Keto flu?

I have been following the Keto diet for about two weeks. I have dropped about ten pounds and by testing my blood using KetoMojo it appears that I am solidly in ketosis. In the last few days I have experienced joint pain and severe tightness in the muscles down my right leg. I have heard about the "keto flu" where you body goes through a process when changing over from burning carbs to burning fat where you experience flu like symptoms. Any thoughts on that or or in the area of leg pain? I drink about ten cups of water per day and I take a magnesium supplement.


  • The first thing I always look at when having pains and other annoyances is electrolytes. Try an electrolyte supplement with the water. I squirt a bit of Hi Lyte into my water bottle which I refill about 4-5 times a day (it's 32 oz)
    Other than that, just give it another couple of weeks and all will be well, takes time to keto adapt.
    Right now I'm dealing with soft fingernails, after 5 months on keto, weird. Seems magnesium is a culprit. You will find yourself adjusting to all these side effects and as you adjust, they go away once your body learns how to deal with the change in diet.

    Maria H
    My story:

  • Good ideas. Thanks.

  • I have also been having a problem with my fingernails splitting vertically.

    With the joint pain, it seems to start getting worse at the end of the day going to bed. By morning I feel almost crippled. However as I move around the pain and discomfort seem to abate. I can work a physically demanding shift and feel pretty good at the end of it. Strange.

  • @BillO

    It's important to ensure that you aren't suffering from any nutrient deficiencies. I would suggest getting bloodwork from your doctor as a precautionary. A top priority is to make sure you are healthy, regardless of the type of diet you follow.

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • Susan,
    I'm in a part of the world where labs are a lot cheaper more accurate than the doctors. Actually that's totally unfair, but I'm not sure how a Keto or IF discussion would go.
    Is there a list or a source for info on the bloodwork tests you would recommend ? I'm very interested in learning more on this .. Thanks

    ( already testing blood for KB and BG )

  • @Petrovich

    The labs I would be most interested in following are your electrolytes:

    • magnesium
    • potassium
    • phosphorus
    • sodium
    • chloride
    • bicarbonate

    You may also want to inquire about protein status as keto diets can result in muscle wasting (your body may try to access protein mass to stimulate glucose production).

    Kind regards,

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:

  • thanks Susan, I'll check them out

  • Dr. Mercola, in his book KetoFast, recommends several:

    1) Vitamin D

    2) RBC Magnesium

    3) Omega 3 Index

    4) Fasting Insulin

    5) Serum Ferritin

    6) High-Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (HS-CRP)

    7) Homocysteine

    8) NMR Lipoprofile

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