Constipation and Salt?

(Candii) #1

Could someone describe how to use salt to battle constipation. This is something I have dealt with all my life and being on keto sometimes seems to make it worse. Looking for a solution is actually what brought me to this forum.
I was suffering something fierce and started taking magnesium at night before bed. That did help and admittedly I slacked off this past week. I try to get enough water…but I seem to remember reading that you can place a chunk of salt on your tongue…but I can’t seem to find that post…can anyone help? TIA

(The amazing autoimmune 🦄) #2

There are several Ketoade recipes here, I use them they are a drink that is a mixture of lite salt and magnesium. They work great.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #3

There are a few studies that came out in the past few years, all of which seem to indicate that the healthiest level of sodium consumption is between 4 and 6 grams a day, which translates to between 10 and 15 grams of table salt (NaCl)—or about 2-3 U.S. teaspoons a day. And this includes the salt already present in the food.

I don’t actually measure my salt, but I have discovered that if I get too little, I am vulnerable to constipation and migraines, and if I get too much—well, let’s just say that constipation is very much not a prolem, if you get my drift! So there is some automatic self-correction that takes place, making measuring not really necessary. It helps that I have always craved salt, since early childhood, and really enjoy the taste.

I just take a pinch of salt and eat it, but if you can find rock salt that is not prohibitively expensive, try sucking on it as though it were candy—or place a small chunk under your tongue and let it dissolve. (Under the tongue avoids having to cope with an intense salt taste.)

My understanding is that the bodily mechanisms that regulate the levels of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium are all inter-related, so that for most people, getting sodium intake in the right range eliminates the need for supplementing the others. But of course everyone’s situation is different, and you still might need to supplement. (I just feel that if we’re eating right, supplementing shouldn’t really be needed, so that’s my bias, here.)

Dr. Phinney has an explanation in one of the videos on LCDU’s YouTube channel (it was a lecture he gave at a Low Carb Down Under event in the last year and a half), of why not enough salt causes constipation, but I can’t remember the link, nor the explanation, either, lol!

(mole person) #4

I’d be very interested in any links to these studies. I would like to have more frequent bowel movements.

Right now I still average over a week between mine, and while there is no straining or difficulty, I do find that my levels of abdominal discomfort increases in the few days leading to one.

Nonetheless my brain is still balking at the thought of too much salt. Good science would change that though.

(Candii) #5

Did I read that the lite salt was something to be super careful with?

(I came for the weight loss and stayed for my sanity... ) #6

I had bad constipation when starting keto. But I was doing it all wrong. Could you share your macros maybe and tell us what your typical day of keto looks like?

(i was having too much cheese and dairy and way too little fat, balancing my macros really helped)
Also whey protein was killing me…

For a quick fix: half a tsp of your favorite salt (sea, pink himmalayan, gray, anything really) dissolved in a glass water drinking it quickly always gets me going. if that does not help repeat 2 h or so later (careful if you should have hypertension. I personally have more of a low blood pressure in general)

(Candii) #7

The only thing I’ve been paying attention to the last couple of weeks is trying to not go over 20g carbs. A typical day might be eggs and sausage or bacon in the morning, also coffee with HWC then pork or chicken with a vegetable with butter for dinner.
I have been having more dairy over the last week or so also (but this isn’t typical)…maybe that’s it…

(Candii) #8

I do have rock salt!! Thank you for the explanation. I am going to try this out and see what happens! lol.
I’ll do a search for Dr. Phinney on youtube and see if I can find his video. :smiley:

(The amazing autoimmune 🦄) #9

Yes, but the recipe says 1/4 teaspoon to I think 24 ounces of water and one tablespoon of magnesium. That small of an amount is fine you could probably double it and still not be harmed. Remember anything can be harmful if you eat too much.

There is a whole thread on Keto aid by zorn take a look at the thread. You only have to read the first couple of posts on it.

I would post a link but I am on my phone.

(Jim) #10

What’s the CW on something like Miralax?


I feel your pain, i am in the same boat, going over a week tried everything including magnesium and salt, no luck. Been on clean keto 3 weeks today well under 20g of carbs but think i might give up now :frowning:

(Candii) #12

I have been working on the rock salt this morning and it worked!! Don’t give up!


Will give it another week, but really frustrated
Been having bone broth added more pink salt to it, add salt to everything, take magnesium like clockwork, gained 4lbs, but thats not really a problem (would like to lose over 12lbs) want to sort my body out first.
So deflated now, i never got the keto flu either, was plain sailing only thing is the constipation :grimacing:

(I came for the weight loss and stayed for my sanity... ) #14

Since you are just starting out I would track fat as well, so you get enough, not to restrict it.
I was sooo afraid of fat in the beginning I was overdoing protein a lot, and had way too little fat …
Once your body is adapted things will get easier and you can switch from plate fat to body fat.

(The amazing autoimmune 🦄) #15

Are you taking magnesium citrate? That is the one recommended for constipation not the other types of magnesium. Are you eating enough veg? This is a huge shift for your body to make so I would suggest in the beginning to make sure you are eating enough spinach etc.

Good luck.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #16

(mole person) #17

Thank so much, @PaulL. I can never remember, how much salt in teaspoons does 4-5 grams of sodium translate into?


I am taking magnesium citrate before bed, have at tleast 60grm spinach every day, when so desperate went to the pharmacy and picked up milk of magnesia had that twice been having pink salt on everything
Looks like its going to be a trip to the dr’s
Its now a week and weight is just going up
Just don’t feel good anymore
And i thought i was doing so good starting my 4th week.
No slip ups or anything
Dont think this is for me, even though i was enjoying it


Have you tried drinking mct oil yet? It’s supposedly good at getting your bowels moving.

Whey protein killing you, does that mean it made you constipated? Because if that’s the case, I might just have to start taking it daily.

(Jim) #20

I chugged 32oz of water with two teaspoons of Himalayan salt this morning and a half hour later … well, you get the picture.