Struggling with extreme fatigue and weakness - day 15 into keto

(jilliangordona) #41

Ah, that makes sense as to why the price is so high. I am sorry to see that :-1:t2:

(Celine) #42

Yeah that’s very frustrating because many of the products I see mentioned in forums are not available in many countries outstide the US (not only where I live). Here I can’t find ketostix, lite salt, MCT oil, sugar free products (maybe that’s a good thing though), and also many supplements of all kind. Plus many of those products are even forbidden and destroyed by customs. That happened to me 2 months ago when I ordered a generic multivitamin which apparently contained a tiny bit of some exotic plant that is forbidden here …


So glad I used the “search” feature and found this thread because I was about to start one of my own but it would have been redundant. Today is day 15, and I have CRASHED. For the past 14 days my energy has been through the roof and first half of today I was a busy little bee, too, clear-headed, efficient, and multi-tasking. I went home for lunch as I always do and had a hot dog, half an avocado, and a 2" x 3" square of coconut meat. I’m now back at the office and I barely made it up the stairs and I can’t even focus on the monitor… my head just wants to fall. I’m guzzling coffee to see if I can get enough steam to finish out the day but my productivity is gone, and it feels like my brain cells are, too.

I’m eating about 1500 calories a day, staying under 25 carbs, usually a little over my fat macro and a little under my protein macro. I’m taking a multi-vitamin, B12, Vitamin D and magnesium. Is this just part of the process? Starting Friday I will be able to give in to it and stay on the couch for the weekend if I need to but tomorrow I have to get myself to the family festivities.

Couple of questions, please:

  • Anyone think this crashing fatigue might perhaps be a sign that we’re becoming fat adapted? Seems like more than coincidence that most of us feel this at around the 2-week mark. If so, I guess I’ll welcome and embrace the fatigue as a good sign.

  • I don’t take any potassium supplements because I think I’m getting enough in food and in my multi-vitamin, but if you think I should, I’ll pick some up. Is that one vital?

  • Regarding supplements, do we continue to take those for life or is it only to get us through the early stages of this way of eating? I was already doing B12 and the multi since I was vegan for a while but do I need to keep pumping salt and adding potassium indefinitely?

  • Last question, and I know it’s a tough one to answer: I’ve lost 4 pounds in the 2 weeks. The first time I did “Atkins” 20 years ago I lost 9 pounds in two weeks but we all know that was mostly water. This time, since I was gluten free already, I never had a “whoosh” of weight loss nor did I pee a lot or have the carb flu. The positive side of me is trying to convince myself that although it’s only 4 pounds, it’s probably four pounds of fat rather than water. Anyone care to help me keep that dream alive? :slight_smile:

Sorry for all the questions, but I love this forum and wouldn’t want to ask anywhere else.

(Celine) #44

Hi Susan,
I won’t really be able to answer your questions as I just started the diet and am still a newbie.
I wouldn’t worry too much about 1 day of fatigue that can be caused by something not related to your diet. How are you feeling today?
As for me to give a little update, today is day 19 and I’m slowly feeling better day by day.
I did my little carb refeed on day 15 based on the advice I got here. I got a little bit better a few hours after that and was less lethargic, but still exhausted. After that I wasn’t too sure about my next move … carbing up for a bit or diving back deep down into my keto macros. What I did is go back to my keto macros and the main reason for that is that I felt I was craving carbs after my mini carb up meal, and I didn’t like that feeling at all. I felt like I was on the edge to fall off the wagon.
What I also did is up my supplement game. After the advices I got here I made sure I got my electrolytes in and got a potassium supplement. What I’m also taking is Maca, Spirulin, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, DHEA and L-Tyrosine. To be honest I feel like I got desperate and mixed everything I could think of but I now feel wayyyyyy better. On Monday I had just enough energy to feel brave enough to go to the gym. The workout was just ok but after that I felt so much better. Went back to the gym on tuesday, felt even better afterwards and this morning is the first morning in 10 days I haven’t felt sluggish … I hope I’m getting there!


Thanks for checking in, Celine. You are absolutely right - I realized the same thing last night: not EVERYTHING that happens to our body these days is connected to the way we’re eating. I have lots of other good reasons why I might have crashed yesterday and we’re not the only people who feel that way sometimes. I slept very little last night (my own fault, I got a second wind about 10:00 p.m. - I’ve always been a night owl, so today I am tired, for good reason, but not the kind I had yesterday. Yesterday was making me almost non-functional, but I’m sure you know the feeling. Today - just regular tired.

Hope this starts reaping benefits for both of us pretty soon… happy thanksgiving if you’re in the states!

(Celine) #46

Thank you! Are you now feeling better ? Was it just a single day of extreme fatigue ?
We actually don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in my country. That being said I got creative last night and did an amazing Cauliflower Mac & Cheese gratin and it was pure deliciousness!


