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When Does The Keto Flu Hit

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What is Keto Flu and How Long Does it Last?

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Magnesium Supplements For Keto Flu

Often times, sodium and potassium are easy enough to get from foods, but magnesium is more difficult and you need only a magnesium supplement.

Unfortunately, most magnesium supplements are sold as magnesium oxide, which is a laxative and has poor bioavailability .

Choose one of these magnesium supplements instead:

  • Magnesium glycinate This form of magnesium contains glycine, which has a calming effect, good bioavailability, and no laxative properties.
  • Magnesium citrate Magnesium citrate can alleviate constipation and acid indigestion, is inexpensive, and has moderate bioavailability.
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  • Magnesium malate This form of magnesium has the highest bioavailability .

Negative Effects Of Ketosis

Ketosis is safe in most people, but it can have some negative effects, especially in the beginning. They are typically temporary and not serious. The negative effects include

  • Keto flu: At the beginning of ketosis, people may experience a range of negative symptoms. They are often called the low carb flu or keto flu because they resemble symptoms of the flu.
  • Bad breath: One of the more common side effects of ketosis is bad breath, often described as fruity and slightly sweet. Its caused by acetone, a ketone thats a by-product of fat metabolism.
  • Leg cramps: Leg cramps in ketosis usually stem from dehydration and loss of minerals. This is because ketosis causes a reduction in water weight. Glycogen, the storage form of glucose in the muscles and liver, binds water. This gets flushed out during reduced carb intake. Its one of the main reasons why people lose weight rapidly in the first week of a very low-carb diet.
  • Digestive problems: Dietary changes can sometimes lead to digestive issues. This is also true for ketogenic diets and constipation is a common side effect in the beginning. This is most commonly caused by not eating enough fiber and not drinking enough fluids.
  • Kidney problems: People with poor kidney function must avoid a ketogenic diet. The keto diet may increase the risk of kidney stones. Similarly, it stresses the liver to work more and produce ketones.

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Is Keto Flu Dangerous Do I Need To Call My Doctor

Adopting a keto diet for the short term is generally considered safe, and any symptoms you might experience will typically clear up within a couple weeks, Hultin explains.

When you’re on the keto diet, you need to drink more fluids than normal to avoid dehydration.

That said, its a good idea to work with a doctor or registered dietitian before you start eating ketoand continue to check in with them while you adapt to your new diet, recommends David Nico, PhD, author of Diet Diagnosis. Planning ahead can help you steer clear of nutritional deficiencies that can strike when you cut most carbs out of your diet. And doing so might also help minimize your keto flu symptoms.

For instance, working with an expert can reduce the risk for dehydrationwhich can make keto flu symptoms like headache, cramping, nausea, and fatigue worse. Drastically slashing carbs causes the body to excrete a higher volume of water and electrolytes, so you may need to drink more liquids and eat more salt to stay adequately hydrated, Mancinelli explains. How much more is different depending on things like your activity level and age, but a pro can help determine the right amount for you.

Why Does The Keto Flu Happen

Keto Flu

While the study does not explain why people get keto flu, Ethan Weiss, a researcher and preventive cardiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, tells Inverse that it may be due in part to shifts in electrolytes and fluids in the body while doing keto.

Weiss, who is not involved in Bostock’s research, studies the effects of diet on weight and heart health, and co-started a company that created a breathalyzer device to measure ketone levels.

Executed perfectly, following the keto diet can bring your carbohydrate intake down to less than 5 percent of daily caloric intake. This means eliminating high-carb foods like grains and sweets, and replacing them with high-fat foods, like avocados and cheese. The logic goes that without carbs, and, in turn, glucose, the body looks for another energy source and begins to convert fat into ketone bodies, which can do the job of providing energy to the body.

Going on keto can also lead to a rapid loss of body water and sodium, Weiss explains. As a result, the keto flu’s symptoms may be down to dehydration. Most of the symptoms may be prevented by a temporary supplementation of salt, he says. On forums, many people report adding bouillon or broth to their diet.

