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Constipation on a Carnivore Diet: How Long Does It Take? [Cause and Remedy]

If you’re new to the Carnivore diet, you may think a meat-based diet causes constipation, right? Wrong! You probably have heard about fiber and its effects on bowel movements, but there are a lot of misconceptions about fiber and its effects! This article tries to shed some light on the mysteries of the Carnivore diet constipation, what may cause it, and how to avoid it. So, keep reading to learn how to stay healthy and happy on a Carnivore diet!

Constipation on a Carnivore Diet: How Long Does It Take? [Cause and Remedy]
Highlights
Caution!

The information provided in this article is based on the recent academic research, but not a substitute for medical consultation by any means. Please consult a healthcare professional if you have any medical problems.

Can a Carnivore Diet Cause Constipation?

Some dieters complain about Carnivore diet constipation, i.e., feeling constipated after some days or weeks on a Carnivore diet. But is it really because of the Carnivore diet?

Well, many people think that the Carnivore diet is based on animal products and the lack of plant-based foods, especially fibre, may cause problems in bowel movement.

It is partly true, but we’ll talk about the role and effect of fibre in digestive health later in this article. Fibre does not exactly work as many may think, and it may even have negative effects on digestive health and bowel movement.

Constipation is a common digestive issue that can happen frequently for numerous reasons, and not everyone on a Carnivore diet will experience constipation.

Each dieter's body reacts differently to the Carnivore diet or generally any kind of significant change in eating habits. Factors including general health, hydration, age, the amount of daily water consumption, history of digestive issues, and other dietary considerations can impact bowel regularity.

So, it’s not all coming from the Carnivore diet! If we omit the other factors and focus on the Carnivore diet, let’s see what can cause Carnivore diet constipation.

Learn More: Free Guide: What Is The Carnivore Diet? Myth vs Fact 

What Is Constipation on a Carnivore Diet?

If you don’t poop frequently after going on a Carnivore diet, it’s fine! Don’t consider it constipation or a health issue, as you have changed your daily eating habits and are consuming different foods.

Also, it takes longer for meat to be digested than plant-based foods. So, if you keep calm and carry on, you’ll body will automatically adapt to this new dietary approach, and your bowel movement will adjust accordingly.

It means your stool will become regular and okay but still less frequent than when you were not on a Carnivore diet.

But if you cannot poop for more than about five days, or it’s hard to defecate, you may be experiencing Carnivore diet constipation. But what can cause it?

Read More: Carnivore Diet Diarrhea: Is It Normal or Not?

The Causes of Constipation

Carnivore diet constipation may occur for a number of reasons, including the following.

  • Dehydration
  • Digestive system adaptation
  • Consuming too much protein
  • Changes to digestive bacteria
  • Bile production
  • Stomach acidity
  • Nutrient deficiency

Dehydration

When you go on a Carnivore diet and shift to animal-based foods, a part of your body water stored in your liver and muscles leave your body, which explains the early weight loss on this diet.

Also, cutting back on carbohydrates results in releasing a lot of water from your body, as glycogen, the molecule carrying carbs, is attached to water molecules. So, decreasing the amount of carbs results in burning glycogen, leading to losing water.

It means that going on a Carnivore diet can lead to losing a lot of water from the body, which can result in dehydration, decreased electrolytes, and constipation.

Learn More: Why Is the Carnivore Diet Useful For Autoimmune Diseases?

Digestive System Adaptation

Going on a Carnivore diet for the first time means your body, especially your digestive system, has to go through significant changes to adapt to the high fat, high protein, low carb diet.

These kinds of drastic changes usually cause disruptions in the digestive system, leading to diarrhea, constipation, or other problems in bowel movement.

Consuming Too Much Protein

The Carnivore diet includes consuming high amounts of meat, i.e., a lot of protein, which is one of the main reasons for constipation on a Carnivore diet because of the amino acids included.

To avoid excess protein intake, you can make some changes in the food you eat. For example, fatty cuts of meat will streamline gluconeogenesis, i.e., converting protein to carbohydrates for fuel.

Changes to Digestive Bacteria

You probably know that there are myriads of useful bacteria living in our stomachs and all over our digestive system.

