Constipation is a common digestive disorder that can severely impact your quality of life. In most cases, constipation is caused by not eating enough fiber in your diet. However, if you’re eating a low-carb diet, your body will produce less fiber because most carbs are broken down and used as energy. So, if you have constipation, you need to make sure you’re eating enough fiber in your diet and increase your fiber intake.

Constipation is a really unpleasant health issue that can really interfere with your daily life. It doesn’t show up on any of your health checks, and doesn’t show up on any of your weight checks. But it can be really frustrating and all consuming when you have it.

Constipation on a low-carb diet: What to do if you have it

Updated 17. June 2021, based on a medical opinion from

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What is your primary health objective?

Have you seen an increase in constipation after starting a low-carb or keto diet? Or are you reluctant to attempt a low-carb diet because you’ve heard that constipation is a possible side effect?

If that’s the case, this article will teach you all you need to know about low-carb diets and constipation.

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What is your primary health objective?

What is the definition of constipation?

We must first define constipation before we can investigate the connection between low-carb diets and constipation.

Constipation is a discomforting reduction in bowel motions that disrupts everyday living. Constipation is described as having three or less bowel motions per week in medical literature. However, whether or if the decreased bathroom frequency is an issue is more essential than the numerical determination.

As a result, the difference between a normal reduction in stool frequency and pathological constipation must be distinguished.

Bloating, stomach pain, increased flatulence, bloody stools, and pushing or discomfort during bowel motions are all signs of atypical constipation. The lack of these symptoms is more likely due to a normal decrease in stool frequency than to constipation.

This is probably the most essential statement in the whole handbook: you are not constipated if you have reduced bowel movements but no other symptoms or changes.

Constipation is a frequent side effect of the keto diet.

According to some research, the incidence of constipation on a low-carb or keto diet may be as high as 50%. According to doctors who are acquainted with low-carb diets, the number is closer to 25%. The good news is that even physicians believe that constipation is generally minor and may be readily treated with home remedies and over-the-counter medications.

What causes constipation on the keto diet?

While there is no one scientifically established reason for constipation in those who follow a ketogenic diet, there are many hypotheses.

The first is to significantly reduce fiber consumption. While it is disputed if fiber is required for normal bowel movement, many people think that the body need time to adapt to the dramatic decrease in fiber. For example, constipation may occur if someone who consumed a lot of fiber from whole grains, fruits, and legumes suddenly stopped doing so. Of fact, some low-carb dieters may boost their fiber intake by substituting veggies for processed sugars and carbohydrates.

It’s important to remember that a low-carb diet doesn’t have to be low-fiber. Most individuals can obtain adequate fiber from above-ground veggies and seeds. Check out our guide to the best low-carb, high-fiber foods for additional information.

Constipation may also be caused by dehydration. Switching to a very low-carb diet is known to cause increased urination, as well as a loss of fluid and salt. Mild dehydration, sometimes accompanied by constipation, may result.

Variations in the body’s electrolyte balance, according to some, may contribute to changes in stool frequency.

Finally, low-carb diets frequently result in a natural calorie decrease.

When a low-carb diet is coupled with intermittent fasting, this calorie restriction becomes much more pronounced. When you eat less, you excrete less. This does not induce constipation in and of itself, but it may decrease the amount or frequency of stools.

On a keto diet, how to avoid or cure constipation

Here are our top six suggestions for preventing constipation on a low-carb or ketogenic diet:

  1. Maintain hydration: Because dehydration is a potential cause of constipation, sufficient fluid consumption may help prevent or cure constipation. This hasn’t been shown in well-controlled scientific studies, and it definitely hasn’t been proven in conjunction with a low-carb diet.

Many experts, however, feel that staying hydrated is crucial to avoiding constipation. How can you tell whether you’re getting enough water? You’re generally adequately hydrated if you pee at least four times a day and your urine is clear and not yellow. Keep in mind that not all liquids are created equal. Large quantities of caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and tea, may cause dehydration and salt loss.

