The ketogenic diet has gained popularity as a natural method to shed weight and enhance health.

Though the diet is deemed safe for many people, it is related to some unpleasant side effects.

The keto flu also referred to as the carbohydrate flu, is a phrase coined by followers to describe the symptoms that they experience when starting the diet.

The article explores what the keto flu is, why it occurs and how to relieve its symptoms.

What’s the Keto Flu?

The keto flu is a range of symptoms experienced by some individuals when they first begin the keto diet.

The symptoms, which may feel like the flu, are caused by the body adapting to another diet comprising very little carbs.

Lowering your carbohydrate intake forces your body to burn ketones for energy rather than glucose.

Ketones are by-products of fat breakdown and are the principal fuel supply during a ketogenic diet.

Usually, fat is permitted as a secondary fuel source to use when sugar isn’t offered.

This change to burning fat for energy is known as ketosis. It happens during particular conditions, such as fasting and starvation (1).

ketosis may also be attained by embracing an extremely low-carb diet.

This radical decrease can come as a shock to the human body and might cause withdrawal-like symptoms, like those experienced when weaning off an addictive substance such as caffeine (3Trusted Supply ).


The Keto flu is a phrase used to refer to flu-like symptoms related to starting the extremely low carb ketogenic diet.


Changing to quite a low-carb diet is a significant change, as well as your body will need time to adapt to the new way of eating.

For many folks, this transition period can be particularly hard.

Indications of this keto flu may begin popping up over the first couple of days of cutting back on carbohydrates.

While some people might transition into a ketogenic diet with No unwanted side effects, others may experience one or more of these symptoms (4):

  • Muscle cramps
  • Muscle soreness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Poor concentration
  • Stomach pain
  • Sugar cravings
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Weakness

These symptoms are usually reported by people who have recently started the ketogenic diet.

Symptoms normally last about a week, although some might encounter them for a longer period.

Though these side effects might cause a few dieters to throw in the towel there are methods to lower them.


When starting a ketogenic diet, some individuals might experience symptoms, such as nausea, fatigue, muscle soreness and sugar cravings.

Ways to Eliminate the Keto Flu

Fortunately, there are strategies to cut back its flu-like symptoms and help your body undergo the transition phase more effortlessly.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water is crucial for optimum health and may also reduce symptoms.

A keto diet may make you quickly shed water storage, raising the risk of dehydration (5).

When dietary fats are decreased, glycogen levels plummet and water is discharged in the body (6).

Staying hydrated may help with symptoms such as tiredness and muscle cramping (7).

Replacing fluids is particularly important when you’re having keto-flu-associated diarrhoea, which may result in an extra fluid loss (8).

Avoiding Vigorous Exercise

While exercise is very important to staying healthy and maintaining body fat in check, vigorous exercise ought to be avoided when undergoing keto-flu symptoms.

Fatigue, muscle cramps and stomach distress are common from the first week of following a ketogenic diet, therefore it might be a fantastic idea to give your body a break.

Tasks like biking, jogging, weight lifting and strenuous workouts might need to be set to the back burner while the system adheres to new energy resources.

While these kinds of exercise ought to be avoided during the keto flu, mild activities such as walking, yoga or relaxed biking can improve symptoms.

Change Electrolytes

Replacing dietary electrolytes might help lessen keto-flu symptoms.

While following the ketogenic diet, amounts of insulin, an important hormone that helps the body absorb sugar from the blood, decrease.

When insulin levels fall, the kidneys release excess sodium in the body (9).

What is more, the keto diet limits many foods which have a lot of potassium, such as legumes, fruits and starchy vegetables.

Obtaining adequate amounts of these critical nutrients is a great method to acquire energy through the adaptation period of the daily diet plan.

Salting meals to taste and such as potassium-rich, keto-friendly foods such as green leafy veggies and avocados are a superb way to be sure that you’re keeping a wholesome balance of electrolytes.

These foods can also be high in magnesium, which might decrease muscle cramps, sleep difficulties and headaches (10).