These are not just useful, but the lack of some of them will incur irremediable damage to our bodies. When you change your eating habits from high fibre and high carbohydrates to the Carnivore diet, which focuses on almost no carbs, the arrangement of these useful bacteria changes significantly.

Those bacteria eating carbs will probably disappear for good, but those eating fat will multiply.

This process of dying and multiplying takes some time, resulting in slow bowel movement and constipation.

Bile Production

As a necessary digestive fluid, Bile helps fat digestion. When you eat a certain amount of fat, Gallbladder and liver release Bile to emulsify the fat and break it down.

This process takes some time, which can result in slow bowel movement and constipation.

Stomach Acidity

Stomach acid is a powerful solvent that helps break amino acids in proteins, i.e., digest protein.

Like other body processes, this process takes some time as the body tries to increase stomach acidity to digest more meat consumed on a Carnivore diet.

The more meat you eat, the more stomach acid your body will need to produce, which means higher activity in the digestive system and slower bowel movement and constipation.

Nutrient Deficiencies 

If you've had nutrient deficiencies before going on a Carnivore diet, your body may have a harder time adjusting to the new diet situation.

It's essential to take care of vitamin deficiencies before going on a Carnivore diet, especially after knowing that about 90% of Americans currently suffer from Vitamin D deficiencies.

So, as mentioned earlier, not every late defecation is constipation. But how do we know exactly if we are experiencing constipation on a Carnivore diet?

The symptoms introduced in the following section will help us understand if we have Carnivore diet constipation.

The Symptoms of Carnivore Diet Constipation

  • Infrequent Bowel Movements: If you spend many days without pooping and it takes longer than before
  • Hard and Dry Stools: If it's hard to poop and it's too drier and harder than before
  • Pain during Bowel Movements: If you experience pain or spot drops of blood while passing stools or try so hard to poop
  • Incomplete Defecation: Feeling like your bowel movements are incomplete
  • Abdominal Discomfort: If you experience minor headaches, stomachache, bloating, too much gas, cramping, feeling full all the time, or general discomfort in the abdomen

So, what does fibre have to do with all this? Do we need to use fibre on a Carnivore diet? The following sections will elaborate on the role of fibre and the Carnivore diet constipation.

Learn More: Poop on the Carnivore Diet: All You Need to Know

Carnivore Diet and Fibre

Let's start with shedding some light on the myths about fibre. The most important thing to know is that low levels of fibre don't necessarily lead to constipation.

Surprisingly, a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology in 2012 revealed that fibre may cause constipation, and reducing it can alleviate constipation symptoms (source).

The study concludes that "the previously strongly-held belief that the application of dietary fibre to help constipation is but a myth".

Also, it has been shown that stopping the intake of dietary fibre significantly improves constipation. Additionally, fibre is indigestible and our gut bacteria ferment it in our bodies , which results in the production of aldehyde, alcohol, methane, gas, and heat. This heat can damage nearby organs, including the reproductive ones (source).

So, you won't need to worry about avoiding fibre as much as you did before!

But, anyhow, if fibre works for you and you want to take some on a Carnivore diet, the following section introduces the best animal-based fibre sources.

How to Get Fibre on the Carnivore Diet?

Getting fibre on a Carnivore diet doesn't look easy as the diet is based on animal products low in fibre.

But the following animal-based foods are good sources of fibre.

  • Organ Meats: Organ meats, including the liver and kidneys, contain some fibre.
  • Bone Broth: Bone broth is rich in gelatin, which provides small amounts of dietary fibre.

Fibre stories aside, the important question is how to avoid constipation on a Carnivore diet.

How to Avoid Carnivore Diet Constipation?

Here are the magical tips and tricks to solve Carnivore diet constipation problems.

Eat More Fat

Fat is one of the best facilitators of bowel movements. You can also fat fast to get the best results. Learn more about fat fasting on a Carnivore diet. Consuming fatty cuts of meat, fatty fish, and healthy fats can alleviate constipation symptoms on a Carnivore diet.

Take Protein in Moderation

Too much protein can cause constipation. So, balance your protein intake based on your body's reactions to avoid constipation caused by consuming too much protein.

Sleep Enough and Reduce Stress

You may neglect the magical effect of enough sleep and stress management on digestion and bowel movements. The digestive system is one of the first body systems to get disrupted by stress and anxiety.

