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Bowel Movement on Keto: Everything You Need to Know About Defecation When You Are on Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet


  • Bowel Movement on Keto: Everything You Need to Know About Defecation When You Are on a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet

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    It is tempting to hide in this text behind jokes like “shit happens” and “princesses don't poop”. But if you ignore the topic of bowel movements, then you can skip serious health problems.

    Let's not be prudes! We suggest learning how to read about the health of the body by color, consistency, and other distinctive features of feces.

    How often do you poop?

    Of great importance is the duration of the act of defecation, which normally should not exceed 5 minutes. The normal frequency is from 3 times a day to 3 times a week. So, if you empty yourself every 1-2 days, this is not necessarily constipation, but perhaps your physiological or anatomical features.

    Diarrhea is a pathological condition in which there is an increase in bowel movements (more than 3 times a day), while the stool becomes watery and may be accompanied by pain in the abdomen, frequent and/or false urges.

    What kind of feces do you have – soft, hard, liquid

    To understand what normal feces should be, you need to check the bristol stool scale.
    • Type 1 - "Nuts", hard lumps that are difficult to move
    • Type 2 - "Sausage"
    • Type 3 - ribbed "Sausage"
    • Type 4 - soft smooth "Sausage"
    • Type 5 - soft balls with smooth edges
    • Type 6 - loose, mushy stool
    • Type 7 - watery stool

    Feces 3 and 4 say you are doing well. 1 and 2 are typical for constipation, and 5-7 - diarrhea.

    Bristol stool scale
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    Violation of defecation, regardless of whether it is constipation or diarrhea, is the main provoking factor in the development of diseases of the anal canal and perianal region, such as hemorrhoids, anal fissures, rectal fistulas, anal itching.

    Besides, against the background of a violation of the consistency of feces, the intestinal microbiome is disrupted, which, in turn, leads to the development of irritable bowel syndrome and bacterial overgrowth syndrome.

    How much poop do you have

    Well, okay, it was simply impossible to refrain from jokes.

    If you switched from a regular diet to keto, you may notice that not only your weight has decreased, but also the amount of stool.

    The volume of feces depends primarily on the type of food we eat. All organic substances that enter our gastrointestinal tract are divided into digestible and non-digestible.

    The large intestine receives those substances that are not absorbed in the small intestine because they are not digested. These substances include plant fibers and other plant components - cellulose, hemicellulose, pectins, and lignins - carbohydrates that are not broken down by amylases in our body.

    However, 40-50% of coarse-fibrous substances are nevertheless broken down in the large intestine by bacteria and absorbed in the form of short-chain fatty acids.

    If you eat mainly plant foods and fiber, then your feces will be more voluminous, in contrast to the feces of people who eat foods containing protein (meat, fish, eggs).

    In addition, the nature of our diet influences the timing of chyme promotion. It is the liquid contents of the small intestine that is transferred to the large intestine during digestion.

    In people who eat mainly protein and fatty foods, it is 48-72 hours, and the volume of feces is about 3.9 oz (110 g).

    With an increase in the content of coarse fibers in food, the evacuation time can be reduced while increasing the weight of feces: the evacuation time is 24-36 hours. , stool volume 17 oz (480 g).

    So, if you are on the keto diet, do not worry that your stool volume has decreased and its shape has changed.

    What does it mean if it doesn't sink

    Ideal feces do not tend to float on the surface.

    But if you've just switched to a low-carb, high-fat diet, your body needs time to rebuild. Normally, after 2-3 weeks of a fatty diet, feces will begin to sink.

    But if all the deadlines have passed, and it still does not sink, you are probably not good at digesting fat. This will also be evidenced by greasy traces remaining inside the toilet after bowel movements. See your doctor.

    If you've been following keto successfully for a while, the poop floating on the surface probably means that you've had too much fiber, and if you occasionally see fat in the toilet bowl, it means that you've been addicted to bulletproof coffee and butter and forgot about other food. ... Remember, fat should not be 100% of your diet.

    What color was it?

    Stool color matters and can say a lot about your health.

    Brown, yellowish and greenish feces - you are all right.

    But if it is pronounced green, this is a sign of fermentation in the intestines.

    Light or pale gray - clayey feces may indicate problems with the pancreas. Acute or chronic inflammation of the pancreas leads to "Discoloration" of feces against the background of a violation of their consistency. Do not expect mercy from nature, consult a gastroenterologist.

    Burgundy or black stool is not very good. This can happen if you have internal bleeding or inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel syndrome. Before you run to the doctor, remember if you have eaten beets, they stain the feces in alarming colors.

    Why pieces of food remain in the stool

    If you are pooping chia, first of all, congratulations, you are on top of food trends. Secondly, it's okay - neither chia nor flax seeds are digested due to the cellulose shell and leave people in their original form.

    If you eat a lot of fiber, you may also find it in your feces, this is normal. The more you eat it and the worse you chew it, the more interesting your findings will be.

    But if your feces are solid undigested fiber, go to an appointment with a gastroenterologist.

    What to do if you have…

    ... constipation
    • Drink plenty of water
    • Take magnesium in citrate form
    • Eat more healthy fats like avocado, butter, coconut, and olive oil
    • Eat greens with every meal - salads and vegetables that grow above the ground
    • Check thyroid hormones - constipation can occur with hypofunction

    ... diarrhea (persistent loose stools, not temporary due to poisoning or a virus)
    • Take care of gut bacteria - eliminate gluten and generally grains and legumes, alcohol, and, if possible, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
    • Include prebiotic foods (sauerkraut, kombucha) in your diet, and don't forget to delight your intestines with different types of fiber.
    • Include broths and / or collagen in your diet.
    • Check thyroid hormones - if you are overactive, you may have diarrhea.

    ...fatty stool when switching to keto

    ... and it worries you, you can take lipase and betaine hcl for a week or two.

    Total, in an ideal world

    The act of defecation lasts 3-5 minutes and it is one-step;

    The process of straining is necessarily present, its duration is no more than 25% of the entire process of emptying. The rest of the time is a passive process;

    After emptying there is relief and there is no feeling of incomplete emptying (as if something is stuck);

    Feces - soft or ribbed sausage of brown, yellowish or greenish color, possibly with pieces of food - sinks, leaves no greasy residue.

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