Yes, it was just that one day that I felt the disabling fatigue… pretty much back to normal now. I will chalk it up to something else causing it - since I’m so focused on my keto way of eating I tend to think every tiny thing my body does (or doesn’t do) is a result of my diet change when in truth there are dozens of other reasons for my symptoms.

Poor keto gets blamed for so many things it probably has nothing to do with. :wink:

Sweeteners - your experience?
(Noelle) #48

I hope I can still contact you, Celine! I’ve been searching the web for anyone that may be having the same experience as I am and I found your post. Literally the exact same; walking around the house is pure exhaustion, somedays I can hardly make it off the couch. Limbs, especially legs are so heavy and hard to move. I’m 19 days into keto and no end is in sight. I’ve done all the things I’m supposed to do for Keto flu and am starting to question whether this is adrenal fatigue reacting and if pushing through may be harming me worse. Celine I would love to know how your story played out! Did you find the answer? Are you feeling great now?? Please help! Thank you!!!

(Chris W) #49

Hi noelle,
So give us some basics, height age weight and your intake. The first 2-3 weeks is when the flu effects most people.
What is your salt intake, that is pretty critical and should be no less than 1-2 teaspoons a day. Hydration being the next most important thing.

(Celine) #50

Hi Noelle,

I’m sorry to hear that you are struggling with those symptoms. I had the feeling that life was sucked out of me at this point so I can feel your struggle and I remember wanting to have feedback from people experiencing the same thing. After I posted that message I made sure my fat ratio was at least 75% and I did up my calories. I also went pretty strong on the supplements game especially electrolytes related supplements. I thought it got a bit better back then and I kept going with the diet.
But after that it got really bad again but because of digestive symptoms I did suspect I got parasites (which I got the year before - I live in a tropical place - and was experimenting the same symptoms, including extreme exhaustion). I got treated for parasites and I got better after that. At that time I thought that the fatigue I was experimenting from the beginning of my keto journey was due to pure coincidence of me having parasites at the same time.
But then the fatigue reappeared. It got worse week after week, leaving me in a really dark depressive place.
I still made it to the gym and surprisingly I could have decent workouts. I do weight training, strength oriented so I do heavy compound movements which tend to be really taxing on the body and on the nervous system. I kept going like that for a few months, until I couldn’t even find the energy to go to the gym … and thought that my workouts were too intense. I did suspect some kind of hormonal mess and adrenal fatigue settling in.
So I thought that resting would be the best option and stopped my workouts. And the fatigue got even worse. I think the endorphins of my workouts were keeping me alive but once I stopped I turned into some kind of zombie. That resting time lasted one week. I would spend my time researching the web about this condition. I did come across 3 different inputs that seemed to be similar to mine. Very active women, on the leaner side, doing intense strength workouts or CrossFit. I remember one of them was a personal trainer who had been doing keto and intermittent fasting for a few years. The symptoms they described were so similar to mine. And the three of them got rid of the fatigue doing the same thing … they did reintroduce carbs. It took me a few days after that to make the decision to try to introduce carbs and get out of ketosis. I was so committed to the diet I had a guilt feeling to do so. One night I did give up … I had oats, sweet potatoes and a beer. The day after I got a bit better but had no idea of what my next step would be. I was stubborn and wanted very strongly to get back into ketosis and on the other hand I wanted to get better. I got back on the keto diet and felt super bad but thought this could be due to me getting out of ketosis. I gave up again and the day after got carbs. I got waayyyyy better. That’s when I decided to go back to my previous diet meaning classic bodybuilding clean diet. Within a week I got amazing energy levels.
To sum up everything I did the keto diet for 100 days … and never got back to it after that. I feel way better today. I really wanted to love the diet and I was deeply committed to it but something didn’t quite work out. I never experienced the energy that keto dieters love most about the diet. I was either suffering from low energy for the best days or from extreme exhaustion for the worst. I did’nt want to post my late feedback on my own thread because in the end I didnn’t Stick to the diet but I wanted to let you know about how things went for me. Maybe something was off the way I did the diet. My personal opinion is that maybe the diet is not suited to everyone. Seems like some « leaner » women doing intense workout might struggle with the fatigue. I know keto is said to restore adrenals issues but maybe in some cases it does make things worse …
I would keep’going With the diet if I were you because chances are that you are in the peak of the keto flu and will feel like a beast in the next few days. I sincerely hope the diet will work out for you. Hope I helped in some way.

