Momentum in the Mountains 2024


Itching on Keto Do This

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 03/27/2024

Have you ever scratched more than usual while trying to shed those extra pounds on a keto diet? It's not just you. The phenomenon, surprisingly common yet often overlooked, has a name: keto rash.

Yes, amidst the buzz of rapid weight loss and transformed energy levels lies an itchy reality for some.

But why does turning your body into a fat-burning machine come with such an irritating side effect? Let's journey through our gut flora to the surface of our skin, where this tale of irritation unfolds unexpectedly. Think less about carbs and more about...rashes.

Sounds bizarre? Perhaps. But understanding could be the key to keeping that keto glow and ditching the itch.

Understanding Itchy Skin on Keto

If you've started the keto diet and suddenly developed an itchy rash, you're not alone. Many people experience this annoying side effect, but why does it happen?

Bile salts backing up from your liver into your skin could be the culprit. This condition, called cholestasis, is a common cause of itchy skin on keto.

The Role of Bile Salts and Cholestasis

Your liver produces bile to help digest fats. But when bile flow is blocked, those salts can seep into your skin, causing intense itching.

Cholestasis is often the underlying issue. It's like a traffic jam in your bile ducts, causing a backup of bile salts that then leak into your skin and trigger that maddening itch.

Keto rash on torso

Symptoms and Causes of Cholestasis

How do you know if cholestasis is behind your keto rash? One telltale sign is a feeling of fullness under your right ribcage, where your liver sits.

Cholestasis can stem from physical duct obstructions or an imbalance between cholesterol and bile levels. If your body produces more cholesterol than bile, it can gum up the works.

Gallstones and Bile Imbalance

Speaking of cholesterol and bile, when there's too much cholesterol compared to bile, it can lead to gallstone formation. Gallstones are essentially solidified cholesterol.

Their presence indicates a lack of bile in your system.

Digesting fats becomes difficult without enough bile, and those pesky bile salts can infiltrate your skin, causing itchiness.

Solutions for Alleviating Itchy Skin on Keto

So, you've got an itchy keto rash. Now what? Fear not, because handy fixes are ready to calm your skin and smooth things with your bile flow. The key is supporting your liver and gallbladder to ensure proper bile production and flow. Here's how:

The Importance of Purified Bile Salts

Supplementing with purified bile salts, like TUDCA, can improve bile flow and alleviate itching. TUDCA helps your liver and gallbladder do their jobs more effectively.

By providing your body with the bile salts, you can reduce the backup causing bile to leak into your skin. This can significantly reduce itching and inflammation.

Gradual Introduction of Bile Salts

When starting bile salt supplements, it's essential to go slow. Begin with just one pill per day, and gradually increase the dosage over time.

By easing into it, your body can adjust without feeling swamped. Slowly ramping up the dosage allows your bile ducts to unblock gradually, minimizing potential side effects.

Choline Supplementation

In addition to bile salts, choline supplementation can support bile duct health. Choline is a nutrient that plays a crucial role in liver function and fat metabolism.

Ensuring you get enough choline in your diet can do wonders for keeping your bile ducts clear and running smoothly. As a result, you're less likely to experience that annoying itchiness caused by bile getting trapped under your skin.

Navigating Fat Intake on Keto

When you first start a keto diet, your body undergoes a significant shift in how it processes fats. This transition phase can sometimes lead to side effects like itchy skin.

Understanding how to navigate your fat intake during this adaptation period is crucial for minimizing discomfort and supporting overall health.

Adapting to Increased Fat Intake

Keto involves consuming a high proportion of fats. However, if your body isn't used to processing such a large amount of fat, it can struggle to keep up with the increased demand for bile.

When introducing more fat without giving your body time to adapt its bile production, those excess fats can contribute to itchy skin. The key is gradually increasing fat intake, allowing your liver and gallbladder to adjust.

Itch-Free Weight Loss Guide with Insights on Tums Side Effects

Combatting keto rash can be pivotal for a seamless weight loss journey. While managing this condition, it's essential to be aware of the potential side effects of Tums, commonly used for heartburn relief.

By understanding these side effects, individuals can navigate their keto diet more comfortably and confidently, ensuring a holistic approach to their health.


So, there you have it. The road to a leaner body on keto doesn't need to be paved with constant scratching and discomfort. While a bump on this transformative journey, Keto rash isn't the dead end it might seem at first glance.

We've traversed through the gritty details of bile salts backing up and gallstones forming—sounding more like an episode from a medical drama than your diet plan. But knowledge is power.

Grasping how these tiny shifts in our body's chemistry can lead to such annoying itching moves us closer to finding handy solutions that work like a charm.

Taking purified bile salts or choline supplements doesn't just sound like innovative science—it's your ticket out of Itchville.

Gradually introducing these into your routine could mean saying goodbye to keto rash without bidding farewell to all those benefits of being in ketosis.

And let's not forget about fat intake adjustments—because sometimes less is more (at least initially). Who knew dialing back on avocados could lead you toward smoother sailing...or should we say smoother skin?

This exploration wasn’t just about dodging rashes; it was a deep dive into making keto work smarter for you. Who says weight loss needs to be an irritating affair? Here’s looking forward—to clear skies and clearer skin ahead!


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