The 11 Most Common Keto Side Effects

Constipation 

Constipation is a key sign that you are not maintaining electrolyte/mineral balance during keto adaptation. The consistency of someone’s stool, and therefore the ability to pass that stool, is heavily influenced by its water content. The water content of your stool is likewise influenced by your overall hydration levels.

Additionally, constipation may also be a side effect of a change in your microbiome. Your gut bacteria makeup is largely determined by the kinds of foods you eat. When making such a drastic change in your diet, your microbiome will change which can also temporarily change your stools.

Also Consider: Certain foods can tend to be more conducive to constipation. Foods like eggs, cheese, and nuts may be contributing to constipation. Reduce intake of these at least during the initial phases of keto adaptation and see if that makes a difference. You want your stool to pass easily and resemble type 3 or 4 on the chart below.

Diarrhea 

Sometimes people will experience diarrhea during the initial phases of a ketogenic diet. Although constipation is typically more common, diarrhea may also manifest due to the changes in the microbiome that occur when changing your diet.

These individuals would benefit from taking a bulking and binding agent such as psyllium husk, citrus pectin, or my favorite, activated charcoal.  I have people do 2-3 grams of activated charcoal every 3 hours until the diarrhea subsides.

Also Consider: For some individuals, diarrhea may be brought on by low stomach acid and/or a sluggish gallbladder. Another possibility is that you have a low-grade food sensitivity to something you are eating such as eggs, nuts, and cheese.

Also, if you are supplementing with magnesium, it is recommended to back off of this until diarrhea has subsided as it draws additional water into the colon.

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