The keto diet, otherwise known as the “ketogenic diet,” is a diet that is known best for using natural products. Not only does it help a person to lose weight, but it also improves their health. This diet is safe for most people, unlike many diets that might not be the best for people with specific diseases/allergies.
It contains a low amount of carbohydrates, a medium protein level, and a relatively high amount of fat.
However, some harmful side effects of this diet are collectively called the keto flu. That is what we are here to talk about today. The keto flu is a term used by the keto diet followers to indicate the negative symptoms or side effects one might face when one begins this diet.
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What is Keto Flu?
What’s the keto flu feel like? The Keto Flu is a general term used to define the negative symptoms that a person might face when they start the keto diet. Such symptoms are similar to regular flu and primarily caused by the sudden transition to low carbohydrate consumption.
So, if you have started the keto diet or are planning to, be prepared for having such flu. So the keto flu is real.
Now, why does this low intake of carbohydrates cause flu? The primary reason for this is that when you decrease the carbs, you regularly take, your body has to start burning ketones for energy, not glucose. Now the question might arise: what are ketones?
Ketones come as a byproduct when fat is broken down. This is the primary fuel source when one starts a keto diet. In general, what happens is that fat itself is reserved as a secondary fuel source to use when there is not enough glucose in the body. It results in such a phenomenon when fat is burned for energy.
Hence, this is specifically called ketosis. Ketosis not only occurs during the keto flu but also when someone starves, fasts for a more extended period, or even because of low carb diets.
This explains why ketosis happens during the keto diet. When someone is on this diet, the carb intake can be as little as 40 grams or even 50 grams daily due to some side effects that one might have trouble dealing with.
Overall, this sudden reduction of carbs in a person’s diet can be a little hard to handle for the body and causes some withdrawal symptoms like when weaning off something addictive, such as caffeine.
So now that you know everything there is to know about the ketogenic diet and the keto flu, maybe we should go deeper into it? Let us check out the symptoms of this flu now!
Keto Flu Symptoms
There are a lot of major and minor symptoms that you might feel when it comes to the keto flu. That’s because this drastic reduction of carbs might have an adverse effect on your health. Hence, it would help if you noticed these symptoms right when they started showing and acted accordingly.
Although some people either do not have to go through this flu or do not feel sick, many keto diet followers are fighting the keto flu. These symptoms can go from medium to high intensity and are not the same for each human being.
So, let us get right into the keto flu symptoms without further delay!
Key Symptoms of the Keto Flu
- Feeling physically weak
- Feeling nauseous
- Craving sugar or sweet food
- Feeling vomiting
- Soreness in the muscles and joints
- Possible diarrhea
- Pain in the stomach besides menstrual pain
- keto flu joint pain
- Migraine or severe headache
- Lack of concentration
- Feeling dizzy or keto flu fatigue
- Frequent muscle cramping
- Trouble breathing properly
Many people might not even have the keto flu, but some people do. If you are planning to start this diet, do remember these symptoms. In addition, remember that not everyone has this flu. So if you do not have these symptoms, do not worry.
Keto Flu Sore Throat
Sore throat is an unpleasant situation for you and also for me. You know it is a symptom of keto flu that may occur if you take a keto diet suddenly. But I want to tell you that it is not a frequent symptom. On the other hand, it also doesn’t mean a sore throat will not develop. That is why we should know how to get rid of this symptom if it develops, right?
Increased pH is the cause of sore throat here. So, if you can decrease the pH, you can get a keto Flu sore throat remedy. Let’s see the way of increasing the pH.
You should intake that kind of food which is mainly alkaline. For example, you can drink a lot of water and eat lots of leafy greens and fruits such as avocado, mint, kale, cucumbers, and so on. Remember, green leafy vegetables are the best choice to increase the pH.
My experience also says that spinach salad or angular baby salad with olive oil dressing and lemon juice can also be an excellent choice for you.
Keto Flu Fever
You know keto flue includes some common symptoms headache, weakness, nausea, dizziness, and abdominal cramps are notable among them. You may also develop even fever or keto flu headache after taking the ketogenic diet. But is it a fact to be worried?
Let me explain. Is there any person who can say he never developed a fever, aka keto flu symptoms chills? Almost every person has this experience. So, you can understand fever is not a very dangerous disease always, right?
If you develop a low-grade fever, you monitor some days. But if you develop a high-grade fever (It is rare), you can consult with a medical practitioner. He also advises how you can get dire from Keto flu fever. On the other hand, you should take those foods that help prevent keto flu symptoms soon.
I also want to tell you that you have stopped taking carbohydrates as you took before. So, your body cannot accept your new dietary habits at the beginning. Is the keto flu dangerous? The answer is that keto flu symptoms fever naturally occur but are not dangerous.
Keto Flu Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are related to each other. Nausea is the prior stage of vomiting. That doesn’t mean nausea always proceeds to vomit. You know nausea is a very common symptom of keto flu than vomiting. You may need to consult your physician if vomiting occurs.
