Keto, or the Ketogenic diet, has quickly become a phenomenon in the health world. With its promise to make the body burn fat for energy, it has quickly become the most popular diet of the decade. As with any diet, the keto diet is not for everyone. This diet is designed to cleanse the body of the average person, cutting out all carbohydrates except for ketones, and replacing them with fat. Keto constipation can be a real issue for people who are on this diet and many are not aware of the other issues that can arise from this diet. Lets take a look at some of these issues.

Your body may be switching from sugar to fat, but the digestive system can get the transition wrong and cause real problems. Constipation is a common side effect of the keto diet, and people often try to fix it themselves by drinking more water and increasing fiber. But that may not be the answer—there is a more effective approach.

You may be a DIY natural health guru, a health food store owner, or just a regular person that has decided to take on a healthier lifestyle. However, if you are part of the Keto tribe, you know that the one thing you must do is keep your bowels healthy. While it may not seem like a big deal, having regular bowel movements on a diet like the keto diet is an essential part of staying healthy.

The keto diet is well-known for its numerous health benefits, including increased energy, less cravings, and weight loss, but keto constipation is a common side effect for newcomers. This article will cover all you need to know about keto constipation, including what causes it, how to cure it, and how to avoid it.

What is the definition of constipation?

Constipation is described as infrequent bowel movements or problematic stools passage that lasts for several weeks or more, with fewer than three bowel movements per week being the norm. It’s unpleasant and tough to pass these bowel movements.

Overview of the Keto Diet

A ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. Avocados, butter, and fatty cuts of meat will replace starchy breads and sugary cereals on it. The ketogenic diet is used by many people to address health concerns such as arthritis, diabetes, and chronic inflammation.

Ketogenic Diet Foods

  • Meat, poultry, and fish are all options.
  • Low-carbohydrate, low-starch vegetables (Greens, broccoli, cauliflower)
  • Fruit with a low sugar content
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Eggs
  • Dairy that is high in fat
  • Cooking Oils and Healthy Fats

Your body enters a state known as ketosis during the first 3-7 days on the ketogenic diet. First, a lack of dietary carbs causes your body’s glycogen stores, which it uses for energy, to be depleted. When these stores are depleted, your body adapts to burning fat for energy, with the liver producing ketone bodies (“ketones”) to replace glucose.

Ketones are a slower but far more efficient energy source than glucose. Unlike glucose, which is produced when you consume carbohydrates, your body must break down fat from your diet and within your body to produce ketones.

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Is constipation an indication that you’re in ketosis?

While constipation is common among keto newbies, it is not a sign that your body is in a fat-burning ketosis state. Because the body is adjusting to a new diet and learning how to process new foods, keto newbies may experience constipation. Here are some more accurate techniques to determine whether you’re in ketosis:

Keto Constipation: What Causes It?

For many people, adopting a ketogenic diet is a significant lifestyle adjustment. There will almost certainly be a period of adjustment, or you may need to make some adjustments in order to feel your best and achieve success.

1. Fiber Intake Changes

Fiber consumption is frequently to blame for keto constipation. It’s not that you’re eating too much or too little fiber; it’s that your fiber consumption has suddenly changed.

Grain fiber accounts for a major amount of the fiber in the Standard American Diet (SAD), whereas the keto diet is low-carb. Do you see the issue? It takes time for your body to acclimatize to the quantity of fiber you’re feeding it, so it’s not as simple as simply adding extra fiber to your diet to cure your poop problems. Rather of making drastic adjustments, it is preferable to gradually increase the quantity of fiber in your diet.

If constipation persists, try taking soluble fiber supplements, or incorporate high-fiber fruits and foods into your diet to establish a long-term diet. 

Keto Foods with a High Fiber Content

  • Broccoli
  • Flaxseed
  • Chia seeds are a type of chia seed that
  • Greens with lots of leaves
  • peppers (bell)

spoon scooping baked chia rice pudding from ramekin Try our Chia “Rice” Pudding in the Oven! There are only 2g of net carbohydrates.

2. A lack of hydration

On the keto diet, you may notice that you urinate more than usual, which is natural when first starting off. Glycogen in the body holds a lot of water, so when those sugar stores are depleted, you lose a lot of fluid, which can lead to dehydration and constipation.

Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you’re exercising, spending time outside in the heat, or sweating profusely. The more fluids you drink, the softer your stools will be, but you must also consider your electrolyte consumption.

Imbalance of electrolytes

On a keto diet, you’ve probably heard about the need of electrolytes. You should monitor your magnesium, sodium, and potassium levels more closely as your body holds less water. Magnesium is also vital for healthy digestion.