  1. Take lots of salt: This problem, like fluid intake, has yet to be investigated in clinical trials, but the theory is that higher salt consumption may aid in the retention of water and the prevention of dehydration. When it comes to salt, how much is enough? This varies from person to person, but four to six grams of salt per day is a reasonable beginning point (or about 2.5 teaspoons per day). Read our salt scientific guide to learn more.
  2. Increase your fiber intake: Maintaining a sufficient fiber intake may be the most efficient way to avoid low-carb constipation. As much as possible, we suggest obtaining fiber from whole meals. Low-carb fiber may be found in vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Check out our low-carb veggie visual guide for additional information.

When it comes to fiber, how much is enough? Dietary sources should provide 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men per day, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. However, they are population estimates and may not be suitable for individuals on a low-carb diet or suffering from constipation. This may be used as a starting point and then tweaked as needed.

Combine one avocado, one cup of broccoli, and ten asparagus roots to obtain 25 grams of fiber. Add half a cup of macadamia nuts and two teaspoons of chia seeds to make 38 grams. Check out our low-carb, high-fiber foods guide for additional high-fiber options. If you still need additional fiber, try adding insoluble fiber like B. Psyllium husks are also beneficial. The typical starting dosage of psyllium husk is 5 grams per day, which may be increased to 10 grams if necessary.

  1. Magnesium supplements are a well-known laxative and often suggested supplement. Magnesium at dosages of 200-400 mg is usually well tolerated. Higher dosages, on the other hand, may produce loose stools or diarrhea. This may be a beneficial impact for people who suffer from constipation. Start with 600 mg and gradually up to 1000 mg per day if necessary (not to exceed 2000 mg).
  2. Magnesium supplements are a well-known laxative and often suggested supplement. Magnesium at dosages of 200-400 mg is usually well tolerated. Higher dosages, on the other hand, may produce loose stools or diarrhea. This may be a beneficial impact for people who suffer from constipation. Start with 600 mg and gradually up to 1000 mg per day if necessary (not to exceed 2000 mg).

    Keep in mind that a tablespoon of butter has 115 calories. If you consume several tablespoons each day, the calories may soon mount up.

  3. Engage in physical activity: Regular exercise, according to some research, may help with constipation. It’s simple to suggest exercise given its many other advantages!

If none of the aforementioned methods work, try over-the-counter stool softeners like Colace or laxatives like Dulcolax. Always follow the package’s directions and cautions.

A medical checkup is seldom necessary for those who have constipation, but it is an essential alternative if other treatments fail.

constipation – how to treat it at home

The majority of individuals may follow a low-carb or ketogenic diet without experiencing severe constipation.

Some individuals, however, experience constipation for causes other than reduced stool frequency. The good news is that most individuals will only have constipation for a short time.

There are many intervention possibilities described in this article for individuals who continue to have irregular bowel movements. All of these activities are low-carb-friendly, allowing you to get the advantages of a low-carb diet while restoring regular bowel function.

Dr. Bret Scher, M.D. / Dr. Bret Scher, M.D.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you’re probably already aware of how low-carbohydrate diets can help you lose weight. But I bet you’re less aware of how they can also help you keep it off even after you’ve reached your ideal weight. The fact is, what’s often called “indigestion” is actually a very common digestive symptom known as a very mild form of constipation, which can be solved by a few simple lifestyle changes.. Read more about high protein diet constipation relief and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What laxative can I take on keto diet?

You can take a fiber supplement.

What should I eat if I am severely constipated?

You should drink a lot of water and eat lots of fiber.

What causes constipation during Banting?

Constipation is a common side effect of Banting. This is caused by the high amount of fiber in the diet, which can cause digestive issues such as bloating and gas.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • high protein diet constipation relief
  • keto constipation
  • low carb constipation magnesium
  • keto constipation magnesium
  • ketosis constipation
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