Vomiting can result from dehydration, which depends on the amount of vomiting that comes out. So, it is an excellent matter of how much vomit comes out.
Metabolic acidosis, electrolyte imbalance, and acute kidney disease can result from vomiting and dehydration. So, you should think about these if you develop severe vomiting.
If you maintain the recommended foods that help you overcome keto flu vomiting, you will have the slightest chance of developing vomiting. But you should consult with a doctor if vomiting occurs. But I like to ensure you again it is not commonly developed.
Keto Flu Runny Nose
On the first or second day, you probably don’t get any symptoms of keto flu. But from the 3rd or 4th day, you may expect that you have to face some keto symptoms, and a runny nose is one of them. In fact, a runny nose is a frequent symptom of the keto flu.
You may develop this symptom from the 3rd/4th day, which usually lasts a couple of weeks. But, you can try to get rid of this unpleasant condition. Vitamin C-containing fruits are beneficial for this condition. You may take lime water.
The lime water will do two functions: fat burning and preventing keto Flu runny nose. I don’t think this drink is enough. You are recommended to take the foods mentioned in the remedy section to avoid keto flu symptoms overall.
Flu-like symptoms after Workout
Sometimes we feel unwell after exercise or workout, but why? Well, do you know it has scientific explanations behind this? You should know this. Some reasons include excessive growth hormone release, dehydration, flu virus, poor nutrition, etc. Usually, the following flu-like symptoms are felt after a workout.
- Diarrhea (Excessive water during, before/after extreme exercise).
Keto Flu Supplements
The popularity of the keto diet is increasing daily, so you must be aware of the keto flu symptoms and relief. That means many people should develop keto flu while taking the keto diet, right? I think everybody should know how they can reduce the keto flu simultaneously; they should know the ideal foods which are the best option when keto flu develops.
5 Best Keto Flu Electrolyte Supplement
First, you should keep Vitamin D on your diet menu because deficiency of Vitamin D is common in the keto diet. You know, Vitamin D is an essential element for the immune system, bone health, cellular growth, and reduction of inflammation. So, you should take Vitamin D-containing foods.
Secondly, you know many unpleasant symptoms may develop after taking the keto diet, such as headache, fatigue, muscle cramps, etc. To cut these symptoms, you should take electrolyte supplements, which contain an adequate amount of sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
Thirdly, increase the intake of vegetables. You know vegetable contains dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals also. These ingredients help to maintain electrolyte imbalance and prevent constipation.
Then, you have to think that you start eating the maximum amount of fat and a moderate amount of protein when you are on the keto diet. And the amount of fat and protein is more than you took before. So, it is an excellent option to take protease enzyme (Proteolytic enzyme that breaks down protein) and lipase enzyme (Break down fat) for proper digestion of protein and fat.
It would help if you also took medium-chain triglyceride-containing foods emphasizing fat intake. On the other hand, omega-3-containing foods can reduce heart disease risk factors and lower inflammation during the keto diet.
Keto flu is common and may also develop in you. But you can get relief from these symptoms, and the symptoms seem not too difficult if you can take those foods which contain these ingredients. I hope you will try for convenience and comfort while on the keto diet.
When Does The Keto Flu start?
When does keto flu hit? The keto flu will start after you get on the keto diet. Well, the thing is, when you are suddenly decreasing your intake of carbohydrates, it can take a toll on your body. That is why you will see the first few symptoms pop up.
So, in the short term, you might be able to feel some symptoms such as nausea or vomiting very soon after you start the keto flu. This might be as soon as the first few days of reducing your intake of carbohydrates in your meal.
Therefore, keep this in mind when you start the ketogenic diet and be prepared to feel this way within the first few days.
How Long Does Keto Flu Last?
This is also a question that might have different answers based on the person. But if we were to give you a general overview, a keto flu usually might last up to one week. If you recently started suffering from this flu, you should assume that you will take a minimum of 7 days to recover completely.
Due to that, the keto flu symptoms decrease more and more as your body gets used to converting ketones into energy, but it might not be the same for everyone.
More specifically, some individuals have a harder time adapting to a high fat yet low carbohydrate diet. For them, the keto flu symptoms might last longer than a week, up to several weeks.
How to Get Over the Keto Flu?
Having flu is never fun for anyone. In this regard, our article covers some tips and tricks for you to easily avoiding the keto flu without having to hamper your diet. If you feel too sick and do not want to continue, just drop it. There is no reason for you to continue a diet that deteriorates your health even more.
On the other hand, if you do not feel that sickness and feel well enough to go through this transition period, follow these tips to get over your keto flu.
Drink Lots of Water
Drinking a lot of water and staying hydrated is essential for restoring your health. It can also reduce a good number of the symptoms of the keto diet, such as dehydration. So keto flu drinks not only that but also the body’s water efficiently bundles with glycogen.
