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Keto Flu: Symptoms And How To Avoid It


Do you want to lose weight without exercise? The best way of doing so is by switching to a keto diet. The ketogenic diet has got immensely popular due to its incredible weight loss benefits. This low carb, high-fat, and moderate protein diet is the key to shed pounds without going through intense hard work. While you will find most people advocating this low carb diet, you need to know its unpleasant side as well: keto flu. The keto flu is also called keto nausea, ketosis flu, and low carb flu. 

But what is the keto flu? Does every person get it? When does keto flu hit you after you have shifted your diet from regular to ketogenic? How to avoid keto flu? All these questions may be triggering in your mind when talking about this low carb flu. Well, you are not alone. It happens mostly to those who have newly shifted to the ketogenic diet. These changes in the body give a fright to the newbies. But this won’t happen anymore. We have enlisted the list of some commonly asked questions about the ketosis flu. This post investigates the keto flu, its symptoms, and remedies. Let us get started. 

What Is Keto Flu?

Keto flu refers to the number of different symptoms that your body experiences when you shift from a regular diet to the ketogenic one. You are shifting your body from glucose to fat for meeting the energy requirements of the body. Usually, the body keeps the fat as reserved and uses glucose as the primary source of energy; However, in the keto diet, our body has to shift to fat burning due to the lack of carbohydrates. This stage is known as ketosis. 

In this diet, our body’s daily carbs intake reduces to just 50 grams per day. Drastically reducing the number of carbs and depleting the body with them can cause specific changes in the body. That is why you may experience several different symptoms of keto flu. These symptoms are generally similar to that of the normal flu. 

Why Do We Get Keto Flu? 

Ketosis flu is the number one complaint that a lot of people shifting to the ketogenic diet have. It does have a lot of history behind it. People in the 1970s would go through the Atkins flu when it was in trend. Now that the keto diet is common, people are complaining about the low carb flu. Though the difference is that now we know what causes it. It happens actually due to sodium deficiency. 

Sodium is one part of the table salt (NaCl). Our body needs sodium to hold fluid in our blood vessels. Without having sodium in the body, you can drink all the water you want, but the body cannot hold on to it. It means that when you lower the sodium levels in your body, the blood vessels contract. Then you may get the symptoms that a lot of people experience. These are the keto flu symptoms. 

Symptoms of Keto Flu

Symptoms of Keto Flu

When you first put your body to the fat-burning mode instead of glucose burning, you may notice some weird changes in the body. The body needs some time to get used to the new changes. But what are the keto flu symptoms that you may experience when shifting to this diet? Here are a few things you may experience within a few days after starting the ketogenic diet. 

  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Dryness of the eye
  • Weakness
  • Poor concentration
  • Stomach pain
  • Muscle soreness
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Sugar cravings
  • Muscle cramps
  • Headache

The keto flu symptoms are not only limited to those mentioned above. There may be some more. If you are already having some problems with your pancreas, liver, thyroid, or gallbladder, talk to your dietitian before moving to the keto diet. 

When Does Keto Flu Start?

When starting the low carb diet, people are often curious to know about the time it takes to get keto flu. The simple answer is that there is no rule of thumb for it. You don’t need to experience the symptoms of keto flu the same day you start your diet. Generally, it takes two to seven days to get the low carb flu after you start your keto diet. However, it is not mandatory. It may take longer for you. 

How much time it takes to get keto flu depends on several different factors. The most prominent of these factors include your metabolism, age, and exercise levels. They are not only limited to these factors. Instead, your current carb, protein, and fat intake also have a direct link with the time it takes to get ketogenic flu. 

How Long Does Keto Flu Last?

How Long Does Keto Flu Last

We get tons of questions about the time it takes to end the transition phase of the keto diet. Well, it varies from person to person. You can expect the end of ketosis flu depending on your experience with the keto diet and how your body adopts it. You can typically expect 2 to 6 days or a week to end the keto flu. However, there is no guarantee that your transition phase will end within this time frame. In some extreme cases, it can even take a month to get yourself out of it. 

The time it takes to last the low carb flu depends on whether you have been in ketosis before or not. If you have been in ketosis before, the odds are that you may get out of it pretty quickly as compared to those with the first time. But again, everyone is different. Some people will take quite a while; some people will snap into it quickly. In a nutshell, it does take probably a week to get out of this flu. But you can expect a delay or progress at the end of ketosis flu depending on your body conditions. 

Does Everyone Get Keto Flu?

There is a misconception among the masses that you will get ketogenic flu after putting your body on fat-burning mode. The reason we are calling it an illusion is that this statement doesn’t hold water. You don’t need to have to go through the ketosis flu. Different bodies, when adopting the keto lifestyle, behave differently. Not everyone goes through the same course. 

Some may experience mild symptoms, while others may undergo some severe ones. Some may experience fewer symptoms, while others may go through more of them. Similarly, some people may put themselves in the ketosis stage without expiring the symptoms of keto flu. Hence, there is a chance that your body may adjust itself to the new fuel source without experiencing any adverse effects. 

How To Avoid Keto Flu?

Avoiding Keto Flu

It’s time to know the keto flu remedy. There are a few tips that you can do to pace up the process of ending the low carb flu. Following these remedies may not guarantee to avoid the ketosis flu altogether. Still, it may be incredibly helpful to speed up the process of getting out of it. Without any delay, let us delve straight into the tips to end your keto flu.

  • Drinks Lots of Water: The primary way to combat keto flu is by keeping yourself well-hydrated with salted water. As mentioned earlier, the main reason for this flu is the lack of sodium in the body. Drinking salted water will make up for it. Just add a pinch of salt to each glass of water you drink. Try to drink at least 2.7 – 3.7 litres of water per day if you are an adult. 
  • Add Potassium And Magnesium To Your Diet: Be sure to supplement your diet with potassium and magnesium. These minerals start vanishing at a rapid rate at the start of the ketogenic diet. This happens because of the decrease in insulin levels. It may result in fatigue, lightheadedness, constipation, cramping, and headache. Add more leafy greens and avocados to boost potassium in your diet. Try pumpkin seeds, almonds, and cashews to make up for magnesium deficiency. 
  • Don’t Deplete Your Body With Carbs: If you are looking for the best keto flu cure, start slow. Don’t take away all the carbs from the body drastically. Instead, go step by step and take time to get down to 50 carbs a day. In this way, you will be giving your body time to adopt these changes and shift from carbs burning to bat-burning. 
  • Get Yourself A Keto Flu Drink: Making an electrolyte drink for yourself can be immensely beneficial to beat the flu. You only need some water, lemon or lime juice, potassium chloride, sea salt, Natural Calm magnesium supplement, powdered Erythritol, and liquid Stevia. It makes up for most of the minerals your body may deplete upon suddenly holding your carbs intake. 
  • Take Care Of Your Sleep: Sometimes, all you need is a night of good sleep. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and sleep deprivation can increase its levels in the body that may worsen the keto flu symptoms. A good night’s sleep can also work wonders for fatigue and stress relief. To get this, reduce your caffeine intake to get a sound sleep. It will be a great help to get yourself out of ketosis flu.


Keto flu is a collection of symptoms that your body shows when adopting the ketogenic lifestyle. It impacts differently to different videos. Some may not even get this flu when adopting the ketogenic lifestyle. We have also mentioned some of the remedies to either avoid or reduce the time it takes to last a low carb flu.

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