Pretty much all my health issues have been solved via the paleo/primal diet except for my most long standing issue. I have been chronically constipated since age 2 or so(I'm 20). There were times in my SAD life that I went only once every 7-10 days, and never did I go more than once every 3 days. My stools have always been large and hard and after going VLC I saw some improvement in terms of softness and size. For the first month or so I even went every 2-3 days, which was "good" for me. After being paleo for 2 years and VLC for over a year(to heal from gluten intolerance issues) I have decided to try some new things.
What I have tried so far while being VLC:
- increased greens - made my poop green and somewhat softer when eaten in large amounts
- increased veggies in general - no discernible change
- increased fat(from coconut, beef tallow, butter) - poops softer and slightly sometimes more frequent, but not consistently
- raw apple cider vinegar - no discernible change
- fermented veggies(kimchi and sauerkraut) - gives me gas, no discernible change
- fermented dairy(homemade goat kefir) - no discernible change
- magnesium taurate(about 400mg per day) - helped with consistency and frequency but not a ton, helped sleep a lot more
- drinking tons of water - no discernible change
- nut butters(almond, sunflower seed) - made my poop soft but only when I ate like half a jar
- magnesium sulfate(epsom salts) - works great
- coffee(1 strong cup daily) - makes me nearly regular(poop every 1-2 days), at least for a week until tolerance develops
- marijuana - same as coffee but my bowels become addicted and the rebound effect is EXTREME bowel constriction when I stop
On the hunch that I have a yeast overgrowth, which is one reason I stayed VLC, I tried some anti-fungal things: Oregano oil, 10-undecenoic acid(SF722), raw garlic cloves, and Pau d'Arco tea. I cycled these for 20 days, 5 days on each. Finally, after 18 years, I had a bowel movement once a day for 10 days. I don't know if it was the anti-microbial effect or just a laxative effect from the Pau d'Arco but it felt amazing. A side effect is that I became more gassy than usual for a few days during that time. Now I'm going once every 2 days but it feels like its slowing down and my stools are becoming hard again and I'm having to strain like usual.
Now I'm trying some probiotic supplements, so far Jarro-Dophilus, and have only succeeded in making myself bloated and gassy. I stopped taking them to try experimenting with upping my starch(sweet potato, squash, white rice) and fruit(kiwi, blueberries) and the bloating seems to be worse when I eat these foods. So my question is: what should I do about the constipation? Do you think it's yeast/bacterial overgrowth? And also, do you think my reaction to to starch/sugar is an adaptation period after being in ketosis for so long, or just a symptom of overgrowth? I have only been experimenting with the carb sources for a week.
I should mention that the only significant health problems I have now are sinus congestion(have had sinus problems for years, paleo made it 10x better) and constipation. I take fermented cod liver oil and l-glutamine currently. I am very lean, probably too lean, at 120 pounds and 5'10". My known allergies are gluten and formaldehyde and I am sensitive to chlorine. Thanks, if you took the time to read all this. I probably forgot some things and if you need a detailed description my diet just ask
asked byNooMoahk (502)
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on July 26, 2013
at 03:17 AM
It seems I may have found the answer. In short, Ray Peat.
For the last 4 months I have been eating Ray Peat style, at least the way I interpret a RP diet to be. Mostly low fiber fruits, raw goat's milk, grass-fed beef(raw or cooked), shellfish, orange juice, coffee, traditionally prepared animal rennet cheese(mostly parmigiano reggiano), occasional well cooked potato, and occasional Haagen-Dazs. For added fats I generally use coconut oil but sometimes good quality olive oil or butter.
I now move my bowels 1-2 times a day with the most ease I have ever experienced, and my low thyroid and hypoglycemic like symptoms have not returned once I began eating sugar. It feels like I have a really fast metabolism and I have gained 10-15 pounds of muscle/water such that I actually look healthy in weight.
I think the biggest difference was cutting out large amounts of fiber, and almost all vegetables. Secondly, the raw carrot. RP recommends a raw carrot per day, at least for a period of time, to reduce bacterial growth in the intestines. It seemed to work for me because it got rid of 99% of my gas and bloating within about a month. I also had some sort of die off reaction or cleansing of mucous or something when eating the carrot at first. After that, no more bowel irritation for me.
