diarreha on day after fast

This topic contains 143 replies, has 107 voices, and was last updated by  cmma01 3 years, 6 months ago.

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  • Since posting last time (20 Feb 2014) I’ve tried drinking less water/tea/herbal tea etc during the fast day because I was probably drinking twice the amount of beverages I’d normally ingest. Plus, I’ve been eating the evening “fast day” meal very slowly and chewing the food a lot. These actions have staved off any further bouts, thank goodness.

    Deneez, just from my experience. Take care and drinks lots of water. We get a lot of moisture from food we eat. I drank a lot less when fasting (just because I cut out soft drinks and because I forgot to drink as much water instead) and I’m pretty sure I gave myself a kidney stone that is now stuck because of it. Small operation on 18th consequently.
    Probably you know this, but I knew it as well, I just forgot because I was so fixated on the food bit and fasting. You can see if you need to drink more water from the colour of your wee. xx

    Hi, it took me a while to link the diarreha to the 5:2 diet.
    This is my 3rd week and I have had no problems before. But I had to skip work because of this today. What I did different yesterday on the fast day was that I ate some sweets, will def skip that next and see if this continues. I have not eaters anything sweet on a fast day before.
    good luck all.

    I find I have diarreha the day after I fast. I don’t eat much in the way of solids when I fast, so it’s quite natural. You could try having psyllium husks or Regucol from Holland and Barrett. This will help to bulk you up a bit and steady your stool movement. There are no calories in this either.

    This also happens to me, but I think of it as a cleansing and since I normally have the opposite problem it is a welcome thing. I usually feel lighter and better after. My envisioning is like a straw with air bubbles in it and fasting is causing the air bubbles in the tube. Since it only effects me in the morning and then is over for the rest of the day it is not much of a problem.

    I love 5:2 so far (am three weeks in) but the diarrhea is killing me! I’ve had some really close calls… I’m starting to fear leaving the house and being anywhere but home and work where there is a bathroom only a few feet away! I’m doing probiotics and seeing no difference, nor can I see a correlation with any specific food. This can’t continue…

    I otherwise feel fantastic. I’m sleeping better, have more energy, and losing pounds and inches. But this side-effect really, really sucks.

    I started the 5:2 Diet last week. Had a bad bout of diarrhoea the day after when out shopping, and had to SOS my husband to come and collect me. A good disabled toilet came to my recue so I was quite composed when he got to me. However, I was so caught off guard as I haven’t had this happen to me for years! It was just the one bout and no cramps. When it happened again the day after my second fast day this week I went online looking for an explanation and found your forum. I was very relieved to know that others had had the same reaction – but why is it that we haven’t had a proper explanation or found a solution? I am feeling well and fit, and apart from a slight headache in the evenings this was the only unexpected side effect. I have every intention of carrying on with the diet, but will now list everything I eat and drink for a couple of weeks to see if there are any clues to be found. I am not keen on tablets so have to check out the Probiotic ones before I try that route. Will clock in with my feedback next week.

    Digestive distress happens until the body gets used to the lack of carbohydrates. Most folks eat fewer foods with carbs in it on their fast days and the body takes a while to get used to it.

    If you are following Atkins, this is called Induction Flu.

    I think this thread deserves a real answer from the people who founded the site. Diarrhea isn’t healthy and it’s literally cramping my style.

    My theory is that when fasting the gallbladder can get a bit stagnant with bile and when we (some of us) break a longer fast the gallbladder empties itself and causing diarrhea.
    I wonder if this is more prevelant with particular sorts of fasts – just water fasts for example.

    I imagine the reason it is not addressed in an obvious way is that it is not a unique symptom and goes away after a couple of weeks. Some folks have the opposite.

    I looked up some other sites and one says that eating higher fat may encourage the diarrhea. Trying going lower fat on your fast days and increase the fiber. Lots of fresh veggies will do the trick.

    Try doing a google search on diarrhea and 5:2 fasting. Lots of folks offer suggestions.


    As to your inquiry regarding water only fasting, mine started when I switched to water only fasting and my gallbladder was removed in 2000. Might be a valid theory for those with a gallbladder and consuming food however.
    I do drink lots of water on my fast days and get nauseous if I don’t as my belief is that I have a lot of bile build up since there is no gallblader to store it. My thought is that I am cleansing my system and my liver may be working overtime and therefore making more bile. It would be good to hear from a doctor on this.

    I’m afraid your theory about bile is wrong, Cookie.

