The ketogenic diet is a very low carb, high-fat, moderate protein and high-protein low-carbohydrate dietary plan. It is used in the treatment of certain medical conditions. It involves eating fewer carbohydrates and replacing them with ketones. Ketones are a type of sugar that the cells can use instead of glucose (sugar) for energy.
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat low-carb diet that has gained popularity over the past few years. It is typically used to help people lose weight (mainly fat), lower blood sugar and blood cholesterol, and improve their metabolic health.
You read that right – we’re talking poop, people!
Sudden changes in diet almost always lead to temporary irregularities in bowel movements, which can be a bit stressful! Constipation and loose stools are high on the list of side effects when starting a keto diet, but you usually don’t need to worry because bowel function normalizes over time.
Because ketogenic foods have a high nutrient density, low volume and high digestibility, they are a natural source of less waste. So if your bowel movements have changed and become less frequent, but you are not experiencing pain or discomfort, it is probably normal.
Many people think that constipation after starting a ketogenic diet is due to a lack of fiber, although this is usually not the case (if you choose the right foods). This is likely due to an initial diuretic effect (also known as water loss), as well as the depletion of electrolyte stores. Your intestines are also changing and learning to adapt to the increased intake of dietary fat, so there are frequent bowel movements.
How to deal with it:
- Stay well hydrated – dehydration can significantly affect bowel function. You don’t have to drink a lot, but pay close attention to your body’s signals (headaches, fatigue, dark, smelly urine, thirst, etc.).
- Electrolytes are important – In addition to dehydration, a very low-carb diet can also change the way your body processes electrolytes, which can lead to deficiencies and imbalances. Electrolytes (especially sodium, potassium, and magnesium) help muscles contract, especially the muscles that help move food through the intestines. When following a ketogenic diet, consuming electrolyte-rich foods and liquids can help minimize side effects.
To help digestion, try eating ketone foods with the following:
- Sodium – salt, bacon, pickles, fermented vegetables, cured meats, fish.
- Potassium – avocados, salmon, dark leafy vegetables, broccoli, tomatoes, nuts, mushrooms.
- Magnesium – nuts, artichokes, fish, spinach.
- Dietary fibres – non-starchy vegetables : Spinach, celery, avocado, asparagus, bok choy, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, etc.
Other options that can help smooth things out:
- MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil – not only promotes ketosis and fat burning, but also helps fight constipation with fast digestion. Introduce pure MCT oil slowly, starting with one tablespoon per day and increasing to three tablespoons per day as tolerance increases. Try drinking it in your morning coffee!
- Magnesium supplementation – the need for magnesium during ketosis does not increase like sodium and potassium, but studies have shown that nearly half of the American population is deficient. Magnesium is also effective as a mild laxative and can help with indigestion and constipation.
- Aloe vera juice (from the inner fillet) – contains a natural laxative and can help soothe and relax the bowels.
But what if it’s the other way around? He has diarrhea…
On the other hand, some people have loose stools when they start a ketogenic diet. Again, this is likely due to a change in gut bacteria and their adaptation to the increased fat intake. Surprisingly, in addition to MCT oil, the above recommendations for constipation also apply to diarrhea – increased need for electrolytes, fiber and water.
If you are already using MCT oil, you can temporarily stop using it and then slowly add it back into your diet, in lower doses. You can also add probiotics and fermented foods.
Ultimately, you have to be patient with your body and especially your gut. Give him time to adjust and heal after years of dealing with intolerant foods.
Speaking of poop, here are our favorite poop-related foods!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does your poop change when in ketosis?
No, your poop will not change when in ketosis.
Does keto diet cause Steatorrhea?
No, keto diet does not cause Steatorrhea.
Does ketosis give you diarrhea?
No, ketosis does not cause diarrhea.
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