8 Signs That You Might Have Keto Flu and What to Do About It

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When you start a Ketogenic diet, you are generally putting your body into a state of ketosis. I know it sounds serious, but really it’s not. It’s what happens when your body starts burning carbs instead of fat. Your body is just undergoing metabolic changes. Sometimes this is referred to as “keto flu”. Here are 8 signs of keto flu and what you can do about it.

Have you heard of the term keto flu? Here 8 signs of keto flu and what you can do about it.

What Is Keto Flu

The “keto flu” is a label given to a set of carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms that may occur in people who start a low carb diet that results from altered hormonal states and the electrolyte imbalances that may occur with it.

In other words, it describes a cycle in the body adapting to a newly started low carb diet.

Keto stands for ketogenic, a very strict low carb eating plan. The term should really be “low carb flu” since the ketogenic diet is not the only low carb plan.

8 Symptoms of Keto Flu

No two individuals are alike, so the symptoms can range from nothing to mild to a full-blown flu-like condition, and include

• Lightheadedness
• Nausea
• Fatigue
• Mental fog
• Cramps
• Headaches
• Diarrhea
• In some extreme cases, high blood pressure and arrhythmia

8 Signs That You Might Have Keto Flu and What to Do About It 1

How Long Does Keto Flu Last?

The duration for keto flu varies for each person. While some may have slight and even unnoticeable symptoms for a day or two, others might have an over the top symptom for a week or more, it really depends on how quickly your body adapts to a reduction in carbs.
Once keto flu is over you can expect a huge surge in energy levels, and once that sugar habit is fully kicked, often people feel better than ever.
Being patient as your body adapts is key, and know that it will pass, and if it does not you should seek the attention of a qualified medical professional. For most people any symptoms that occur end within two weeks’ time.

A Misunderstood Condition

People who experience keto flu after going on a low carb diet are sometimes forced to believe that they are suffering due to the diet they are on and carbs are good for the health after all.

However, this only shows how dependent they have been on carbs, as their body is trying to survive without carbs and sugary substances.

In truth, carb intake, and especially refined carbs that come from processed food, sugar, sugary foods and drinks is at epidemic levels, and carb addiction is rampant in the United States and other parts of the world.

It’s not your fault, those carbs are everywhere, congratulate yourself on making changes for the better with a low carb diet!

How To Reduce Keto Flu Effects

Keto flu can be nerve wrecking, no doubt, it is also sometimes a necessary evil, however, there are some things that can be done to reduce the symptoms if they appear.

Replenish your electrolytes: Lack of electrolytes in the body is one of the major causes of keto flu. Electrolytes are the minerals found in the body and they affect its water content, acidity of the blood and functionality of the muscles.

Additionally, low carb diets feature lower insulin levels that can signal the kidneys to discard excess water, making you drink more and this results in flushing out electrolytes, where sodium, potassium and magnesium deficiencies can occur. You will have to replenish them by using supplements and with food.

Add in some salt: Normally, the average diet is overloaded with salt, but a ketogenic diet eliminates refined and processed food and focuses on eating whole real food so when you start keto you will naturally reduce salt intake, which reduces water retention.

Since a low carb diet is naturally diuretic, there is no need to worry about water retention.

Generally, 5 grams of salt daily is ideal for keto flu and to replenish electrolytes, you can also get it from drinking 2 cups of broth or adding soy sauce and other sauces that have potassium to your meals.

Bone broth works well, and only requires the simmering of chicken, beef, lamb or any meat bones in water for about a day, or even canned broth or stocks from the store works well too, just make sure to read the labels for added ingredients or preservatives that you do not need.

Drippings from cooked meat have a high concentration of potassium, so use them to make sauces.

300 mg of magnesium can be taken in supplement form.

8 Signs That You Might Have Keto Flu and What to Do About It 2

Keto flu is a process that most dieters undergo while starting their weight loss or weight gain journey. While it cannot be avoided for some, you can reduce symptoms while your body adapts.

Please contact a doctor if the symptoms become too severe to handle alone.

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Kori

Content Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is an autistic mom who also happens to have ADHD and Anxiety. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodivergent family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. As an empath, HSP, and highly intuitive individual, Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori provides life coaching services for neurodivergent women (and those who identify as women) as well as Oracle card reading, Tarot card readings, and energy healing.

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Anna
4 years ago

I just started a keto diet 2 weeks ago. Some days are hard. I’ve experienced a lack of energy and some lightheadedness. But as time goes on, I feel better and better. I’m actually really excited about it. I thought it was going to be torture avoiding carbs, but it’s easy once you get used to it. And I’ve noticed that I don’t need as much sleep as I used to. I just feel better about myself! I’m new to your blog so forgive me if you’ve already said, but have you tried the keto diet? What was/is it like… Read more »

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