    The gallbladder is the storage area for bile. Once it has been removed the bile trickles into the small intestines constantly and does not “build up” as it has nowhere else to go apart from the gut.

    I am not sure what you mean by cleansing. Our bodies get rid of toxins constantly, some through the liver and some through the kidneys. How much work the liver does depends on how much work there is to do, however, like any system relying on enzyms it has a limit on how much it can do per hour. Like a production line in a factory: once everyone works 24/7 at full speed it cannot go any faster.
    This is the reason why we get drunk after having a few pints too many: the liver has a maximum capacity for converting alcohol, once that is reached it takes time to plough through all the alcohol in the blood stream.

    I’ve just completed my first week on the diet, and have also been suffering from diarrhoea. My theory was similar to Cookies as I had my gall bladder out in 2001, and it feels like I am passing bile mainly. I just thought that as my stomach had little or no food to deal with it was just coming straight through. Not pleasant but I’ll just have to see how it goes.

    Really interesting to read these posts as I too have experienced the need to rush to the loo soon after breaking a fast. I am “retired” so I think maybe I just need to exercise caution over the timing of when I eat. As I’m planning to go out this afternoon, I’ll wait until I get back before I eat just to be on the safe side.

    Thank you for your info on the gallbladder function as I am not entirely clear on how it relates to the function of the digestive system. My cleansing thought is that the system is clearing itself out as it has a break from the constant input and processing of food, therefore allowing it to clean up and clear out any congestion or back up. Just my thoughts, no medical or scientific data to support this idea. I know I personally feel lighter and cleaner taking a break from eating and letting my system catch up so to speak. However, my system has always been sluggish even before my gallbladder was removed.

    I’m glad I found this thread. I have also had this problem. It generally tends to be when I break my fast but this afternoon(non-fast day) I went out to lunch with some work colleagues and after we left, I desperately needed the toilet. I wasn’t sure if I’d make it back to the office ok! Its quiet uncomfortable so any advice would be appreciated.

    So pro-biotics and fibre tablets help? any ones in particular?

    Yes me too, I also have bad cramps, grumbling tummy, and am running to the toilet so many times. So far I have been 5 times this morning. Phew! its exhausting.
    I am not sure if it is the cottage cheese, herbal tea, Almond milk, these are the new things I have added to my meals. I have had these before but not the same reaction I am having now. I might get some probiotic to see if this helps in any way. I will put this into my log so next week I will compare.

    Your not alone!

    I had my first fast day yesterday and fasted 22 hours and ate my 500cals for my evening meal. The fast was a breeze, but I too had 1 bout of diahorrea but it was within 2 hours of eating, then no more. I did however feel quite nauseous when i went to bed and through the night, which I find way more challenging. I’m not gonna let that stop me though πŸ˜‰ cheers to you all

    Same here! I am on 5:2 since june and after the first 2 months of having this problem, i found the solution! And it works perfect! The meal that brakes the fast should not contain liquids and any beverages are totaly excluded 30min before and after the meal!! Every time i respect the rule, everything is normal.. when i forget about it or ignore it, i know i expect diarreha!! Always! I know other people who know this and control this problem as i do, so is not valid only for me! Hope this helps someone!

    Hi all, my problem is just obstipation. Anyone that can give advise on that?

    Hi Ann. You could try drinking more water, herbal tea, etc and eating lots of vegetables and salad. You can also have 1/2 cup of All Bran for 100 calories with 1/2 cup of hi-lo milk for 65 calories – if you can fit it into the day’s allowance. Exercise should help, too – even if it’s just walking for half an hour. I’ve just looked up a website with other good advice, but which also says the condition could be indicative of other medical problems. See http://www.drugs.com/cg/obstipation.html .

    Hi Deneez, thanks for yor advice. Think I drink plenty, more than 3 l a day, but exercise is less than normal due to the cold and not being my usual self these days. Herbal tea is also a good idea. It isn’t a big problem untill now, but it has been 6 days now, so some day in the near future it should happen… Exercise and herbal tea, it is!

    This seems a common thing with this diet, I experienced it yesterday myself .. about an hour after eating. I will definately try what you suggest rares, thanks for that I’ll give it a go. On a positive note I was 2lb down this morning πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Please, if you give it a try, let us know if works for you to! Cheers!