Supplementing with magnesium citrate or magnesium oxide, which is often used as a laxative, may help move things along for anyone suffering from irregularity or constipation. Magnesium glycinate is one of our favorite supplements, and you can learn why in our Keto Supplement Guide.

bottle of magnesium for keto constipation

4. Lactose Intolerance

Because full-fat dairy is a convenient and palatable source of healthful fats on the keto diet, many people consume more dairy than they would on a daily basis. On a keto diet, you might discover that you’re lactose intolerant, which means your body has difficulties processing the natural sugars found in dairy (lactose). This may cause digestive problems such as constipation or diarrhea.

For a few weeks, try eating dairy-free and keeping track of your digestion. Lactose intolerance affects about 65 percent of the population after they reach adulthood, therefore it could be the cause of your keto constipation. Some of our Dairy Free Keto recipes may be found on our food blog, as well as a full dairy-free meal planner on The Curve.

5. A lack of physical activity

Simply said, physical exercise stimulates the big intestine, which speeds up the digesting process. The body has less time to absorb all of the stool’s moisture the faster it passes through the colon, making it simpler to pass.

Even something as basic as a post-meal “digestion walk” can help with regularity.

6. Inadequate Fat

The simplest explanation for your digestive problems is that you aren’t eating enough high-fat foods. The ketogenic diet is a significant departure from the Standard American Diet, and we understand how difficult it is to accept the high-fat concept, but you’ll be pleased you did.

Bile is a fat-breaking substance produced by your body. It also acts as a colon lubricant. As a result, the more fat you consume, the faster your body will transport waste down your digestive tract.

This is why we usually recommend starting with a small amount of MCT oil in your bulletproof coffee in the morning. Caffeine, combined with the quick absorption of MCT lipids, can cause you to race to the restroom.

Fat should also be included in meals to provide energy, satiety, and flavor. Meat, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, and oils are all high in fat. Here are a few of our personal favorites: 

  • Butter
  • Ghee
  • Olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, and other cooking oils 
  • Tallow made from beef 
  • Lard 
  • MCT oil is a type of fatty acid that is (great for smoothies and fat bombs)
  • cream with a lot of fat

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Not all cooking oils are healthy, so read our Guide to Healthy Cooking Oils to see which ones are best for you.

On a keto diet, what helps with constipation?

Let’s take a look at five ways to manage keto constipation now that you know what causes it.

  1. Increase fat consumption, particularly fast-digesting fats such as MCT oil and coconut oil.
  2. Magnesium is a good supplement.
  3. To engage the bowels, exercise regularly or go for a light walk after meals.
  4. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and avoid consuming too much alcohol, which will have the opposite effect. Caffeine can also speed up the process.
  5. Allow your body to acclimate to the new fiber levels in your diet. Your body will need time to adjust to not having all of the grains and cereals in your bowels.

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What is the definition of a natural laxative?

You might be able to move things forward more rapidly in a natural way in a few ways. For people suffering with keto constipation, here are some natural laxative options:

  1. Coffee: Stimulates the muscles in your colon, possibly acting as a natural laxative. 
  2. Add a spoonful of MCT oil or coconut oil to your meals.
  3. Magnesium Citrate: Causes a bowel movement by increasing the amount of water in the digestive tract.
  4. Sugar Alcohols: Many sugar replacements, such as sugar alcohols, might induce gastrointestinal problems in persons who aren’t used to them. Look for substances that are difficult for the intestines to absorb, such as sorbitol, erythritol, maltitol, or xylitol. As a result, they frequently make it to the large intestine without being thoroughly digested. They have a laxative effect at this point. (Learn why maltitol isn’t a keto friendly sugar.)

Do you defecate less when you’re on a keto diet?

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Diarrhea on the Keto Diet

Unfortunately, diarrhea is one of the many unpleasant issues that can arise as a result of your new low-carb, high-fat lifestyle. All of the keto constipation solutions could be to blame for people who are suffering diarrhea while on the diet.

Diarrhea can be caused by too much fat (particularly MCT oil), too much caffeine, and too much magnesium. Check read our guide on how to avoid and treat diarrhoea on the Keto diet!

Summary of Keto Constipation

  1. New keto dieters may have constipation, but after the body adjusts to the higher fiber and fat levels, the issue should resolve itself.
  2. Ketosis does not cause constipation.
  3. Keto Constipation Causes
  4. What Does Keto Do for Constipation?
  5. Laxatives made from natural ingredients
  6. Do you defecate less when you’re on a keto diet?
  7. Diarrhea on the Keto Diet: What to Do

Have you ever had a case of keto constipation? How did you manage to prevent it? Please let us know in the comments section below!

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Sticking with the Keto diet as a healthy way to lose weight is a good thing. However, for a lot of people, the diet can become uncomfortable. Constipation used to be a common side effect of the keto diet, but it is now possible to avoid and even prevent this problem. This article will discuss what causes constipation and how you can prevent it.. Read more about how to stop procrastinating life and let us know what you think.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • keto constipation
  • keto constipation relief
  • keto constipation weight gain
  • keto smoothie for constipation
  • keto bloating and constipation
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