When I newly started my keto journey, I thought I had the dreaded keto flu symptoms at some point. After further research, I confirmed it was the keto flu, and I had to get rid of it as soon as possible. The only question was, "What is the fastest way to get rid of the keto flu?"
The fastest way to get rid of the keto flu is to make changes such as sufficient water intake, prioritizing your sleep, and a couple of other lifestyle changes that will help combat the keto flu.
There are changes that have to be followed with consistency while on keto. If you can do each of these, you should have gotten rid of keto flu and the discomfort that accompanies it.
Keep reading to see what causes the keto flu, symptoms, 5 easy steps to get rid of it completely and other crucial questions answered at the end of this article.
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What causes the keto flu?
The keto flu is caused by the body transitioning to a diet regimen comprising a small number of carbs and a high-fat amount. A drop in your carbohydrate consumption triggers your body to turn to ketones for energy when glucose should be the go-to energy source in the human body.
This move from your regular meal routine where you have no set end goal to your weight to a low-carb diet could "shock" your body while making the move. That shock is accompanied by a flurry of symptoms that characterize the keto flu.
How long does the keto flu last?
The duration of the keto flu differs from person to person. While some might never experience the keto flu, some have to deal with it for about a week or less. However, people have had their keto flu surpass a week and stretch up to a month.
What are the symptoms of the keto flu, and what causes each?
There is a list of keto flu symptoms, and they are definitely not stuff you want to encounter. The symptoms could range from tiredness and insomnia to decreased sexual libido in both genders.
Now you know what causes the keto flu and how long it tends to last, right? Below, we'll look at each of the keto flu symptoms to see what causes each symptom.
Now that your body's most accessible energy source is running out, there is a tendency to feel tired. Give your body a while, as it will soon get used to the glucose depletion and shift its focus to ketones for energy.
Trimming down your carb intake will not be easy on your body at first. Reducing your carb consumption could drive one to have cravings (especially sugary stuff).
There is also the feeling of increased appetite to cover up for the deficit in carbs.
Decreased sexual libido
Keto flu comes with a load of discomfort that could affect your sexual drive for the time being. Let your partner know what is going on, as many have claimed that libido gradually returns over time.
A reduction in blood sugar levels, water available in the body, and carbs consumed tend to be accompanied by headaches.
Just like headaches, a combined drop in blood sugar, carbs, hydration, and electrolyte levels could result in dizziness. With time, the body adjusts to deal with the reductions being made.
Irritability and mood swings
Since carbohydrates are the typical energy source required for bodily functions. It is not uncommon to see people act erratically when in a short supply of carbs.
Popularly known as keto breath, this is identified by unpleasant smells emanating from the oral cavity. As your body transitions from glucose to ketones, some ketones could be expelled via one's breath.
Other causes of bad breath asides ketosis include tobacco, specific foods, poor oral hygiene, and mouth infections.
Sleep is vital to humans, and not getting enough of it can make one cranky. Diets low in carb could cause sleep problems and even reduce the quality of the recommended six to eight hours of sleep.
Constipation and diarrhea
It is not out of place to experience bowel movement changes during keto. Due to your meal changes, especially with carbohydrates and fibers especially, be ready to experience constipation for some time.
Muscle pain and aches
During keto, there is a shortened supply of the body's primary energy source. Add diminished electrolyte levels, reduced water levels in the body, and you have a myriad of minor and muscle cramps.
Most people practicing keto will likely experience this very early on. When on keto, a lot of water is being lost in the body with major electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium being lost.
5 Easy steps to get rid of the keto flu
The keto flu is not a disease precisely because it is non-transferable. However, it does have a cure or, better still, ways to get rid of it through the fastest possible means.
Below are certain things you can do when experiencing the previously explained keto flu symptoms and how to cure the keto flu for good.
1. Constantly stay hydrated
Going into ketosis, it is common to experience increased urination or diuresis in medical terms. As you pass urine out without replacing lost liquids, dehydration, and many other issues set in.
So drink as much water as is needed during keto so as not to become dehydrated. How much water is required, you might ask?
Well, the American National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend 11.5 ounces and 15.5 ounces of water for females and males each.
2. Add salt to your meals
Asides from magnesium and potassium, sodium is essential in meals and more crucial when practicing keto. This is not a wrong move, as you are merely trying to restore blood sugar levels caused by a drop in carbs.
Be mindful of excess sodium in your meals, as that also has its downsides. High blood pressure, heart attack (due to high blood pressure, of course), and a stroke are a few significant problems linked to excess sodium intake.
3. Try your best to replace lost electrolytes
With ketosis comes a drop in electrolytes, thanks to increased urine output and a decrease in foods that supply electrolytes. Hence the need to replace them cannot be more critical.
This can be done by taking sports drinks free of sugar, salting your food to obtain sodium, and eating nuts rich in electrolytes like cashews and almonds.
4. Make sleep a priority
Since insomnia is a symptom of keto flu, it is best to plan adequately before bedtime. Rid yourself of all distractions such as phone notifications and reduce your screen time leading up to sleep.
5. Ensure you're taking in enough carbs and fat
Moving to a diet low in carbs could increase cravings for foods high in carbs. Consuming enough fat helps increase satiety. More satisfaction equals lesser cravings and improved chances of weight loss.
Do not eliminate carbs entirely once you begin keto. Instead, eat enough carbs as needed and transition slowly from high carb diets, to a low-carb regimen.
The keto flu is not life-threatening, so there's no need to be afraid. However, if you begin experiencing symptoms, just do as instructed in the section titled "5 Easy Steps To Get Rid Of The Keto Flu". Having done all that, you should be fine or see a doctor if symptoms persist.
The keto flu symptoms include fatigue, hunger, reduced libido, headaches, dizziness, smelly breath, mood swings, sleeplessness, muscle aches, constipation, and insomnia.
How long the keto flu lasts differs for each person. However, less than a week to a month (in extreme cases) is the most common duration for the keto flu before it subsides.
Yes, it is. Keto flu occurs during the transition to keto, whereby ketones are utilized as an energy source instead of glucose. If you're experiencing keto flu, then it means your body is gradually adjusting to ketones instead of glucose as an energy source.
They are not the same in any way. Keto flu is a short-term, temporary, and non-life-threatening condition faced mainly by those in the early stages when transitioning to a keto diet.
Ketoacidosis, on the other hand, is what you get due to excess ketosis. Ketones build up in the bloodstream, make the blood acidic, and have fatal consequences such as a coma or even death.
Keto flu often kicks in within the first week of going into keto. The first three to seven days of a keto plan is when symptoms tend to manifest.
Keto flu is caused mainly by low blood sugar due to reduced carbohydrate intake, hormone imbalances electrolytes being lost without replacement.
The keto flu is not a disease with some magic drug to cure it. Refer to the section titled" What is the fastest way to get rid of the keto flu"?
No, it isn't dangerous or life-threatening. However, be careful not to stay in ketosis for too long, as long-term complications could be detrimental to one's health. See the section titled "What are the possible long-term complications of the keto diet''?
Some people might encounter the keto flu occasionally. In contrast, others may experience it only once in their first week of starting out on keto.
The keto flu does not cause fever. Fevers are more associated with viral infections, which the keto flu is not.