What Causes Keto Stomach Pain After Eating Carbs?

What Causes Keto Stomach Pain After Eating Carbs?

The ketogenic diet, otherwise known as the keto diet, has gained popularity as a natural way of improving health and losing weight. It involves diets that are low in carbs, high in fat, and moderate in protein.

However, there comes a time when you are in dire need of carbs in your body. The thought of keto stomach pain after eating carbs, however, scares you.


What Causes Keto Stomach Pain After Eating Carbs?

When you adopt the ketogenic way of eating, you will have to bid a majority of carbs goodbye. You will have to go without day-to-day carbs such as pasta, bread, potatoes, and rice, among others.

On the other hand, you will find that your cravings for carbs are gradually reduced once you get into the diet. This is because, as you eat the flavorful proteins, your carbs cravings and appetite are decreased.

However, life is full of variety. At one time, these cravings might strike back, prompting you to need carbs.

Also, you might attend that family gathering and shy away from turning down that plate of mashed potatoes from your favorite aunt. You will have no option but to take carbs.

Additionally, your body might simply need carbs to balance out your hormones, improve your moods or fuel your workouts. This might push you to include little carbs in your diet regularly.

The above-mentioned cases may all be summed up in what is called carb adventures or carb cycling.

Carb cycling is a completely legitimate way to go keto.

Carb cycling also comes in handy due to the back and forth between digesting carbs for fuel (glycolysis) and digesting fats for fuel (ketosis). The more your body masters the ability to transit between these two processes easily, the more efficient your keto will be.

This ability to transit between the two fuel sourcing processes is known as metabolic flexibility and is considered healthy.

Sometimes, eating carbs while on a keto diet will make you sick. How sick will depend on the following factors:

How long you have been on the keto diet. The longer you have been on a diet, the less the carbs will affect you.

The kind of carbs you ate. Highly processed carbs will make your stomach feel worse.

Are the processed carbs covered in industrially processed seed oil? These industrially processed oils are highly inflammatory and may cause major reactions in your stomach.


If you have been on keto and have been eating a low-carb diet for six weeks or less, there is a high chance that you will experience keto stomach pain after eating carbs.

You may have serious stomach pains accompanied by other symptoms such as severe headaches and back pains. On extremes, you may even slip back to the keto flu.

You experience stomach pains because your body is not yet fully adapted to the keto diet.

In as much as you are burning fat for energy and producing ketones, your body has not yet fully developed the mechanisms to use the ketones. Throwing in carbs at this time will send your body mixed signals, causing that stomach pain.


The second reason for keto stomach pain after eating carbs is the type of carbs you are eating.

Try avoiding meals like beer and pizza or sweets as these are samples of the dangerous refined carbs.

Alternatively, the next time you decide on including carbs in your keto, consider going for “full” carbs, such as sweet potatoes, whole fruit, or beans.

If the carbs you are eating contain some foods that you have an intolerance to, your stomach pain will be worse.

This is because being on high-quality keto will heal your gut, reducing chances of intolerance completely.

Now that you have decided to eat up carbs, your gut is stronger and can give you the signs that some foods are not wanted in there. These signs include stomach pain and could get very severe.


This is the third reason for keto stomach pain after eating carbs. If you feel some stomach ache after eating carbs after you keto, the problem might just not be the carbs.

Refined carbohydrates with harmful refined oilseed on them may end up giving you a stomach ache.

Also, most foods served in restaurants contain harmful refined oils that could give you this pain.

They are usually highly inflammable due to the high-pressure process they undergo while being refined.


Carbohydrate intolerance is the inability to digest certain carbs due to a lack of appropriate enzymes.

The severity of the symptoms depends on the extent of the intolerance. They range from feelings of mild bloating to severe diarrhea.

In cases of lactase deficiency, the undigested milk sugars will remain in your digestive system. The normal intestinal bacteria will then ferment it. The result of this will be producing a lot of gas, cramping, and bloating.

Be careful not to confuse food intolerance to food allergies. Food intolerance usually involves an exaggerated physical reaction to a certain food additive. On the other hand, food allergy is associated with an immune reaction.

During this time, diarrhea is brought when the sugars that have not been broken down into the simplest forms cause the body to push water into the intestines, resulting in very watery diarrhea.


According to a Pub Med review, a ketosis diet will encourage a metabolic state where your body will burn fats for energy instead of carbs.

Since this diet is strict with what you take, as mentioned earlier, you may experience carbs adventures, prompting you to binge on carbs.

Cheat diets and cheat days are common strategies in strict diets. The former will allow you to have a single meal outside your diet, while the latter will allow you to have a whole day of eating something outside your diet.

While the above-addressed cheating may help other diet forms, it is not considered suitable for ketosis.

This is because, as you take up the diet, it will rely on your body staying on ketosis. To achieve this, you will have to take approximately 50 grams per day of carbs.

Eating more than this will kick your body out of ketosis. This is according to a piece published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Apart from your stomach pains, cheating on keto can also damage your blood vessels, according to an exploratory analysis published on Pub Med.

Cheating on keto may also invoke overeating feelings, which may greatly sabotage your weight loss efforts, promoting unhealthy eating habits.

Here is how to get back on track after a keto cheat day.


If you have cheated on keto, chances are you are already out of the diet. Resuming it will require you to fully adhere to keto rules and take approximately one week, depending on the number of carbs you cheated with and the metabolic rate.

The following are a few tips to allow you to recover quickly from the cheating:

Consider mixing your keto diet with intermittent fasting. This fasting may help your body in the shift from glycolysis to ketosis.

Track your carb intake as this will help keep tabs and help avoid taking more than is required.

Exercise more as this will see your body using your reserved carbs for the exercise, promoting ketosis instead.

The best way to know whether you have reached your ketone levels is by using tools such as ketone breath meters.


When you first want to try carbs on your keto, go slow with it. Gradually introduce the carbs to your body, allowing it ample time to build the metabolic machinery required to deal with them.

While on it, consider going for healthy carbs as this will reduce keto stomach pain after eating carbs and enhance a smooth transition.

Metabolic flexibility should be one of your main aims while on keto, as it will give you an upper hand in your weight loss journey.

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