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August 16, 2018

Starting your ketogenic diet journey can cause your digestive tract to do some pretty weird things. As your body adjusts to this new way of eating, prepare to deal with some changes to your digestion – including stomach upset, diarrhea, and constipation.

Digestive Changes on Keto

Sure, it’s not fun to talk about, but it’s also important to know that digestive issues are common when starting a keto diet. Most importantly, they do not persist for extended periods of time. Typically starting as soon as you enter ketosis, digestive upset isn’t pleasant to deal with but can be lessened or avoided altogether.

Diarrhea

Gross, right? While not a pretty subject, diarrhea in the first few days of ketosis is a really common problem. There are several theories for why diarrhea kicks off a low-carb, high-fat diet – including a die-off of candida yeast, electrolyte imbalance, and the body’s natural response to the presence of ketones.

Regardless why you’re suddenly running to the bathroom more often than normal, it’s possible to reduce your symptoms or make this time a little less uncomfortable. Implementing the following changes can help to get you back on track quickly.

  • Increase your electrolyte consumption
  • Add fermented foods to your diet
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Increase your fiber intake
  • If you’re taking MCT Oil, stop for a while
  • Cut out artificial sweeteners

Stomach Pain / Gas

If you’re experiencing stomach pain, excess gas, or cramping, the likely culprit is dehydration. The very process of being in ketosis requires the body to use more water than normal in order to convert fat into energy. Dehydration is a common concern on a keto diet, which is why drinking plenty of water is a rule we hear over and over again. Additionally, some of the foods used in a ketogenic diet can cause stomach upset and discomfort.

Similar to the recommendations listed above for easing diarrhea, removing artificial sweeteners, drinking plenty of water, and adding fermented foods to your diet can help stomach upset and gas. You can also try taking a keto-approved probiotic supplement and, possibly, adding more fats to your diet.

Constipation

You’ve given up most carbohydrates and, with them, a good bit of the fiber you used to consume. With that said, it’s clear to see why you might be having trouble going to the bathroom. Fiber moves through the digestive tract and keeps all the waste moving along with it. If you’re having trouble with constipation, you’ll want to add more high fiber foods to your diet – like spinach, kale, high fiber berries, and nuts – and drink plenty of water.

With these helpful tips, your digestive tract might find it easier to navigate the first few days of ketosis. Most importantly, take it easy and don’t stress too much. This strange period of adjustment will pass and your body will get used to functioning in ketosis soon.


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