The Keto Flu: Symptoms and How to Get Rid of Them

If you are undertaking a ketogenic diet, you may notice a number of changes occurring as your body adjusts. These changes are often called “keto flu” and while the changes aren’t dangerous and normally subside after a couple of weeks, they certainly can be uncomfortable or inconvenient.

Here are some helpful tips that can help identify the signs of keto flu, cure the symptoms, as well as get through the transition while continuing with your diet.

So, what exactly is keto flu1? Ketones are created when your body metabolizes fat. Ketones tend to have a diuretic effect on the kidneys, meaning they speed up the amount of salt and water that is processed2. For some people, this can cause an imbalance of electrolytes as well as dehydration. In addition, as carbohydrate stores in your body begin to get depleted as you switch from a high carb to a low carb diet, your body can start to show the changes in different ways.

While each body is unique, those going on a keto diet may experience one or two symptoms of keto flu or a combination of multiple3. Some people may even get lucky and experience none at all. The symptoms of keto flu can last a few days or up to two weeks. It all depends on the person.

Common symptoms of keto flu may include:

  • Irritability
  • Constipation
  • Brain fog or an inability to concentrate
  • Increased cravings
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Muscle soreness and cramping
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia

The following are ways to cope with Keto Flu:

1. Adjust your exercise routine: Light movement may help sore muscles and cramping, but be careful not to overdo it. Beginning an intense workout schedule immediately after starting a keto diet may actually exacerbate your symptoms.

2. Drink more water: It is always helpful to increase water intake, as it can relieve many keto flu symptoms. For an added boost, you can try infusing your water with lemon or cucumber.

3. Increase your electrolytes: Electrolytes are important minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium. As the body adjusts to a ketogenic diet, some people can experience a deficiency of electrolytes. However, you should be wary of sugary electrolyte replacement beverages. Instead, try a cup of full-salt broth instead.

4. Eat foundation vegetables: Many keto-friendly vegetables – such as beets, cauliflower, broccoli, and leafy greens – come full of fiber and valuable minerals, meaning they can help with such issues like constipation or cramping.

5. Get adequate sleep: Difficulties sleeping are often reported during keto flu, so it is important to make sure you schedule naps or go to bed extra early in order to make sure you get plenty of rest in order to maintain your energy levels.

6. Eat more healthy fats: Healthy fats, such as avocado, can help curb cravings, as well as encourage ketosis – an added bonus. Or, try a low carb alternative to tempting foods.

7. Try experimenting: Everyone’s body is different and there is no cure-all for the keto flu, so if you are experiencing keto flu, don’t be afraid to experiment and explore your options until you find the one or ones that work best for you.

8. Don't give up: While symptoms of keto flu are certainly uncomfortable or inconvenient, it is important to remember that they are not permanent. The discomfort associated with keto flu usually disappears after a week and is soon becomes replaced with the high-energy, fat-burning benefits of a ketogenic diet. 

If you are on the ketogenic diet, we recommend taking NATURELO Apple Cider Vinegar Capsules with Keto BHB Salts and MCT Oil. This supplement helps supports healthy weight loss and natural detox.

References:

1. What is keto flu? | Harvard Medical School, OCTOBER 18, 2018

2. Ketosis, ketogenic diet and food intake control: a complex relationship, 2015 Feb 2

3. The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus, 2008 Dec 19