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Oops! This is what intermittent fasting can do to your bowel movements

Every diet can have a downside. One of the side effects of intermittent fasting includes an impact on your bowel movements!
Constipation or loosies - what's troubling you? Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aayushi Gupta Updated: 2 Mar 2022, 17:19 pm IST
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From weight loss to the reduction in the risk of some diseases – intermittent fasting has a plethora of benefits to offer you. It refers to a dietary pattern where one follows cycles of eating and fasting for a short period of time. Along with the benefits, it comes with some side effects. One of the most common side effects of intermittent fasting is experiencing stool issues.

We know you might be wondering why it happens exactly, which is why we asked Dr Rohini Patil, Nutritionist, and published author of The Lifestyle Diet.

So why does intermittent fasting cause bowel problems?

Intermittent fasting (IF) can bring a lot of changes to your health and body. From weight loss to good sleep habits and decreased inflammation. But it also brings a lot of changes to a diet plan therefore there are high chances you may end up having digestive trouble.

side effects of intermittent fasting
Don’t start intermittent fasting blindly. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Dr Patil says, “Intermittent fasting has been linked to many positives for your body and health. But in some cases, unexpected side effects happen too, like bowel problems.”

She adds, “Digestive problems include diarrhea, constipation, bloating happens in some cases who follow intermittent fasting. This happens due to the changes in your eating pattern or diet which can easily cause changes in bowel movements, increasing your visit to the bathroom.”

Read the two main reasons for it:

1. Consuming less fibre

Digestive problems which include constipation, bloating and diarrhea are the common symptoms that you experience if you follow intermittent fasting. What’s the cause? Lack of fibre is the biggest culprit, ladies!

Also, read: Keep your vaginal health up to the mark with fibre

If you are following intermittent fasting and consuming less fibre in your diet it can lead to digestive issues. Dr Patil says, “If you are eating in less amounts, in that case, you are not getting sufficient nutrients to keep your bowel movements proper, especially your diet is lacking dietary fiber that helps to improve your digestive system.”

2. Dehydration

If you’re following intermittent fasting and suffering from diarrhea then this can indicate that you’re dehydrated. In the initial days of Intermittent fasting, your body excretes large amounts of salt and water through urine which can lead to dehydration.

side effects of intermittent fasting
Stay hydrated to improve your overall health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

In fact, diarrhea itself also leads to dehydration. Dr Patil also warns, “if you don’t hydrate yourself properly it can lead to constipation and diarrhea.” So increase your water and other liquids intake.

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Follow these tips to avoid the digestive problems

1. Drink sufficient water

The daily water intake should be 10-12 glasses per day i.e., 3 to 4 liters per day. Liquids and fibers help to reduce constipation. You can add soups, herbal detox tea, green juices, black coffee, green tea, kadhas, buttermilk to your diet.

Also, read: Common signs of dehydration that you need to watch out for

2. Increase fiber intake

Make sure you consume enough fibre in your diet because it helps to soften your stool and makes your poop easier to pass. Dr Patil suggests, “Increase your fiber intake up to 25to 30 gms per day. Add Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, sweet potatoes, and foods high in fiber to your diet.”

Increase fiber intake Make sure you consume enough fibre in your diet because it helps to soften your stool and makes your poop easier to pass.
Eating fibre-rich food is advisable. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Be active

To stay active and energetic follow physical activities because they can help to reduce your bowel movements. Plus, you can also practice yoga and aerobic exercises because they’re good for reducing the risk of constipation.

Keep these tips in mind if you’re following intermittent fasting and facing bowel issues.

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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