What is Keto Diarrhea?

Following a keto-diet may have lots of benefits. A well-formulated ketogenic diet may do wonders if done right, and it is also a key component for reversing diabetes. The keto diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet and fewer fibers, leading to constipation or diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Regrettably, one complicated issue that could pop up along with your new low-carb, high-fat lifestyle is diarrhea. However, when done right, diarrhea due to keto-diet may not be a significant problem. Let's understand the reasons behind keto diarrhea and how to fix it.

Keto diet, with its low-carb, high-fat plan works wonders for many. It sends your body into ketosis and sheds those stubborn fats. For others, adjusting to the ketogenic diet often results in diarrhea. Not everyone experiences this, but for those who do, the change is not pleasant at all. If you identify the reason for your keto-diet diarrhea, you could rectify it and walk along with your healthier lifestyle.1. 

See: Keto diet benefits for weight loss, diabetes & PCOS

Keto diet diarrhea causes

Some reasons behind the keto diet and diarrhea include :

1. Longer time for fat digestion. You shift from your usual dose of carbs to a higher amount of fats in your keto diet. This shift can disrupt your digestive system giving you diarrhea, a major side effect of ketogenic diets. Your body may need at least two weeks to settle into this new diet.

2. Artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols are not easy to digest. These are part of everyone's keto diet and are generally considered safe as they are low-carb. But these sugary drinks may cause bloating and diarrhea when consumed in excess.

3. Ketogenic diet disrupts the gut microbiome. A change from your regular diet to a ketogenic diet will impact your gastrointestinal system's normal balance. The imbalance is due to the limited amount of fatty acids in your keto-diets, which makes the food for your gut microbiome to ensure your digestive system's healthy functioning. It takes the gut microbiome at least a few weeks to adjust to the new system, and during adjusting, it may cause nausea and fatigue during the process.2.

4. Bile formation. Fats take longer time to digest, and bile juice produced from your liver helps break down fats. With more fats to break down, your body makes more bile. Bile juice also helps lubricate the colon, which may cause diarrhea. It is advisable to cut down added fats like butter, coconut oil, and creams from your keto-diet. Instead, you can concentrate on getting fats from foods like meat and nuts.5.

5. Electrolyte imbalance due to excessive magnesium intake can cause digestive issues. The low-carb eating plan ultimately adds diets that are rich essential vitamins, minerals, and other supplements. The program results in an individual taking an excessive amount of magnesium and other vitamins and minerals in their food, which results in digestive issues like diarrhea. Reducing magnesium in your diet can help balance the process.

6. Intolerance to specific foods is also a cause of diarrhea. Check the color and consistency of your stool. Green or yellow stool, or whole chunks in it, means your body is not tolerating something. Keep track of when your body is reacting differently to particular foods.6.

7. Keto Flu Side Effects: Diarrhea can occur with other side effects such as nausea, bloating, headaches, fatigue, and decreased appetite in a phenomenon called the "keto influenza ." In one study, 40 percent of participants experienced keto nausea sooner or later. However, the advantages far outweighed temporary loose stools and keto influenza symptoms.

These signs can subside in one or two weeks if you continue using a ketogenic diet, replenish your electrolytes, and avoid strenuous activity. Look after your entire body, and your digestive system will thank you.

8. Lactose Intolerance: Many keto recipes use dairy as a crucial component to incorporate in fats. That is a big problem if you are lactose intolerant. Even if you haven't noticed significant issues before, boosting your dairy intake can discover a food allergy. Diarrhea is a significant symptom of lactose intolerance. If your keto diarrhea does not improve over time, you might want to find allergy testing or try an elimination diet.

9. Incorrect Macros: Keto is intended to be a low-carb, moderate protein, and high-fat diet. Nevertheless, many inexperienced keto dieters wind up eating moderate and high-protein fat instead. Without the appropriate macros, poop problems may emerge. If protein intake is greater than fat, this can't just cause diarrhea, but keep the body from entering ketosis. It's essential to be vigilant about taking a look at your ratios of carbohydrates, fat, and protein, particularly when beginning this eating plan, to prevent diarrhea.

10. Too Much Magnesium: Among the chief problems that new keto dieters experience is an electrolyte imbalance. Since the body flushes out stored water and adjusts to running from fats, it can eliminate plenty of electrolytes. To counteract this effect, most men and women take additional magnesium to refill their electrolyte supplies. But, magnesium increases stool frequency- the exact reverse of what diarrhea victims want. Take a rest from this supplement, sticking to the calcium in your diet, and see if your symptoms improve.


See: Break Keto Plateau & Keto Weight Loss Stall

Avoid & stop keto diarrhea

How to fix keto diarrhea? 

1.  Drink plenty of water: Irrespective of the fact if you are on a keto diet or not, you should drink plenty of water and stay hydrated anyways. It's even more essential to remain hydrated when you are suffering from keto flu diarrhea. Drinking plenty of water can help replenish the electrolytes and fluids lost from your body during diarrhea. 

2.  Include some low - carb fibers in your diet: Dietary fiber is necessary for digestion and for regular bowel movements. It will improve the consistency of your stool, thereby reducing the symptoms of diarrhea. Add certain leafy vegetables and other low-carb food to your meal to increase your daily fiber intake to avoid digestive issues like bloating, gas, or diarrhea. Do not munch on raw veggies, as they can aggravate your diarrhea symptoms.

3.  Microbiome Changes: Add probiotics to your meals. Probiotics are inherently good living bacteria and yeasts that help you improve your digestive system. It keeps your gut healthy. Too much bad bacteria and not enough good bacteria in the gut lead to an imbalance in GIT. Probiotic supplements in capsule form, or powder form sprinkled over your food, can balance the bacteria levels. Some other probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut, kefir, and cultured yogurt can also help regulate the gut-brain axis and reduce GIT's inflammation while balancing the microbiome.

