59 Practical Tips to Avoid Constipation due to Keto Diet

Most of the beginners at the keto diet process have to experience constipation regularly. It basically happens with the new dietary modifications they are into. There are lots of things we can do to resolve this issue. Generally, these solutions can be divided into natural methods and pharmaceutical methods.

The problem with the treatment methods for constipation due to the keto diet is there are some limitations. So it’s mandatory to consider their preferences as well. Otherwise, their keto routine gets disrupted. Most of the following methods discuss are practically experienced and provided good results as well. 

Why keto diet causes constipation ?

1. Changing dietary patterns

We all are creatures of habits. This applies to our organs as well. When a person who used to eat lots of non-keto foods in the past, suddenly starting a keto diet, their bowel can not easily tolerate it. Because when we eat certain types of foods for a long time our gut flora adapts to that. So once we change the food habit, it generally takes few days to adapt. So it can appear as constipation.

2. Excess coffee intake 

Coffee is a great beverage for weight loss as it increases body metabolism. And drinking an adequate amount of caffeine can improve bowel movements and make poop go easily. But too much coffee is the culprit in here. Too much caffeine can dehydrate, by removing more and more water from the gut makes poops difficult to pass out.

3. Excessive cheese consumption

Cheese is one of the popular protein products used in the keto diet. Because of its flavor and personal preference, lots of people with constipation have a history of excessive cheese consumption. Although there are no adequate research data on this doctors believe that the Casin protein in cheese can remove the fiber from the diet. 

Anyway, most of the people who have experienced stopping excessive cheese consumption restored their bowel habits.

Cheese can cause constipation in keto diet

4. Not enough water

Reduced intake of water is one of the commonest reasons for constipation. Low water intake makes the stool more hard and difficult to evacuate. Most people tend to reduce their water intake as in the process of weight reduction. They think that because the human body has a great percentage of water, not drinking enough water can reduce weight. But this is a very false idea.

5. Too much iron

Taking too much iron can be bad for your gut. Excessive iron can increase free radical formation in the gut mucosal layer and also disrupt the microbial layer. Also, iron can increase the water absorption from the bowel. So these reasons can be causes for constipation.

6. Too much protein

Practicing keto makes a false picture in some people’s minds that eating lots of meat. Those who have no proper knowledge of keto diets tend to eat lots of meat and other protein supplements. The bad thing is taking lots of protein causes constipation. 

Most of the time they used to skip fibers, so excessive protein makes hard stools but it won’t pass easily as it has fewer fibers. 

7. Birth control methods

If you are a woman who simultaneously uses birth control pills with the keto diet, better to change your method. Or you can safely check by stopping the birth control method for few days whether the stools pass normally. Because some women experienced hard stool when using birth control pills. If there is a potential for you to have that keto diet may help it to worsen the condition. 

How to resolve constipation ?

There are both natural and pharmaceutical methods in resolving this situation. Anyway, some person only needs one method, but some may need to use several tips. So it’s better to read the whole article and safely use the tips. All these tips successfully work with lots of people. But if any of these doesn’t work for you or your condition is not tolerable, please don’t hesitate to consult a doctor. 

Because diverticulitis is a very common condition that presents with constipation and even can exaggerate with high protein foods. It needs immediate medical attention and treatment.

1. Drink more water

Increased water intake makes poop less hard. It makes stool pass easily. Drinking lots of water never do wrong for the human body.

So drink an adequate amount of water. At least 20 ounces per 50Lbs of your weight.  If you weigh 150lbs  60 ounces!!  Water is the key however if you drink coffee or caffeine You must drink more water. Because caffeine can dehydrate the body.

2. Magnesium

Magnesium citrate is an over-the-counter medication that is an osmotic laxative. It pulls water into the intestine and makes the stool bulkier. Magnesium pills at night for few days help you to normalize your bowel patterns.

3. Spinach

Spinach has high fibers and also a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and Folate. It makes stools soft and easier to pass.

4. Broccoli

Broccoli has the same effect as spinach.

