Battle of the Bowels on LCHF

I am on several Low Carb groups on Facebook and common questions are:

  1. I am constantly constipated. What can I do?
  2. I constantly have diarrhea. What can I do?

Let’s tackle constipation first. If you haven’t had a bowel movement in at least 2 days, you are probably feeling pretty miserable. I should know, before beginning this WOE, I could go 4-5 days without a bowel movement. It was quite painful! Now, since beginning this WOE, I generally have 1-2 bowel movements per day. Here are some tips:

  • consume more fats, specifically UNrefined coconut oil
  • take a magnesium supplement. I’ve been told Citrate works well
  • drink more water – I’ve read that a good goal is 1/2 your body weight in ounces.
  • be sure to eat at least 2 cups of green veggies a day –¬† you need the fiber!

Now for diarrhea. Once you begin this WOE, your body will need time to adjust to consuming fats and fewer carbs. So yes, you will have loose bowel movements for the first couple of weeks. However, if you continue to have loose to runny bowel movements after that, then you are simply consuming too much fat and not enough protein. Try decreasing your fat grams and upping your protein a bit. Nothing too drastic, just a few grams. If this still doesn’t help, increase it a bit more. Your body should adjust in a few days. If you still have chronic diarrhea, you may want to lower your water intake and cut back on your vegetables some. Over consumption of fats is usually the culprit though. If that STILL doesn’t work, time to see your doctor. There may be something else wrong besides your diet.

With constant diarrhea, please remember to drink lots of electrolytes! Pickle juice, sauerkraut juice, chicken or beef bullion, lemon water with sea salt, just to name a few.


Elecrolytes and LCHF

I noticed when I first began this WOE, that I would get light-headed, dizzy and occasionally nauseated and the occasional leg cramps. I thought it was because my carb intake was too low and had probably dropped my blood sugar too low. Nope! My blood sugar would be fine.

What I have discovered is that when you take carbs out of your diet, there is very little to hold salt and potassium in your body, and especially if you are more active. So you get dizzy, light-headed and nauseous. Also, you may have muscle cramps and charlie horses.

There are a few remedies for this.

  1. salt your food! at times, you may need to over-salt even
  2. drink one of the following: pickle juice, sauerkraut juice, chicken or beef broth, or a glass of water with some lemon and sea salt
  3.  take a potassium and magnesium supplement

With potassium supplements, I’ve read that it doesn’t really matter which kind you take because any of them will be absorbed into your intestines, but not to take more than 99 mgs as you will get some from your foods.

With magnesium, I have read that malate is the best form for cramping and relaxation. Citrate is best if you are having problems getting your bowels to move. So it is up to you which one you want to take for which purpose. I do know the citrate will also help some with the cramping and relaxation, but not as quickly. I’ve read that you can safely take up to 1200 mgs of magnesium, but I usually take around 1000 mgs before bed time.

Another note: iodine is also important… if you use a lot of sea salt, you may not be getting sufficient amounts of iodine. One sign of iodine deficiency is vertigo, where you feel constantly dizzy, like the world is spinning, and have balance issues. You can treat this with either iodize salt or an iodine supplement.

Strange Observations #6

Skin Firming? – I hate to even admit this, although I am 49 now and have, for the most part, led a sedentary life over the last 5 years due to illnesses and mental health issues. I’d always been an avid walker. This allowed me to have fairly firm thighs and derriere, even as I continued to gain and maintain weight. However, during the last 5 years, I’d begun to notice the sagging, especially in the derriere, as I attempted one weight loss diet after another and would shed a few pounds. It saddened me to witness the sagging, of course, but with the severe neuropathy in my feet, I just couldn’t do the walking or exercising needed to firm up again.

And now, just a little over 2 weeks into eating this LCHF plan, I am noticing a slight firmness, in both my thighs and my derriere. Is this even possible without exercising?

I am also noticing a “plumpness” with my breasts. I know it is not due to my menses cycle because I no longer have one (complete hysterectomy due to uterine cancer 3 years ago).

Just chucking this up to the increasing presence of strange occurrences with my body and this LCHF lifestyle.