Struggling with extreme fatigue and weakness - day 15 into keto

(Celine) #1

Hi everyone.
I started the keto diet 2 weeks ago.
My main goal isn’t weight loss as I’m already pretty lean but more getting rid of my sugar addiction, food obsession. I was also really excited about the constant level of energy that seems to be a great benefit of keto.

Anyway I went from a high prot / moderate or high carb / low fat diet to strict keto. My macros went from 35%P 45%C 20%F to 20%P 5%netC 75F. The first few days were ok. On day 4 I got hit by an extreme fatigue. It went better on day 6 but then from day 8 to day 15 today I have been exhausted as HELL. Not only do I have absolute zero energy to work out (I’m not working out anymore I just can’t) but I can’t even carry my toddler. Everything seems almost impossible for me to do. Climbing the stairs, driving my car. I’m so weak. Getting out of the couch, raising my arms … this seems like a intense effort to me. I have a fitness monitor and noticed my HR dropped significantly since I started the keto diet. It went from 57/58 bpm resting to as low as 47 BPM.
To be honest I’m quite worried. I know of course about the keto flu but this seems to be pretty extreme now. I really want to keep going with the diet but wondering if I can actually survive it. Anyday now seems like a challenge to me …
Has anyone gone through this?
Also I’m having beef broth and tons of Himalayan salt on my food. Taking magnesium supp.

Thank for the help

(VLC.MD) #2

You have keto flu.

You might try carbing up for a bit.
And then try LCHF for a while (say 20-50 carbs for a few weeks).
and then lower your carbs from there.

(Duncan Kerridge) #3

How much food are you eating? In kcal terms.

(Celine) #4

Thank you for the input. I’ll try to do that. Is the fatigue supposed to be that extreme ??

(Celine) #5

I’m eating 1700 cal a day.
I’m a woman of 5’7 122lbs

(Duncan Kerridge) #6

Ok just wanted to check you were not starving yourself, you’re not.

(VLC.MD) #7


Everyone is different.

You quit cold turkey.
When alcoholics stop suppressing their brain with alcohol abruptly … they have a seizure. Maybe you had a sugar withdrawal “seizure”.

(Celine) #8

Yeah right. I was definitely expecting some kind of fatigue, but not that bad. I though my cold turkey strategy was a good move that would help be transition faster but apparently that was not the best plan for me.
I’ll incorporate a few more carbs here and there (maybe add in berries).

I do have a question regarding electrolytes. I know the keto flu is mainly due to electrolytes imbalance when ditching the carbs. Also the fact that my HR is that low seems to confirm I probably have electrolytes imbalance but I’m not really certain about going crazy on salt or not. I heard that electrolytes imbalance can also come from a too large quantity of sodium.
This morning I did get 2grams of himalyan salt. Is that a good move? Is that too much? I’m not sure

(Duncan Kerridge) #9

Are you taking any potassium? Some lo-salt will help you get some - don’t go mad, a quarter teaspoon is plenty.

(VLC.MD) #10

Make some Ketoade

(Kitty) #11

I went through that level of fatigue as well. I had to up my carbs so I could get out of bed. It’s been a SLOW journey for me working my way down from 80g TOTAL carbs to now at or below 20 and doing ok. I still haven’t experienced the energy people talk of, but I’ve only been in nutritional ketosis for 1.5 weeks. The best advice I can give is to try very small amount of carbs at a time, and then wait at least 1/2 day to see if it helps. In the beginning I only needed about 20-30g/day extra and then could get out of bed by afternoon. Note, vegetable carbs didn’t work, had to be fruit or starch carbs. That was JUST ME though. I was like you at HCLF WOE before. I really know what your going through! I don’t hear of it being that extreme very often, in fact I think you are the first. Good luck!

(Celine) #12

Thank you I’ll try to get my hands on that.

(Celine) #13

Thanks a lot for the recommendation.I’ll do that today.

(Celine) #14

I really appreciate the feedback and it gives me hope.
I came in this new lifestyle full of enthousiasm and motivation. I really want to get to that happy fat fuel mode so I do hang in there.
The day before switching to keto I was sill on my 200G + of carbs diet and went straight to 15G net carbs max a day without any transition.
I’ll have raspeberries and will do the ketoade drink.
Thanks a lot

(Kitty) #15

Keep me posted please!!

(Celine) #16

So I had a few carby snacks.
I got cottage chesse with raspberries and oats, with a total of 55g of carbs.
I didn’t get a chance to get the ketoade drink because I’m still at work but I can’t tell you I already feel way better. I’m not feeling like I’m on top of the world either, but I’m really less miserable than this morning.
Now I don’t really know what to do from there?
Should I go like you from like 80C a day (like probably today) to maybe what 70C tomorrow ? 60 ?
How did you do?

(Daniel Crispin) #17

Just a though here, have you cut out soda or other forms of caffeine?

Caffeine withdrawal feels exactly like what you are describing. It usually lasts about a week, just like Keto Flu.

(Celine) #18

No and I’m still having many diet cokes. I’m a sugar and a caffeine / diet coke addict. I didn’t cut the diet coke, I’m still having way too much caffeine everyday, even more since this keto flu has been hitting me bad.

(Kitty) #19

Right! I did the same thing by turning to caffeine. I had to go slower than what your talking about doing; more like 80 total carbs for a few weeks, then lower in 5g increments, one week at a time. Dr Atkins said 5g per week increments. Many people will disagree with me but that’s been my experience. I had to go to work and take care of my family. I was in bed for 24 hours straight one time until I finally had a little oatmeal and within 2 hours I was up and showering. I’m glad your feeling a little better. Try whatever feels right for you. We are all so different.

(Celine) #20

Oh My … I’m so happy I got your feedback. So yeah I totally feel you when you talk about 24 hours in bed. This state is so depressing to be honest. At that time were you already doing the slow carb decrements or was is because you did the cold turkey thing like I did?

So how long did it take for you to get into nutritional ketosis? I’m a bit worried that even though you have been low carb for apparently what seems to be quite a long time, you still haven’t experience that energy rush I’m so looking forward to.
You hear so many examples of people saying they got adapted in like 2 weeks, had just a few days of mild flu and then woke up feeling like a new self is born. Do you think that for some people the keto diet / meaning the ketosis state is just not working?