Wellness

Keto Diarrhea: How Keto Can Upset Your Stomach

keto diarrhea

The keto diet is quite simple in definition: it’s a low carb, high fat diet wherein you take moderate amounts of protein. 

A ketogenic diet helps your body reach the state of ketosis. What’s that, you ask?
Well, during ketosis, the body starts burning fat cells for energy because of the scarcity of glucose stores it usually depends on. Why? Because of the lack of carbs (responsible for creating glucose) in the diet.

As your body starts burning fat for energy, you get to lose that stubborn extra weight, improve your immunity, and also your heart and brain health.

However, Ketosis can bring with it many terrible side effects, especially for your stomach to bear. 

We will talk about one of the most annoying of these conditions – keto diarrhea – in this article today. 

Stay tuned till the end, as we will also share a splendid list of home remedies that will help you find relief in no time.

Can A Ketogenic diet Cause Diarrhea?

Yes, following a keto diet plan can cause diarrhea. But, you should know, it’s not just the diet but the process of Ketosis that causes the real trouble. 

So, even drinking ketones can make you poop, whether or not you follow the diet as ketone drinks can also help your body attain ketosis.

Why Does Keto Diet Cause Diarrhea?

When asked for his views on Diarrhea on Keto, Dr. Eric Berg, a specialist in Keto, said that there are primarily two reasons for this to happen:

  • Your body isn’t used to digesting a large amount of fat.

Some people are simply not used to metabolizing the amount of fat included in the ketogenic diet due to the amount of work required by the body to metabolize it. Unlike easy carbs, fats can take time and energy.

That’s why, sometimes the body isn’t capable of completing the breakdown. That’s when undigested fat can enter your small intestines and colon. When this happens, additional water is drawn in to aid its passage through stool, resulting in watery diarrhea. 

Watery diarrhea can lead to water loss and cause an electrolyte imbalance. And that can further increase your chances of diarrhea.

Also, saturated fat increases bile production in the body, which acts as a lubricant in the colon. Thus, inducing more frequent bowel movements.

  • Your body isn’t used to digesting the vegetables in the ketogenic diet plan.

Our gut microbiome plays an integral role in all aspects of our health, a major one of which is digestion. 

You see, the gut microbiome is a collection of microorganisms in your digestive tract. And as we make our body get used to the diet we consume, the microbiome also gets developed.

However, when suddenly the diet is changed – as when you start the keto diet – the gut reacts, and one way of doing that is keto diarrhea.

A keto diet excludes most vegetables that have extensive amounts of carbs in them. The alternatives may have certain compounds that can overwhelm the microbes in your small intestine. Thus, causing problems with digestion. 

Therefore, some of the vegetables you should avoid, at least, when you are trying Keto for the very first time, include onion, beetroot, garlic, cabbage, artichoke, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, mushroom, and fennel.

Keto Constipation/Diarrhea Symptoms

You can consider keto flu symptoms as signs of diarrhea caused by keto diet because they usually happen together.

So, some symptoms you should look out for are:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Bloating
  • Dehydration symptoms like dry skin, dark-colored urine, and feeling thirsty more than usual.
  • High anxiety
  • More frequent bowel movements
  • And, of course, loose or watery stools.

Does Keto Diarrhea Go Away? How Long Does It Last?

Yes, it does go away. 

A study asking participants to report their keto flu symptoms found that the number of symptom reports was high in the first week. But it decreased dramatically after four weeks.

That’s right! Keto diarrhea does not lasts more than 4 weeks to cure.

That’s because the body eventually adapts to the high fat, low carb diet as it maintains itself at Ketosis.

But you don’t need to wait that long to find relief. Read on to know how you can help the body adapt to the keto diet, and prevent keto diarrhea with home remedies within a couple of days.

4 Keto Diarrhea Remedies 

A diarrhea caused by keto can be treated in less than a week if you commit to the following remedies:

  • Cut back on saturated fat, especially in liquid form, like MCT oils, coconut oil, etc. Once the diarrhea is gone, you can slowly add fats to the diet and increase as you go when your gut can handle it.
  • Avoid veggies that may not get easily digested by your body.
  • You can consume safe vegetables like bean sprouts, bell peppers, zucchini, tomato, lettuce, and cucumber.
  • Consume electrolyte drinks or foods that won’t get your body out of Ketosis. Consuming electrolytes on a keto diet is essential because, with water lost thanks to diarrhea or other keto flu symptoms, your body may experience fluid and electrolyte imbalance.

The Final Word

Ketosis can cause diarrhea, but it’s not something that will trouble you for long. All you need to do is make sure you follow the right keto diet plan that suits your gut. 

Follow the remedies we have shared and maintain proper hydration. Make sure to ease into ketosis, instead of overloading your body with the food it doesn’t know how to digest, suddenly all at once. Doing this will help you prevent and treat keto diarrhea pronto!

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