5. Prune juice / Prunes

Prune juice is one of the best natural fiber supplements. 8 ounce of it contains 2.6 mg of fiber which is 10% of the daily fiber requirements. In addition to the juice, fruit also helps in this situation. You can soak the prunes in hot water and eat them and drink the water.

6. Probiotics

Probiotics provide healthy bacteria to your gut. Sometimes constipation results from a lack of good bacteria, we called them normal gut flora. Once provide those gut functions become normalize.

7. Smooth move tea

Smooth move tea is a senna-based product. It has proven to solve constipation within 6-12 hours. Generally, it is advised to drink the tea before going to bed, and when you wake up the next morning you will see the results.

8. MCT oil 

Medium Chain Triglyceride oil is used among lots of people with constipation. You can put a tablespoon of MCT oil in your coffee in the morning and wait about 30 minutes after you drink it. It is natural and also highly effective.

9. Olive oil

Olive oil works the same as MCT oil.

10. Fibers / Psyllium husk

Psyllium husk is an awesome source of fiber and tons of great vitamins for your tummy. One heaping teaspoon of Psyllium husk fiber with a glass of water a half-hour before bed is effective. It’s basically Metamucil without the flavor and artificial sweetener.

11. Yogurt

Unflavoured yogurt contains good bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis. It improves gut health and softens the stool.

12. Berries

Any type of berries ( blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries ) contains lots of fiber. A half a cup of raspberries has about 4g of fibers. The good thing about berries is you can eat them as snacks as well. 

13. Metamucil

Metamucil is a psyllium fiber supplement that comes in both capsule form and powder form. It is a chewable capsule and you need to drink at least one glass of water with it. The powder form dosage is different from age, it’s better to use an advisable amount. You can add Metamucil to your drink and sprinkle it onto food which works well too. 

It gives good results within 1 to 3 days. However, if it doesn’t work, better to consult a medical doctor.

14. Miralax / Clearlax

Miralax is a brand name for an osmotic laxative that pulls water into the gut to make stool soft. It comes as an oral powder that needs to be used with a glass of water. It is better not to make it too thick as it might be difficult to swallow. 

It can give positive results within 2 to 4 days, and be cautious not to overuse it as it can cause dehydration.

15. Banana

Bananas are good potassium and mineral supplement which also contain lots of fiber. You can eat a banana after every main meal to have good gut functions.

Phyllum husk can resolve constipation in keto diet

16. Green apple

Eating apples raw and whole with skin intake gives lots of fiber and water. It also contains fructose and sorbitol which improves gut health and prevents constipation.

17. Apple cider vinegar

This has lots of health benefits. Treating constipation is one of them. Drinking 1tbs Apple Cider Vinegar with 8oz water about 30 minutes before meals can give you a feeling of fuller and more regular in the bathroom.

18. Chia seeds

Chia seeds have lots of fiber. Adding chia seeds to your diet can give much better results. You can mix a tablespoon of seeds into water or whatever in the morning and at night. Let them sit for about twenty minutes and drink. You don’t need to add any flavors. It cleans out your system and reduces your appetite.

19. Ground flax seeds

Works the same as chia seeds.

20. Sunflower seeds

Works the same as chia seeds.

21. Senna tabs / tea

Senna is an FDA-approved natural herb which a natural laxative. Senna works by pulling fluid into your bowls making it easier to go to the bathroom. Make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids and eating more fiber.

22. Lemon water

Lemon water also works as a cure for constipation. Start the day with a tall glass of freshly squeezed lemon in water.  At least a half and a whole lemon are good too.  It really gets things moving.

23. Epson salt and hot water

You can drink a few teaspoons of food quality Epson salt dissolved in the warmest water. It is almost promised that you will have clean pipes in no time. This is only something you should do for occasional, serious constipation.

24. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a naturally fermented food that contains lots of probiotic bacteria. It will improve gut immunity and functions. Adding sauerkraut to your food platter daily helps easy-going of stool.

25. Enema

Enema would be the last method to treat constipation at home, because of the sterility issues. However, there are home enema kits that you can safely do at home. You can use soap suds or saline water as the liquid and gently put it into the rectum with a clean nozzle. 

26. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are rich in fiber and researches show that ear mushroom has 50% higher fiber content than other mushroom types as well. If you are a person practicing keto, try to add mushrooms to improve your gut functions.

27. Gummy bears

Sugar-free gummy bears contain sorbitol which is an osmotic laxative. It pulls water into the gut and makes stool easy to pass. You can try 3-4 servings per day to have good results.

28. Coconut oil

You can drink plenty of water in the morning and add a few tablespoons of coconut oil to that. Also adding cinnamon to that makes it more pleasant. 

29. Chilli

Some may think eating spicy foods can cure constipation directly which is a false idea. Chilli with beans and vegetables is an effective method to use. That can improve the bio-availability of dietary fibers in beans and vegetables. That’s how chili can cure constipation. 

30. Exercises

Constipation can easily be cured with exercises. Even just 30 minutes of walking is enough. A sedentary lifestyle makes your gut functions inactive. Once you become active that change can even affect your digestive system as well. 

Magnesium can resolve constipation in keto diet

31. Celery

Celery juice contains lots of digestive enzymes which help to ease digestion and also detoxify toxins. It also helps to boot energy, balance hormones as well. You can drink celery first thing in the morning. And it’s better not to take another food within 30 minutes. Lots of people have experienced positive results within 10 to 20 minutes.

32. Russell stover sugar-free chocolate

Many people with constipation have found the Russell stover candies are helpful for them. It’s crucial for selecting sugar-free ones because of the keto diet plans. That’s why this candy is special. Eating two candies makes you go well.

33. Swiss Kriss

Swiss Kriss is a senna-based natural laxative. Most of the time this gives positive results. Taking 2 small tablets per night can do a huge difference. Some use to take four tabs initially. But it’s recommended to use two if you are a beginner. Most of the time 6 to 10 hours users get solutions.

34. Warm lemon water

Lemon contains lots of Vitamin C which are natural antioxidants. It can pull water into the gut. Therefore it softens the stool and stimulates gut movements. If you are experiencing constipation with the keto diet, you can drink warm lemon water in the morning. It’s very healthy to use this technique as a daily habit. 

35. Mustard

Mustard contains a gelatinous thick substance called mucilage. It can pull water into the gut. Also, mustard seeds help to improve saliva secretion. Saliva contains lots of digestive enzymes which improve food digestion. 

36. Romaine lettuce

Lettuce is a very common vegetable that contains lots of fibers, vitamins, and minerals. It improves peristalsis and softens the stools as well. Adding lettuce to your food plate is important as it is very helpful for keto plans as well.

37. Collagen powder

Using collagen powder can be very tricky. Because overusing collagen can worsen the condition. Collagen is a hydrophilic protein that loves water. Therefore pulling water into the gut makes soften the stool and easy to pass out.

38. Avocado

Adding avocado to your food plate every day is a very healthy choice. Avocado contains lots of healthy fibers and magnesium. Magnesium is an important micronutrient that improves gut functions. 

39. Kale

Kale is a leafy green that contains lots of fibers, vitamins, and minerals. Including these types of greens are helpful to solve constipation.

40. Castor oil

Castor oil is a famous stimulant laxative. Taking 15 milliliters of castor oil into a fruit juice for an adult can gives positive results within 2 to 6 hours. 

41. Ginger juice

If you love to practice herbal medicine, ginger is one of the best choices for you. Ginger contains lots of enzymes that help digestion. It may not gives you immediate results, but if you have mild constipation it’s better to go for these types of natural methods as they are less harmful.

42. Wheatgrass with almond milk

Wheatgrass is the main compound in this to relieve constipation.  Almond juice also contains fibers but in some instances taking lots of almonds makes abdominal bloating and constipation. Wheatgrass juice or commercial wheatgrass powder with almond milk are helpful to cure constipation.

43. Bell peppers

Bell peppers are a good source of vitamin c and fibers. As we discussed earlier these two compounds are helpful to cure constipation.

44. Glycerin suppositories

Glycerin suppositories are a common method to relieve constipation. You can use 1 adult Glycerin suppositories for 2 nights in a row then the third night take a laxative to have good results.