Dietary changes influence gut bacteria composition. Beginning a keto meal program positively affects your microbiome, especially in the stomach and intestines. There is good news, however. One study discovered that keto increased gut microbiome diversity in the long term, after five to six months in people with acute imbalance. Usually, the greater diversity of gut microbes, the greater the digestion is.

4. Avoid consuming caffeine, as it can aggravate your diarrhoeal symptoms due to its laxative effects.6.

5. Taking digestive enzymes supplements may help your diarrhea and speed your digestive system's recovery to normal.

7. Lower your weight loss plans. Just aim for half your body weight in ounces.

8. Try consuming exogenous ketones while transitioning to a keto diet. It is helpful if you're just starting the diet due to its high mineral content.

9. Try adding bone broth into your diet to support the health of your intestines. If you think your protein intake is too high, go on for healthy foods like avocados and olive oil. Prevent Continuous Diarrhea on Keto

Add in bone broth to encourage the health of your intestines. Add more healthy fats such as olive or mackerel oil. Ensure you're getting enough probiotics, ideally on your diet, though supplements are also an alternative.

10. Medication for diarrhea will give temporary relief from diarrhea caused by a keto diet. Since the diet change needs much adjusting to, accompanying diarrhea, it will need more than short-term solutions. 

Making changes to your diet and following the steps mentioned above will help you out in the long term. However, if you are unsure what the cause for your diarrhea is, medication will help ease the situation. If the symptoms do not reduce even after a week, you should consult a doctor as it may not be connected to your keto diet. 

See: Fat Adapted Or Keto Adapted Basics

Avoid common keto diet mistakes

Common mistakes

There are three common mistakes made with a poorly-formulated low carbohydrate diet, leading to intestinal and stomach upset and nausea: too much protein, incorrect source of dietary fats, sugar alcohols, and more

A well-formulated ketogenic diet is an integral component of successful diabetes reversal. When done correctly, diarrhea isn't a common side effect of the nutritional plan. If it occurs, it's likely because of well-intentioned but erroneous food choices. But while sorting out this, you must stay hydrated and replenish your electrolytes.

There are many possible causes of diarrhea for an individual on a ketogenic diet. Contact your doctor if your diarrhea causes acute symptoms or lasts more than a week. You might need to take a better look at what you're eating.

1. Additional Keto Diet Poop Issues

Besides diarrhea, constipation is another frequent offender in regards to keto diet poop issues. At the root of this, fiber consumption is often to attribute. It is very common to have problems with a lack of fiber when switching to the keto diet in the SAD (Standard American Diet). 

2. Too much protein may result in diarrhea.

Bear in mind that a well-formulated ketogenic diet is a low carb, high fat, and moderate protein. When cutting carbohydrates, it may be tempting to boost your protein without increasing your fat, but the resultant high protein diet may result in diarrhea. It's necessary to maintain protein at about 10-20% of your daily energy demand and include 'good fat' for satiety.

3. Some oils can lead to diarrhea. Though a small amount of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fats are required from our daily diet, more is better. Our digestive systems have limited tolerance for seed and vegetable oils high in omega-6 fats. Early in our research, we discovered that consuming our patients a high-fat diet made with soybean, corn, safflower, or sunflower oils immediately made them feel nauseated and caused diarrhea. Most of this fat intake should come from monounsaturated and saturated resources like olive oil, coconut oil, lard, butter, cream, and high-fat milk.

4. Sugar-free drinks, candies, protein/diet bars: These can lead to diarrhea. Low carb and sugar-free foods frequently contain sugar alcohols to give them a sweet flavor while limiting table sugar or sucrose). Sugar alcohols have been known to cause gastrointestinal distress. They can also lead to diarrhea, nausea, and gas if consumed over a specific limit. Therefore, eating fewer products containing sugar alcohols may assist with your diarrhea.

See: How much protein on keto diet

References

1. Shilpa J, Mohan V. Ketogenic diets: Boon or bane?. Indian J Med Res. 2018;148(3):251-253. DOI:10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_1666_18

2. Gao J, Yin J, Xu K, Li T, Yin Y. What Is the Impact of Diet on Nutritional Diarrhea Associated with Gut Microbiota in Weaning Piglets: A System Review. Biomed Res Int. 2019;2019:6916189. Published 2019 Dec 26. DOI:10.1155/2019/6916189

3. Duchowny MS. Food for thought: the ketogenic diet and adverse effects in children. Epilepsy Curr. 2005;5(4):152-154. DOI:10.1111/j.1535-7511.2005.00044.x

4. Ang QY, Alexander M, Newman JC, et al. Ketogenic Diets Alter the Gut Microbiome Resulting in Decreased Intestinal Th17 Cells. Cell. 2020;181(6):1263-1275.e16. DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2020.04.027

5. Boyer JL. Bile formation and secretion. Compr Physiol. 2013;3(3):1035-1078. DOI:10.1002/cphy.c120027

6. Badillo R, Francis D. Diagnosis and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease. World J Gastrointest Pharmacol Ther. 2014;5(3):105-112. DOI:10.4292/wjgpt.v5.i3.105

7. Gupta L, Khandelwal D, Kalra S, Gupta P, Dutta D, Aggarwal S. Ketogenic diet in endocrine disorders: Current perspectives. J Postgrad Med. 2017;63(4):242-251. DOI:10.4103/jpgm.JPGM_16_17

8. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/keto-diarrhea#causes

See: Low Carb and Keto Chinese Food

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