Can Ketosis Cause Diarrhea

Are suffering of Diarrhea? Are you also following a Ketogenic Diet? You may be thinking at this stage “Can Ketosis cause diarrhea?”. Well it might, but it is better to dig deeper and understand why it can happen and how to deal with it.

Can Ketosis Cause Diarrhea?

Maybe you never had issues with your bowel before you started the Keto Diet.

Maybe you were regular as a clock and now? Now you have diarrhea attacks and you don’t know why.

It is fair to blame Ketosis if you are suffering episodes of diarrhea since you are on A Keto Diet.

But can Ketosis cause diarrhea? Really?

Ketosis is just a metabolic state where the body uses the fat to generate energy rather than using glucose.

Ketosis is triggered by the lack of glucose, that mainly comes from carbs.

What can really cause diarrhea is the change of nutrition.

The Ketogenic Diet in fact is a strict diet.

You need to follow specific macro ratios if you want to start and maintain Ketosis.

The ratios are:

  • 70% Fat
  • 25% Proteins
  • 5% Carbs

While these ratio are ideal for your body to efficiently and constantly burn fat, these are ratio are very different from most normal habits.

A generic diet involves consuming more carbs than fat and our body can react to the change in different ways.

The differences in the nutrition habit trigger Ketosis days or weeks after the diet starts.

It is also important to remember that your body takes days to fully adapt to the new metabolism.

During the period of adaptation you can suffer several side effects and one of these can be diarrhea.

There are a few reasons that can cause diarrhea on a Keto Diet, individually or combined between them.

Water Retention Change

Decreasing the carbs intake causes a decrease in the water retention.

Your body will not be able to keep as much water as on a regular diet during the period of adaptation.

Excessive Protein Intake

You are not respecting the macros ratio.

Maybe you cut the carbs enough but you are not eating enough fat, making the protein intake unbalanced.

The body might react with diarrhea.

Change In Dietary Fibers

The Keto Diet is very restrictive.

You need to cut carbs and avoid some types of vegetables and fruits.

Unfortunately, carbs, vegetables and fruits are also rich in fibers.

Cutting these foods results in less fibers and we all know that fibers help regulating bowel movements and regularity.

Less fibers equals irregular bowel.

Change In Digestive Enzimes

Last but not least, Ketosis requires changes at a digestive level.

The liver will have to process fat in order to produce energy (in the form of Ketones).

This process is normal under certain circumstances but needs a different set of enzymes.

This kind of change can also be a cause of diarrhea.

How Can I Deal With Diarrhea On A Keto Diet

Some episodes of diarrhea or, on the opposite side, constipation, can be normal on a Ketogenic Diet, especially in the first days of “adaptation”.

Once the body adjusts to the new metabolism then you shouldn’t be suffering anymore.

You can help your body before and during adaptation with some simple tricks.

Eat More Fibers

A great help to maintain “regularity” is to eat enough fibers.

Since you need to cut carbs and some vegetables and fruits, try to compensate with other food.

Consume foods rich of fibers and low in carbs.

Drink Enough Water

Water helps your overall health and it is important to drink enough water during the day.

Keto Diet can cause dehydration and so can diarrhea. Remember to stay hydrated.

Take Electrolytes

Another consequence of dehydration is electrolyte imbalance.

Drinking low carb stock or consume electrolytes drinks can help restoring good levels of Electrolytes.

Respect The Macros

The Keto Diet has specific macro ratios that transforms your body in an efficient fat burning engine.

Try to follow the percentages to avoid and mitigate unpleasant side effect.


Say that Ketosis causes diarrhea is not totally correct.

The Ketogenic Diet triggers Ketosis through a series of changes in the digestion and metabolism. These changes can have several side effects, including possible diarrhea episodes.

You might experience some episodes in the first few days of Ketosis, while the body adapts.

Some tips to minimize the risk and effects are: eat more fibers, drink enough water, consume electrolytes and respect the macros ratios.

Scroll to Top