For some, low-carb ketogenic diets are a quick way to shed excess weight. Though you lose while eating tons of cheese, bacon and fat may sound good, you will eventually pay the price in another way: popping problems.
Although any diet change will throw off bowel movements, keto dieters are particularly prone to diarrhea or constipation. If you are thinking of trying out the trendy diet for yourself, here is a summary of what to expect.
You can be constipated on keto
"Most people right away will get pretty constipated," says Liz Weinandy, R.D. at The Ohio State University. This is especially true for people who are accustomed to eating lots of fiber from whole grains and fruits that are limited in ketodite. Carbohydrates are typically limited to 30 grams per day. Day, which makes it difficult to enjoy a bowl of oatmeal or an apple.
You may experience diarrhea on keto
Alternatively, some people may have the opposite problem. Barbie Boules, R.D.N., Founder of Nyoutrition, previously told But's Health this happens when people do not digest all the fat they use. In addition, many keto-friendly foods contain non-nutritious sweeteners or sugar alcohols, which can cause digestive problems in some people. "Sorbitol in particular is notorious for getting GI disturbed," she says.
Your poop will probably look different
The stool will have less mass due to lack of fiber and be smaller in size, which is not exactly ideal. For reference, this will be level one on the Bristol Pallet chart.
"Ideal poop is soft but formed," Weinandy says. "Not too lost and not too solid."
Dr. John Whyte, M.D., MPH and Chief Medical Officer at WebMd say your poop can also be lighter in color because of the high fat content.
Your poop could smell different
Anecdotal says Weinandy says some patients say their stools are more, uh, sharp. "I have a couple of patients complaining about what smells worse," she says. This is because eating many low-fat foods slows down the stool through the gastrointestinal tract. As a result, stools in your system are prolonged and can be more easily beaten ̵
You Can See Blood From Hemorrhoids
Again, this is anecdotal, but some of Weinandy's patients develop hemorrhoids from being highly constipated. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anal canal that become inflamed to buckle or sit on the toilet for extended periods Men's Health previously reported. It is because sitting everything that sits puts pressure on the connective tissue that holds the veins in place. People with hemorrhoids can feel some blood when they are dried.
So, how do you prevent these terrible side effects?
Weinandy recommends drinking plenty of water and taking a fiber supplement like the psyllium shell. Many keto diets depend on magnesium powder or pills that Whyte has.
"I'm not a fan of just taking supplements or minerals without talking to a doctor," he says. "Depending on the underlying disease state, they can affect the kidneys or heart when taken over."
Or you could just give up being keto-like of some of Weinandy's patients.
"It [constipation] could be a purchase or an agreement for some," she says.