Here's hoping this is all still working out in a year. At first I couldn't eat dates or potatoes but now they don't seem to harm me so I guess I'm still improving. Maybe I can return to eating some broccoli one day too! To anyone on Paleohacks looking for their solution I wish you good luck. For me, fiber is a menace.
on March 01, 2013
at 07:25 AM
I had chronic constipation due to SIBO. I am still recovering from SIBO (the test confirmed I no longer have it, because my breath test results were perfect!) AND
I am no longer constipated.
If you don't have SIBO, eating plenty of RAW vegetables for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including raw beets (yum, yum) will do it.
Also, consuming some mandarin oranges and nuts each day helps me to stay regular.
No fermented foods for me (yet). I was trying to give up fruit, but I still eat plums.
If you do have SIBO, this is NOT FOR YOU.
Also, I have IgG antibodies to Candida Albicans in my blood. Candida causes constipation.
on March 28, 2013
at 10:09 AM
Hi, Some natural home remedies to cure from chronic constipation are: Fiber- A diet low in fiber may play a role in constipation. Insoluble fiber, which passes through the body almost unchanged, gives stools bulk and a soft texture, making them easier to pass. Fluids- Making sure you drink enough fluids such as water may help some people with constipation. Fluids make bowel movements softer and easier to pass. Stimulant laxative- Many herbal laxatives and "dieter's teas" are called stimulant laxatives, or anthranoid laxatives. such as cascara sagrada. Probiotic, Acupressure, Magnesium. These are some natural way to cure from constipation
on March 01, 2013
at 07:12 PM
i'd suggest reading the book "fiber menace."
on March 01, 2013
at 07:39 AM
More fat? Lots of water? If you did not have a bowel or colon issue, I would suggest Formula 1 Bowel Treatment by Dr. Robert Schultz www.herbdoc.com If you have any inflammation, bleeding, etc conditions, do not take formula 1 as it has habernero peppers in it. The formula comes in capsule form and is herbal. It will keep you regular each day, maybe with even more than one bowel movement.Formula 1 is not addictive and when more fat and more water doesn't work, it's what I reach for.
on August 26, 2014
at 03:39 PM
I am chroncly constipated I do eat a lot od Greek Yougert couls that be the problem I also drink a lot of tea...?
on May 23, 2014
at 06:54 PM
When you eat cleaner you naturally detoxify. You awaken toxins as your body cleanses itself. Your body's main way to eliminate toxins are via the bowel. Sometimes when you eat cleaner you awaken more toxins than your bowel can handle, which results in constipation. To really enjoy the benefits of a clean diet, get a gravity method colonic to remove the excess toxins and help tone the bowel. Read 'The Raw Food Detox Diet' by Natalia Rose or 'The Body Ecology Diet' by Donna Gates for more information. Peace out @NooMoahk
on August 13, 2013
at 01:15 AM
Kiwifruit is particularly powerful. I can not eat more than one a day, but members of my family who are constipated beat their constipation with 2 or 3 kiwifruit a day. As noted above, I think raw and cooked beet is also effective, more so than any other root, and I also note the effects of cardoon. Celery, specially the wild variety (smallage), is something that I have in great amounts in the garden, also makes you run for the lavatory, but not in the same sustainable manner as the foods above.
You could consider eating foods high in fructans (cardoon has some), to see if your lower tract gets active, but I am planting yacon and chicory root in the garden first time next year, so I have no experience in this.
on August 12, 2013
at 10:10 PM
Also, if u r suffering from yeast or bacterial overgrowth (sibo) stay the f*ck away for Sugar, starch, dairy, alcohol, and grains. Stick to low mercury fish, extra lean meat, and veggies.... Avoid fruit for the first few weeks if not the first few km ths depending on the severity of ur overgrowth issues as the sugar in fruit will feed the yeast and the sibo... Rule of thumb with yeast and sibo... Avoid all carbs and sugars bc carbs break down into sugars and sugar feeds the yeast and the sibo! Best of luck. -KB.
on August 12, 2013
at 10:05 PM
Get allergy tested to make sure that u r not consuming something that u r allergic too as this can cause gut Inflammation and the sinus congestion and can slow the healing process and further aggravate the sibo and yeast and any other auto immune condition that u may be suffering from. Best of luck.
on March 02, 2013
at 02:42 AM
I had this problem, and I believe a sluggish thyroid was the cause. I'd tried pretty much everything else on your list, too.
Adding some desiccated bovine thyroid gland completely fixed it. I also started eating more fruit and fewer starches, essentially swapping them.