Well this is embarrassing— I’m a Nutritional Consultant who practices (and preaches) clean keto like gospel— and I have hemorrhoids.
Even typing these words feels shameful— but why? Because girls aren’t supposed to poop. I mean, we’re certainly not supposed to talk about it. But guess what? I’m not the only one with the roids— y’all have em too.
In fact, hemorrhoids are simply cushions of tissue filled with blood vessels found at the end of the rectum, just inside the anus. So, when people say they “have hemorrhoids,” what they actually mean is that their hemorrhoids have become inflamed. Inflamed hemorrhoids are little bastards. They’re often associated with symptoms such as itching, pain while pooing or bleeding— yay!
As for the 50% of you that haven’t suffered the wrath of inflamed roids— you can thank your lucky stars, cause this shit ain’t fun.
Now that we got the embarrassment out of the way, let’s talk prevention. In order to prevent these little beasts from cropping, we need to understand what causes them in the first place. Hemorroids often crop when the rectal region has been excessively strained. This commonly happens while in labor, or when suffering from constipation— and if you’re taking the time to read this lovely little article, my guess is you’re suffering from the latter.
Why do so many suffer from constipation while on the ketogenic diet?
There are a number of reasons why ketogenic enthusiasts are prone to constipation. Today we’re going to identify 5 things you can do to avoid constipation while on the keto diet. And just in case you’re in the midst of a current case, I’ve got you covered at end of the article with a few effective solutions for booty relief.
5 Tips to Prevent Constipation on the Keto Diet
1. Eat more fiber
Prior to keto, most of us were accustomed to deriving our daily dose of fiber through breads, whole grains, cereals and legumes— all of which are not so keto-friendly. The thing is, most of us are able to cut out these starchy foods in order to achieve ketogenic success, but few of us are able to hit our dietary fiber count after doing so.
The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend the following approximate daily intake:
- adult men require about 34 grams of fiber (depending on their age)
- adult women require about 28 grams of fiber (depending on their age)
If you want to continue having healthy bowel movements while in ketosis you need to up your daily dose of fiber.
10 High Fiber Keto-Friendly Foods
- Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)
- Benefiber (supplement)
- Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower)
- Nuts (macadamia, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios)
- Mushrooms (crimini, portabello, shitake, white)
- Seeds (chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin)
- Prebiotic veggies (asparagus, garlic, leeks, onions)
- Psyllium Husk (supplement)
2. Drink less alcohol
Don’t freak out, I didn’t say no alcohol— just less. Alcohol consumption can cause dehydration in a variety of ways. First off, alcohol decreases the body’s production of anti-diuretic hormone, which is used by the body to reabsorb water. With less anti-diuretic hormone available, your body loses more fluid than normal through increased urination. Beyond that, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to vomiting which depletes the body further, therefore exacerbating dehydration.
3. Replace conventional dairy with raw dairy
Many people report that dairy products often make them constipated. This may be due to the effect of lactose OR the unnatural hormones/antibiotics pumped into conventional dairy cows.
Generally speaking, it’s wise to avoid these conventional dairy products when constipated:
- Ice cream
- Cow’s milk
- Sour cream
If you’ve been told that consuming raw dairy products is dangerous, you’ll be surprised to know that you’ve been mislead. The truth about raw dairy? An extensive look into research and claims made by the FDA and CDC related to raw dairy being dangerous have been found to be completely unwarranted. Raw dairy actually benefits your body in many ways.
In fact, raw and organic probiotic yogurt, cheeses and kefir have been consumed by some of the healthiest populations around the world for thousands of years (such as those residing within the infamous Blue Zones).
- Colon cancer
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Intestinal infections
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Skin infections
- Weakened immune system
- Urinary track infections
- Vaginal yeast infection
4. Limit processed foods
This one may seem obvious because the ketogenic stresses the importance of cutting out processed food products. The thing is, most processed food products on the market contain excessive amounts of sugar and carbohydrates— making them an obvious no-go on the keto diet. The problem is, food companies are catching onto this “keto-craze,” and with that comes a slew of “keto-friendly” processed food products.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not dogging them all— I’m sure as shit thankful that I can have the occasional bag of chicken chips or erithritol ice cream without feeling like a heroin addict in serious relapse. The problem is— keto or not, these processed food products are not exactly healthy— and when consumed in excess, will most certainly lead to backed- up bowels.
5. Work on stress relief
One of the first body systems to be affected by stress is the gastrointestinal (GI) system. Chronic stress can lead to ulcers, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Which means, if you want to avoid giving birth out the ol’ glory hole, you better work on your stress relief.
If you’re anything like me, you often find yourself reaching for the bottle in order to silence stress— you know, as well as I do, this is a rather ineffective method of stress relief (especially considering that alcohol dehydrates).
Therefore, your best bet would be to combat stress in more productive ways such as:
- Bath bombs
- Massage therapy
- Sex therapy
- Working out
Finally, I mentioned above that I’d share some of my personal go-to’s— just in case you’re a little too late for preventative measures.
3 Best Products to Relieve Constipation
1. Smooth Move Herbal Tea
Smooth Move is an organic blend of herbs designed to provide gentle overnight relief from constipation. The main ingredient, senna works by stimulating the intestines in order to aid the body’s natural elimination process. Smooth Move is best taken at night, as it takes about 6-12 hours to kick in. Smooth Move is by far my top choice to get things moving along.
MiraLAX is an over-the-counter stool softener recommended by my GI doctor. The active ingredient Polyethylene Glycol, is designed to produce a bowl movement within 1-3 days. MiraLAX proves to be be a bit more effective at breaking up some serious backup, but it also comes with some uncomfortable cramping. However, the backlash I’ve experienced with MiraLAX is far less than with other brands on the market.
3. Olive Oil
Olive oil is basically your granny’s way of relieving constipation. The fats in olive oil can help smooth the bowels, making it easier for stool to pass. It may also help the stool hold in more water, keeping it softer. One tablespoon of olive oil, taken on an empty stomach in the morning, may relieve constipation for many healthy adults. Just be aware that taking more than one tablespoon (per day) may lead to diarrhea and cramps.
Whether you’re well-versed or brand spankin’ new to keto life and looking for some help, you should check out Katie’s coaching program. Coach Katie lives keto all day, errryday. She keeps up to date on the latest science, so you don’t have to. But more importantly, she addresses your specific goals to help you achieve ultimate success on your keto journey. And it’s always better to have someone in your corner, guiding you along. So if you’re ready for total life transformation and ultimate keto success, schedule your FREE initial keto consultation today!