Understanding How Can Keto Diet Cause Diarrhea

Understanding How Can Keto Diet Cause Diarrhea

The ketogenic diet has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its potential benefits for weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and better overall health. However, like any diet, the ketogenic diet can cause side effects, including diarrhea. In this article, we will explore the reasons why the keto diet can cause diarrhea and what you can do to prevent or alleviate this unpleasant symptom.

What Is the Keto Diet?

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate, and moderate-protein diet that aims to induce a state of ketosis in the body. Ketosis occurs when the body burns fat for fuel instead of glucose, which is the primary source of energy for most people. To achieve ketosis, the keto diet typically limits carbohydrate intake to 20-50 grams per day, depending on the individual’s caloric needs and goals.

Why Does the Keto Diet Cause Diarrhea?

There are several reasons why the keto diet can cause diarrhea, including:

  1. Rapid changes in diet: When you switch to a keto diet, your body goes through significant changes. It may take time for your digestive system to adjust to the increased fat intake and decreased carbohydrate intake, which can lead to diarrhea.
  2. Lack of fiber: Many high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, are restricted on the keto diet. This can lead to a lack of fiber in the diet, which can cause constipation or diarrhea.
  3. Increased fat intake: The keto diet is high in fat, and some people may find that consuming large amounts of fat leads to diarrhea. This is because the body may have difficulty digesting and absorbing such large amounts of fat.
  4. Electrolyte imbalances: When you follow a keto diet, your body produces fewer insulin hormones. This can lead to electrolyte imbalances, such as low levels of sodium, potassium, and magnesium. These imbalances can cause diarrhea.

How to Prevent or Alleviate Diarrhea on the Keto Diet

If you experience diarrhea while following the keto diet, there are several steps you can take to prevent or alleviate this symptom:

  1. Gradually transition to the keto diet: Instead of making a sudden switch to the keto diet, try gradually reducing your carbohydrate intake over several weeks. This can help your body adjust to the changes in diet more slowly, reducing the risk of diarrhea.
  2. Increase your fiber intake: Although many high-fiber foods are restricted on the keto diet, there are still some low-carbohydrate options available, such as leafy greens, nuts, and seeds. Incorporating these foods into your diet can help prevent constipation and diarrhea.
  3. Limit your fat intake: If consuming large amounts of fat is causing diarrhea, try reducing your fat intake slightly. You may also want to focus on healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, and seeds, rather than processed or fried foods.
  4. Stay hydrated: Diarrhea can cause dehydration, so it’s essential to drink plenty of water and electrolyte-rich fluids, such as coconut water or bone broth. This can help prevent electrolyte imbalances that can cause diarrhea.
  5. Take probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help restore balance to your gut microbiome. Taking a probiotic supplement or eating fermented foods, such as kimchi or sauerkraut, can help prevent or alleviate diarrhea.


The ketogenic diet is a popular way to improve overall health and wellness, but it can cause side effects, including diarrhea. Rapid changes in diet, lack of fiber, increased fat intake, and electrolyte imbalances can all contribute to this symptom.

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