One of the most common questions asked from people who are doing the keto diet is why they feel ill in the beginning. This is often called the keto flu, since many symptoms mimic those symptoms of having the flu. The good news is that not only can it be avoided, but it is very easy to treat. Here are some things to know about the keto flu.
What is the Keto Flu?
The keto flu is not a real medical condition, but rather a term people have used for experiencing a combination of symptoms. It occurs when you enter ketosis during the ketogenic diet, if you are low on electrolytes. This will often create some physical and mental symptoms that are similar to what you experience when you have the flu, which is where the name comes from. The keto flu does not last long and can be remedied simply by replenishing your electrolytes. However, it can be hard to get through especially in the beginning when you are adjusting to being on the keto diet.
How do you Know you Have it?
If you have ever had the flu, you know what the symptoms are like. They are not usually as severe as when you have the actual flu, more like the first symptoms you experience when you get ill. It is common to have lightheadedness and dizziness, fatigue in your body, headaches, and nausea. You might have trouble eating, find you have no appetite, or experience muscle aches and pains. You may also have some different mental or behavioral symptoms like irritability.
What Can you do About it?
The fastest way to get rid of the keto flu is to replenish your electrolytes, as this is most often the cause. Not only are you losing electrolytes from the frequent urination during keto, but you might not be getting the salt and potassium intake you once were due to the change in your diet. You need the three main electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Sodium is through salt, so salting your foods and having high-salt liquids like broth and pickle juice make you feel better quickly. For potassium, try veggies with this nutrient, like avocados. Magnesium supplements are also available.
Try making electrolyte water if you need to, by adding some pink salt and lite salt to a tall glass of water. This not only helps treat keto flu, but drinking it daily can keep you from experiencing these symptoms again in the future.