The so-called ketogenic flu is a group of symptoms that can appear two to seven days after starting a ketogenic diet. Headache, brain fog, fatigue, irritability, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and constipation are just some of the symptoms of this condition, which is not recognized by medications. Most people report that ketogenic flu symptoms usually start within 24 to 48 hours of following a strict ketogenic diet. This window may vary for some, however, it's unlikely that it will take more than seven days of strict diet adherence to start feeling like the flu.
Signs of ketogenic flu may begin to appear within the first few days of cutting back on carbohydrate intake. Symptoms of ketogenic flu are usually mild, starting when a person starts the diet, and can last only a few days to a few weeks. They may decrease when the body enters a state of ketosis. The reported time for onset of symptoms was, on average, within one week of starting the diet.
Symptoms generally peaked within the first week of eating keto and improved steadily over the course of the first month of the diet. Ketogenic flu should be temporary and usually goes away a week or two after starting a ketogenic diet. If your ketogenic flu symptoms last longer than ten days, or if they are actively painful or debilitating, you may want to contact your doctor. It really depends on the person.
Proper treatment of ketogenic flu symptoms can help you overcome them sooner and with less discomfort. Salting foods to taste and including keto-friendly, potassium-rich foods such as leafy greens and avocados is a great way to ensure you maintain a healthy electrolyte balance. The reason why some people adapt to ketogenic diets more easily than others is unknown, but genetics, electrolyte loss, dehydration, and carbohydrate withdrawal are thought to be the driving forces behind the flu. If you plan to try a ketogenic diet, here are some steps you can take to minimize your chances of experiencing ketogenic flu symptoms (or reduce their severity).
In addition, as your carbohydrate cravings decrease and your body learns to normalize blood sugar levels, metabolize fatty acids efficiently, and adapt to this new eating style, many find that they feel better than they did before starting the ketogenic diet. However, eating enough fat, the main fuel source in the ketogenic diet, will help reduce cravings and make you feel full. Symptoms of ketogenic flu can be mistaken for more serious problems, such as stomach problems or nutritional deficits. As if cutting back on carbohydrates weren't hard enough, common flu-like symptoms add a unique layer of difficulty for keto goers, enough to discourage even the most dedicated dieters from following their new lifestyle choice.
Ketogenic flu symptoms can go away on their own in a matter of days, but they can also persist for several weeks. It refers to a process called ketosis, which occurs when the body starts burning fat for energy instead of using carbohydrates. The intention is to put the body in a state of ketosis, in which the body burns stored fat instead of stored glucose. This implies that the blood concentration of a particular ketone body, called beta-hydroxybutyrate, is 0.5 millimoles per liter or more.
When you enter ketosis, the body flushes water that was stored with glycogen, which could cause dehydration. If you find that ketogenic flu makes it difficult to follow a ketogenic diet, you can consume it easily instead of immediately and severely limiting your carbohydrate intake. On the ketogenic diet, a person reduces their carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams (g) per day, compared to the recommended 200 to 300 g per day. .