The Keto Flu – Causes, Symptoms and Remedies from the Keto Flu
The keto diet, otherwise known as “ketogenic diet”, is a diet that is known best for using natural products. Not only does it help a person to lose their weight but also improves their health. This diet is safe for most people unlike a lot of diets out there that might not be the best for people with certain diseases/allergies.
It contains a low amount of carbohydrates, a medium level of protein and a fairly high amount of fat.
However, there are some harmful side effects of this diet that is collectively called the keto flu. That is what we are here to talk about today. The keto flu is pretty much a term that is used by the keto diet followers indicating the negative symptoms or side effects that one might face when begins this diet.
Table of Content
- 1 What is Keto Flu?
- 2 Keto Flu Symptoms
- 3 When does Keto Flu start?
- 4 How long does Keto Flu Last?
- 5 How to Get Over the Keto Flu?
- 6 Why You May Get Keto Flu?
- 7 How to Avoid Keto Flu?
- 8 The Bottom Line
What is Keto Flu?
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 very similar to regular flu and are primarily caused because of the sudden transition to low carbohydrates.
So, if you have started the keto diet or are planning to, be prepared for having such flu.
Now, why does this low intake of carbohydrate cause flu? Well, the primary reason for this is, when you decrease the number of carbs you regularly take, your body has to start burning ketones for energy and not glucose. Now the question might arise: what are ketones?
Ketones come as a byproduct when fat is broken down. This specifically turns into the main 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 longer period of time 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 each day. As a result of 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 unto it? Let us check out the symptoms of this flu now!
Keto Flu Symptoms
There are a lot of big and small symptoms that you might feel when it comes to the keto flu. That’s because of this drastic reduction of carbs might have an adverse effect on your health. Hence, it is important that you notice these symptoms right when they start showing and act accordingly.
Although some people either do not have to go through this flu or do not feel sick, a lot of keto diet followers go through a hard time. These symptoms can go from medium to high intensity and is also not the same for each human being.
So, without any further delay, let us get right into the symptoms of keto flu!
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
- Migraine or severe headache
- Lack of concentration
- Feeling dizzy
- Frequent muscle cramping
- Trouble breathing properly
A lot of 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 to 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 sore throat will not develop. That is why we should know how we can get rid of this symptom if developed, right?
Increased pH is the cause of sore throat here. So, if you can decrease the pH, you can get remedy from keto Flu sore throat. Let’s see the way of increasing the pH.
You should intake that kind of foods which are mainly alkaline. For example, you can drink a lot of water; you can 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 a great choice for you.
Keto Flu Fever
You know keto flue includes some common symptoms headache, weakness, nausea, dizziness, abdominal cramps are notable among them. You may also develop even fever after taking the ketogenic diet. But is it a fact to be worried?
Let me explain. Is there any person who can say that he never developed a fever? 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 gives you advice about how you can get dire from Keto flu fever. On the other hand, you should take those foods which help to prevent keto flu symptoms soon.
I also want to tell you that you stop taking carbohydrate as much you took before. So, your body cannot accept your new dietary habit at the beginning. So, the keto flu fever symptoms are naturally occurred but 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 be the result of dehydration, which depends on the amount of vomiting that comes out. So, it is a great matter how much vomit comes out.
Metabolic acidosis, electrolyte imbalance, acute kidney disease can occur from dehydration as a result of vomiting. So, you should think about these if you developed severe vomiting.
If you maintain the recommended foods that help get over from keto flu vomiting, you will have the least chance to develop 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
In 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 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, and this usually lasts for a couple of weeks. But, you can try to get rid of this unpleasant condition. Vitamin C containing fruits are very useful for this condition. You may take lime water. The lime water will do two functions here facilitates fat burning and prevent keto Flu runny nose. Don’t think this drink is enough. You are recommended to take the foods that are mentioned in the remedy section to prevent keto flu symptoms overall.
Keto Flu Supplements
The popularity of the keto diet is increasing day by day. That means a large number of people are supposed to develop keto flu while taking the keto diet, right? I think everybody should know how they can reduce the keto flu at the same time they should know the ideal foods which are the best option when keto flu will develop.
First of all, you should keep Vitamin D in 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, and so on. To cut these symptoms, you should take electrolyte supplements, which contains an adequate amount of sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
Thirdly, increase intake of vegetables. You know vegetable contains dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals also. These ingredients help to maintain electrolytes 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 definitely more than you took before. So, it is a good option if you can take protease enzyme (Proteolytic enzyme that breaks down protein) and lipase enzyme (Break down fat) for proper digestion of protein and fat.
You also need to take medium-chain triglyceride containing foods that emphasize 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 on 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. Hope, you will try for your convenience and comfort while you are on the keto diet.
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. There have some reasons such as excessive growth hormone release, dehydration, flu virus, poor nutrition, and so on. Usually, the following flu-like symptoms are felt after a workout.
- Diarrhea (Due to drinking too much water during, before/after extreme exercise).
When does Keto Flu start?
The keto flu is obviously going to 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 short terms, 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 completely recover.
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.
To be more specific, some individuals have a harder time to adapt 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 get over your flu without having to hamper your diet. If you are feeling too sick and feel like you 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 important when it comes to getting back your health. It can also reduce a good number of the symptoms of the keto diet such as dehydration. Not only that but also the water in the body easily bunds 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 a 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 really 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, it is necessary for you to rest at least.
Avoid Too Much Exercise
If you are someone who does regular exercise and has a habit of it, 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 important that you avoid as much exercise as you can. At best, maybe walk or spend time on the treadmill or 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 to begin with. That is why, during the keto flu, it is important that you increase your fat intake as well. 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 and so on.
Try Out Intermittent Fasting Systems
Intermittent fasting more or less referred to 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 a little bit easier to reduce the keto flu symptoms that you are facing. 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 terms of electrolytes, you will see the symptoms starting 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 a good amount of time when you are recovering from the flu.
However, even if it seems impossible to get some sleep, you need to cut down the caffeine intake so you can rest better. This alone might make you feel much better and get you over the keto diet easily.
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 are someone who likes to exercise, getting up early might help you to do some light exercise as well.
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?
Why You May Get 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 some 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 of carbohydrate
- Excessive dehydration during keto diet
- Weak immunization
- Sudden drop of 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, if you are going through this flu and not recovering soon enough, it is important that you consult a physician.
How to Avoid Keto Flu?
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 before, some diseases like allergies or even temporary conditions might not be suitable for the keto diet. So, if you plan to take up in this diet, it is crucial that you understand that some conditions might not be a good fit when it comes to the keto diet.
If you are someone who has diabetes, it is important 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 decrease might result in permanent damage to 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 any liver or pancreas diseases. Moreover, it might also not be a great idea to follow the keto diet if you are hypersensitive to any sort of 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 to 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 started the diet already, this will help you to be on the lookout for symptoms indicating to the keto flu.
All in all, 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!