Keto flu symptoms appear in the first few weeks of the diet

According to a new study, a ketogenic diet can lead to several keto flu symptoms within the first few weeks of the diet. These peak in the first 7 days and decrease after four weeks. However, the effects vary in severity, as reported by users on social media. These reports reveal common but as yet unknown symptoms such as fatigue, headache, sore throat, nausea, dizziness, decreased energy, fainting and even irregular heartbeat.

Keto flu experiences

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“Experience increases the evidence of side effects in many people after starting a ketogenic diet. “That says Emmanuelle Bostock from the Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania in Australia. “These consumers have the most immediate experience of effects and side effects, and many report and share them in online forums.”

However, doctors have only proven the effectiveness of the keto diet in epilepsy that is difficult to treat. Nevertheless, such a ketogenic diet is often administered for weight loss, cognitive improvement, type II diabetes or even cancer. An often discussed side effect of this diet is the so-called keto flu. This is a collection of temporary symptoms that appear within the first few weeks of the diet.

To better understand how these symptoms develop, Bostock and her staff identified 43 online forums on the subject and manually collected personal experiences from 101 people describing symptoms, severity, and keto flu duration.

“We focused on social media because it's often used to discuss health issues. This makes it practical to use the experience of people who have tried the treatment in question, ”explains Bostock. “In this study, we used responsible and respectful public domain online contributions and analyzed their content to gain new insights into the side effects of ketogenic nutrition.”

Consistent with previous medical examinations, Bostock and her colleagues found reports of headache, difficulty concentrating, and gastrointestinal upset after starting such a diet. In addition, they show the symptoms mentioned above. Consumers also experienced more than one symptom with varying degrees of severity.

Take countermeasures

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However, there is also good news for people suffering from such a keto flu. The results of this study underscore the sudden onset of symptoms that peak at first and decrease after four weeks. As soon as symptoms appeared, they disappeared within a little over two weeks. Discussions in the online forum were generally supportive and shared remedial actions such as maintaining hydration and correcting electrolyte imbalance due to widespread beliefs.

However, the results of this study were mainly limited to online forums and there was no confirmatory evidence that ketone levels were elevated. Nevertheless, the resulting patterns can indicate important questions for future approaches.

“Taken together, such reports can focus on an illness or side effects and complement clinical observations for research,” says Bostock. “We see potential for a new study of this kind to continuously inform all aspects of health care.”

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