The Keto diet is a rising and trending diet followed by many people around the world. Primarily meant for weight loss, a ketogenic diet aims at restricting carbohydrates from the diet and promotes moderate consumption of protein and rich consumption of “healthy” fats.
There are many advantages of a keto diet, but the literal fact is that every coin has two sides, even a ketogenic diet comes with some drawbacks that need to be focused on. Upon starting a keto diet, what you can experience is a kind of keto flu which refers to certain symptoms you can experience due to a sudden shift in your dietary practice.
Apart from symptoms, one of the least talked about outcomes of a keto diet can be bowel problems. Since the diet is low in carbs and high in fats, you might suffer from Keto diarrhea.
What is Keto Diarrhea?
Diarrhea on a ketogenic diet is what exactly ‘Keto Diarrhea’ is. It could range from observing looser or more frequent bowel motions to full-on diarrhea, which is typically characterized by having three or more loose, watery bowel movements per day.
This is basically because a keto diet limits your intake of fiber which disturbs digestion and can cause constipation.
The most common causes of diarrhea are certain viruses or bacteria, but food sensitivities, long-term gut issues (including IBD), or bacterial imbalances in the stomach can also be the cause of diarrhea. Many of these factors are directly associated with Keto Diarrhea as well.
Causes of Keto Diarrhea
Keto diarrhea is not a common problem faced by everyone following a keto diet but if people do, it might be for the following common reasons:
When we shift to a new diet, in this case, a keto diet, it is likely to experience problems adapting to some new foods or their taste. And some of them might also be sensitive to our bodies.
This food intolerance or insensitivity might result in GI problems, which might irritate your gut even more. In such a case, it is best to not consume that particular food.
More fat, difficult digestion
In general, the body takes a little longer to process fat. You suddenly eat a lot more avocado, nuts, seeds, meat, olive oil, and other fats than usual when you follow a high-fat diet like the ketogenic diet, which can cause gastrointestinal problems.
Diarrhea can be one of the outcomes when you move to this high-fat diet. It is important to observe how your body is processing fat. If it’s a consistent no-no for our metabolism, that might be a sign for you to stop right then and there.
Sudden shifts in the gut microbiota
When you change your diet, your gut which is a predominant home to many essential bacteria, yeasts, and other microbes, is affected. The same happens in a keto diet.
The results are frequently favorable, though. Among other gastrointestinal problems, carbohydrate restriction may be a successful treatment for IBS and chronic diarrhea, but it is not the same for everyone.
Since everybody and every gut is different, a shift in the gut microbiome might bring about negative effects as well.
Natural remedies for Keto Diarrhea
It can be troublesome to live on a diet you are trying to adapt to and then have health issues like diarrhea, but as troublesome, as the problem is, as easy the remedies are.
There are many natural and dietary ways by which you can prevent or cure keto diarrhea. Here is a quick list you can resort to:
Choose high-fiber foods.
Yes, it’s tough to consume regular fiber in your diet while it’s a keto diet, but you can include the following high-fiber, keto-friendly foods – nonstarchy vegetables, like broccoli, collard greens, etc., fat sources like avocado, and nuts like almonds.
Diarrhea in itself means a lot of water and fluid loss. The best way to compensate for it is to consume as much water as you can in optimum amounts and also consume additional fluids like fruit juices.
Additionally, you can also consume foods rich in keto electrolytes which would help in maintaining the fluid balance in the body and prevent dehydration.
Probiotics are basically supplements that can help reduce inflammation, maintain gut balance, and prevent diarrheal problems. Fermented food might also help a lot here.
Keto diarrhea isn’t a very life-threatening or long-term problem if you are on a keto diet. However, you might want to check with your healthcare provider if it is persistent for a long time and cause you health problems.