There is currently a lack of research into what actually causes the keto flu and its effects on the body. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. This guide is based on scientific evidence, following our policy for evidence-based guides. Headache. Walking, stretching, or doing gentle yoga or other mind-body exercise should be fine and may even help you feel better. [overview article; ungraded] ↩ Although the precise mechanism remains unclear, researchers have suggested that under conditions of low insulin, the kidneys absorb less sodium and excrete more into the urine: American Journal of Physiology. Those having a difficult time adapting to the ketogenic diet may have to eliminate carbohydrates gradually, rather than all at once. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Stay Hydrated: When you switch to a ketogenic diet, your body starts to use the stored glycogen in your liver and muscles for energy which can cause them to hold onto water. As the body transitions from carbs to fat as its primary energy source, withdrawal from sugar and carbs can result in a few uncomfortable symptoms. The Journal of Clinical Investigation 1980: Capacity for moderate exercise in obese subjects after adaptation to a hypocaloric, ketogenic diet [non-controlled study; weak evidence] ↩ High-quality research has shown that keto eating can help prevent hunger during weight loss: Obesity Reviews: Do ketogenic diets really suppress appetite? While some may experience weeks of keto-flu symptoms, others may adjust to the new diet with no adverse side effects. You can learn more about our panel here. Getting enough water, sodium and other electrolytes like magnesium and potassium can also help with another issue people often experience in the early stages of a keto diet: constipation. Lack of magnesium can cause an abnormally fast heartbeat (heart arrhythmia) which is a symptom of keto flu. Switching from a high-carb diet to a very-low-carb diet lowers insulin levels in your body, one of the primary goals of a ketogenic diet.5. You can learn more about our panel here. What’s more, the keto diet restricts many foods that are high in potassium, including fruits, beans and starchy vegetables. When the keto flu starts it can range in severity depending on factors shared below. The information we provide at DietDoctor.com is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional. 1. There are several possible side effects on keto, not just the initial keto flu. favorite_border | a year ago Nausea, constipation, headaches, fatigue and sugar cravings are common in some people who are adapting to a high-fat, low-carb diet. However, ketosis can also be reached by adopting a very low-carb diet. The keto flu is a term used to describe flu-like symptoms associated with beginning the very low-carb ketogenic diet. Although the ketogenic diet may be helpful for many people, it’s not suitable for everyone. Soon you’ll reach the promised land of ketosis. In addition, make sure you’re drinking enough water. The ketogenic diet may not be safe for pregnant women, children, people with kidney, liver or pancreatic disease and those who are sensitive to dietary cholesterol. Be sure to drink lots of water and add plenty of electrolytes, salts, potassium and magnesium to your diet. When dietary carbohydrates are reduced, glycogen levels plummet and water is excreted from the body (6). Here are five. Staying hydrated, replacing lost electrolytes, getting enough rest and ensuring you are consuming proper amounts of fat and carbohydrates are ways to reduce keto-flu symptoms. Some people may feel fine or slightly tired for a day or two after starting keto. The keto flu is really not the flu at all, and it is absolutely beatable and worth the effort! Keto diet is a great way to lose fat without doing much exercise. More often than not, keto flu … You’ll feel tired, hungry and miserable.14. However, some people may have a more difficult time adapting to this high-fat, low-carb diet. It’s not a good idea to focus on calories when you’re trying to become keto adapted. Signs of the keto flu may start popping up within the first few days of cutting back on carbs. Do you have the KETO FLU? The ketogenic diet is a proven way to lose weight and improve health. This change is responsible for some of the rapid – and usually very welcome! These foods are also high in magnesium, which may help reduce muscle cramps, sleep issues and headaches (10). You’re right to be looking into it and trying to learn as much as you can in order to remedy the symptoms, which can be, as the name implies, as rough as the flu itself. Nutrition Journal 2017: The effect of replacing saturated fat with mostly n-6 polyunsaturated fat on coronary heart disease: a meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials [strong evidence] ↩ This is based on clinical experience of low-carb practitioners and was unanimously agreed upon by our low-carb expert panel. 