Keto constipation is a side effect that may affect a person at the start of the ketogenic diet, but it disappears as soon as the body adapts to breaking down fats.
The ketogenic diet remains one of the most popular diets in the United States.
Because most clinical evidence shows that it may help you lose weight and improve your health, for example, it helps increase your energy levels and has many other benefits.
But what about keto and constipation? What is keto constipation? What is the treatment for constipation on the keto diet?
Did you know?
The causes of constipation can be common and varied, but whether it is related to the keto diet or other diets, your diet plays a large role in the occurrence of constipation.
Not knowing about keto-friendly foods and failing to properly plan the ketogenic diet can lead to a nutritional imbalance and thus indigestion, all of which leads to constipation.
What Is Constipation?
It is difficult to define precisely what constipation is because bowel habits vary from person to person. But we can say that constipation is a common disorder that affects the digestive system.
There is a common misconception which is that not passing stools daily is considered constipation. But in fact, constipation is defined as follows: Passing stools less than three times a week, with hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass.
Constipation generally occurs when you have difficulty passing stools in addition to infrequent bowel movements.
* Common symptoms of constipation on the keto diet include:
- Abdominal pain and discomfort.
- Stomach Cramps.
- Flatulence (stomach gas).
- Difficulty passing gas.
- Haemorrhoids with chronic constipation.
- Stool hardness.
- Sometimes blood in the stool.
- Bleeding. (in some difficult cases)
Note: if you have these symptoms, you are likely suffering from constipation.
Keep in mind that these symptoms are broad-based to determine the cause. (which means that they can be a sign of many health problems whether they are related to the digestive system or metabolism)
How common or prevalent is constipation on a keto diet?
According to some reliable studies, the prevalence of constipation on a low-carb ketogenic diet can be around 50%.
But don’t worry, many doctors agree that constipation is usually mild and you can recover from it over time, or you can easily treat it with some home remedies without the need for a prescription.
Does The Keto Diet Cause Constipation?
At the start of the keto diet, you may feel some symptoms of the keto flu. Usually because your body switches from burning carbohydrates to burning fat, in addition to losing part of the water in the body through urine, you may feel some headaches, muscle cramps, or a feeling of memory disruption.
But don’t worry, these symptoms quickly disappear once the body adapts to using fats as an energy source instead of carbohydrates.
You should also know that these symptoms are among the signs that your body has entered a state of ketosis. And this (symptoms) may not happen to all people, and if it occurs, its duration varies from person to person.
Unfortunately, many people who follow the keto diet experience constipation. But you can get rid of it permanently by following some tips.
There is no doubt that we cannot solve any problem without knowing the causes, so read on to the end to find out what causes constipation on the keto diet.
The most common cause of keto constipation
In your opinion, if the keto diet is supposed to improve your health, what makes your digestive system react to the way you eat high-fat and low-carb foods? What is the relationship between the keto diet and constipation?
* Here are some of the main reasons you may suffer from keto constipation:
Low carbohydrate intake – Keto and constipation
Although our bodies are designed to digest three nutrients: carbohydrates, fats and protein, a sudden and rapid reduction in carbohydrates make the digestive system exhausted.
Many ketogenic nutritionists recommend a gradual transition to the ketogenic diet.
and there’s no doubt that a sudden change in a person’s diet may cause many digestive disorders such as constipation on the keto diet.
It should be noted that the time it takes for the body to adapt to ketosis varies from one body to another, as some people may only need a few days, however, others may take up to a few weeks.
2. Not eating enough fiber – Keto and constipation
Know that the keto diet only allows you to eat about 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, which makes it imperative for you to forgo many fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber.
As this dietary fiber has an important role in absorbing water and increasing the volume of stool, which facilitates its excretion from the intestine.
3. Decreased Food Intake
The keto diet is known to suppress the appetite, which is a good thing when your goal is to lose weight, but unfortunately, it can cause keto constipation.
