Is it true that Keto Diet can cause constipation?

Story Highlights
  • People on a keto diet can have a moderate constipation lasting from few days to weeks
  • Before beginning a new prescription or supplement, people should talk to the health care provider.
  • Sugar, starch and fibre, which are found inside fruits, vegetables and grains, are the main forms of carbohydrates in food.

More generally referred to as the ketogenic diet, the diet requires a seriously limited intake of carbohydrate. Persons that observe the Keto diet compensate for this drop in carbohydrates by greater utilisation of fatty foods and a moderate intake of protein.

Often these dietary modifications can induce slight constipation. Continue to learn about the keto diet, and how constipation can be caused and how to treat it.

What does a keto diet mean?

When you think of grains, people often depict foods based on starch, such as bread and pasta. While so much pure carbohydrates, such as refined sugar, may have an adverse impact on the wellbeing of people in general, both safe and unhealthy diets involve carbohydrates.

Sugar, starch and fibre, which are found inside fruits, vegetables and grains, are the main forms of carbohydrates in food.

A category of molecules that cells will disintegrate into basic sugar called glucose is called the word carbohydrates. Glucose is the principal energy supply in the body and a mechanism called glycolysis will quickly transform it into adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

People who adopt the keto diet eat very minimal doses of carbohydrates, which generally reduce the consumption to less than 50 g/day. This small consumption would require an additional supply of nutrition for your body.

The body tapes in its glycogen shops in the beginning. Glycogen is a bigger, more complex glucose form that metabolises the body after it carries all the glucose that is readily available.

If the glycogen stocks have been depleted by the body, the liver continues converting fatty acids into water-soluble molecules called ketone bodies. When glucose is not available, cells may use these ketone bodies as an alternative energy source. The body reaches a ketosis state as this occurs.

Keto diet advantages

Keto diets may provide health benefits beyond weight loss according with the authors of an article published in 2020. In other words:

  • Enhancing regulation of blood sugar
  • Reduced amounts of triglyceride
  • Total cholesterol reduction

Find out more here on how a keto diet can influence levels of cholesterol:

The authors of a literature review in 2020 noted scientific evidence that keto diets can lower oxidative stress and inflammation. They find data promoting the usage of keto diets to treat different disorders of neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation, such as:

  • Disease with Alzheimer
  • Headaches with migraine
  • Epileptic disorder

Keto diet health threats

Sadly, diets from keto are in decline. It may be impossible for people to follow a long time an incredibly low carbon diet. The switch to ketosis may also induce certain unpleasant side effects that can deter people from adhering to the keto diet.

In addition to weakness and headaches, gastrointestinal (GI) effects may be unpleasant. According to a large-scale analysis on keto diets used to control paediatric seizures, in the first few weeks of the initiation of a keto diet near 50% of children had the following GI symptoms:

  • constipation
  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting

Can a keto diet trigger Constipation?

People on a keto diet can have a moderate constipation lasting from few days to weeks. According to the Diabetes National Institute, individuals who suffer from constipation also have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Less than three bowels a week
  • Stools that are difficult, dry or lumpy
  • Stools of discomfort or trouble
  • Stool partly passing, called incomplete evacuation

Why constipation may occur while on a keto diet:

  • Too fast change

Dramatic dietary changes can affect your digestive system and even cause symptoms, such as nausea or constipation. To conform to a diet, the body needs time. Gradually shifting over a few weeks into a low carbohydrate diet will help avoid unintended digestive side effects.

Taking the time before a full day to stretch and communicate with your body helps to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system.

  • Do not consume much fibre

Individuals adopting a keto diet usually eat 20–50 g carbohydrates everyday. This volume of carbohydrates is significantly less than the recommended daily value of 300 g a day.

Reducing prebiotic fibre can change the proportion and diversity of species of bacteria that live in our intestinal tract. These bacteria promote our metabolism, immune and cognitive health, as well as helping us to move things. (These are other reasons why fibres are also very important for your health.)

Dr. Palma

Although people may enjoy restricting their supply of basic carbohydrates and refined foods, keto diets limit all forms of carbohydrates, including those in fruit, vegetables and grains with high fibre.

The digestive system cannot break down fibres, so it remains in the GI tract and pulls water into the intestines to give bulk to stools. It adds bulk and water to sustain smooth stools and daily bowel movement. Constipation will be more probable without fibre.

Treatments for Constipation

When people switch to a keto diet, the modification of the body can clear the side effects. Nevertheless, these side effects can deter people from continuing their diet.

People who are chronic or who have just began a keto diet will choose to take the following medications to help with their symptoms:

  • Keep hydrated
  • Daily workout
  • During meals stroll
  • Eat low-carbon foods like high fibre, cauliflower, cold, and berries

If constipation does not improve following the implementation of these lifestyles and dietary improvements, a person may try with a low-carbon laxative such as polyethylene glycol (MiraLAX).

The inclusion of fibre can also help to alleviate constipation. However, carbohydrates that could hinder the body’s ability to sustain ketosis are used in these items.

Before beginning a new prescription or supplement, people should talk to the health care provider.

Naeem Ur Rehman

Pakistan's youngest blogger and the CEO of He is currently the student of BS Environmental Sciences at University of the Punjab, Lahore. He is also working as a senior advisor to, Mukaalma, and Pylon TV.

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