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Keto Diet Causes Coronavirus-Like Symptoms

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Jiya Saini
Jiya Saini is a Journalist and Writer at Revyuh.com. She has been working with us since January 2018. After studying at Jamia Millia University, she is fascinated by smart lifestyle and smart living. She covers technology, games, sports and smart living, as well as good experience in press relations. She is also a freelance trainer for macOS and iOS, and In the past, she has worked with various online news magazines in India and Singapore. Email: jiya (at) revyuh (dot) com

Taking advantage of pandemic times to lose weight may be an option, but you have to choose carefully to avoid problems. A work confirms that this plan can cause a false flu

There is no other issue that, today, worries everyone more than the expansion of the coronavirus. We are all aware of a cough, sneezing, and, of course, fever, and at the slightest symptom, the first thought goes to only one thing. However, these signs are common to colds, flu, and many other processes, including diet.

Specifically, the ketogenic diet can lead to a series of flu-like symptoms, a condition known as the ketogenic flu and which is not something strange for followers of this diet. But now, a work, which has been published in Frontiers in Nutrition, reveals what this ‘flu’ is like and the reaction it causes. The great interest of the results is that the information has been compiled from social networks and public forums.

Trace the network

The study was carried out by a team of Australian researchers, made up of public health doctors, neurologists, psychiatrists, and specialists in complementary medicine. The authors searched Google for forums that discussed the keto flu. 

“We focus on social media because of its widespread use for discussion of health topics, which makes it practical to harness the experience of people who have tried the treatment in question”

emphasizes Emmanuelle Bostock of the Menzies Research Institute and a physician from the University of Tasmania, Australia, and first signatory of the work.

“In the present study, we responsibly and respectfully used public domain online forum posts and analyzed their content to produce new insight into side effects of the ketogenic diet.”

They identified 75 online forums, but only 43 met the inclusion criteria. In those forums, there were 300 active users who shared more than 448 posts, in which they reported all the symptoms they were experiencing as they progressed with the diet.

Of the 300 participants, 101 reported up to a total of 58 symptoms: the most common, headache, dizziness, nausea, fever, weakness, gastrointestinal disorders, palpitations, etc. Most of the symptoms appeared a week after starting the diet.

Only 60 of the participants rated the intensity of symptoms, which was moderate to strong in 45 cases. But, and here comes the paradox, far from persuading followers to abandon the diet, 121 participants shared 18 tricks to cope with the discomfort and continue with the regimen.

“Many people’s experience of symptoms strengthens the evidence for side effects after starting a ketogenic diet” 

says Bostock.

“These consumers have the most immediate experience of effects and side effects, and many choose to report and share these in online forums”

he confirms.

Keto adaptation

The authors note that the results of their study were limited to conversation threads in online forums, and therefore the experiences of online forum users may not be representative of the larger group of people on the keto diet. However, the symptom patterns produced may indicate key lines of questioning for future survey-based approaches.

“Taken together, such reports can focus on a disease or side effects and can complement clinical observations and questionnaire-based research,” says Bostock, who sees in these findings potential for new research to help guide the care that these users require. .

According to some experts, the keto flu “is a misnamed disease”, which consists of a set of symptoms that appear when the body enters ketosis. Normally it happens due to the lack of water and salt. There is an electrolyte imbalance and the body has to urgently use fat as an energy source due to the shortage of carbohydrates.

This specialist warns of the seriousness of advising to wait for all symptoms to subside and states that professionals advise against ketogenic diets, but if in any case, they are going to be carried out, they should always be followed up by a doctor or nutritionists or dietitians, because doing this type of diet without control exposes you to the appearance of important health problems, even fatal.

On why flu symptoms have a variable duration among people, specialists clarify that it depends on genetics, the loss of electrolytes or how each organism adapts to the new form of fuel. Those who generally eat a lot of carbohydrates, especially refined carbohydrates such as pasta, sugary cereals, and soda, may have a more difficult time starting the ketogenic diet.

So transitioning to a high-fat, very-low-carb diet can be a struggle for some, while others can easily switch between fuel sources with little to no keto flu symptoms.

Either way, some experts highlight that “we have cataloged the keto diet as not recommended and it can harm health”.

Symptoms of keto flu collected from online forum posts

Background: The ketogenic diet (KD) is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that limits glucose and results in the production of ketones by the liver and their uptake as an alternative energy source by the brain.

Remedies for keto flu advised by users online forum posts

Background: The ketogenic diet (KD) is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that limits glucose and results in the production of ketones by the liver and their uptake as an alternative energy source by the brain.
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