Salt for initial LC side effects

Salt for initial LC (<130g carb a day) side effects, constipation included…I knew salt was needed for headaches and such because of the fluid flush when going low carb. The cutting out the junk where we normally get our salt from.

What I didn’t know, was that a lack of salt also is a cause of constipation. I thought it was just a change of diet and not enough water

This Q&A video covers salt in the first few minutes…
then a lot of stuff on keto (<50g carb a day) and well worth the hour to watch it,
Dr. Stephen Phinney - 'Interactive Workshop – Optimising LCHF for Weight Loss and Health' - YouTube

this is the salt study from the video

for new people to keto, the video may be a bit complicated, because of the group being addressed knowing most of the basic stuff on Keto. …some may need to pause and google it .or start with this
Dr. Stephen Phinney - 'The Art and Science of Low Carb Living and Performance' - YouTube
Dr. Stephen Phinney - 'Achieving and Maintaining Nutritional Ketosis' - YouTube


Hi Jack, absolutely found this to be the case with keto eating. For normal bm one must eat more salt. Made this, mistake at the beginning and now eat my fats well salted.

On a different tack, i am finding it difficult to maintain ketosis… even a small increase in carbs will stop the ketosis and take several days to get back into it…

<50g carb with too much protein can do the same thing to me, (my main sin) I tend to eat too much protein and about 50% is converted to glucose. (10% of fat does)

I’m far from a poster child. My A1c is low 5’s, but I’m still a fatty. I do a slack version LCHF, mostly 20-50g and keto when it happens.
The ketones come and go, carbs are a disaster to me, (especially on a bad day. Potato crisps are a food group, how do they manage to fit 100g carb into such a tiny bag. :imp: )
Once I start on carbs, that’s me done for the day, I only get hungry and want more.

I tend not to be concerned, as long as my FBG is OKAY and isn’t creeping up. The overweight doesn’t bother me as much. To lose weight I have to get the insulin out of my system and stay in keto, that means watching my proteins too.

Hi Jack, me too! My hba1c is also low 5s. Am targeting < 20 g of carb and < 60g of protein… that doesn’t work every day… and I am slack about measuring, so that don’t help… and if it’s in front of me (like my sister’s cheese cake yesterday at our family’s Christmas get together, I eat it despite my previous best intentions). Hey, we’re human! Today is a new day.

The lecture you linked by phinney is SO good. Was engrossed. Thanks for linking it.

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Informative for me. Thanks,Nancy

You may want to not go too heavy on the salt if you have a history of nephrolithiasis and/or hypertension.

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good point, but most would have been told if they are at risk from BP. as always ask your Dr. this is the internet after all.

from the link above.
“Low sodium intake does reduce blood pressure modestly, compared to moderate (or average) intake, but low sodium intake also has other effects, including adverse elevations of certain hormones that are associated with an increase in risk of death and cardiovascular diseases. The key question is whether these competing physiologic effects result in net clinical benefit or not,” says O’Donnell, an associate clinical professor at McMaster University and National University of Ireland Galway.

“In the PURE study, we found the lowest risk of death and cardiovascular events in those who consumed moderate amounts of sodium intake (3 to 6 grams per day), with an increased risk above and below that range. While this finding has been reported in previous smaller studies, PURE is the largest international study to study sodium intake and health outcomes, and adds considerable strength to the contention that moderate sodium intake is optimal.”

I would need to look further into it, if it wasn’t done properly and adjusted for prior disease, the observation of low salt and death, may be because sick people have their salt reduced.

Neither, thankfully. The lecture discussed salt and how much is too much. Best results, and lowest mortality from the study was at 3 - 6 g/day if I remember right… (there a a small population of people who have salt sensitive hypertension… these people likely need lower salt). The body’s handling of salt when eating ketogenic is quite different than on High carb, and salt requirements may be higher.

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I eat a ton of salt (of the table-salt sodium chloride variety) but have also found increasing my other electrolytes to be important: I make sure I get more potassium (I take a tablet and use the “Lite” salt which is half potassium chloride) and magnesium in my diet now as well.

On the constipation front, I’ve found that adding two 500mg chelated magnesium tablets a day really solves that issue. Sometimes too well. I’ve always had poor fat tolerance (I eat low-carb, high protein rather than low-carb, high fat), and the combination of eating more oils and extra magnesium does a number on my GI tract… totally worth that minor inconvenience, though.

I think lite would be a good choice.
epsom salts (magnesium) is a well known laxative.

I think you can get your digestion and gut a lot better…google this…TBH, I would be working in your gut bugs with broad spectrum probiotics, fibre/resistant starches. diabetics have a different gut biome to regular people. also look at… leaky gut…FODMAP / LCHF…

I do use very strong probiotics, that ain’t the problem :slight_smile: I’m just one of those people that doesn’t produce the “right” digestive enzyme combination to make utilizing fats a comfortable process. I’ve got my diet pretty much down to a science at this point (and my doctors and dietitian are on board with my routine). It’s quite different from yours, I suspect, but that’s due to my lifestyle. I probably follow closer to a Bernstein-diet, low-carb and high protein, although I eat more carbs than Bernstein would suggest (I’m also not currently insulin-dependent, which makes that possible and easier).

My doctoral work was in plant microbiomes (but also the way those affect animal microbiomes), so it’s something I’ve put a lot of thought and work into over the years. Some of us just don’t deal with fats as well, and the particular combo of lots of oils (coconut is the worst for me), fiber, and magnesium in my diet means I enjoy a mild bout of constipation as a change of pace.

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I’ve found that eating dark green leafy vegetables fights constipation. Turnip greens seem to have the best flavor.

also just a mix of oat bran and psyllium does help, in the first two weeks.
It’s just that I have never heard of a salt deficiency causing constipation before. it’s new to me.