    Calling all those who have had their gall bladder removed. I need help please. I have had to stop this diet as a result of the diarrhoea suffered the day after fasting which is really disappointing as it had suited me so well. Is there anyone else out there who has conquered this that has also had their gall bladder removed as I believe that may be part of my problem. Thanks

    Mum of Two, A lot of people with their gb have diarrhoea when they break their fast so it may not be because you have had yours removed.
    Have you tried Rares’ solution from higher up in this thread? I wonder if you tried different ways of breaking your fast you could find a way to lesson it. Maybe breaking your fast with a small amount for an hour or two? That worked a bit for me – although I still have my gb albeit with a lot of stones.
    Good luck.

    This may be a hard problem to solve – I believe the diarrhea is caused by something called the gastro-colic reflex. Basically when you eat, your digestive system has a reflex to clear your bowels to make room for the food that will be coming along the pipe. This is why babies fill their diapers right after you feed them. And if you occasionally eat something and then think “wow, that went right through me,” that’s the gastro-colic reflex also. Some people have a more active gastro-colic reflex than others, and one thing that can make it more sensitive is a period of fasting. Breaking your fast with a light meal without a lot of fat may help. High amounts of fat seem to make the response stronger for some people.

    Hello All,
    Gall bladder removed 20 years ago. I found that for the first couple of months that the day after fasting, I would get diarrhoea. But it settled down and hasn’t been problem since. I just think my body had to get used to the lack of food.

    Thanks for that Kilda. I have to say that does sound as though it is what I am suffering from. Actually did the 5:2 fasting successfully for over a year before the diarrhoea became a real issue, but will look at gastro-colic reflex in more detail now.

    Hi Kilda & everyone. I agree that anything with a higher fat level is what seems to set me off. I now have to stick to steamed chicken breast or omelette on fast nights. That’s worked for the past 6 months now. I can’t have crispy skinned or fresh salmon at all on fast days… That was what was setting me off before.

    I suffer from this too. With severe cramping. Awful! I have a friend who has had gastric bypass and describes something called dumping where certain foods or quantities give her similar symptoms as we are describing. Maybe same sort of idea??

    I have been following the diet for over 2 years and have lost 12 kilos. However…..on about ten occasions I have had severe diarrhea on a fasting day after an evening meal of about 300 calories – no carbs,vegetables, fish/prawns/chicken. Diarrhea is rapid – I don’t get to the loo in time but with no warning pain or cramps. Usually lasts up to two hours & involves either living in the bathroom or risking more accidents. I have to get this sorted! Has anyone consulted their doctor?

    Has anyone heard of FODMAP, having IBS this is something Ive researched. Some foods we may not realise can irritate the bowels. These foods can include brassicas, eg cabbage also sometimes mushrooms, also onions and garlic, wheat is not the only culprit. Maybew after a fast the bowel is just a little more sensitive. Last week I had vegetable soup and suffered with stomach cramps. I think is was because it was mainly cabbage.

    Beans including lentils and soya are also on the list

    Suffering from this problem myself, I agree it’s a pity there hasn’t been an authoritative response. Doing a bit of sleuthing, I have tentatively concluded that the problem in my case may be excessive release of bile in response to a sudden intake of fat after a period of fasting. This is based on the fact that my diarrhoea has an alkaline smell (like old-fashioned hair perm solution) which is consistent with bile, and my reading that bile is released in response to fat in the stomach. I’m going to try & test this theory by (1) seeing if my diarrhoea is more alkaline than my usual faeces(using a pH dipstick; not a pleasant thought though!) and (2) reintroducing fat slowly in the day after the fast. I will keep you posted.
    Good wishes to all fellow-sufferers!

    Snodrop, I came to that same conclusion. I think the gallbladder does not empty during fasting so in response to eating again, the gb dumps a whole of of accumulated bile, causing diarrhea.
    At least that made sense with me because I did 24 or even 30 hour water fasts. If this theory is correct – people who split their 500 calories up throughout the day probably won’t get diarrhea – but if you go all night + day and eat the 500 calories in the evening, you may well.
    I think, and if this is correct, it could mean that the gall sitting in the gb may be more inclined to form stones in susceptible people. The only research I could find was that gall stones become more likely to form after the gb has not emptied for 12-14 hours not eating.
    If this is correct, it would probably make sense to eat, small amounts of fatty foods at the usual meal times. Unfortunately that is not what those of us who find it easier not not eat at all want to hear!
    But I’d love to hear some qualified medical response to this.

