’t tolerate dairy - even hard cheese like grana padano? or soft cheese like Boursin? - that makes things a bit more challenging. But, many folks share that intolerance and do just fine on keto.

Do you drink coffee? If so, you can add lots of keto ingredients to make it a very ‘soft’ and palatable meal. I do so every morning with my daily ‘keto coffee’.

As for suggestions for what you can eat, I’m sure others here will respond. You can also google something like ‘keto diet for a sensitive stomach’ and see what turns up.

(Troy John) #9

By Mg you mean Magnesium? IMHO, 750-1000mg of magnesium is way over the recommended dosage which can give you the problems you are having.


I’m sorry I wasn’t very specific in my post. I am not well educated about keto diet. I’ve read basic stuff about it long time ago an decided to jump on the chance one week ago after my last balanced meal. I just can’t get my GERD under control. I think I have yeast infection and I thought it is a good idea to keep carbs to a minimum in a try to starve bad gut bacteria. I started with meals consisting mainly from broth, because it has the power to heal inflamed gut wall. At this point my gut is still sensitive, so I can not afford to eat fried food anytime soon, but I am willing to introduse baked meals. I will certainly need to search for recepies and learn more about keto friendly food.

@amwassil No, I am not measuring my portions. I will try to calculate my carbs intake from now on. I have strange problem with dairy. I’m not allergic per se, but I’m getting awful acid reflux after consiming it, especially from yogurt and the white so called “greek” cheese, but I’m bulgarian and we call it bulgarian cheese. :slight_smile: I hardly tollerate french soft cheese too. Mozarella is somewhat OK, hard cheese like grana padano is OK too given I consume it in moderation. About the broth it is not veggie, but from bones and meat, but we’re used to add some veggetables and turn it into a soup. I’ve never been a coffee drinker.

@Troy001 Yes about 750mg magnesium. I believe it is too much and cut down on it already.

I must say I feel significantly better than yesterday. I’m not sure I am heading towards ketosis though, but I’m motivated to keep going and improve my knowledge about the food I chose to eat.

(Laurie) #11

Glad you’re feeling better!

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #12

As mentioned above by @PaulL if you keep your net carbs sub-20 grams per day consistently you will be in ketosis. It’s important to stay consistently in ketosis when you start because a lot happens and you have to stay in ketosis for it to happen.

If you’re making your own broth from bones and meat be sure to include fat as well, as much as you can tolerate. If you’re including veggies to add some flavour I recommend keeping the veggie content very low. As an alternative (or supplement) to adding veggies for flavour, you might try ‘hot sauce’ instead. I know it seems counter-intuitive to eat hot sauce when you have stomach and/or intestinal sensitivity. But you only need a few drops or a gram or two to add a lot of flavour and capsaicin might actually help heal your digestive issues.


Thank you all for your replies! However I give up on keto for now. I went through the brain fog phase, but my heart rhythm never settled down. 85+ resting HR, 110+ just by standing up is not what I am used to. For reference my resting HR before starting was 60-70, and walking around at not more than 90. It’s not just the HR, but you can imagine walking up the stairs at 140 HR feeling like a very old man and I’m only 34. I made sure I get enough magnesium, potassium, calcium and above all sodium, but it seems lack of these electrolytes is not the culprit. However I am willing to try again. For now I will keep carbs low, but out of ketosis and will try to get into one slowly by gradually cutting down on carbs week after week. Perhaps this is possible strategy and my body will not be shocked that much? My decision was partially influenced, by finding out my sister, with whom I was in a contact in the past couple of days developed Covid symptoms. It’s very likely it is Covid, and also very likely she passed it on me. So I think potentially going through such an infection will not be ideal when I’m not in my full strength.

(Laurie) #14

I hope all goes well for you. Take care!


Yes I am having these symptoms and it is concerning me a lot. Today is day 29 for me on keto. Are electrolytes an answer? Lightheadedness while driving…not good.

(Rebecca ) #16

As for me, I drink an electrolyte beverage daily.

(Allie) #17

I add a scoop of a plain electrolyte powder to drinks throughout the day, sometimes to food too if it’s something I have to blend / mix.