What is Keto Flu

The “keto flu” is a label given to a set of carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms that may occur in

people who start a low carb diet that results from altered hormonal states and the electrolyte

imbalances that may occur with it. In other words, it describes a cycle in the body adapting to a

newly started low carb diet.

Keto stands for ketogenic, a very strict low carb eating plan. The term should really be “low carb

flu” since the ketogenic diet is not the only low carb plan.


No two individuals are alike, so the symptoms can range from nothing to mild to a full-blown

flu-like condition, and include

 Lightheadedness

 Nausea

 Fatigue

 Mental fog

 Cramps

 Headaches

 Diarrhea

 In some extreme cases, high blood pressure and arrhythmia

How Long Does Keto Flu Last?

The duration for keto flu varies for each person. While some may have slight and even

unnoticeable symptoms for a day or two, others might have an over the top symptom for a

week or more, it really depends on how quickly your body adapts to a reduction in carbs.

Once keto flu is over you can expect a huge surge in energy levels, and once that sugar habit is

fully kicked, often people feel better than ever.

Being patient as your body adapts is key, and know that it will pass, and if it does not you

should seek the attention of a qualified medical professional. For most people any symptoms

that occur end within two weeks’ time.

A Misunderstood Condition

People who experience keto flu after going on a low carb diet are sometimes forced to believe

that they are suffering due to the diet they are on and carbs are good for the health after all.

However, this only shows how dependent they have been on carbs, as their body is trying to

survive without carbs and sugary substances.

In truth, carb intake, and especially refined carbs that come from processed food, sugar, sugary

foods and drinks is at epidemic levels, and carb addiction is rampant in the United States and

other parts of the world.

It’s not your fault, those carbs are everywhere, congratulate yourself on making changes for the

better with a low carb diet!

How To Reduce Keto Flu Effects

Keto flu can be nerve wrecking, no doubt, it is also sometimes a necessary evil, however, there

are some things that can be done to reduce the symptoms if they appear.

Replenish your electrolytes: Lack of electrolytes in the body is one of the major causes of keto

flu. Electrolytes are the minerals found in the body and they affect its water content, acidity of

the blood and functionality of the muscles.

Additionally, low carb diets feature lower insulin levels that can signal the kidneys to discard

excess water, making you drink more and this results in flushing out electrolytes, where

sodium, potassium and magnesium deficiencies can occur. You will have to replenish them by

using supplements and with food.

  •  Add in some salt: Normally, the average diet is overloaded with salt, but a ketogenic

diet eliminates refined and processed food and focuses on eating whole real food so

when you start keto you will naturally reduce salt intake, which reduces water

retention. Since a low carb diet is naturally diuretic, there is no need to worry about

water retention.

Generally, 5 grams of salt daily is ideal for keto flu and to replenish electrolytes, you can

also get it from drinking 2 cups of broth or adding soy sauce and other sauces that have

potassium to your meals.

Bone broth works well, and only requires the simmering of chicken, beef, lamb or any

meat bones in water for about a day, or even canned broth or stocks from the store

works well too, just make sure to read the labels for added ingredients or preservatives

that you do not need. Drippings from cooked meat have a high concentration of

potassium, so use them to make sauces.

  •  300 mg of magnesium can be taken in supplement form.

Keto flu is a process that most dieters undergo while starting their weight loss or weight gain

journey. While it cannot be avoided for some, you can reduce symptoms while your body


Please contact a doctor if the symptoms become too severe to handle alone.

Article Categories:
ketogenic Diet Tips

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