Diarrhea On Keto? [Find Out Why And How To Overcome It]

  • Author: Kara
  • Date: August 21, 2023
  • Time to Read: 8 min.
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Diarrhea can be an uncomfortable and embarrassing symptom, especially when it occurs on the keto diet. But you’re not alone – many people have experienced this issue while following a low-carb/high-fat lifestyle. In this article, we will explore why diarrhea happens on the keto diet and what steps can be taken to overcome it.

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You don’t need to suffer in silence any longer; let’s take a closer look at why diarrhea happens on the keto diet and how to overcome it once and for all!

Causes Of Diarrhea On Keto

Going on a ketogenic diet can produce some significant changes in your body, but it’s not always smooth sailing.

Diarrhea is one of the most common side effects of embarking on a high fat, low carb eating plan.

But why does diarrhea occur and how can you reduce its frequency?

Let’s take a look at what could be causing this uncomfortable symptom.

Artificial Sweeteners

One possible cause of keto-related diarrhea is artificial sweeteners like sucralose or aspartame. These sweeteners are often found in “diet” versions of food products that have been marketed as being appropriate for people following a ketogenic diet.

Unfortunately, these artificial sweeteners can wreak havoc with the digestive system leading to loose stools and other gastrointestinal issues.

To avoid this problem, double check labels before purchasing any processed foods and opt for natural sugar substitutes when available.

For more on keto sweetners and the ones to avoid, check out our article which will take you through this.

Body Adjusting

Additionally, if you’ve just started the keto diet then there may be an adjustment period while your body gets used to the new way of eating.

During this transition phase, increased water intake and probiotic supplements may help boost beneficial bacteria levels in the gut which will aid digestion and minimize symptoms such as diarrhea.

In short, taking care to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients and drinking plenty of fluids can go a long way towards addressing problems related to going on a ketogenic diet.

Dietary Considerations For Diarrhea On Keto

Diarrhea is an unpleasant experience, and if you’re on the keto diet, it can be a frustrating one.

If you’ve been experiencing diarrhea while following a low-carb, high-fat eating plan, there are some dietary changes that may help to reduce its frequency or severity.

increasing your fat intake

First, increasing your fat intake can help give your body more of the energy it needs without straining its digestive system as much.

This means swapping out high-fiber carbs for healthy fats like nuts and seeds, avocado oil and coconut flour.

You should also aim for fewer processed foods with added sugar or preservatives which can contribute to gastrointestinal distress.

upping your fiber intake

Second, upping your fiber intake but at a slower rate than usual is another option when trying to prevent diarrhea on the keto diet.

Eating more leafy greens along with other non-starchy vegetables can provide beneficial nutrients in addition to fiber.

However, keep portions moderate so they don’t strain your stomach too much at once.

Additionally, make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support regularity.

Staying well hydrated will not only ease digestion but also aid in flushing toxins from the body which could be exacerbating symptoms of GI upset.

By incorporating these simple modifications into your daily routine, you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of being on a keto diet without having to worry about frequent bouts of diarrhea.

What To Eat And Avoid

It’s important to understand what foods you should eat and avoid if you’re experiencing diarrhea on the keto diet in order to help reduce or eliminate it.

To start, sugar alcohols can cause digestive troubles like diarrhea, so they should be avoided while eating a low-carbohydrate diet.

Additionally, high fat diets have been known to cause loose stools when not balanced with adequate amounts of fatty acids from healthy sources like avocados and olive oil.

Lastly, an electrolyte imbalance is often responsible for diarrhea; this can occur as a result of dehydration caused by carbohydrate restriction.

By following these tips and avoiding certain key offenders mentioned above – sugar alcohols, inadequate dietary fat consumption, and electrolyte imbalances -you’ll be able to successfully manage any diarrheal symptoms brought on by the ketogenic diet without having to make drastic changes in your lifestyle or nutrition plan.

Home Remedies For Diarrhea On Keto

If you already have diarrhea on keto, while it can be uncomfortable, there are some things you can do to get back on track and feel better in no time.

drink plenty of fluids

If you’re experiencing diarrhea on a ketogenic diet, your first step should be drinking plenty of fluids, preferably bone broth or electrolyte drinks like Gatorade Zero Sugar.

Bone broth contains minerals that are beneficial for gut health, helping reduce inflammation and improve digestion.

magnesium citrate supplements

You may also consider taking magnesium citrate supplements as they have been found to help alleviate symptoms of diarrhea due to their laxative properties.

increase dietary fiber

The same goes for dietary fiber; many sources such as psyllium husk powder contain soluble fiber which helps absorb water in the intestines and form softer stools.


Additionally, make sure you’re getting enough electrolytes through either food or supplementing with salt tablets if needed.

Everyone experiences gastrointestinal issues differently so what works best for you may not work well for others.

It’s important to pay attention to your body and try different home remedies until you find something that works best for you.

