Got a Headache on a Low Carb Diet? Here’s What You Can Do About It

If you’re following a low-carb diet and are experiencing headaches, you’re not alone. This is a common side effect of cutting carbs. In this article, we will discuss what causes a headache on a low-carb diet and offer some tips for how to deal with them.
headache on low carb diet

Causes of Keto Headache

There are a few different reasons why you may get a headache when reducing your carb intake.

Carb Withdrawal

One reason is that your body is going through withdrawal from carbs. When you eat foods high in carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels rise. This causes your body to release insulin, which helps to store the sugar for energy. If you suddenly stop eating carbs, low blood sugar can cause migraines, dizziness and lightheadedness.


Another reason you may get headaches on a low-carb diet is entering ketosis. Ketosis is a state in which your body burns fat for energy instead of carbs. When your body first enters ketosis, you may experience what is known as the “keto flu.” This can include flu symptoms such as headache, fatigue, and brain fog. These symptoms usually go away after a few days as your body adjusts to burning fat for fuel.


When you consume fewer carbs, your body uses up glycogen and retains less water as a result. This can lead to dehydration, which is a common cause of headaches. Besides, when you’re producing less insulin (which happens when you reduce carbs), your kidneys also flush out more sodium and potassium. This further contributes to dehydration and can also cause headaches.

How to Avoid Headaches on a Low-Carb Diet

There are a few things you can do to avoid a headache on a low-carb diet:

  • Drink plenty of water: Aim for at least 68 ounces (two liters) of water per day.
  • Add more salt and fruits to your diet: This will help replenish the sodium and potassium that your body is losing.
  • Eat more fat: Fat is a great source of energy and slows down digestion, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Gradually reduce carbs: If you cut carbs too quickly, you may experience withdrawal symptoms like headache. Try reducing your carbs slowly over a period of a few weeks.
  • Include headache-relieving foods in your diet: Some foods that may help relieve headache include ginger, turmeric, and omega-3 fatty acids.
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If you’re following a low-carb diet and are experiencing a headache, there are a few things you can do about it. Try drinking plenty of fluids, adding more salt and fruit to your diet, and eating more fat. If it still doesn’t help, you may want to try slowly reducing your carb intake over a period of weeks.

Natural Ways to Relieve Headache

There are many natural ways that can help relieve headache on a low-carb diet. For example, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. Adding some to your daily tea or taking a ginger supplement may help reduce headache. Turmeric is another spice with anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve headache. You can take it in supplement form or add it to your food.

Exercise is also a good way to reduce headache. Taking a brisk walk or going for a swim can help increase blood flow and reduce tension. Meditating can also help as it can help you relax and reduce stress.

If your headache is severe, you may need to see a doctor. They can prescribe medication to help relieve the pain. In the meantime, try over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or aspirin.

Should You Stop Dieting If the Headaches Don’t Go Away?

If you’re getting headaches from your keto diet, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to stop. Try the tips above and see if they help.

But if your headache is severe or doesn’t go away, it’s a good idea to see a doctor. They can help you determine whether your headache is due to the diet or something else. If it turns out that your headache is not due to the diet, they can help you find the cause and treat it.

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It might be worth testing your blood sugar levels. If they’re low, you may need to eat more carbs. But if they’re high, you may need to adjust your ketogenic diet or medication.

Now you know how to deal with a headache on a low-carb diet. Just remember to drink plenty of fluids, eat food that contains electrolytes, and go keto gradually. If you still don’t feel better, see a doctor to rule out any other causes.

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