What To Do If You've Got Keto Constipation Or Diarrhea
What to do if your diet is messing with your bathroom business.
“Keto gave me diarrhea and constipation!” There’s man all over for you, blaming on his diet the faults of his meals. Don’t worry, while it is the case that some people experience gastric distress as a side effect while experimenting with high fat diets like keto, it’s a short term issue that can be very easily fixed. Usually the culprit is just diving head first into keto hoping to lose weight without doing proper research and, as a result, not devising meal plans. So stop, collaborate, and listen to some nutritional advice that will cure what ails you. (And, yes, that was a Waiting for Godot reference at the beginning. It was more high brow than only saying, ‘Waiting to Godot to the bathroom because of this constipation!” GET YOU AN INTRO THAT CAN DO BOTH!)
You have constipation because your fiber intake is low.
In order to get into ketosis, roughly 5% of your daily caloric intake can come from carbs. For too many people that just means cutting out fiber altogether, which is entirely unnecessary. Remember: only your net carbs count toward that 5%! So when you look at nutritional info, subtract the grams of fiber from the total carbs and you’ll know what you’re allowed to eat. Believe it or not, you can have fruit and vegetables while doing keto! And you should!
“Let’s talk about your colon!” may not be something you want shouted in your face. And yet here we are, shouting about colons! The colon absorbs all the water that goes in ya and all the gunk that comes out of ya as you digest your food. Fiber helps your stool bulk up like it’s hitting the gym on the regular, and that makes it easier for the colon to do its job.
It's not just people doing keto who don't get enough fiber, though. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, men eat roughly 18 grams of fiber while women eat 15. Meanwhile, the United States Department of Agriculture says that a man between the ages of 14 and 50 needs 38 grams of fiber a day and a woman between the ages of 19 to 50 needs 25 grams of fiber a day. Maybe these people don’t think about what they’re putting into their bodies, but doing a diet literally means thinking about what you’re putting into your body! So there’s no excuse for you to not be getting the proper amount of fiber.
So, add leafy greens like kale, spinach, or salad greens to your meals. One way to do this effectively is to just cover your plate, creating a bed for whatever high fat food you’re eating. Spinach is a particularly good choice because it's one of those keto friendly foods that can help reduce anxiety. And if you’re not already eating avocados, get on it! They can also help reduce anxiety and they’re high in fiber.
If you want to kill two birds with one stone (and then eat them because that would be a keto friendly meal), add some MCT oil to your diet. One reason why you should take MCT oil is that it’ll help loosen your bowels. But, be careful; for some people MCT oil causes diarrhea, in particular when it’s consumed with coffee.
Also, keep in mind that you may not actually be experiencing keto constipation! People think that you need to have daily bowel movements, but that’s just untrue. Anywhere between three a day to two a week is normal.
You have diarrhea because your diet is low in fiber.
How can one mistake have so many consequences?! Because the human body contains multitudes! Diarrhea isn’t a consequence of doing the ketogenic diet wrong as often as constipation is but it does happen. Why? Because your diet is high fat low carb! If not enough enzymes are released in your small intestine to break down the extra fat that you’ve been consuming, then that fat’s going go into your colon and it’s going to activate bacteria that can cause gas, bloating, and fat in your stool. And what does extra fat in your stool mean? Diarrhea! But you already knew that.
Loose stool moves fast, but if fat takes too much time to exit your system you may end up with acid reflux. Remember: fat takes the most amount of time to leave your tum-tum. That’s why fat is filling. But if your stomach is taking too long to empty out the fat, then you might have tummy trouble, regurgitation, and heartburn. Tummy trouble is how big boys talk about constipation, and you’re a big boy, aren’t you? Oh, do you not like being called a “big boy”? Then eat your vegetables!
You shouldn’t have diarrhea or acid reflux for too long because your body will eventually adjust. But if you are having diarrhea, there are some things you should do. Stay hydrated! Consume water and electrolytes to replace what’s been lost. Take probiotics and eat fermented food to make up for any damage that might be done to your gut biome. Obviously, add more fiber to your diet. You can also try digestive enzymes, should experiment with eating a variety of fats, and use tips to eating smaller portions so that you’re not overwhelming yourself.
Your gut biome is very important.
The microbes that make up your biome live in a portion of the large intestine known as the cecum. Without your gut biome, life would be very hard if not unlikely at all. And the more diverse your biome the better off you are. And one way in which the biome is important, outside of helping your immune system and contributing to the health of your brain, is in helping you digest fiber. So, whether you’ve got constipation or diarrhea, you really need to take care of your gut biome.
Helping your gut biome will improve your overall lifestyle, and it’s also keto friendly to do so. Keep eating fiber, eat a variety of foods, eat fermented and probiotic foods in particular, limit your artificial sweeteners (so don’t drink diet soda), and take a probiotic supplement. Put it all together, and you’ll be riding the keto train to weightloss town!