Is Keto Flu Real?
I’m about to say something that might be construed as very controversial. Now don’t get me wrong, the symptoms that people experience are very real, but I think calling it the keto flu is a gross mischaracterization. The reality is this is sugar withdrawal. Your body is addicted to sugar and when you cut it out your body gets angry with you.
One thing that makes me frustrated is the people that say the symptoms of “keto flu” is why keto is bad. How often do we get people start to experience the so-called keto flu, otherwise known as withdrawal from sugar (which can wildly affect your electrolyte balance) say, “You NEED carbs- keto is bad for you!” We hear it all the time!
I’ve shared in my story before that I grew up in an alcoholic home but I’ve rarely shared the details of what that looks like. I can tell you right now that I remember one of the first times my dad went to rehab he was in the hospital side of the rehab first on an IV in a hospital bed curled up in the fetal position shaking, sweating, and vomiting because he was going through withdrawal. I guarantee you no one said, “Oh my gosh this is really bad! He needs alcohol. “ No, they understood this is withdrawal and it’s something that you have to push through and that you have to take care to monitor and treat. So when someone’s going through sugar withdrawal – keto flu - the simple prescription is electrolytes (because it does help you feel better) as well as eating fatty protein to nourish and satiate you.
Now, of course, once you get past that withdrawal, there are so many more nuances that depending on the individual, can be addressed. But in general, when first beginning, it’s best to keep it simple. Stay hydrated, monitor electrolytes, and eat all the fatty protein you need to get past the withdrawal and feel satiated.
Bottom line, you can make sugar withdrawal more socially palatable by calling it “keto flu” but that doesn’t change the reality of what it actually is.