(Noelle) #51

Wow, I am so sorry to hear that you went through such a battle. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me. It’s frustrating because everyone seems to think that there’s an exact formula (this much salt, electrolytes, etc) which will be the answer for everyone, but it’s simply not true (I was doing everything right). I ended up going in to see my doctor and she said what I was experiencing wasn’t Keto flu but adrenal shut down. Which sounds like what you experienced. She said to introduce carbs in at night and wasn’t specific with how much. Whatever felt right. This was 3 days ago. I’ve done around 30+ g of carb ups at night and the past 2 days I’ve felt AMAZING. I’m still in ketosis so I’m feeling the benefits of that but also giving myself enough carbs to feed my adrenals. I have a history of adrenal fatigue (which I think many women do and which is why this diet can be so hard) and didn’t realize that a total lack of carbs would cause the fatigue to get way worse and throw hormones off as well as our bodies ability to distribute electrolytes. It’s way too early to tell if I’ve found any sort of answer, I just feel so happy to not feel like a zombie again. I have a feeling once I reintroduce workouts (I typically like higher intensity) that it might throw things off again. I’m really hoping I can continue to do this diet, but I guess I’ll see what happens. But the more I search the more i find that we aren’t alone and sadly women with this problem are just told to push through on keto rather than listen to and respect their bodies. My adrenals were crying out for 2 weeks saying they just couldn’t function on no carbs. I’m glad you were able to find the answer and I’m curious to see what will happen with me!

(Jeanette G) #52

Continuing the discussion from Struggling with extreme fatigue and weakness - day 15 into keto:

Hello Celine and Noelle,

First I’d like to thank both of you ladies for continued updates. I am on day 14 of Keto and I have NO energy. I also suffer from an extreme addiction to carbs and sugar and Keto seems to really be helping me with that. I am not lean by any means I actually have about 60lbs I need to loose so I am really hoping I can be successful. I have 4 elementary aged children and I really need the energy to be able to keep up with them and take care of their daily needs. I will try uping my Supplement` game like was suggested and I’m really hoping that works. I’ve felt like this for about 4-5 days my arms and legs feel like they are filled with lead and I need to take a break and sit between chores. I do have rocket fuel Mid morning and that seems when my energy gets a bit better. I’ve considered adding some carbs but my addiction is so bad I’m afraid it will push me down the wrong path again. My weight is out of control and I really want to be healthy and mobile for my children. I was so excited and motivated to have this lifestyle change but now I’m struggling with fear… I will push myself to workout at least twice this week and am praying the extreme fatigue is temporary.

(Barbara) #53

I have had that problem also… exhausted… I have been on Keto since Feb…
I do test my blood on a keto machine… I do notice a change in my energy levels when I am high in keto levels… I don’t have kids to chase after, not sure how you do it…I know you have been given all kinds of suggestions the only one I offer is try to Keto on… I am 6 lbs from my goal … I won’t go back now :upside_down_face:I suggest you don’t either…I too was carb addicted…

Sweeteners - your experience?
(Dana Mc Namara) #54

Selenium… oh I’ll try that, thank you. :slight_smile:

(Annette ) #55

I’m in the same predicament. Feeling totally exhausted. My arms and legs feel like lead and I am so grumpy. Ive been doing Keto for 7 weeks. This extreme fatigue started about 3-4 weeks ago. I drink plenty of water, take magnesium, potassium, multivitamin and get at least 2 tsp of salt in per day. I am peri menopausal so I don’t know it that’s it. My ketones are usually 1-1.3. Please help.

(Natasha) #56

I had similar symptoms for several months. My limbs felt as if they had lost all power. Walking up the stairs was painful, draining and left me breathless from the effort. Gradually this went away and I don’t experience anything like it anymore. I didn’t do anything special, but things to make sure:

  • you’re getting enough salt
  • you’re getting enough magnesium
  • you’re eating enough
  • you’re going easy on yourself while your body transitions. There’s no shame in mapping or resting - you soon won’t want to anyway!

(Annette ) #57

Thank you so much.

(Laura) #58

You describe the exact same thing that happened to me. I literally felt like I could just lay down and die. I couldn’t lift my arms, couldn’t complete any task without lying down to rest. This is not the normal tiredness/exhaustion you have at the end of the day that going to bed fixes. This exhaustion wakes you up in the night because you feel like you are going to die. I had to increase my carbs and I immediately felt relief. I am just now attempting to go as low as 40 and I feel the exhaustion coming back. I’m glad to hear you can survive this!

(Susan) #59

Welcome to the forum Laura. I don’t know if you are just starting Keto, or have been on it for a while, from your post. The reason you are feeling so ill is because of Carbs.

Basic Keto starting is 20 grams or less of carbs a day (40 is double that and you cannot get into Ketosis wtih that), NO Sugar, adequate proteins and healthy fats, plenty of water, and Electrolytes. If you don’t reduce the carbs to 20 grams or less, and don’t keep up your Electrolytes, you will be feeling these symptoms. You body will go into carb and sugar withdrawal, that is normal, but after that passes, you will have a lot of increased energy and lose weight, and your body will start its amazing transformation.