Going keto might come with a side of diarrhea—here’s how to quell those runs


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When your BFF is telling you all about how following the keto diet has completely changed her life, there might be one thing she’s forgetting to mention: how the nutrition plan sometimes comes with major…just going to say it…pooping problems. Because it’s so high-fat and low-carb, having trouble in the bathroom isn’t at all uncommon.

While healthy fat is a smart diet staple in moderation, Barbie Boules, RDN, tells Women’s Health some people don’t digest it properly—and that results in it exiting your body in a very unpleasant way. If that’s the case and your plate is mostly filled with fat at every meal, you’re probably going to have a whole lot of diarrhea, especially if getting on the keto plan involved a huge shift to your eating habits. “Anytime you radically change what you’re eating, your GI system may react,” Boules says. Plus, aside from the fat, using artificial sweeteners—which can also be common in the diet—is a possible culprit, too.

While healthy fat is a smart diet staple in moderation, some people don’t digest it properly—and that results in it exiting your body in a very unpleasant way.

The worst part about keto diarrhea is that it’s not something that typically passes in a couple weeks. If your body can’t process fat correctly, Boules says the side effect is likely to stay put. While you can potentially resolve the issue by staying hydrated and increasing your intake of fiber via more veggies, switching to a more well-rounded diet might be a smarter option. “If the diarrhea continues, this food philosophy probably isn’t the best fit for you,” she says of keto. Not to worry though: With a little experimentation, you’ll find something that works for you and your digestive system.

Originally published on August 29, 2018.

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