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Please Tell me about Your experience of the low carb flu

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 14, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Can anyone who has experience the symptoms of a flu and think it might be due to low carb intake please answer the following questions. 1. How long after going low carb did it start? 2. What were the symptoms? eg headache, sore throat, dizzy, unfocused 3. Without cheating how long did it last? My background on this: I am not particularly low carb, just paleo and doing the 30 day challenge. It is day 2 and I have a sore throat and headache and can't concentrate and have hot flushes. Prior to this I ate PANCAKES AND LOADS OF MAPLE SYRUP on saturday and sunday before that had been about 70% Paleo for 2 weeks and am now trying to go '100%' although this differs for everyone. I want to know these common stats so I can compare and see whether all these low carb flu experiences have anything in common or we are all just getting sick.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on August 18, 2013
at 04:13 AM

i almost feel it should be aptly named low inflammation flu, or dietary change flu rather than low carb flu. i was already low carb, but rid a few foods i'm sensitive too and i got this flu! not before

80890193d74240cab6dda920665bfb6c

(1528)

on March 11, 2012
at 03:31 AM

1 - Many people find it starts within 48 hours. 2 - headache, weakness, fatigue, can't exercise, irritable 3 - you don't have to suffer through it at all. Volek and Phinney prevent it by instructing people to drink broth with salt and to eat 1/2 an avocado every day. Worked like a charm for me - as a result I suffered through it for less than an afternoon.

0607529af9b78bb5b178f7ffabdc4693

(701)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:34 AM

Fitday, Cronometer, or Paleotrack

F1b82cc7e6d90384ad30007dd6c1b9e3

(1187)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:15 PM

read labels, grams of carbs per serving is listed, for fruits, and such go to the internet and do a search. Dr. Lutz's book has a nice chart in the back, it used to be online but it was taken down. Life Without Bread is the book.

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on September 15, 2011
at 02:11 PM

How do I find out the grams of carbs I am eating per day?

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on September 15, 2011
at 02:10 PM

Also I am pretty sure I have a virus/cold for real. I asked my friends that I visited last weekend and they had all recently had the same symptoms. No carb flu. But I am still very interested in gathering this data.

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on September 15, 2011
at 02:09 PM

I am looking for specific answers to 3 questions... they are written in my post. Yes I tried searching, but I didn't find much about time lines.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on September 14, 2011
at 06:53 PM

Did you search for this topic? http://paleohacks.com/questions/tagged/low-carb-flu#axzz1XxBKmgQq There has been a lot of previous discussion about this, some good information in these.

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11 Answers

2
Bb56d13df2b9f445990a90032026e805

on November 21, 2011
at 05:54 PM

I didn't get the low carb flu from cutting the carbs, but I DID get them when I originally cut out wheat and dairy from my diet. Holy crap. It was aweful. My body went into shock and I just wanted to sleep for 2 weeks straight. I couldn't run. I'm in the military and I failed my physical fitness test. It was not good. I was grumpy, sore, and exhausted. When I cut out the rest of the carbs it actually wasn't that bad. I was tired, but I didn't get the "flu" sympoms. Has anyone else noticed anything like this? I suspect wheat was more problematic than the rest of the grains... wheat is EVIL.

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on August 18, 2013
at 04:13 AM

i almost feel it should be aptly named low inflammation flu, or dietary change flu rather than low carb flu. i was already low carb, but rid a few foods i'm sensitive too and i got this flu! not before

1
5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on March 10, 2012
at 01:42 PM

Oh Lord. I've only been paleo for 5 days (this is day 6) and I've alternated between feeling crap with flu symptoms (swollen glands, sore throat, fatigue) and incredible energy bursts. I'm still waiting for it to be over.

1
21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on September 14, 2011
at 08:58 PM

I'm on day 12 of going paleo, and headaches, spaceyness, low energy, bad mood started pretty much straightaway and lasted for about a week or so. I've been fine since. I've also had a bitter aftertaste after eating a lot of foods; that disappeared yesterday.

My carbs are around 150g a day. I was already relatively LC before embarking on this; the main things I dropped were chocolate and oat bran.

0
Medium avatar

on July 16, 2013
at 03:24 PM

For cravings and depression, L-tryptophan supplementation can help - just be sure to take with coffee to combat any resulting fatigue

0
E4e35f8373b56d95619f06162750eebf

on July 16, 2013
at 02:00 PM

Wow, I guess I was really lucky, because my carb flu only lasted about 24 hours. It hit me after a week into the diet changeover. I had a really dry mouth, no matter how much water I drank. I had a slight headache, fatigue and aching knees. I just kept drinking A LOT of water, because that what I craved. I went to bed early because I just felt exhusted. After that, I was in the clear. I woke up feeling fantanstic!