Should keto flu deter people from trying the diet out? Weiss says no, but Bostock says decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis.

âI would be reluctant to make any sweeping claims,â Bostock says.

Partial abstract:

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Causes Of The Keto Flu

The Keto flu is caused by a few things happening at the same time:

First, you are undergoing a BIG change to your metabolism by forcing it to switch from primarily burning sugar as a fuel source to burning fat.

When you restrict carbs, your body has to learn this new trick. It has to break down fat and burn ketones for energy instead of the glucose it previously used. This process of becoming fat-adapted is terrific for weight loss, but a bit of a learning curve the rest of your body.

Why Do We Get Keto Flu

Ketosis flu is the number one complaint that a lot of people shifting to the ketogenic diet have. It does have a lot of history behind it. People in the 1970s would go through the Atkins flu when it was in trend. Now that the keto diet is common, people are complaining about the low carb flu. Though the difference is that now we know what causes it. It happens actually due to sodium deficiency.

Sodium is one part of the table salt . Our body needs sodium to hold fluid in our blood vessels. Without having sodium in the body, you can drink all the water you want, but the body cannot hold on to it. It means that when you lower the sodium levels in your body, the blood vessels contract. Then you may get the symptoms that a lot of people experience. These are the keto flu symptoms.

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Carbohydrate Restriction Can Be Difficult

Carbohydrates are like your bodys version of your first love. They provide so much comfort, sweetness, and easy energy that we spend most of our time with them. It feels so right, it feels like true love, but it is mostly lust. The kind of lust that increases our risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. This is why breaking up with carbohydrates is a good idea for many people.

But just like with any breakup it is difficult at first. You crave them and yearn for them. It is so heart breaking not because you needed them, but because you are so used to living with them.

However, after a couple weeks to months, you begin to adapt to life without your first love.

With the help of your friends, protein and fat, you begin dating your new love interest: ketones. And suddenly, life is much better than before.

This is what is going on inside of your body when you restrict carbohydrates. Most of your cells prefer to burn sugar for fuel and are adapted to using the carbohydrates that you eat.

For your body to adapt to carbohydrate restriction, it must make many changes from the cellular level to the hormonal level. This process is synonymous with the adjustment period we go through after ending a relationship with someone we love very much. And just like with our first breakup, breaking up with carbohydrates can cause a laundry list of symptoms called the keto flu.

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Why Does Keto Flu Happen

Carbohydrates are the bodys main energy source. On the keto diet, a person reduces their carb intake to fewer than 200300 g per day .

When the body does not take in enough carbs to use for energy, the liver begins to produce glucose for energy, using its stores. This process is called glucogenesis.

Eventually, the liver will not be able to produce enough glucose to keep up with the energy demands of the body.

The body will then start to break down fatty acids, which will produce ketone bodies, in a process called . Body tissues then use ketone bodies as fuel, and the body enters a state of ketosis.

The medical community considers nutritional ketosis to be safe for most people. However, people may experience symptoms.

The lack of carbohydrates decreases the amount of insulin in the bloodstream. As a result, people may experience an increase in the amount of sodium, potassium, and water that is released in the urine, which will cause dehydration.

Insulin is also involved in transporting glucose to the brain. Before the brain starts to use ketones for energy, it will have less fuel. This will occur for about the first 3 days of the diet before blood glucose returns to regular levels.

Symptoms may reduce as the body reaches a state of nutritional ketosis. This involves the blood concentration of a particular ketone body, called beta-hydroxybutyrate, being

Electrolyte Abnormalities & Dehydration

Insulin is the hormone in charge of storing glucose. In order to maintain a steady-state of glucose in the body, insulin rises when carbohydrates are consumed and maintains lower levels during times of fasting. When carbohydrates are not consumed, insulin does not rise as high after eating because there just isnt as much glucose to store.

Because it can also affect the absorption and availability of water and electrolytes lower levels of insulin can contribute to changes in electrolytes in our body and dehydration. So transitioning into ketosis might encourage diuresis – a process where you may lose sodium and water .