* A high-fat diet reduces your appetite: The reason for this is:
- Saturated fat. (which is recommended for use on the keto diet)
- Entering into a state of ketosis.
- Change in blood sugar levels.
- Keto flu. (One of the most common side effects of the keto diet, which causes the following symptoms: headache, fatigue, fatigue, muscle cramps, fatigue, lack of concentration, nausea, bloating, and constipation)
Dehydration is one of the most important causes of constipation in the keto diet, especially in the beginning stage, as the keto diet leads to an increase in the passage of water, and also leads to the loss of some important Electrolytes, such as sodium and magnesium. (Water helps the stool not to dry out, which facilitates bowel movement)
5. Lack of Physical Activity
Exercise, such as walking, helps increase bowel movement.
* Other reasons can cause constipation
- Take certain types of medications, such as codeine and anti-depressants.
- Low thyroid hormones.
- Laziness and lethargy.
- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
- Cow Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA).
All of this can cause constipation, with or without the keto diet. However, be aware that the appearance of one of these symptoms while following the keto diet can increase the incidence of “keto constipation.”
What Is The Treatment For Keto Constipation?
Note: If you are new to the keto diet, you may experience keto constipation for a period ranging from a few days to a few weeks.
* Try these 11 simple steps to treat keto constipation
1. Drink plenty of water to regulate bowel movements and to avoid dehydration.
2. Do moderate exercise for about 150 minutes each week with a goal of 30 minutes a day at least five times a week. Try walking, swimming, or biking.
3. Eat foods high in fiber and low in carbs, such as coconut flour, almonds, berries, celery stalks, avocados, broccoli, peanut butter and flaxseed.
4.Take a magnesium supplement, because it works to regulate bowel movement like magnesium citrate.
5. If you feel the need to have a bowel movement, do not delay. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to pass a stool.
6. Limit drinking alcoholic beverages and caffeine because they cause dehydration.
7. Eat some chia seeds or flax seeds.
8. add probiotics to your diet, such as those found in yoghurt.
9. Abdominal Self-Massage – to move the bowels.
10. Be sure to consume omega-3 oil because it softens the intestines and relieves constipation, so be sure to eat foods containing omega-3, such as salmon and tuna.
11. Make sure to chew your food properly.
Prevention Of Keto Constipation
We always say that “prevention is better than cure”, so by following the previous tips, you can prevent keto constipation easily, just make sure you drink plenty of water, get regular exercise, eat enough fiber and reduce your carbohydrate intake.
* Some foods and products can help you control constipation while following a low-carb diet, such as:
- Mineral water rich in magnesium. (Magnesium relaxes the intestine and draws water into it, which helps relieve constipation)
- Keto-friendly foods for constipation like:
- Avocado. (An essential ingredient that boosts the fiber content)
- Spinach, kale, peanut butter and other high-fiber ingredients.
- Add MCT oil to your diet (triglyceride oil), it helps fight intestinal infections.
Common questions for keto constipation:
1. Is keto constipation a common symptom?
Yes, it is a common symptom of the keto diet, but it can be easily overcome by consuming high-fiber supplements, in addition to eating green vegetables that are rich in fiber, and drinking more water and keto-friendly drinks.
2. Does keto constipation lead to quitting the low-carb diet if continued for too long?
Unfortunately yes, especially if all treatment methods, whether natural or medical, fail, as the person in this case is obligated not to follow the keto diet in order to preserve his health.
Final recommendations: keto and constipation
The keto diet limits your carbohydrate intake, which means that the amount of fiber you eat on this diet will be minimal. This is the most likely cause of constipation on the keto diet.
We recommend that you increase your fiber intake through low-carb plant foods or through supplements. Either way, drinking water and staying active will also help treat keto constipation.
If you’ve tried everything and still have a problem with constipation, you may need to seek help from a doctor to prevent the risk of complications from constipation. Especially if constipation continues for more than a week.