What is Keto Flu or Ketogenic Flu?
Keto flu is also known as ketogenic flu is the name given to a set of symptoms that few people experience when first starting keto diet or when doing it in the wrong way. It’s not essentially the flu and positively not infectious, but it can become quite exhausting.
Symptoms of Keto Flu
Keto flu symptoms are exceptionally similar to that of your common flu and can last for a day to a few weeks! You may experience some of the symptoms like Fatigue, headaches, cough, sniffles, irritability, nausea, and tiredness.
Several people who experience these symptoms in the start of their ketogenic diet often blame the diet and carbs are good after all. However, these symptoms indicate that your body is highly dependent on carbohydrates! Your body is going through withdrawal from sugar and carbs and hence shows these signs, which is normal and nothing to be worried about.
Withdrawal from Carbs
There are research studies that have implied that sugar has the similar effect on our body and brain as cocaine and heroin! The very same areas of the brain are stimulated when one eats sugar as when one consumes cocaine. Apart from that, when we consume sugar, our brain transmits messages for the release of dopamine, the “feel good” hormone. After some time, the release of dopamine is more or less synchronized and less is sent out each time we eat sugar. The absence of huge amounts of dopamine triggers our want to consume more sugar, to get that similar “feel good” feeling back. Unintentionally, drug addiction is precisely that. The brain remembers what made it feel good, even if you don’t- Your sugar cravings aren’t accidental.
When we stop eating sugar (or carbohydrates altogether) our body go through withdrawal. Several people report irritability and mood swings from the hormone rush, or lack thereof. All this time Our body is adapting themselves to this new sudden transformation.
Readjusting to Fat
Headaches and fatigue can result from the sudden restriction of carbohydrates. When our body is used to using carbohydrate as the chief source of energy, it takes a little bit of time to adapt to using fat. This is the common process of becoming adapted to a ketogenic diet! It usually takes a normal person somewhere between 2-5 days to enter ketosis. When carbs are restricted, the body starts to break down fat storage into ketones, which the body then uses for energy.
Becoming Keto Adapted
Becoming keto adapted implies your body is now willingly and easily converting that fat content you’re eating into ketones. In the beginning, the body may not be well prepared for ketosis but will gradually adapt itself. We all have fat burning enzymes, but the amount of them radically increases when we get keto adapted. This is another reason for experiencing tiredness in the beginning of a Keto diet, or during a keto flu: your body is preparing itself to start running on fat. Give your body some time and you will start enjoying the health benefits of the Keto diet.