    Update: this week I tried to reintroduce fat slowly after my fast day (breakfast – porage & soya milk, lunch – crab salad without dressing, dinner “normal”) and I am pleased to say I didn’t get diarrhoea. This solution would not of course address Speedy’s concerns about stagnant bile and gallstones. I haven’t done any pH testing as the local chemist didn’t have testing strips (you can get them on the internet of course, for about Β£10). So far, so good …
    BUT last week, I did try contacting the people who manage this website, using Contact us at the bottom of the page, but have not yet had the courtesy of a reply. Rather disappointing.

    Doing AF at the moment to kick start the weight loss, 4:3 just wasn’t working enough, but I think I should rename it AD because the last two days after my fasting day I have experienced diarrhoea with awful stomach cramps starting around lunchtime!! Its so frustrating when I have tried all suggestions on earlier posts! Miht have to give coffee a miss for a few days!

    Hi, I recently started the 5:2. Yesterday was my fourth fast day. I too joined this web page looking for an answer to this. On a fast day I am perfectly fine, however the following day after my evening meal, I need to immediately go to the toilet, just a one off and then I am fine again. However, I am worried about this as I’m out for tea on Friday, and Thursday is my fast day.
    I split my 500 cals into 3 small meals, which works best for me. The following day, I have strong stomach cramps, but no problems until the evening. I eat breakfast before work, dinner at work, but when I return home for my evening meal I have to go straight to the toilet and then my stomach feels better. I eat fruit everyday, and tbh, I don’t drink alot anyway; I know I should drink way more. Each day, I had a different meal aswell, so I have no idea what is triggering this? Does anyone have any ideas? Did this problem eventually just disappear, or do people still suffer with it?
    Thanks In Advance.

    Happened to me too. I did a 350 calorie fast followed by a no food day. The next morning I had Oats so simple porridge with blueberries. One hour later terrible stomach cramps and whoosh. Luckily I was at home, I dread to think what could have happened if I were out.

    Next time I will try having a lighter breakfast, see how that works.

    I noticed that I only get loose stools when I drink coffee on fast days. I was never a big coffee drinker, but started drinking coffee on the fast days to get me through it. I noticed a direct connection between the coffee and loose stools. I would have an attack the day after fasting. Hope that helps!

    Hi – I only started this two weekes ago – today is start of week three. I have lost just about half a stone so far, which I realise will slow dramatically soon, but for the last few days I haven’t been able to eat anything with a high fat content without it going straight through me, preceded by sever cramps and followed by excessive flatulence and belching. All of these things used to happen to me when I suffered with IBS – not for maybe 8 years now – so I am a bit ticked off that it has flared up again. It is encouraging that so many people are having the same sort of problem – however mine seems to be lasting a bit longer than most. Do it ease up eventually??

    I went off the 5:2 diet a while back because the diarrhea on day after fasting was getting me down. I have restarted the diet recently and I think I have fixed the diarrhea problem by having 1 teaspoon of Metamucil (psyllium husks) in a glass of water, first thing in the morning on every non-fast day. Apparently, (according to the website) the Metamucil works primarily through mechanical effect by absorbing water, bulking the colonic contents and decreasing transit time. Anyway, that is my unqualified advice which I hope may be of some help to others.

    I too have this problem, approximately two hours after eating breakfast on the day after a fasting day.

    I think it would be really nice if @DrMichaelMosley would maybe weigh in on this, as the developer of the diet and being a doctor….

    I too get the squirts on the day after a fast. I have a theory though that the fast is resetting my body including my accumulated tolerance to dairy and wheat. The two thing I tend to avoid on a fast day but go a little nuts on the day after. It’S usually after wheat sugar and dairy that I run to the loo on feast days!

    God, thank god I’m not alone!!!
    Only finished fasting last night and had my breakfast this morning which almost instantly led to me rushing up to the toilet….. very sensitive stomach to say the least

    Decided to venture out to the shops ( hoping i would not have an accident lol), decided to be wary of what i eat the day after my 2 day fast. Sticking to fizzy water and some fruit, maybe chance a tuna salad later, but NO bread or sauces!!!!!

    Have you tried eating only one meal for three days after fast and just eating fresh steamed veggies without spices or grease to begin with?

    I have IBS and this would happen every time on a fast day. So I now eat simple mashed potato or white bread sandwich to reduce the shock to my system. It works! Not very nutritious but low fibre and soothing on the gut. I make sure I eat veges etc on my non fast days for nutrition. Also avoid artificial sweeteners especially sorbitol.

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