It's too bad that not everyone is having the same experience. Just hang in there, it WILL be worth it, I promise! Keep drinking that water and be good to yourself in the meantime. It's okay to rest if you need to and remember to keep your good fat intake up. (coconut oil, avocado, ghee, etc.)

0
8d8e29ad12209297caf5867f546c846a

on June 08, 2013
at 07:16 AM

I have had the carb flu and yes it is awful! My skin even feels sore to the touch and taking my contacts out makes my eyeballs hurt. My glands are swollen, my joints ache, the base of my skull... just feels really achey and weird, my back muscles hurt, my workouts suck, I am freezing all the time (except right after I eat, then sometimes I break into a creepy sweat and feel nauseous), I have no energy, have trouble sleeping and have a near constant headache. I hate people and birds and want to hit things that look happy or not-unhappy and going up the stairs has me sucking wind. This might be the worst I have ever felt with the exception of getting typhoid. Which I did. I feel like I did right after I recovered. But, you know, a little... WORSE.

It sucks.

I felt like a vampire with the flu sucked my blood after feeding me bad fish.

I hope this gets better. I am a designer/artist and my days in the studio are hell.

ughghghghg.

0
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 10, 2012
at 03:21 PM

I didn't have a bad low-carb flu. I came from a raw vegan diet, and the transition was quite easy, because eating meat made me feel so good. After a week I simply became tired and woke up during the night craving sugar. I just ate grapefruits to solve those issues, but my mother was a bit worried because I was so weak I couldn't even talk in the morning (due to hypoglycemia). Suddenly it went away, and I almost never have hypoglycemia episodes anymore. Last time I had it was when I ate way too much fruit with some orange juice, right after a looong time of VLC. Eating some pure potassium helped a lot.

Vitamin C solved a lot during the low-carb flu, though I only had cheap tablets of 100mg each at the time, and became a bit addicted to the sorbitol in it. I ended up watching movies in the evening with a couple of vitamin C drinks :). After a while I threw them away and bought some pure ascorbic acid.

0
B1ae8d0622d0cb1009d02bd58b37769a

on February 14, 2012
at 05:14 AM

I'm one week into it, eating lots of sweet potato and veggies and a decent amount of fruit. My carbs are about 20 to 25% of calories, and I'm still getting nailed. Light-headed, weak and tired all the time. I used to eat A LOT of bread and grains. I'm very active, and my workouts are hell. I think I'm experiencing low carb flu as well as grain withdrawal. I had a little rice today for the first time with my salmon curry and I actually felt high. I'm hanging in there, hoping my transition doesn't last much longer.

0
F1b82cc7e6d90384ad30007dd6c1b9e3

(1187)

on September 15, 2011
at 01:18 AM

could be a detoxing reaction. I don't consider 15o to be low carb, 30 is def. too low. 72 is best for perfect blood sugar (according to Dr. Wolfgang Lutz 40 years of study). Are you getting enough protein? It is more likely to get a "flu" from high carbs bc of the increase in white blood cells on high carb diet. Take it slow. Lower the carbs gradually. Cut out junk like HFCS, but do the rest slowly

D1728f99db66ff91d695a6df5cd38b02

(1368)

on September 15, 2011
at 02:11 PM

How do I find out the grams of carbs I am eating per day?

F1b82cc7e6d90384ad30007dd6c1b9e3

(1187)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:15 PM

read labels, grams of carbs per serving is listed, for fruits, and such go to the internet and do a search. Dr. Lutz's book has a nice chart in the back, it used to be online but it was taken down. Life Without Bread is the book.

0607529af9b78bb5b178f7ffabdc4693

(701)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:34 AM

Fitday, Cronometer, or Paleotrack

0
A1cad807ff998bbb46c05fa5d2ccab9a

on September 14, 2011
at 11:12 PM

Joy posted this but it could have been me who asked it. I'm experiencing nearly identical symptoms/time frame. I read thru a lot of stuff on it today and just hoping it goes away sooner rather than later. hang in there -- according to what I've read it does get better. MUCH better.

0
19ba72a662a871cb6394dc69c27f3d4e

(408)

on September 14, 2011
at 07:21 PM

I feel terrible if I have too few carbs (under 30 gr ) I just don't function well! I have no energy, get headaches, can't sleep etc. I have tried it a few times if I have a piece of fruit or a sweet potatoe I am fine. My husband is completely fine eating no carbs!

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