Get Adequate Sleep

Lack of sleep causes amounts of the stress hormone cortisol to grow within the entire body, which may negatively affect mood and make keto-flu symptoms worse (11, 12).
Follow the below tips if you are experiencing difficulties with sleeping:

Reduce caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant, which may negatively affect sleep. If you drink caffeinated drinks, only do this in the daytime so that your sleep isn’t influenced (13).

Cut out ambient lighting: Close off mobile phones, televisions and computers from the bedroom to make a dark environment and encourage restful sleep (14).

Have a bath: Adding Epsom lavender or peppermint essential oil into your bath is a relaxing way to wind down and prepare for sleeping (15).

Be Sure You Are Eating Enough Fat (and Carbs)

Transitioning into a very low-carb diet may allow you to crave foods that are restricted to the ketogenic diet, like snacks, bread, pasta and bagels.

But eating sufficient fat, the principal fuel supply on the ketogenic diet, will help reduce cravings and keep you feeling fulfilled.

Those with a tricky time adapting to the ketogenic diet might need to remove carbohydrates gradually, instead of all at the same time.

Gradually cutting back on carbohydrates, while raising protein and fat into your diet, can help to make the transition easier and reduce keto-flu symptoms.


you’re able to fight the keto flu by remaining hydrated, replacing electrolytes, getting lots of sleep, avoiding strenuous activities, eating sufficient fat and cutting carbs gradually as time passes.

Why Do Some People Get the Keto Flu?

People today adapt to ketogenic diets otherwise. Even though some can undergo weeks of keto-flu symptoms, others might adapt to the diet with no negative side effects.

The symptoms people experience are connected to the way their bodies adapt to some other fuel supply.

Normally, carbohydrates supply the body with energy in the kind of glucose.

When carbohydrates are considerably reduced, the body burns off ketones from fat rather than glucose.

People who normally consume a lot of carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates such as pasta, sugary soda and cereal, might have a harder time when starting the ketogenic diet.

Therefore, the transition into a high-fat, low-carb diet might be a struggle for many, while others can change between fuel sources readily with minimal to no keto-flu symptoms.

How Long Will the Symptoms Last?

Fortunately, the embarrassing symptoms of the keto flu just survive about a week for most people.

But some folks might have a harder time adapting to the high fat, low-carb diet plan.

For these folks, symptoms can last several weeks.

Luckily, these symptoms can slowly diminish as the body becomes accustomed to converting ketones to energy.

Even though keto-flu symptoms are generally reported by people changing into a ketogenic diet, if you’re feeling particularly unwell and experiencing symptoms such as prolonged diarrhoea, vomiting or fever, it is ideal to get in touch with your GP to rule out other causes.


Many individuals can experience keto-flu symptoms because of genetics, electrolyte loss, dehydration and carbohydrate withdrawal. The keto flu usually lasts for approximately a week, however, some may experience symptoms for more than a month.

Who Should Avoid Ketogenic Diets?

Even though the ketogenic diet may be useful for many folks, it is not appropriate for everybody.

By way of instance, the ketogenic diet might not be suitable for breastfeeding or pregnant women, kids and teenagers, unless it is used therapeutically under clinical supervision.

Also, this diet ought to be avoided by people with specific health conditions such as kidney disease, liver disease or autoimmune problems.

Additionally, people with diabetes and are thinking about following a ketogenic meal program should consult their physician to determine whether this diet is safe and appropriate for their particular needs.

Last, this diet might not be suitable for those that are vulnerable to dietary cholesterol that accounts for approximately one-quarter of the planet’s inhabitants (18).


The ketogenic diet might not be safe for pregnant women, kids, individuals with liver, kidney or pancreatic disorder and people that are sensitive to dietary cholesterol.

The Most Important Thing

The keto flu is a set of symptoms connected to the body adapting to a ketogenic diet.

Nausea, constipation, headaches, fatigue and sugar cravings are frequent at certain men and women that are adapting to some high fat, low-carb diet plans.

Staying hydrated, replacing lost electrolytes, getting sufficient rest and ensuring you’re consuming appropriate quantities of fat and carbs are techniques to cut back keto-flu symptoms.



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