Keto Flu Symptoms That Signal The Keto Diet Is Making You Sick

That said, it’s a good idea to work with a doctor or registered dietitian before you start eating keto—and 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 dehydration—which 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.

Is keto flu contagious?


While influenza is a virus that’s spread by close contact, keto flu isn’t something you catch. You’ll only experience symptoms if you enter a state of ketosis, and it’s not contagious.

Is there anything I can do to avoid keto flu?


Sorry, but probably not. Ketosis affects some people more than others, but there’s a good chance you’ll notice at least some side effects as your body adjusts to a (nearly) carb-free diet. The good news? There are a few steps you can take to keep things as pleasant as possible:

Stay hydrated

Remember, your water and electrolyte intake needs to go up on a keto diet, and dehydration can exacerbate many keto flu symptoms. There’s no hard and fast recommendation for how much water keto dieters should be drinking, Nico says. But in general, you should be sipping enough so that your urine stays clear or pale yellow. As for electrolytes like sodium? A registered dietitian can help you figure out how much more you should be having and the best places to get it. If you’re feeling sick and can’t see a nutritionist right away, consider mixing a low-carb electrolyte drink into your water.

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