Keto flu is the collection of symptoms that can be experienced by some people after a few days they start the ketogenic diet. [1]

Also known as carb flu, it happens when your body tries to adapt to a new diet that restricts carbohydrates intake. 

Your carbohydrates intake gets reduced to under 50 grams per day when you’re on a ketogenic diet, which may come as a shock to your body and cause withdrawal-like symptoms. [2]

It’s because switching to a very low-carb diet makes your body go through a major change, which might need some time to adapt. While the symptoms typically go away within a week, they can make you feel miserable.

Luckily, you can ease the symptoms by following some rules and help your body to go through this transition period without any trouble.

Continue reading to learn more about keto flu, its symptoms, and ways to get rid of it.


Ways to Soothe Keto Flu

1. Stay Hydrated.

Drinking enough water is quite important to stay hydrated and healthy, particularly when you’re on a keto diet.

It’s because a ketogenic diet can cause you to shed water rapidly, increasing the possibility of you getting dehydrated. [3]

Study shows that you can have less fatigue and muscle cramping by staying hydrated. [4]

You may also suffer from keto-flu associated diarrhea that may cause additional fluid loss. It means you need to have enough fluid to avoid that situation. [5]

2. Replace Dietary Electrolytes.

The insulin level of your body gets reduced when you follow a ketogenic diet, making you kidneys release an excessive amount of sodium from your body. [6]

Besides, this diet restricts so many foods that are high in potassium, including starchy vegetables, beans, and fruits. These nutrients are essential for maintaining a healthy balance of electrolytes. 

Choose potassium-rich keto-friendly foods such as avocados and leafy greens to get enough nutrients that can help you stay healthy during the adaptation period of this diet. 

3. Avoid Heavy Exercise.

Discomfort in the stomach, muscle cramps, and fatigue are quite common when you have keto flu, which may get worse if you continue doing strenuous exercises. 

Weight lifting, intense running, biking should be avoided during this period as your body tries to adapt to a new fuel system.

You can try light exercises like yoga or walking to improve your symptoms.

4. Get Enough Sleep.

Irritability and fatigue are common symptoms of keto flu that can get worse if you don’t have an adequate amount of sleep.

Besides, your cortisol level becomes high due to lack of sleep, which has a negative impact on your mood, especially when you’re on a ketogenic diet. [7, 8]

You’re suggested to cut off your caffeine intake, switch off all the devices, and create a healthy routine of getting up early in the morning to improve your sleep quality. [9, 10]

5. Consume Adequate Amount of Fat.

Craving for high-carb foods like pasta, cookies, and bagels is quite common while you’re transitioning to a low-carb diet like keto.

While acting as the main fuel source on the ketogenic diet, fat can also help make you feel satisfied and full. 

As the low carb diet eventually reduces your craving for high-carb foods, slowly reducing the amount of these foods may help you ease the symptoms of keto flu. [11]

Are You Suffering from Keto Flu?

Your body requires some time to adapt when you’re switching to a ketogenic diet. However, for some people, change can be particularly difficult to handle.

Although the symptoms differ from person to person, you can understand that you’re having a keto flu if you notice the following: [12]

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Stomach pain
  • Dizziness
  • Sugar craving
  • Muscle cramps
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Lack of concentration
  • Muscle soreness
  • Weakness

These symptoms typically don’t last for more than a week. However, you may also experience these symptoms for a longer period.

Bottom Line

Keto diet is quite popular and useful, but not everyone can follow it. This diet is not suitable for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding their child, have kidney problems, as well as diabetes.

Besides, your body may not adjust properly during the transition period, and the symptoms of keto flu can get worse.

However, this is not a serious medical condition and can be reduced by following some simple rules.

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