How to Correct Your Constipation

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/10/2024

Ever felt like your own body was keeping a secret from you? A tale of discomfort whispered through the corridors of your digestive system, only to end up as keto diet constipation. Yes, it's real.

And yes, it's as uncomfortable as it sounds. The ketogenic diet, hailed for its weight loss miracles and metabolic benefits, has a darker side.

Imagine embarking on this high-fat journey with dreams of transformation. Only to find yourself in a battle with bowel movements that refuse to budge.

It’s not just about cutting carbs and watching pounds drop anymore; it’s about understanding how these changes can bring your intestines to a screeching halt.

The statistics are hushed but clear - many face this challenge silently, unsure how to proceed without sacrificing their progress or health goals. But here's the twist: resolving keto-induced constipation doesn't require abandoning ship but tweaking the sails.

Understanding Constipation on a Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet has gained immense popularity recently due to its potential weight loss and health benefits. However, as with any significant dietary change, it's essential to be aware of possible side effects, such as constipation.

Constipation is a common issue faced by many individuals transitioning to a ketogenic diet. It's crucial to recognize this change in bowel movements and take appropriate steps to address it.

The Role of Diet in Bowel Health

The drastic shift in macronutrient intake when starting a ketogenic diet can have a profound impact on digestive health.

As you drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake and increase your consumption of fats, your body undergoes significant changes in how it processes food.

This sudden change in diet can slow down bowel movements, resulting in constipation. The lack of fiber-rich foods, which are often restricted on a ketogenic diet, can also contribute to this digestive issue.

The Risks of Long-term Constipation

While occasional constipation may not be a cause for concern, chronic constipation can lead to more severe health issues.

When waste remains in the colon for extended periods, toxins can be reabsorbed into the bloodstream, potentially leading to autointoxication.

If you experience persistent constipation lasting more than a few weeks, seeking medical evaluation is essential. Your healthcare provider can help determine the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Dietary Adjustments to Alleviate Constipation

To combat constipation on a ketogenic diet, it's essential to make strategic adjustments to your food choices. While many high-fiber foods are restricted due to their carbohydrate content, there are still several low-carb options that can help promote regular bowel movements.

Fermented foods

Opt for Fermented or Steamed Vegetables

Fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, are excellent sources of beneficial bacteria that can aid in digestion. These probiotic-rich foods can help break down fiber and promote regular bowel movements.

If you find raw cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower challenging to digest, consider steaming them instead. Steaming can help soften the fiber, making it easier for your body to process.

Increase Your Water Intake

Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining healthy bowel function. When increasing your fiber intake, drinking plenty of water is essential to prevent dehydration and keep your digestive system running smoothly.

Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily, and consider adding electrolyte-rich fluids like bone broth to your diet to support hydration and mineral balance.

Enhancing Digestion on a Ketogenic Diet

In addition to dietary adjustments, several supplements, as well as dietary additions, can help improve digestion and alleviate constipation for individuals following a ketogenic diet.

The Benefits of Purified Bile Salts

Purified bile salts can be a valuable tool for supporting fat digestion on a high-fat diet like keto. These supplements help emulsify fats, making them easier for your body to break down and absorb.

Bile salts can help lubricate the colon and prevent constipation by promoting efficient fat digestion. They also support the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins essential for overall health.

Potassium's Role in Colon Health

Potassium plays a crucial role in maintaining the smooth muscle function of the colon. This essential mineral helps regulate muscle contractions, promoting regular bowel movements.

To increase your potassium intake on a ketogenic diet, focus on low-carb, potassium-rich foods like avocados, spinach, and kale. You can also consider taking a potassium supplement under the guidance of your healthcare provider.

Probiotics for Fiber Digestion

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that reside in the gut and play a vital role in digestion. These friendly microorganisms help break down fibers, making them easier for your body to process and eliminating potential digestive discomfort.

Incorporating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables into your ketogenic diet can support healthy digestion and prevent constipation.

You may also consider taking a high-quality probiotic supplement to ensure a steady supply of beneficial bacteria in your gut.

Natural Laxatives and Their Role

For individuals experiencing acute constipation on a ketogenic diet, natural laxatives can provide immediate relief. However, it's essential to choose safe options that align with the principles of a low-carb, high-fat diet.

The Laxative Effect of MCT Oil

Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil is a popular supplement among keto dieters due to its unique properties. Unlike long-chain fatty acids, MCTs are rapidly absorbed and metabolized by the body, providing a quick energy source.

In addition to its energizing effects, MCT oil can act as a natural laxative. It can stimulate bowel movements and relieve constipation when consumed in sufficient quantities. Start with a small dose and gradually increase as tolerated to avoid digestive discomfort.

Chronic urinary retention

Navigating Constipation with Fiber Fixes and More

Embark on a journey of relief as we navigate the potentially rough waters of keto constipation. This guide will explore effective fiber fixes and additional strategies to ensure smooth sailing on your keto voyage.

With mindful adjustments and a touch of dietary wisdom, bid farewell to constipation and welcome smoother seas ahead.


So, we've journeyed through the shadowy side of keto, confronting an unspoken challenge: constipation. But let's not forget, this isn't a tale of defeat; it's triumph over tummy troubles.

We learned that tweaking our sails in the vast ocean of nutrition can steer us clear of discomfort and towards smoother sailing.

The truth is, managing keto diet constipation doesn’t mean throwing in the towel but rather adjusting our course.

From embracing fermented veggies to staying hydrated and giving your gut extra love with probiotics or MCT oil - these are the secret weapons in maintaining both ketosis and comfort.

Remember, it’s about listening to your body's whispers before they become screams. It’s realizing that flexibility is vital even on a path as strict as keto; there’s room for adjustment without derailing progress.

Let this be your guidepost: The ketogenic journey may have its bumps (or lack thereof), but equipped with knowledge and clever tweaks here and there – you’re more than capable of navigating through them.

Here's to confidently moving forward and keeping those digestive tales at bay!

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