Symptoms, conditions and causes

Why do I feel irritable?

Irritability is feeling aggravated or easily bothered. Things are annoying or irritating, especially little things that normally don’t cause a reaction.

Cause #1: Blood sugar fluctuations

If you are regularly on a high-carb diet, your blood sugar will spike after a meal. Once it is up, your body will produce insulin (fat-storing hormone) to lower it. Consuming a lot of carbs and sugars on a daily basis will eventually result in your body producing 6 to 7 times more insulin after meals.

This amount of insulin will push the blood sugars too low, which will cause you to feel irritated. You can feel irritable until you eat another high-carb meal and the cycle repeats. This is a vicious circle in itself.


  • Avoid refined carbohydrates and sugar

  • Avoid snacking

  • Do the Healthy Keto® diet

  • Do an intermittent fasting plan

Cause #2: Constant stress

Stress (mental and physical) can trigger irritability in daily life. Your body normally can handle stressors, providing your stress-regulating hormones are working efficiently. When stress is constant or your adrenals (stress-regulating glands) are not working properly, a lot of things can aggravate you.


  • Avoid too much coffee

  • Avoid things/people that stress you

  • Take vitamin D

  • Take adaptogenic herbs:

    • Siberian ginseng

    • Panax ginseng

    • Rhodiola

    • Ashwagandha

  • Get quality sleep (7 to 8 hours)

  • Do acupressure techniques

  • Take long walks outside daily (at least 45 minutes)

  • Take magnesium, potassium, calcium

(For more remedies see section: adrenal fatigue”)

If you feel irritable during keto and intermittent fasting

If you feel irritable on a ketogenic diet and/or intermittent fasting this probably means that your body is still adapting to the new diet. Normally, when you are in ketosis (burning your own fat) you feel less stressed, less irritable, more fresh and upbeat in general. Usually it takes 1 to 3 days to fully adapt to ketosis; however, it may take longer depending on how bad your insulin resistance was.

Gradual is key

If you just started with keto and intermittent fasting it is very important to start gradually. For example if you start right away with 1 meal a day, this can cause a great deal of difficulty, making it hard to keep going and follow the plan.

What you should do is to first do 3 meals a day, dropping all the snacking. Do it for some time until you feel comfortable, and then reduce it to 2 meals a day. By letting your body adapt gradually, you will reduce the stress of transitioning to a new diet.

Eventually you will feel much better and your cravings will go away--which is the best indicator of being in ketosis.

Irritable, but you’ve already been on keto for some time?

If you are on a ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting for a while and you still feel irritable, there is something wrong. There might be some hidden sugars and carbs in the diet.

Additionally, if you do a keto diet + intermittent fasting halfway (for example: you sometimes consume refined carbs or fruits) this will throw your body out of ketosis potentially for a day, and as a result you can feel very irritable as your body has now transitioned back to sugar burning instead of burning your own fat.

Improve ketosis adaptation:

  • Gradually move into doing intermittent fasting (IF)

  • Make sure you take enough potassium

  • Consume enough vegetables (7 to 10 cups daily)

  • Consume vitamin B1:

• nutritional yeast • benfotiamine

  • Consume sea salt

If you still feel irritable after following keto+IF for a while:

  • Check your food labels for carbs / sugars / added sugars that you were not aware of and avoid foods with high amounts of these

  • Avoid bad carbs and sugar completely

  • Increase the amount of fats in your meals

  • Consume moderate amounts of protein

  • Eat high-quality food

  • Avoid cheat meals

Last updated: Jun 26, 2023 14:21 PM