With a dramatic increase in fat and reduction in carbs, most people will experience having loose bowels or diarrhea in the beginning. If you still have loose stools after you are in ketosis, you may be dehydrated, running low on minerals, or have some type of digestive issue.
Here are some strategies that typically help:
- Drink more water. When you start a low carb, keto diet, your body will begin flushing water much more rapidly than ever before. When this happens, it’s extremely easy to be dehydrated.
- Consume more minerals. When water is flushed from the body, electrolytes are excreted along with it. If the electrolytes aren’t replaced, you could very easily become dehydrated and develop diarrhea, among other things. Some good ways to replenish these electrolytes is to eat avocado and low carb veggies, consume salty bone broth daily, and salting your food. For more specific recommendations on mineral and water intake, check out this article.
- Add probiotics and fermented foods to your diet. Probiotics are a great way to restore the health of your digestive tract. Try getting your dose of probiotics with some raw sauerkraut, raw kim chi, or a multi-strain probiotic supplement.
- Have more fiber. Since low carb, keto diets are very high in fat, some people forget to make room for vegetables. Eat more low carb vegetables, and you’ll get plenty of fiber that will bulk up your stool. For more info on exactly what veggies you should eat, click here.
- Use digestive enzymes. If you have a hard time digesting fats or proteins, you may end up with off colored, soft, and running stool. In this case, it is best to try taking a digestive enzyme supplement that has ox bile, lipase, and proteases.
- Test for allergies and intolerances. For suspected allergies and intolerances, It is best to start an allergy test and an elimination diet that removes all common allergens and intolerances (wheat, eggs, fish, dairy, nuts, peanuts, shellfish, soy, and nightshade vegetables) for a period of time (3-4 weeks). If you are noticing positive changes and want to start adding these foods back into your diet, choose one at a time and tread slowly. Take note of how you feel. If you are still feeling great, move onto the next one. If at any time you feel adverse reactions to these foods, chances are you have an allergy or intolerance to these foods.