Keto flu is a collection of symptoms that may occur when someone first starts a very low-carbohydrate diet, such as the ketogenic diet.
These symptoms are often referred to as the “carb flu” or “keto flu.” They are usually temporary and often resolve within a week or two.
Ketosis flu symptoms may include Headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, irritability, constipation, trouble sleeping, and brain fog.
The keto flu is generally the result of the body’s adaptation to a new way of eating. When you drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake, your body must find new ways to fuel itself.
KETOSIS FLU SYMPTOMS
WHAT IS KETO FLU?
The symptoms of the keto flu are often severe and make day-to-day living quite challenging.
If you’re experiencing them, take solace in knowing that your body will heal from this temporary state and you’ll feel better soon!
Do not think of Ketosis flu as a fever or a cold.
It is a name given to a set of symptoms that people generally feel when they start a ketogenic diet for the first time.
I am sure you have heard about the term ketosis. If not then check the in and out of a keto diet.
When you are pushing your body to enter ketosis then you may catch up with some side effects called ‘keto flu.
Till now your body was converting carbs into energy and suddenly you are saying to convert fat for energy.
So keto flu is a natural reaction that comes along.
If you are a keto beginner then first check out the 13 keto mistakes a beginner makes and 8 keto symptoms that take place.
I have added a few affiliate links that might actually help, which means I will receive a small amount of commission if you purchase through the links.
WHAT CAUSES KETO FLU
The main causes of ketosis flu are:
Withdrawal from Carbs
You are putting your body in shock when you are forcing it to stay away from carbs and sugar withdrawal.
Till now your body was habituated and dependent on these kinda food preferences.
Carbs are sweet comfort foods that are hard to leave. But it gifts us diabetics, heart disease as well as obesity. So it is better that we choose to tell our bodies to start living without it.
Once the carbs are eliminated then the fats are converted into energy for our daily work.
This readjustment of our body takes from a few weeks to even months and has considerable side effects what is known as ‘keto flu.
Adjusting to fat intakes
All of a sudden a great number of fats are given, and the body is said to break down the fatty acids into ketones which in turn will be used as fuel.
The body needs time to get fat-adapted ‘or keto-adapted for which sometimes we have headaches and fatigue.
New to Keto Adaption
We have fat-converting enzymes that drastically increase when keto-adapted.
Once you are keto-adapted means now your body is easily converting fatty acids into ketones.
Now the body is building up more enzymes to convert more fat easily and this new adaptation sometimes leads to keto flu.
Not enough Electrolytes
Electrolytes control all the major functions of our body. From controlling ph levels, muscle contractions, and others.
Electrolyte deficiency causes nausea and fatigue.
What happens in a keto diet is that the fat in the cells is replaced by water and hence we need much more water than we were taking earlier to avoid any dehydration.
While on a keto diet people may also become deficient in potassium, magnesium, and other vital nutrients. So take supplements to replenish it or have foods that are high in such minerals.
KETO FLU SYMPTOMS
The common symptoms of ketosis flu are:
- Sugar cravings
- Difficulty in falling asleep
- Irritability of mind
- A cough
Do not worry about the symptoms it will last only for a few days to weeks.
How long does the keto flu last?
It seriously varies from person to person.
I personally never had any such strong side effects except the sweet cravings and a bit of dizziness.
For me, it lasted for 2 weeks or so.
People have also reported that they had such feelings for 2-3 months. I guess probably it is because they always had a very high-carb diet. And the body was having a tough time getting fat-adapted.
It is not even necessary that every person going on a keto diet will get keto flu.
How to avoid keto flu or how is keto flu treated?
Replenish your electrolytes as often as you can.
Potassium, magnesium, sodium, and other important nutrients. Take additional supplements if required.
How do replenish electrolytes on keto?
Have electoral water as it will serve the purpose of having more water as well as it will replenish the electrolytes.
Get more fats
Your body needs energy. And it is not getting any sugar or carbs. So have healthy fats to provide energy for the body.
Coconut oil, butter, olive oil, and ghee will help you to enter into ketosis.
Add more salt to the diet
You tend to lose more water while on a low-carb diet. Even the insulin level goes down and hence you cannot retain the desired sodium level.
To maintain the required sodium level, put a Lil bit more salt in your food.
Don’t worry, your body will not get bloated. Imagine the amount of sodium our fries and burgers used to contain. So definitely we are going to consume lesser than that.
Drink enough water
have water, lemon-flavored water, berry-flavored water, or anything. Just have water the entire day. The fat in the cells is going to get replaced by water. so imagine the amount you need to put in. Have 2-3 liters of water every day.
One of the best ways to try and curb the symptoms of the keto flu is to replenish your electrolytes.
Nausea and fatigue are caused by dehydration. So be hydrated.
If you are wondering what is the fastest way to cure keto flu then drinking more water and eating more fats is definitely one of them.
Slow and steady wins the Race
A ketogenic diet recommends 30 grams of carbs a day.
So initially it is like you are not having anything at all. Super dizziness.
Do not rush into it. Go slow. GIVE YOURSELF TIME.
Cut your carb intake by 10-15 grams a day. And keep on adding more fat to your diet daily. Let the body know you are changing something.
I got this from Ruled.me.
I liked the way it was scheduled cutting the carbs over the weeks.
My Take on Keto Flu
The keto flu is a temporary side effect of the transition to ketosis.
It’s not dangerous, it just feels awful and can last for one or two weeks before your body adjusts to using fat as its primary fuel source.
All I faced was dizziness all day long.
I love eating cakes so I know my body was craving sweets.
But you can avoid this dizziness by simply adding some electrolytes and drinking lots of water.
2-3 liters of water a day is fine.
If you’re experiencing keto flu, there are several things you can do to help ease your symptoms:
Drink plenty of fluids: dehydration is a common cause of keto flu symptoms. Make sure to drink plenty of water, broth, or tea throughout the day.
Increase your electrolyte intake: electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, can help alleviate keto flu symptoms. You can increase your intake of these nutrients by eating electrolyte-rich foods or taking supplements.
Get plenty of rest: fatigue is a common symptom of keto flu. Getting plenty of rest can help you feel more energetic and improve your overall well-being.
Limit your activity level: if you’re feeling particularly fatigued, it’s best to limit your activity level and take it easy for a few days.
Related Keto Flu Issues
- What is Ketosis? Learn it before you enter
- 8 Symptoms that you are in Keto
- Understanding Keto in and out