Keto side effects: what to do about keto constipation

Isabel Aestelle received her B.A in Communication from Far Eastern University Manila in the Philippines. She fell in love with words when she first started writing poetries and short stories at the age of 10. Her passion in health and wellness are pretty much seen in almost everything she does.

keto constipation

Going Keto is not always about convenience. Once you’ve incorporated some changes in your lifestyle, it is expected that additional changes might occur.

There are countless studies and articles that discuss about the negative side effects of Keto. However, when it comes to Keto constipation, nobody could actually give a specific reason why.

Constipation can make you feel uncomfortable. Not to mention, constipation could also make you overthink on what you’ve done wrong that caused you to feel such discomfort.

Medical experts said that constipation is not just about skipping a bowel movement for a day. It is even said that a normal bowel movement will have to be 3x a day or even 2x a week. One way to know you’re constipated is when your stool is hard, dry, and hard to pass.

Alongside the uncomfortable feeling, constipation can make you feel bloated and can cause you abdominal pain. However, when you’re on a Keto diet, there could be a chance you would have to encounter constipation. As emphasized above, constipation could be one of the negative side effects of Ketogenic dieting.

What’s causing Keto constipation?

1. Too much or lack of fiber

A common culprit of constipation resulting from Ketogenic dieting is the inadequate fiber intake. We often hear advice from people that whenever you feel constipated, you will only have to consume foods with a good amount of fiber.

In Keto’s case, too much fiber may also give you constipation. If you think you’ve had too much fiber already, possible solution would be for you to lessen your fiber intake a little. From there, see where it goes.

Fiber could also make your stool dry and hard to pass. This is when you’ve exceeded the necessary amount of fiber needed for the body. In order to prevent this from happening, you need to make sure you drink a good amount of water. Fiber being soluble will absorb water and will then form into a gel-like substance in the gut. Failure to balance your Keto diet fiber consumption with water will result to a lumpy stool.

2. Imbalanced healthy gut bacteria

There are countless friendly bacterias that dwell in your gut. So when doing a Ketogenic diet, it is important that you include a little amount of carbs in your diet since they play a healthy role in your gut. These health-friendly bacterias feed on the soluble fiber that you consume. Once your Keto diet fiber drops, the amount of these good bacterias drop as well. As a result, your body will experience diarrhea, constipation, and also malabsorption.

3. Low Food Intake

Keeping your body under Ketosis will require you to eat a high amount of fat and a moderate consumption of protein. However, this diet can also result to Keto constipation.

The good side of consuming this type of foods is that they keep you from eating too much. The only drawback it has is that highly-satiating foods can also slow down the digestion process. Having said, your bowels will form less stools. As mentioned earlier, the number of bowel movements isn’t the problem. The only unhealthy issue is the amount of time your stool stays in your bowel. Research said that the longer the stool remains in your bowel, the harder and drier it becomes.

Other Causes

There are also other possible factors behind the Ketogenic diet constipation. Some would include stress, medications, liver/gallbladder congestion, inactivity, and even PMS.

How to treat constipation:

Treating constipation is quite easy. Once you know what caused it, it would then be easy for you to find possible remedies to treat it.

1. Balance fiber intake

Trying to balance out your fiber intake could help you get rid of constipation. When in Keto, the allowed consumption of fiber is 25 to 30 g per day. There is a wide range of Keto-friendly foods that contain a good amount of fiber such as flaxseed, celery, and almonds. You may also take some supplements that could provide you with an equal amount of fiber. However, you need to make sure you drink plenty of water while you’re adjusting with your fiber consumption.

2. Increase food and fluid intake

Keto approved foods are good when it comes to losing weight since they has this satiating effect. However, in the case of bowel movements, they’re not.

Adding up some foods which are excellent sources of fiber such as avocado and almonds could help not only with your constipation, but also with your diet. It is recommended that if you plan to have your meal sizes increased, you plan it all out ahead of time to keep you from ruining your diet.

To help improve digestion, it is also necessary that you have your fluid intake increased as well. Keeping your body dehydrated by drinking water, tea, or soup could help you in your hydration levels. Thus, could also help treat constipation.

3. Consider probiotics

Foods that have probiotics are yogurt, sauerkraut, and miso which share a good amount of live bacterias that can help improve bowel movements.

Some studies suggest that probiotics restore the gut flora. Make sure that you consume probiotics with soluble fiber to help live bacterias survive digestion.

4. Remove food triggers from diet

Some Keto dieters may have been allergic to dairies that they have included in their Keto meals. In order to test and see if there are any food triggers for your constipation, you may try eliminating some foods from the list. In most Keto dieters’ cases, they said eliminating dairy products have helped them treat constipation.

Aside from dairies, you may also try to eliminate protein sources that could be considered allergens for you. Eggs, seafood, nuts, and soy are some of the protein sources that caused triggers to constipation.

If by chance you think you have other food allergies, you may also consider seeking advice from a doctor to make sure you eliminate the right allergens from your Keto list.

Keto constipation is a common side effect when doing the low-carb diet. However, identifying the cause of it could also lead you to some possible remedies and treatments that you can try.

Similar to other Keto side effects, constipation will most likely resolve on its own. Now that you have an idea on how to deal with Keto constipation, you can expect it to go away in no time. If not, then you would know by then that it is time you consult a medical expert so they could assess you properly with Keto constipation.