Usually, these levels arent dangerous, but they can definitely contribute to feeling bad.

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Does Everyone Get Keto Flu

No! Not everyone who starts a keto diet gets the keto flu.

It depends partially on your metabolism and genetics, but there are plenty of factors you can control.

In fact, you can avoid keto flu. To do so, you need to understand what causes keto flu and then take steps to prevent keto flu from the beginning .

What Is The Keto Flu


Your bodys response to entering ketosis can often mimic symptoms of the flu, thus the name keto flu. Essentially, youre feeling the symptoms of withdrawal from carbs. Your body burns carbohydrates for energy by default so switching to a fat-burning process confuses your body. When carb intake is drastically reduced, such as on the ketogenic diet, your body is depleted of stored glucose and instead turns to burning fatty acids for energy. This is the metabolic process of ketosis.

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Guide To The Keto Flu And How To Avoid It

So, you are interested in starting the keto diet or a low-carb diet, but you want to know everything about it first, and how to start it the right way. Part of that is preparing for the keto flu and even avoiding it if you can.

Thankfully, there is a way to avoid most keto mistakes.

You have probably heard about the amazing benefits of the keto diet. It is incredible for fast and sustained weight loss, not to mention all the incredible health benefits that you can expect to experience.

Unfortunately, you may have also heard about the keto flu.

How Can Doctors Help You Lose Weight

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The Keto Flu: Symptoms And How To Get Rid Of It

The ketogenic diet has gained popularity as a natural way to lose weight and improve health.

The diet is very low in carbohydrates, high in fat and moderate in protein.

While the diet is considered safe for most people, its associated with some unpleasant side effects.

The keto flu, also called the carb flu, is a term coined by followers to describe the symptoms they experience when beginning the diet.

This article investigates what the keto flu is, why it happens and how to ease its symptoms.

The keto flu is a collection of symptoms experienced by some people when they first start the keto diet.

These symptoms, which can feel similar to the flu, are caused by the body adapting to a new diet consisting of very little carbohydrates.

Reducing your carb intake forces your body to burn ketones for energy instead of glucose.

Ketones are byproducts of fat breakdown and become the main fuel source when following a ketogenic diet.

Normally, fat is reserved as a secondary fuel source to use when glucose is not available.

This switch to burning fat for energy is called ketosis. It occurs during specific circumstances, including starvation and fasting (

However, ketosis can also be reached by adopting a very low-carb diet.

In a ketogenic diet, carbohydrates are typically reduced to under 50 grams per day .

This drastic reduction can come as a shock to the body and may cause withdrawal-like symptoms, similar to those experienced when weaning off an addictive substance like caffeine .

Why Do You Get The Keto Flu

How to Prevent The Ketogenic Flu and Other Keto Side Effects

When starting the ketogenic diet most people feel flu like symptoms related to carb-withdrawal. Just like a drug addict who is getting off drugs, your body is addicted to garbage carbs.

Carbs have been your bodies main energy source most of your life, especially for Americans. Replacing garbage carbs as the main energy source is the goal of a ketogenic diet for weight loss.

You want to change your diet so that your body uses stored fat for energy instead of your daily dose of garbage carbs via the typical Americans pretty disgusting eating habits.

Take a look at the back of a bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos below. It contains 140 calories, 210mg of sodium, and 16g of carbs. Add that to a Subway Italian BMT sandwich that has 1330mg of sodium, 43g of carbs, and 390 calories along with a coke and youve got a food addiction problem in your cells.

Your Subway sandwich lunch has 98g of carbs.

On the ketogenic diet, to reach ketosis, its recommended to be below 50g of carbs daily and optimally near 30g of carbs or under!

Doritos Ingredients

Throw in a trip to one of Americas most popular Italian restaurants, with unlimited breadsticks at 26g total carbs per stick , and you are in for a whole heapa trouble weaning yourself off a high carb diet.

When Id go to that chain restaurant, Id usually down 3-4 breadsticks with every meal.

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