10 Signs and Symptoms That You're in Ketosis. If you experience keto flu symptoms, there are some things you can do to alleviate them or even avoid them and go through the transition period more easily. Keep reading to learn more about this and other remedies for the keto flu! Since increased urination means loss of water, increasing your water intake will help to relieve some of your Keto Flu symptoms. Another great keto flu cure is bone broth! 9 During the first few weeks of your keto lifestyle, whenever you develop a headache, lethargy, nausea, dizziness or other symptoms, drink a glass of water with half a teaspoon of salt stirred into it. In fact, it’s possible you will have more energy than before you started the diet.3. Ketosis is a natural metabolic state that occurs on a very low-carb diet. For example, the ketogenic diet may not be appropriate for pregnant or breastfeeding women, children and teens, unless it’s being used therapeutically under medical supervision. Angeline Taye - April 6, 2019. Luckily, the uncomfortable symptoms of the keto flu only last about a week for most people. Lasting one to two weeks, the keto flu is not dangerous, rather inconvenient, and there are a number of strategies you can use to avoid or quickly cure the keto flu such as fasting, exercise, and adjusting your macros. Renal Physiology 2007: Insulin’s impact on renal sodium transport and blood pressure in health, obesity, and diabetes [overview article; ungraded] ↩ This is based on clinical experience of low-carb practitioners and was unanimously agreed upon by our low-carb expert panel. Slowly cutting back on carbs, while increasing fat and protein in your diet, may help make the transition smoother and decrease keto-flu symptoms. Keto flu symptoms, I’m feeling tired, my muscles are cramped plus headache, why can’t I sleep ahh. With symptoms like headache, nausea, dizziness, muscle cramps, and irritability, it’s enough to make anyone wonder if a Keto diet is worth it. BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care 2017: Systematic review and meta-analysis of dietary carbohydrate restriction in patients with type 2 diabetes [strong evidence] ↩ Nutrition X 2019: Effects of differing levels of carbohydrate restriction on mood achievement of nutritional ketosis, and symptoms of carbohydrate withdrawal in healthy adults: A randomized clinical trial [randomized trial; moderate evidence] ↩ This is based on clinical experience of low-carb practitioners and was unanimously agreed upon by our low-carb expert panel. Although the issue remains somewhat controversial, several recent systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials have failed to show a connection between eating saturated fat and increased risk of heart disease or other health problems: Open Heart 2016: Evidence from randomised controlled trials does not support current dietary fat guidelines: a systematic review and meta-analysis [strong evidence]. Drink lots of … Eating slightly more carbs may potentially slow down weight loss and result in less rapid and dramatic health improvements.16 However, it can still lead to better health, especially if you are cutting out sugar and processed foods. A ketogenic diet is good for much more than just losing weight. The symptoms people experience are tied to how their bodies adjust to a new fuel source. Here’s an evidence-based look at how it works. There are 3 essential causes of Keto flu that would like to the symptoms. – weight loss that happens in the early stages of a keto diet. Other than that, it’s quite simple – eat the right foods and stay consistent. But rather than suffering needlessly during this time, why not address the cause and start feeling better right now? Click for more info. The keto flu refers to a number of flu-like symptoms that can occur as your body shifts into ketosis. Getting adequate amounts of these important nutrients is an excellent way to power through the adaptation period of the diet. Potential benefits of keto eating include weight loss and better blood sugar control, among others: The British Journal of Nutrition 2013: Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials [strong evidence]. This is one of the common methods people use to combat the flu’s symptoms. The first step is by far the most important, and it’s often all that’s needed. The keto diet is said to be very low in carbohydrates and high in fat intake, protein is taken in moderation. Low-carb and ketogenic diets have many health benefits. Be sure to stay on top of your water intake. You can combat the keto flu by staying hydrated, replacing electrolytes, getting plenty of sleep, avoiding strenuous activities, eating enough fat and cutting out carbs slowly over time. Although drinking plenty of water is important, coffee and tea will contribute toward your fluid intake as well.11 Still, try to keep your caffeine intake modest (about 3 cups of coffee per day), as high amounts may potentially increase loss of water and sodium.12. In this article, we’ll cover what the Keto flu is, what causes it, and how it can be cured. Keto Flu – The Cause and The Cure. Letting yourself get hungry or stressing about the amount of food you’re eating might