With these tips in mind, hopefully soon enough the discomfort will disappear and your digestive system will begin functioning normally.

Supplements For Diarrhea On Keto

Fortunately, there are several supplements you can take to help reduce your symptoms.

If you’re suffering from chronic diarrhea, probiotic foods may do wonders for your digestive system.

Probiotics contain healthy bacteria which promote better digestion and balance out intestinal flora.

Fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut or kimchi also work well in this situation and provide added vitamins and minerals.

Additionally, because electrolyte imbalances can contribute to loose stools, make sure that you up your intake of potassium, sodium and magnesium while on a ketogenic diet.

Taking an electrolyte supplement ensures that your body stays balanced during a time of transition.

Supplements like these have helped countless individuals maintain their health and wellness while sticking with their keto journey.

Medications For Diarrhea On Keto

Medications can be a helpful tool in managing diarrhea on keto. While they won’t cure the digestive issues associated with this dietary pattern, they may provide temporary relief from uncomfortable symptoms while you work to figure out what’s behind your watery stools.

There are several medications that could help reduce extra bile and other substances that contribute to diarrhea.

Loperamide is an over-the-counter drug commonly prescribed for treating short-term diarrhea and reducing stool frequency. It works by slowing down muscle contractions of the large intestine so fewer materials pass through at once.

Other drugs like diphenoxylate-atropine (Lomotil) or cholestyramine (Questran) may also be recommended if loperamide isn’t suitable.

It’s important to note that these medications should only be used as directed since long-term use can have serious side effects.

If you’re using them frequently it might indicate that there is an underlying issue causing your diarrhea and further investigation into possible causes may be necessary.

Talk to your healthcare provider about medication options – but remember, diet changes are usually more effective in resolving chronic diarrheal conditions than any type of drug therapy alone.

Preventing Future Occurrences Of Diarrhea On Keto

To prevent future occurrences of diarrhea on keto, there are several steps you can take. First and foremost, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day – dehydration is a common cause of diarrhea.

Secondly, consider adding a fiber supplement to your diet.

Prebiotic fibers like psyllium husk or inulin are great for helping with digestion and promoting regularity.

You also want to focus on getting enough soluble and insoluble fiber from whole food sources.

Soluble fiber helps slow down the absorption of nutrients in the gut, which can help reduce diarrhea symptoms. Insoluble fibers add bulk to stool and help keep things moving along smoothly through your digestive tract.

Some good sources include:

  • Fruits: Berries
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts

Finally, it’s important to pay attention to what foods trigger any digestive distress you experience and avoid them if possible.

Keeping track of what you eat in a food journal may be helpful as well so that you can identify any problem areas quickly and adjust accordingly.

Potential Risks And Complications

The ketogenic diet is typically well tolerated, but it can have risks and complications if not done correctly.

One potential risk of a low carbohydrate diet is the lack of fiber that would normally be found in vegetables.

A poorly formulated keto diet may lead to gastrointestinal distress due to its restrictive nature. This could include nausea, constipation or diarrhea.

In order to avoid these issues, it’s important to ensure your diet contains adequate amounts of all macronutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrates) as well as essential vitamins and minerals.

Additionally, supplements like MCT oil can provide you with healthy fats when transitioning onto a ketogenic lifestyle and support digestive health over time.

When To See A Doctor

When it comes to digestive health, there are certain signs that should not be ignored. If you experience persistent abdominal discomfort or diarrhea while on the keto diet, this could be a sign of something more serious and it is important to seek professional medical help as soon as possible.

In some cases, symptoms may indicate an imbalance in electrolyte supplies which can accompany rapid weight loss.

If other nutritional deficiencies such as inadequate protein intake or dehydration are present, these need to be addressed too.

Seek medical advice if your symptoms don’t improve with home remedies like increasing fluid intake and reducing carbohydrate consumption.

Be sure to talk to your doctor about any supplements you might consider taking and make sure they know what dietary changes you have made before coming in for an appointment.

Don’t delay seeking medical attention because ignoring potential issues can lead to long-term damage to your overall health.

Wrapping Up: Diarrhea On Keto

The ketogenic diet can be an effective way to lose weight and improve overall health, but it may come with some unpleasant side effects. Diarrhea is one of the most common problems people experience when following a low-carb, high-fat diet.

To avoid diarrhea on keto, you need to pay attention to your dietary choices and supplement intake. Eating more fiber-rich foods, avoiding certain trigger foods, using natural remedies like probiotics or activated charcoal, and taking supplements such as electrolytes can all help reduce symptoms of diarrhea.

Additionally, making lifestyle changes that benefit your gut health—such as getting enough sleep and reducing stress levels—can also go a long way in preventing future occurrences of diarrhea on keto. If you’re still experiencing chronic diarrhea despite trying these strategies, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice from your doctor.

With the right approach and expert guidance, you can take control over this distressing symptom and get back on track with your healthy eating plan.

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