Consider Mineral Supplements
You might need to take additional mineral supplements when you are trying to recover from the keto flu. During the keto diet, your dietary food might not have the required amount of Sodium, Magnesium, or calcium. So, if you want to increase the minerals in your body, take top-notch bone broth supplements to feel better.
Increase Fiber Intake
There are a lot of people who do not have a high fiber intake before starting the keto diet. This diet has such limited food that it does not help their case.
So if you are suffering from the flu and suffering from constipation specifically or even cramping, consider taking low-carb vegetables that will ultimately result in an increase in your fiber intake and help you to recover.
Rest a Lot
This is no surprise. If you want to get better, you need to rest a lot. Since the keto flu might result in trouble sleeping at night or even insomnia, it is helpful to take a cold bath or decrease screen time. Even if you cannot sleep, you must rest at least.
Avoid Too Much Exercise
If you exercise regularly and have a habit, it might be hard to stop completely, even when you are down with the keto flu. However, during this time, it might not be the best idea to involve yourself in any dreadful exercise.
It is crucial that you avoid as much exercise as you can. At best, maybe walk or spend time on the treadmill for half an hour or 15 minutes.
Eat More Fatty Food
If you are going through the flu, chances are you did not have enough fat intake. That is why, during the keto flu, you must also increase your fat intake. It will recover you well enough so you can be fit to start the keto diet again if you want. Eat food like olive oil, MCT oil, avocados, etc.
Try Out Intermittent Fasting Systems
Intermittent fasting is often when one fasts for around 13 to 15 hours in a single day. This type of fasting drains all the glycogen stored up in your body and up the ketone conversion process through fasting.
This eventually leads you to be in ketosis faster, which will result in the keto flu subsiding much more quickly.
Switch Dietary Electrolytes
If you replace all the dietary electrolytes, it might become easier to reduce the keto flu symptoms you face. During this flu, the insulin level of the body decreases because the kidney releases too much Sodium.
Therefore, if you add more keto-friendly food and make your diet a little more balanced in electrolytes, the symptoms will start to reduce soon.
Reduce Caffeine Intake
Insomnia will be a huge issue when it comes to the keto flu. Nevertheless, you will need to rest reasonably when recovering from the flu.
However, even if it seems impossible to get some sleep, you need to reduce your caffeine intake to rest better. This alone might make you feel much better and quickly get you over the keto diet.
Get Up Early
If you make a habit of waking up early, it will help you come to a more regular sleeping pattern and also help in avoiding oversleeping during the recovery phase. At the same time, if you like to exercise, getting up early might also help you do some light exercise.
This will not only help you to recover from the flu but also help in adopting new healthy habits.
Accordingly, if you follow these tips, it will be much easier for you to go through the keto flu. You can also be able to adopt some good habits in the process as well. However, before knowing the remedies, should you not know a little more about why you get this flu?
What Causes Keto Flu?
There are some reasons that some people get the keto flu, and others do not. As we all know, not everyone adapts to a diet change the same way, and it depends a lot on your regular dietary habits. This also might be a result of a person’s weak immune system.
On the other hand, if you want to pinpoint specific reasons why the keto flu might affect someone, we have them gathered as well. They are as follows:
- Result if genetics
- A regular diet containing too much carbohydrate
- Excessive dehydration during keto diet
- Weak immunization
- A sudden drop in insulin
Just like we all do not face the same issues when we go through the keto diet, we also do not cover the same way when we go through the keto flu. During this time, one person might need more carb intake than another or needless fibers. Likewise, you must consult a physician if you are going through this flu and not recovering soon enough.
How to Reduce Keto Flu Symptoms?
Now the obvious question arises, is there a way to avoid the keto flu? What is the prevention method if you still want to take up this diet? Is the Keto flu inevitable when following the ketogenic diet? Well, in this section, we will be answering all these questions.
As we mentioned, some diseases like allergies or even temporary conditions might not suit the keto diet. So, if you plan to take up this diet, you must understand that some situations might not be a good fit for the keto diet.
If you have diabetes, it is crucial that you do not start the keto diet unless you consult the doctor because this diet increases the amount of insulin in your body. You need to understand that excessive decreases might permanently damage your health.
Other than that, if a person is a breastfeeding woman, pregnant, a child, or even a teenager, the keto diet might not be the most appropriate for them unless it has been suggested for therapeutic reasons.
Lastly, do not try out this diet if you have liver or pancreas diseases. Moreover, following the keto diet might not be a great idea if you are hypersensitive to dietary cholesterol.
The Bottom Line
If you are about to start the Keto diet anytime soon, it is important that you also remind yourself about the keto flu. In this article, we have added some crucial points that might help you understand what conditions or diseases might be a big reason for one to have a higher risk of suffering from this flu.
In addition, if you do not have such obvious indications and have already started the diet, this will help you be on the lookout for symptoms indicating the keto flu.
We hope you can figure out the right step to take, whether you are just about to start the keto diet or are already suffering from the flu.
Good luck and take care!