even make keto flu symptoms worse.19 Once you’re steadily in ketosis, your appetite will likely go down, and you’ll naturally end up eating less.20. In a ketogenic diet, carbohydrates are typically reduced to under 50 grams per day (2). These are temporary, and treatments and remedies … Usually, carbs provide the body with energy in the form of glucose. While these side effects may cause some dieters to throw in the towel, there are ways to reduce them. [weak evidence] ↩ These are based on clinical experience from low-carb providers as well as the following RCT: The American Journal of the Clinical Nutrition 2007: Low-carbohydrate nutrition and metabolism [overview article; ungraded] ↩ Diabetes and Metabolism Reviews 1989: Ketone body production and disposal: effects of fasting, diabetes, and exercise. By interacting with this site, you agree to our disclaimer. Why is is called the Keto flu, because it can feel like a flu – and it being flu season, you don’t want to take chances but do know that if you are experiencing these Keto flu symptoms in the first few weeks of dieting, there is a strong possibility that you just have the Keto flu and not the regular flu. Normally, fat is reserved as a secondary fuel source to use when glucose is not available. Dehydration and loss of electrolyte Keto flu can be a common side-effect most people experience when starting a low-carb high fat diet. Keeping yourself properly hydrated will increase your energy and help ease the headache. Potassium is an electrolyte with many essential jobs and is an important mineral for battling keto flu. Keto Flu Causes When your body is using your body’s fat supply for energy instead of your body’s sugar, the insulin level in your body is lowered—leaving you exhausted. The keto flu isn’t on par with these conditions. It is time to lose weight with the help of this effective diet rather than worry about keto flu. Switching to a very low-carb diet is a major change, and your body may need time to adapt to this new way of eating. Some people may experience keto-flu symptoms due to genetics, electrolyte loss, dehydration and carbohydrate withdrawal. Ketogenic diet foods – what to eat and what to. This drastic reduction can come as a shock to the body and may cause withdrawal-like symptoms, similar to those experienced when weaning off an addictive substance like caffeine (3). Learn more about electrolyte supplementation on a keto diet. Well-known ketogenic researcher Dr. Steve Phinney has conducted studies in endurance athletes and obese adults demonstrating that physical performance decreases during the first week of very-low-carb eating.18 Fortunately, his research also shows that performance typically recovers — and often improves — within 4 to 6 weeks. Symptoms of the keto flu usually disappear by themselves within a few days to weeks, as the body adapts. You’ve come across mention of the Keto flu and you’re a bit worried about it. Some people, however, experience leg cramps at night and during exercise while eating low-carb. Those who typically consume lots of carbs, especially refined carbs like pasta, sugary cereal and soda, may have a more difficult time when beginning the ketogenic diet. While keto-flu symptoms are commonly reported by those shifting to a ketogenic diet, if you are feeling particularly unwell and experiencing symptoms like prolonged diarrhea, fever or vomiting, it’s best to contact your doctor to rule out other causes. When insulin levels are very low, your liver begins converting fat into ketones, which most of your cells can use in place of glucose.6 When your body is mainly using ketones and fat for energy, you’re in a state of ketosis. The first option is to eliminate all high-carb foods from your diet from day one while restricting your carb intake to 20 g per day. Below are 6 methods for making you feel better quickly and effectively. Once you’ve adapted to low-carb eating, feel free to try eating less than 20 grams of carbs again to see whether your body prefers this or slightly higher carb intake. Top 10 Keto Flu Symptoms are: headaches, dizziness, cramps and sore muscles, fatigue, mood swings, irritability, and cravings, stomach pain and constipation, brain fog and difficulty focusing, bad breath and/or insomnia. When following a ketogenic diet, levels of insulin, an important hormone that helps the body absorb glucose from the bloodstream, decrease. Considering the numerous benefits of the diet, the scales tilt in its favor. What is keto flu? When carbs are substantially reduced, the body burns ketones from fat instead of glucose. We recommend you try to endure keto eating for a few more days until the symptoms pass. Fatigue and irritability are common complaints of people who are adapting to a ketogenic diet. Thus, the transition to a high-fat, very low-carb diet may be a struggle for some, while others are able to switch between fuel sources easily with little to no keto-flu symptoms. A ketogenic diet has been proven to help you lose weight and fight metabolic disease. 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