How to Cure the “Keto Flu”

Keto flu symptoms and remedies

Almost every discussion board about low-carb or keto diets contains dozens of discussions about an experience typically called the keto flu. You’ll have a hard time finding this collection of symptoms in medical journals and only rarely, in credible health websites. However, there’s little doubt that the keto flu exists, and it’s important to understand the source of the symptoms and how to head them off.

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Nothing on this site is intended as medical advice. Work with healthcare professionals for optimal health.

What is the Keto Flu?

After many people start reducing carbs and most likely, turning away from a lot of the processed food they had been eating for years, they can experience some unpleasant, initial symptoms. Typical examples of keto flu symptoms include fatigue, headaches, and muscle soreness. Some folks experience a change in their digestion, including diarrhea or constipation.

A few people report increased anxiety or other mood issues. In the long run, restricting carbs may improve mental health symptoms. However, it may take a period of adjustment of up to three months to see positive benefits.

Keto Flu Remedies

These symptoms sound awful but generally subside after several days. What if you didn’t need to experience them at all? Experienced dieters will say they’re not symptoms of restricting carbs at all. Instead, you can address the primary and probably reason.

Dieters often experience rapid weight loss during the first week or so of keto. That’s because the diet is very diuretic initially. Some folks may lose a pound or two of fat a week, but larger losses on the scale come from water weight.

Thus, the first line of defense against keto flu includes consuming plenty of water along with electrolyte supplementation, according to WebMD. In particular, keto dieters may need extra salt, magnesium, and potassium.

To relieve dehydration:

  • For a frugal solution, you can make your own “keto-aid” by adding Lite Salt (which combines salt and potassium) to a bottle of water. Add sugar-free drink mixes or drops for flavor. You can also find commercial electrolyte drinks or powders to use that are already flavored.
  • Along with salt and potassium, you can find magnesium glycinate supplements to your daily routine. We suggest magnesium gylcinate because it’s highly bio-available and doesn’t tend to cause loose stools, like some other forms of magnesium supplements might.

Some folks do better by easing into drastic dietary changes gradually. If you’re feeling poorly, you might consider to start by limiting carbs to 100 grams a day and then gradually decrease the limit until you’ve reached your goal. You might also take it a bit easier then usually on your exercise an activity routine during the first week or two to give your body time to adjust to a new diet.

Also, you might have calculated your macronutrients and tried to limit calories to lose weight. You may not want to restrict calories much as your body adapts to fat-burning mode, which may take a week or two. Once your body gets fat adapted, you will generally enjoy a decreased appetite anyway, which make it easier to curb your calorie intake.

Is the Keto Flu Serious?

Most of the time, people experience mild symptoms that dissipate after a few days. Others don’t notice feeling different at all. However, you should take your health concerns up with your doctor who can rule out other medical issues. In particular, older people or those who cope with other health problems should consult with their doctors before drastically changing the way they eat.