The Keto Flu & Remedy


When you first start a keto diet, your body
may go through a brief bout of what’s commonly referred to as the “keto flu.” The symptoms, which can include fatigue, stomach
pain and dizziness, have nothing to do with ketosis or ketogenesis. Instead, the “keto flu” is triggered by
the body’s response to carbohydrate restriction. Think about your switch from a carb-heavy
diet to a low-carb diet like a breakup. Saying goodbye to that easy, familiar source
of energy can be difficult, even if you know that there are rewards to follow. See, most of your cells prefer to burn sugar
for fuel and that’s what your body is used to. When you start to restrict those carbohydrates,
the body undergoes a series of changes on cellular and hormonal levels. And some of those changes cause the keto flu. In addition to fatigue, stomach pain and dizziness,
other symptoms can include: sugar cravings, dizziness, brain fog, irritability, nausea,
cramping, muscle soreness and insomnia. The good news is that, while symptoms often
start during the first day or two of carb restriction, they usually last for less than
a week. The number and severity of symptoms and the
length of the keto flu will be different for everyone. This is mainly tied to each person’s level
of metabolic flexibility, which means how well you can adapt to using different fuel
sources, like carbs, fats, protein and ketones. Metabolic flexibility mostly depends on genetics
and lifestyle factors, like how much sugar and processed foods you were previously eating,
and how much you exercise. A healthy diet and plenty of exercise before
you start keto may help to reduce or even prevent keto flu. One of the main reasons keto flu happens,
is that when carbs are restricted, insulin levels drop and trigger the kidneys to release
sodium and water. Glycogen, which is the body’s storage form
of sugar, is stored with water, as well. So, when the body begins to break down glycogen,
some water will be flushed out. The start of a keto diet can also lower T3
thyroid hormone levels, which can cause feelings of fatigue, depression and mental fog. Levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, maybe
also increase, because the ketogenic diet triggers a starvation-like response in the
body. Remember: This is all temporary! The main way to combat keto flu is to drink
lots and lots of water, with a pinch of unrefined salt added. It is very easy to become dehydrated on keto,
so stay vigilant about your hydration! The suggested water intake for most adults
is between at least 2.7 and 3.7 liters of water per day. Also, be sure to supplement your diet with
sodium, potassium and magnesium. Sodium and potassium are lost at a rapid rate
at the start of keto because of the decrease of insulin. This can cause fatigue, lightheadedness, headaches,
constipation and cramping. Add more leafy greens and avocados to boost
potassium in your diet. Try recipes like a spinach watercress keto
salad, easy keto creamed spinach and avocado egg salad. Also, add extra sprinkle of unrefined salt
on your food to compensate for sodium loss. Extra magnesium will help prevent and treat
cramps, improve sleep quality, and increase insulin sensitivity. To boost those levels, add more pumpkin seeds,
almonds and spinach to your keto diet. Almond butter chia squares is a great recipe
to make for this purpose, or sprinkle some extra pumpkin seeds on your breakfast keto
porridge. You can also purchase potassium gluconate
and magnesium citrate supplements from a pharmacy or health food market. The recommended daily doses for most adults
are: 5 to 7 grams of unrefined salt; 3,500 milligrams per day of potassium; and between
310 and 400 milligrams of magnesium. One other way to help lessen the effects of
keto flu is to eat more fat. Animal fats and dairy take a long time to
create fuel for the body, but MCT oil, which is made of medium chain triglycerides, go
straight to the liver after digestion. There, they can be converted into ketones
and sent to the cells in your body for fuel. An hour of light exercise, like walking, first
thing in the morning can also tremendously help with keto flu. This will help deplete your glycogen stores
and kickstart ketosis, which helps the keto flu go away faster. Just remember to drink even more water when
you exercise. A good night’s sleep can also work wonders
for fatigue and stress relief, and some people find that a daily, 15-minute meditation practice
is also very helpful. With some preparation, you can get through
the keto flu! For more information, spend some time reading
the article “What is the Keto Flu & How to Remedy It?” on Ruled.Me. On the site, you’ll also find forums where
you can talk with other people on keto, to get advice or support about the keto flu or
anything else along your keto journey.

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Reader Comments

  1. Ponch O

    Can you touched on the topic about Keto rash. Ive been experiencing this issue despite been doing keto for almost 4 months now . Any input will be helpful.

  2. 2448redbird

    Had a dull headache after the first week but now feel more clear-headed than ever. I just drink propel and took a Tylenol in the afternoon for a day or two. It went away.

  3. Kim HR

    Thank you so much for the info. I really enjoy your straightforward explanation of the keto flu and how to avoid, or at least lessen the effects of, it. Of course, your videos and website have been wonderful for your recipes. Thank you again for all you do to help people get healthier.

  4. Nadia Syed

    Currently on the Keto diet and I am so nauseous it’s actually stopping me from eating. At this point it’s very inconvenient. What do I do 🙁

  5. The Greek Freak

    So light headed feeling is usually from low sodium if I’m not mistaken ? I’m 2 months into Keto but been really light headed the last 2 days

  6. Alyka Dane

    I'm sorry if this sounds rude, but by saying 'temporary' you mean how long exactly? I can stand a week or two or brain fog or dizziness, even stomach ache or nausea, but 2 weeks of NO SLEEP AT ALL will reeeeeeally fuck me off. It's been the case for me by far for today is the 5th day into it, and I can't get even an hour of sleep. FYI, since I regularly doing Intermittent fasting(for half a year), other symptoms seem rather mild to me, I don't have big problem sleeping when doing IF, but as soon as I added Keto diet to it, I'm a wreck. Please, please, I need help! (No craving no hunger just can't sleep)

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