45. Pumpkin seeds

Eating pumpkin seeds also need to be very cautious. Because they contain lots of fiber ( one cup contains about 12 grams of fibers ) eating so many seeds can worsen your constipation. Otherwise, pumpkin seeds are a very good natural method in curing constipation.

46. Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe contains both fibers and water which basically the most important components in curing constipation.

47. Grapefruits

Grapefruits have lots of dietary fiber especially pectin which accelerates peristalsis movements. Also, grapefruits are a good alternative for natural vitamin c supplements.

48. Orange

As lemon, Orange also has vitamin c and dietary fibers to improve gut functions and solve constipation

49. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is one of the easiest things you can find in the market. And the amazing thing is oatmeal consists of lots of fibers. Most of these fibers are soluble fibers so you are stool becomes soft and bulkier and then easily passes out.

50. Sea moss

Sea moss recently identified superfood that helps you to cure constipation. And also sea moss has antioxidant properties helping you to improve your gut functions. Scientific researches have identified that they are lots of gut-healthy bacteria.

51. Cascara root

Cascara has been used for a long time ago in over-the-counter laxative medications. It works as a stimulant laxative that stimulates the contraction muscles of the bubble. It is a herbal medication. So there is several side effect profile. Even nowadays you can add cascara root to your daily usage if you are suffering from constipation.

52. Dried Apricot 

Dried fruits contain considering a larger number of soluble fibers than fresh fruits. Dried Apricot is one of the best solutions for giving good fiber supplements. It’s better to use not more than 5 days as it may affect your keto diet.

53. Taco bell

This one may be somewhat controversial for the keto diet. Some people are practicing a cheat day with Taco Bell. Eating Taco Bell on a cheat day on an empty stomach helps most people to cure constipation with the keto diet.

54. Aloe vera

Aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Making juice using the green part of the leaf of the aloe vera and drink it every day can cure constipation.

55. Dates

Dates are used to treat constipation for a long time ago. You can take dried dates, soak them in a glass of water overnight. And in the morning chop, the water absorbed dates and mix them with warm milk. It will be a good breakfast and for sure cure constipation within few hours.

56. Peppermint oil

The Peppermint oil technique is used by some people. But the problem is there are fewer scientific details on effectiveness. People used to put few drops of peppermint oil in the belly button and experience abdominal problems become resolved. 

People used to use this technique even for constipation and also diarrhea as well. Therefore we can’t assure what is the mechanism of this peppermint oil technique. But you can try this technique as it is less harmful.

Chia seeds can resolve constipation in keto diet

57. Fish oil

Fish oil which has omega 3 fatty acid is helpful to improve intestinal functions. Scientific studies are proving that fish oil can solve constipation due to Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Even though there is no proof of the effectiveness of fish oil on the keto diet related to constipation, there is a considerable number of people who had good results.

58. Vinegar with baking soda 

This one is a home remedy that most people are practicing. You can take two tablespoons of vinegar and one tablespoon of baking soda into a half cup of water. And drink it 20 minutes before breakfast. It has given good results for people who do not seek drugs for every simple health condition.

59. Licorice root

Licorice is considered a natural stimulant laxative. You use it as a licorice tea after a meal once daily or early in the morning. Licorice has the property to lose potassium from the body. So it’s better not to use it frequently as low potassium might be a cause of hospitalization as well. However, this method can also good for people who practice the keto diet.

References :

  1. Ten-year single-center experience of the ketogenic diet: factors influencing efficacy, tolerability, and compliance. (2015), Cinthya Wibisono, Natalie Rowe , Erin Beavis , Helen Kepreotes , Fiona E Mackie , John A Lawson , Michael Cardamone . (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25649120/)
  2. The Effect of Medium Chain Triglycerides on Time to Nutritional Ketosis and Symptoms of Keto-Induction in Healthy Adults: A Randomised Controlled Clinical Trial, (2018), Cliff J. d C. Harvey, Grant M. Schofield, and Joseph A. McQuillan. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5987302/)
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Sapumal Edirisinghe
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