Drink Enough Water

Water can facilitate bowel movements and calm the digestive system. Carnivore dieters need to drink plenty of water daily because of their high meat intake, which takes a lot of body water.

Exercise

Regular physical activities, including walking or jogging, help bowel movements and improve digestion.

Electrolyte Balance

Electrolytes are essential for muscle function. Balance electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium for healthy bowel movements.

Now, you may wonder what foods exactly improve or worsen constipation. It's essential and super useful to know, as you can simply manage your foods to avoid constipation.

The following two sections will list the foods to and not to eat to avoid Carnivore diet constipation.

Foods to Eat to Avoid Constipation

When following a carnivore diet and aiming to avoid constipation, there are specific animal-based foods you can include to support bowel regularity. While these foods are low in fibre compared to plant-based options, they can still provide some beneficial nutrients for digestive health. Here are some foods to consider:

  • Organ meats, including liver, kidney, heart, etc. They're also rich in Vitamin C. Maximise The Intake of Vitamin C on a Carnivore Diet.
  • Fatty cuts of meat, including ribeye, pork belly, or chicken thighs, are good for the digestive system because of higher fat, which softens the stool.
  • Bone broth
  • Butter, ghee and other kinds of fat
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products like full-fat milk, cheese, or cream

Foods Not to Eat to Avoid Constipation

  • Processed meats like sausages, deli meats, and cured meats contain high levels of additives and preservatives that can disrupt bowel movements and the digestive system in general.
  • Lean cuts of meat are lower in fat content and higher in protein levels, and excess amounts of protein can cause constipation.
  • Low-fat dairy products, such as skim milk or low-fat cheese, may be less beneficial for bowel movements.
  • Hard cheeses like cheddar or parmesan can be harmful to some individuals, as they contain less fat content.

So, if you've taken all the precautions but still experience Carnivore diet constipation, you need to carefully read the following two sections.

How Long Does Constipation Last on a Carnivore Diet?

There isn't a set period for Carnivore diet constipation, it varies from person to person, and it depends on various factors, including individual body compositions, eating habits, hydration, general health, and other lifestyle factors.

However, constipation on a Carnivore diet is usually a short-term problem that your body faces while adjusting to the new dietary approach.

The critical point is that you must take care of it in its early days to avoid serious digestive issues, as prolonged constipation can be caused by an underlying issue that needs medical care.

So, to take care of the Carnivore diet constipation once and for all, you need to follow the step-by-step guide below.

How to cure Carnivore Diet Constipation?

  1. Drink More Water: You need to drink "at least" 8 glasses of water daily. The more water you drink, the lower the odds of constipation. But listen to your body, and see how much more or less suits you.
  2. Consume More Fat: Eating fattier cuts of meat or healthy animal oils improve bowel movements.
  3. Consume Organ Meats: Eating more organ meats like liver, kidney, or heart, which contain nutrients like vitamin C and choline, can improve digestion and bowel movements.
  4. Manage Dairy Consumption: Dairy products can be constipating for some. So, adjust the amount you need to avoid constipation.
  5. Be More Physically Active: Go walking and jogging, or do strength training.
  6. Balance Electrolytes.
  7. Consult healthcare professionals if constipation persists or becomes severe.

Summary

Carnivore diet constipation can happen to those experiencing this diet while their body tries to adjust to new situations.

Also, studies have revealed that fibre is not that necessary for a healthy digestive system, and it may even disrupt its function in some cases.

This article tried to shed some light on every important thing about Constipation on a Carnivore diet to help you stay healthy while trying to reach your fitness goals.

Caution!

The information provided in this article is based on the recent academic research, but not a substitute for medical consultation by any means. Please consult a healthcare professional if you have any medical problems.

FAQ

The following questions and answers will help you wrap your heads around the Carnivore diet constipation topic.

How Do You Get Fibre on a Carnivore Diet?

Eat organ meats, bone broth, and some supplements to take the amount of fibre you may need on a Carnivore diet.

Why You Don't Need Fibre on a Carnivore Diet?

Fibre has proven to be not that effective to the digestive system's health, and some studies have even shown its adverse effect on bowel movements.

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