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Keto Diarrhea
What to Do If You’ve Got It

diarreah on keto

Is the low-carb lifestyle keeping you far closer to your bathroom than you’d like? Well, keto diet diarrhea is a common side effect as your body transitions to its new low carb intake. There could be many causes of diarrhea on keto, so it’s important to know the reasons why you are experiencing it and the proper steps to take to mitigate the, let’s say, “unpleasant” situation.

The good news is we found most symptoms of a “loose bowel” improve in about a week. So we've put this article together to cover:

  • ​The underlying causes of keto diarrhea
  • ​How to identify what’s behind your case
  • ​Which foods will help stop your symptoms
  • ​What to do if changing your ​meals isn’t enough

Can Ketosis Cause Diarrhea?

It’s kind of a yes and no answer. Technically, ketosis isn’t the cause of diarrhea. But it is still an unfortunate bowel problem that newcomers to keto suffer from. Let me explain a bit more.

Ketosis is the metabolic state of your body when energy is sourced from ketone bodies in the blood. 

man having stomache

These are released by breaking down stored fat deposits, leading to the positive weight loss. The state itself doesn’t cause any digestive issues. But getting to this metabolic ketosis can often involve making dietary mistakes. And it is these mistakes that can lead to the situation where you just don’t want to be too far away from a vacant toilet.

In many ways, it’s so much more disrupting than constipation, but the good news is that there are simple explanations. The errors you may be making with your food intake can be easily solved, and your overactive bowels can be calmed down in a matter of days.

First, let’s make sure you fully understand the causes.

What's the Reason Behind It?

ideas on a blackboard

Bile is produced in the liver and is your body’s natural way of breaking down fats. So, naturally, an increased fat intake will force your body to increase its bile output. The issue with this is that bile is also a lubricant for the colon. 

And since your colon is lubricated, well, you get the picture..

The reason the lifestyle gives you diarrhea is that your body is adjusting to the extremely high fat intake by producing a fluid that lubricates your colon.

How to Stop Diarrhea When on Keto

To stop diarrhea while on a keto diet you have to cut back on any added fats in your meals for the time being. Sorry, but that means cutting back on butter (sigh), coconut oil, and most creams.  

a hand tossing a toilet paper

If you are gorging on medium-chain triglycerides (MCT oil), that should be reigned in too. Instead, focus on getting most of your fats from naturally fatty foods and slowly building from there. Your body will adjust.

Does Ketosis Make You Poop More?

restroom sign

While your body is in ketosis, you won’t poop more. Quite the opposite is going to be the case, at least in the mid to long term.

I know this isn’t exactly a great topic for your next date, but if you’re planning to do keto, it’s essential you understand what’s ahead.

Without going into the details of what your food intake will look like (you can get an idea in our keto meal plans), it’s enough to say that you will be eating less of a volume. You will also be eating more meat, dairy products, and fish, which are all quite rich in fat.

The great thing is that evolution has rewarded us with a digestive system that is very efficient at extracting all the available nutrients, leaving very little waste behind. So, with less volume and less waste, you will end up with fewer trips to the toilet for number twos.

However, your bowels can take about a week to entirely remove all the “backlog” from before you start the diet. So don’t be concerned if you’re still on the same regular schedule as before. Your body will adapt quickly, and once you’ve achieved ketosis, you will be pooping a lot less.

Other Possible Causes of Diarrhea While on Keto:

man aching stomach because of too much foods

Increased bile from fats is not the only potential cause of a loose stool. Other, less common causes we found were:

  • A Low-Carb High-Protein Diet: The goal of the lifestyle is to be low-carb, high-fat, and moderate protein. Many new dieters make the mistake of having a routine too high in protein. High protein intake is an issue usually due to lack of fiber, low-carb/high-protein snack foods, over-consumption of dairy products or some combination of thereof. What to do: Keep protein below 20% of your daily intake and add healthy fats from food.
  • You Can’t Digest Certain Foods: Ever had a kale shake only for it to run right through you? If your stool is coming out a particular color (yellow or green usually), it could be because you can’t digest certain foods. Anything that comes right through you is because your body is saying “no!”. A sure-fire sign is when it comes out in whole chunks (sorry for the visual). What to do: Avoid foods that run right through you until you figure out what your body can and cannot handle. Start slowly and build up from there.
  • Magnesium Overload: Electrolyte imbalance is a significant issue with the lifestyle. To mitigate this, most people supplement their meals, especially their magnesium intake. Unfortunately, too much magnesium can cause digestive problems. What to do: Stick to magnesium from your diet and cut back MG intake to around 3,000mg per day.

Dietary Remedies for Diarrhea While on Keto:

water and vegetables

OK, so now you know what’s causing your upset stomach. Now it’s time to do something about it. You can either choose to change your routine a bit or go for supplementation (we cover the one we like most down below). Here are a few things we found to work best for curing your loose stool:

  • ​Increase Your Fiber: High-fiber foods are tough to find on low-carb diets but there are few good ones. Try some husk powder and plenty of green veggies like broccoli.
  • Add Probiotics to Your ​Meals: Your gut needs a healthy dose of probiotics to stay balanced, so add some into your ​food on a regular basis. There are plenty of supplements to help you with this (we are getting there), but some foods with it naturally are sauerkraut and avocado.
  • Drink Plenty of Water: This isn’t a remedy per se, but when you are experiencing diarrhea you can get extremely dehydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids to stay healthy.

Are There Supplements That Help Prevent Diarrhea?

If you’re reading this article, you are probably thinking one thing: “I want this to stop and never come back again.”

If you are looking for fast relief, a keto diarrhea supplement is an answer. They provide the perfect balance of quick relief and balanced prevention. Most dietary supplements are one-size-fits-all, but these are designed specifically for people like you who need the perfect balance of enzymes, probiotics, and magnesium.

The ​most reliable one ​that we have been using for a while ​is without a doubt Real-Zymes Ket​o.

It’s the first supplement formulated especially for people on the keto diet who need help with digestion. The mix of all-natural enzymes is designed to optimize digestion, optimize nutrition, and promote regularity. The result is better energy, less bloating, and fewer digestive issues.

If you make sure to follow the guidelines of lifestyle properly and give your body time to adjust, your symptoms will go away. But if you want faster relief and better prevention, or, if your symptoms aren’t going away naturally, a supplement is probably your best option.