How does Keto flu lead to depression?

This article will explain how Keto flu can lead a person to feel depressed. For that, the article will explain what Keto flu and Keto diet are, and what are ways one can cope with Keto flu.

How does Keto flu lead to depression?

Keto flu can cause a person to experience depressive symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, change in sleeping patterns, dizziness, and cramping. This happens because the Keto diet will put your body through a process called ketosis, which can be difficult to manage.

It is important to keep in mind that keto flu will set in 24-48 hours after the person starts the Keto diet. And that the symptoms of keto flu can be even more intense in people that are already dealing with a depressive episode. 

Dealing with these symptoms can affect your mood, and lead you to feel depressed in the same way that the restrictions Keto diet brings. This form of diet is extremely restricted and will remove foods, and food groups are known as comfort food. It takes away a lot of carbohydrates, and sugar, which can impact your mood.

The removal of any food groups is often associated with depression. Because it is extremely restricted, it can take away zinc, selenium, and magnesium from you, which can also harm your mood, leading you to feel depressed.

Another reason why Keto flu, and taking part in the Keto diet can lead to depression, is because it can lead to a form of social isolation. Many social gatherings usually center around food, so if you have to skip them, or need to have your food during the events, you may begin to feel isolated, and depressed.

What is the Keto diet?

The Keto diet is a form of diet that requires a low carbohydrate intake, high fat, and moderate protein ingestion. Initially, it was said that people with epilepsy should take on the Keto diet as a way to prevent them from having seizures. But recently it has become a tool for people that have been wanting to lose weight.

That is because the Keto diet will put your body in a way that it will burn fat, instead of calories, called Ketosis. This helps you to have a caloric deficit, and in consequence, lose weight. But this form of diet has also been seen to bring many benefits to people.

It is not only helpful in preventing seizures, but it also helps people that have migraines, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. This seems to happen for some reasons. Let’s discuss what they are.

Increased GABA 

The increase in the levels of this neurotransmitter can help the person’s regulation of mood, and anxiety.

Improve mitochondrial function 

By improving the mitochondrial function, you improve the level of energy cells the person can have.

Decrease of oxidative stress 

This means that there will be less cellular damage in your body. This antioxidant effect can help the damage caused by free radicals. Improving the person’s depressive state.

Regulates insulin function 

Insulin is what helps your body regulate its sugar level. By taking in a Keto diet, since you will limit your sugar intake, you will improve your insulin sensitivity.

Decrease inflammation

Chronic inflammation is often related to depression. But since the Keto diet has an anti-inflammatory property, it can decrease it, making your depression better.

As seen, the Keto diet is usually beneficial to people with depression, but since it can also cause people to experience Keto flu, it is important to know what to do in those cases. So let’s learn what you can do if you experience Keto flu.

What are ways to cope with Keto flu? 

If you are going through the Ketu flu, here are some things you can do.

Understand your feelings 

The first thing is to understand your feelings. Experiencing sadness is different from being depressed. Sadness is a common emotion, usually directed to one aspect of your life, and it tends to be fleeting. 

Depression affects every aspect of a person’s life, and it can go on for some time. If you experience Keto flu, you may want to consider how long those symptoms are going on, and if you were experiencing it before you started the Keto diet.

If you feel the symptoms are too intense or have been going on for a long time, it may be that you are going through a depressive episode. And for that, you should look for professional help. If not, and you feel it is mostly related to Keto flu, here is what you can do:

Wait for it to pass 

As you start the Keto diet and put your body through ketosis, it may need some time to adjust. After a few days, it is most likely that you will feel better. During this period, just remember to drink lots of fluids. If you can, have some that will supplement electrolytes, those will make this transition easier.

Focus on what you need to eat 

The Keto diet is extremely restricted, so you may want to eat what you can in the best way possible. Focus on ingesting high-quality protein, and vegetables. You can have some foods, such as avocado, that are rich in magnesium, which can do wonders for your mood. Aside from that, dark chocolate with low sugar and almond will also help your mood.

Try carb cycling

This is a form of Keto diet that allows you to load up on carbs once a week. Having this day in which you can eat more carbs, can make it easier for you to stick to your diet longer. It may also help with the social isolation the Keto diet can bring. You can use your day off having carbs, as a social event day.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): How does Keto flu lead to depression? 

What is Lazy Keto? 

Lazy Keto is a simplified form of the Keto diet in which the person will mostly just count their carbs intake, but not the other macronutrients, such as fat, and protein. To do a lazy keto, people will need to first set their daily carb limit, which should be about 5 or 10% of their daily intake.

But it is important to know that lazy keto won’t put you to ketosis, but it will also make it possible for them to lose weight. It is also important to know that there is a difference between lazy keto and dirty keto, which means people will be able to eat fast foods, not caring about the quality of the food.

If you are doing lazy keto, you still should care for your carbs intake, and if you, look for a professional to help you.

Can a low-carb diet lead to depression? 

Yes, according to an Australian study, going through a low-carb diet can lead to depression. But now only that, it can also cause you to experience anxiety and mood swings. 

This is because a lot of the neurotransmitters can be related to the ingestion of carbohydrates. And what is known is that lower levels of some neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, and serotonin, can lead to a depressive state. 

That is why it is so important to have a balanced diet, and even if you decide to take on a diet, such as the Keto diet, that reduces the carbs intake, try to keep them as present as you can in your diet, as to prevent your mental health from getting worse in the process. 

Why does the Keto diet cause brain fog? 

Brain fog can come when you just started the keto diet, it can be a sign of the keto flu. Although there is still no scientific evidence as to why the Keto diet causes brain fog, it seems to be related to the carb withdrawal your body may be going through.

What has been said about this, by people that take on the Keto diet, is that the brain fog, as well as other symptoms of Keto flu, tend to get better within a few days, as your body adjusts itself to the new diet.

Why am I doing the Keto diet wrong? 

If you have been doing the keto diet for a while, and you are not experiencing the results of it, it can be that you are doing it wrong. Here are some things that you may be doing that harm your diet.

The first one is that you are eating too many carbs, which can prevent your body from going into ketosis. Or you may be cutting your carbs, but are not having enough nutritious food. Those are the ones that will make your body work great. Try to understand if you are having too much-processed food, and try to avoid them as much as you can.

It could be that you are making food choices that have too many calories. Which makes it harder for you to lose weight. Or you have some health condition that can make it harder for you to lose weight.

Being stressed, and not getting enough sleep can also harm you in losing weight. Your body needs good rest so it can lose weight. In the same way, it needs physical activities, and if you are not getting that, your weight loss may also be worse.

How can I exercise better when I am on ketosis?

If you are doing a keto diet to lose weight, know that exercising will help you. But you should do so in a healthy manner. So you don’t lose all your energy, you may want to plan your meals, and keep them balanced to make the most of your workout. 

Understand that exercising can lead you to crave more carbs, but you should keep an eye on your intake so you don’t lose the benefits of your diet. You can count your calories to guarantee you are getting the number of carbs you need.

Aside from that, have an exercise routine. You can even do it at home, but the important thing is to be consistent. Always remember to drink lots of water, because your body, especially your muscles will need more of them to recover. You should also take your time to rest. Sleep well, around 6 to 8 hours each night, so your body can recover.


This article centered around the Keto flu. It explained what it is, and why, sometimes, the Keto diet may lead to it. The article also showed what the Keto diet is, and its possible benefits. Finally, the article showed what are ways to cope with the Keto flu.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.


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