The 6 most common problems on low carb & how to cure them

Side Effects on Low Carb

Do you struggle when starting low carb? Do you get a headache, leg cramps, constipation or any of the other most common side effects?

We’ve just finished a page presenting the best solutions to these problems:

Low Carb Side Effects & How to Cure Them

Do you have any suggested improvements or some other problem you want to see addressed? Just leave a comment.

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  1. Lori Miller
    I've been through palpitations. You might also need magnesium and potassium if you're having them on LC.

    I'll try extra fluid if I get palpitations again. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Apicius
    I did not have any of the symptoms described above when starting low carb.

    However, there is one big problem I did experience which is not included in the list: idiotic people who kept telling me that LCHF was unhealthy and ridiculed the choices I made. Any suggestion how to get rid of that problem?!?!

    Reply: #4
  3. Boundless
    re: Constipation

    Remediate gut biome: add 20-to-50 grams prebiotic fiber/resistant-starch to the daily diet. Consider a course of a quality probiotic.

  4. Bjarte Bakke Team Diet Doctor

    We've added your suggestion to future improvements. I think most people who eat low-carb meet many people who think we are the stupid ones! Hehe.

  5. Elena
    I've had issues with constipation and bad breath. Bad breath was the easy one for me, because it was resolved on its own. Constipation was not entirely new for me on this diet, I had problems before and here you pretty much have to resolve it as the problem arises (plenty of fluids, laxatives, fiber, etc.) keeping in mind that if you are serious about the diet and are planning to stick to it, the issue will be resolved over time (it may take years for some people but it will get better). Be very careful with fiber, if you take it, use psyllium husks and sparingly, do not use bran, since bran causes more problems than resolves. I agree with Barry Groves' assessment of BM and diets. Fiber and bulk foods are a sort of crutches for BM. We are used to those and take them as a norm. Most of us have lost normal peristalsis, we are used to high volumes of fiber pushing things forward instead of our gut doing all the work. When you remove fiber, your gut has to learn again to work on its own and it takes time (and this is why you should be gradually reducing the amount of fiber (like psyllium, etc.) you take until you don't need it anymore). If you stick to a very low-carb high-fat diet (practically no vegetable matter of any kind), you won't have as much bulk, your food will be digested almost completely and you may only have your BM once every few days. I didn't believe that it was normal until I finally experienced it myself without any signs of being constipated. And Barry Groves was also correct that if you only eat animal food your waste products hardly have any odor. I do not stay on a no-carb diet for long usually, I may go for a few days just on meat, fat and eggs and I would experience that state described by Barry Groves, but then I may have plenty of milk for a few days (when I can get raw milk) or will have some vegetables for a few days, which would change things around a bit. Yet, no matter what you eat (lots of vegetables or no vegetables), if you stay on LCHF diet, constipation will eventually go away. Constipation is not a sign that this diet is bad, it's a sign that on your previous conventional diet which was bad, your gut has become lazy and learned to rely on bulk.
  6. Tim H
    For constipation let me suggest chicory. About 1 tsp a day has made a huge difference. I'm not using raw chicory root, I'm using the powder that is prepared for mixing with coffee powder in countries like India. Here in India, Rs 8 (US$0.12) is enough for a month!
    Reply: #7
  7. Elena
    I have found coffee very helpful as well.
  8. Dhruv Gadhvi
    There is a natural Indian remedy for constipation and general well being. It is TRIFALA..meaning three fruits. It is available in powder form and one teaspoon every night before bed helps. It is made of three natural fruits HARDE, BAHEDA and slightly more known ANWLA. I recommend this to all my friends and all of them confirm the usefulness of this amazing ingredient. It has NO side effect whatsoever. It is available in Indian grocery shops and Ayurvedic outlets. Completely natural, harmless and effective.
    Reply: #9
  9. Bjarte Bakke Team Diet Doctor
    Thanks for sharing Dhruv.
  10. Lisa
    Milk of Magnesia was suggested. It contains sodium hyprochlorite. Isn't that clorox? Be careful how much you take. My grandmother has developed some malabsorption and gut issues that coincided with her starting a regimen of MOM for constipation. Just an FYI. Great site!
    Reply: #11
  11. MMSQ
    Milk of Magnesia is magnesium hydroxide. It is NOT sodium hypochlorite (bleach/Chlorox).
  12. Rena
    I've been doing this diet for about a week and a half, and I am exhausted. I feel weak all the time and it seems to be getting worse. I have noticed that my stools all float, and there is a greasy film in the toilet water. (Greasiness in the water is not all that uncommon for me.) Wondering about malabsorption. Any thoughts? I need energy.

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