Extended fasting = Diarrhea

(Gargantuan B. Widebody) #1

I know this topic is unpleasant, and it has come up before, but in reading several older posts I found a lot of discussion but no real answers. I did a 96 hour fast last week and am well into a 96 hour fast this week. For me extended fasting means guaranteed unpleasant diarrhea. For my wife, who is also fasting, no such thing occurs. I am okay for the first 24 hours, maybe the first 48, but between 48-72 I am going to be running to the restroom anywhere between 3-6 times a day. In fact last night I was woke up from a deep sleep just in time to run to the toilet. This would not bother me if I was independently wealthy and could just sit on my toilet all day watching Netflix, but unfortunately I have to work and move around the community. I would rather not risk sitting in a meeting and suddenly have to waddle out of the room clinched to save my life.

I am drinking ample amounts of water, supplementing with 500mg of Magnesium taken before bed, consuming approx. 3mg of sodium a day, etc. I don’t drink coffee or tea or anything else. I don’t consume any fats or proteins or carbs when I am fasting. When I am eating I am eating strictly Keto and only one meal a day.

The two pieces of advice I have found while searching is to mix 1-2 tsp of chia seeds in with 8 oz of water, let the seeds absorb some water and drink it down. Or do something similar with flaxseeds and psyllium husks. The theory being that the fiber would give the intestinal liquids something to combine with. The other piece of advice is to try something like Imodium AD, an over the counter anti-diarrhea medication.

I have not tried either option because I am concerned about them raising blood sugar and insulin levels, because I am concerned about not reaching or getting knocked out of maximum autophagy, and because I am concerned about them somehow reducing or stopping my fast burning efforts. Just the same this issue is keeping from trying out a longer term extended fast, and at my weight and levels of insulin resistance I really need to be actively fasting more than 96 hours.

So what say you good people? Give the seeds or Imodium a shot? Have a better idea? Or should I just go buy some adult diapers?

(What The Fast?!) #2

It’s so interesting that…
a) extended fasting causes the exact OPPOSITE problem in some people (me)
b) the exact same advice is given (chia, flax, psyllium)

I don’t have an answer for you, but am interested in your results.


I have a theory as to why it causes different problems.

The main one may be that it depends what your baseline is. My baseline is to have more frequent movements. If yours is the opposite, then fasting may encourage that.

Having said that, I do think that psyllium is a gastro adaptogen of some type, so whether you need to go more or less it helps to regulate you (no scientific basis to say that, only a hunch based on recommendations). Cannot really speak to Chia seeds.

I personally would not use a chemical such as immodium for something that you know the cause of. While I have varying amounts over the course of fasts, it has varied but never to the amount described. I have had that when ending a fast, once was memorable and since then I take psyllium a couple of hours before I start eating. Maybe plan fasts so that they start on Wednesday, you have a safe 48 hours and then the worst happens on your days off on the weekend. Try the psyllium at that the end of the weekend and if it does not help, take Monday off?

Another option is maybe take psyllium before the fast starts? Still no guarantees

(Chris) #4

I just don’t trust any farts and pack extra underwear in the car. I’ve only had an issue once but watery stools is a thing. Not interested in eating seeds or fiber to try to remedy it, as those would cause me even more digestive issues. I just deal. Identify and cope.

(Bunny) #5

I would use electrolyte water in the baby section of store.

May want to drink mineral water with regular water.

Just be careful with fasting so long and the liquid stool as you could be losing electrolytes really fast and cause problems with your heart despite magnesium and sodium supplementation! If you lose too many electrolytes, the electrical system of your body could shut down i.e. cardiac arrest[1]!

Note: Your method of fasting may be acting as a diruetic so use extreme caution[1].

Autophagy benefits can be achieved with shorter fasts over a period of time!


[1]Arizona Republic News Paper Publication: Location: Phoenix, Arizona Issue Date: Oct 6, 1996 Sunday, Page 33 …Jim Porter blames her unexpected death on her regular consumption of Laci Le Beau Super Dieter’s Tea. Mary Jane drank a cup of the…

(What The Fast?!) #6

I tried that, but if I don’t supplement something to help mobilize things, I end up with an extremely painful situation…hoping to figure it out soon. I may try adding a little natural fiber via fruit (apple are supposed to help). At this point, I may be worth kicking myself out of ketosis.

(Lonnie Hedley) #7

I :poop: around 8:30pm Tuesday, January 16, then did 108+ hours water fast. Then around noon today (1-24), I :poop:. Mostly solid. Can’t remember ever going a week+ without needing to :poop:.

(Lonnie Hedley) #9

My mom thinks it’s chocolate ice cream. :joy:

(What The Fast?!) #10


(Gargantuan B. Widebody) #11

Well, thanks for all the replies. Some good thoughts but not the miracle answer I was looking for. I don’t have troubles with constipation and never have. If I do feel a little backed up all I need to do is add some more fat to my diet and I am cleaned out in a matter of hours.

I considered the electrolyte water for infants until I discovered that even the plain unflavored version was 25 carbs. Yikes! I don’t eat that many carbs when I am eating food. And I looked at 3-4 different brands too.

I will probably give the chia seeds a try. That advice came from someone (can’t remember the name) at Dr. Fung’s IDM clinic so I am just going to presume she knows what she’s talking about. Not thrilled though because chia seeds are gross in all forms. So I will be stirring and chugging and hopefully keeping it all down. I really want go to from these 96 hour fasts into the realm of 7-14 day fasts.

(Bunny) #12

I know what you mean by “gross,” so I incorporated the ground chia seeds into my keto fat bombs when I don’t have fat for a meal or when fasting!

This looks promising:
Hi-Lyte Electrolyte Concentrate for Rapid Rehydration | NO Calories or Sugar | 48 Servings | Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium & Zinc | 100% Guaranteed https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MXDAHIB/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_KBqAAbHYEK1DG

(Gina Craig) #13

Me too!

(Mark) #14

Did you try backing off the magnesium?,that might be the culprit ,I use that brand of magnesium called jigsaw supposed to be time release so it doesn’t hit you all at once,don’t want to end up with disaster pants

(CharleyD) #15

Thought about a probiotic capsule? I don’t have much else to offer. I know when I push salt (pink, at work) and get close to that whole gallon down I have to cop a squat pretty often.

The kind I like has 4 Lacobacillus and 2 Bifidobacterium lines.

Without stool testing, and an experienced doc analyzing the :chocolate ice cream: (is that better?) we’re all in the dark.


The soaked chia seeds are gross, but effective for me while fasting. Kind of like swallowing fish eggs, but maybe that’s good if you like caviar?

(Jennifer) #17

Could it be that you are eating too much salt/potassium/magnesium? Too much will act as a “cleanse” if you know what I mean.

Olives would act similar to the chia seads. They are just fat and fiber and are the only thing that prevents diarrhea in me when I end a fast.


I’ve had a few bouts of diarrhea during extended fasts. I stopped taking all supplements/vitamins and that cured it. Now I only take salt if I feel symptomatic. I figure my body has sufficient stores to last a few days without any consumption.

(What The Fast?!) #19

how much fat is “some more fat”?

(Gargantuan B. Widebody) #20

If I have not used the restroom in a day or two, I can make up a cup of tea with 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil in the morning and again at Noon and by evening I am sitting on the porcelain throne.

(CharleyD) #21

Ooo, if they taste like Roe, I’m in!