5

votes

My bowels don't like Paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 15, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Ok, I never ever thought I'd ask a question about bathroom habits in a public arena. That said, I am asking a question about the yucky stuff. I am on day 6 of Paleo. I have increased my fat intake, at the suggestions of many (I was dizzy, weak, lightheaded and feel much better now) on this site. I eat hardboiled eggs for breakfast, snack on almonds o fruit if hungry, huge salads with bacon or steak on top, veggies and meat (chicken, turkey, fish, beef...BACON) for dinner and am attempting to drown myself in water. I even drink coffee in the a.m. and that used to move things right along, if you know what I mean.

Here's the thing. Remember when you were young and got constipated...your mom always said, "you need more roughage (ruffage)!"

I eat a TON of veggies/ruffage, am on day 6 and um...well, haven't pooped once. Amazingly, I'm not in pain at all - no gut pain, nothing.

Did anyone else have this problem?

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

I bet you save a ton on toilet paper too! When I was a teen vegetarian and 3 women in the home (two of them vegetarians as well) we probably went through 2 rolls a day.

1deaea445ff3b1cb5d1354a043dc8fb7

(275)

on July 08, 2013
at 01:09 PM

this is wrong, drink lots of water, if you are dehydrated your body will suck water from your poo to keep hydrated resulting in hard poos.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on July 07, 2013
at 07:03 AM

That link was very useful. Thanks.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on May 19, 2012
at 07:22 PM

I agree. And maybe also the Mag Cit.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on May 19, 2012
at 06:16 AM

I don't think that the part about the bacteria DNA is correct. Bacteria have between 100,000 - 10,000,000 base pairs, while humans have around 3billion. Correct me if I'm wrong.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 19, 2012
at 03:22 AM

As I've said before, vegetables suck.

45ace03a0eff1219943d746cfb1c4197

(3661)

on April 28, 2012
at 09:15 PM

Oh! Kate, that sounds great. I've got to get some plantains and give it a try.

Bad3a78e228c67a7513c28f17c36b3cf

(1387)

on March 16, 2012
at 12:34 PM

Second the home made sauerkraut suggestion. Also, for some reason plantains fried in coconut or beef tallow really get me going.

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1061)

on March 16, 2012
at 12:21 AM

My constipation stopped when I stopped eating "a ton of roughage". Try a day or two without veggies (eat other nutrient-rich foods) and see how you fare. Too much fiber can really block you up.

723d3f665b2c4b0d40cb439bd6827bb2

(20)

on February 17, 2012
at 02:07 AM

Yes it is, but your body needs to time to adopt when you change your diet and six days are not enough usually. Temporary fixes are then good to have.

0c875e97044bf838a074470caa5d630d

on February 16, 2012
at 02:53 AM

I had the exact opposite problem when I started paleo.

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on February 15, 2012
at 10:07 PM

Good idea. Sauerkraut is also amazingly simple and inexpensive to make. It is great with any kind of meat or fish (that I can think of), and in soups and salads. I've gotten so that I crave it, and now I will just eat it by the bowl. My digestion has always been 'sensitive', and krauts and kimchees make my belly feel great.

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on February 15, 2012
at 10:00 PM

+1 for details. It helps, I think.

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on February 15, 2012
at 09:56 PM

Marnee, she said 6 days of no poop. That seems like constipation.

83d6a06c93bb3490dbca339cbbb63385

(526)

on February 15, 2012
at 08:28 PM

Just because you didn't poop today does not mean you are constipated. Constipation is not defined by lack of poop. Lack of poop just means lack of waste which means that whatever you are eating is being digested more efficiently (less waste) than what you were eating before. This is a good thing.

9a8ba8256b8c9ba6b69a8a8762783ca1

(110)

on February 15, 2012
at 08:14 PM

careful with this stuff though... not a permanent fix. dont recommend using it everyday.

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 15, 2012
at 07:51 PM

+1 for the most common sense answer in the list. Give it more time! I've had days here and there where everything moved a bit slower than usual, especially in the beginning coming off SAD. It is going to take some time experimenting until you figure out what the ideal foods are that keep your digestion in balance.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 15, 2012
at 07:33 PM

"Could the volume be down because of less indigestible fiber from breads, etc.?" Yes.

F92e4ca55291c3f3096a3d4d3d854986

(11698)

on February 15, 2012
at 06:25 PM

Do a search, there is a TON of threads on constipation on here.

Ff551acca848e7f98f34c4b8638bb9fc

(168)

on February 15, 2012
at 05:46 PM

like when I used to eat McDonald's? Wow...that travelled FAST. I think it's awesome you guys talk about poop...it means you're totally comfortable! :)

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on February 15, 2012
at 05:44 PM

That's a temporary fix. I like Joshua's idea more.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on February 15, 2012
at 05:27 PM

Some people get constipated because of the ruffage ... Gelatin solved it for me...

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27 Answers

17
F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on February 15, 2012
at 05:28 PM

Day 6? You have a ways to go.

Understand that digestion is dictated by a whole universe of bacteria whose DNA outnumbers your own human DNA. They have a stake in not only your digestive health, but your immune system and neurological functioning. You cannot shift these populations overnight. It may take months or longer to get them operating in an optimal fashion. Any "cheat" will set you back. I speak from experience, having had a weekend away, and while I didn't go totally off the rails, a bunch of small cheats stacked up and I feel awful.

I think the roughage for digestion business is a farce. It is a response to the SAD garbage everyone eats. If you're eating tons of processed foods, the logical answer appears to be roughage, but for Paleo-style diets, I highly doubt it. I've never had constipation eating this way and I don't focus on roughage.

Give it time. And be careful with the water! Make sure you're getting adequate amounts, but you can go overboard and dilute the HCl acid in your stomach, which will have consequences down the line, if you know what I mean.

For more info, I highly recommend Nora Gedgaudas's Primal Body, Primal Mind.

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 15, 2012
at 07:51 PM

+1 for the most common sense answer in the list. Give it more time! I've had days here and there where everything moved a bit slower than usual, especially in the beginning coming off SAD. It is going to take some time experimenting until you figure out what the ideal foods are that keep your digestion in balance.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on May 19, 2012
at 06:16 AM

I don't think that the part about the bacteria DNA is correct. Bacteria have between 100,000 - 10,000,000 base pairs, while humans have around 3billion. Correct me if I'm wrong.

1deaea445ff3b1cb5d1354a043dc8fb7

(275)

on July 08, 2013
at 01:09 PM

this is wrong, drink lots of water, if you are dehydrated your body will suck water from your poo to keep hydrated resulting in hard poos.

8
45ace03a0eff1219943d746cfb1c4197

(3661)

on February 15, 2012
at 05:54 PM

If you haven't already done so, add probiotics to your diet. You can take capsules, but my favorite is raw sauerkraut. Other raw cultured vegetables are fine, too. The results are undeniable as your body adjusts to taking care of its own internal functions, as it was designed to do.

It really works, effortlessly.

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on February 15, 2012
at 10:07 PM

Good idea. Sauerkraut is also amazingly simple and inexpensive to make. It is great with any kind of meat or fish (that I can think of), and in soups and salads. I've gotten so that I crave it, and now I will just eat it by the bowl. My digestion has always been 'sensitive', and krauts and kimchees make my belly feel great.

Bad3a78e228c67a7513c28f17c36b3cf

(1387)

on March 16, 2012
at 12:34 PM

Second the home made sauerkraut suggestion. Also, for some reason plantains fried in coconut or beef tallow really get me going.

45ace03a0eff1219943d746cfb1c4197

(3661)

on April 28, 2012
at 09:15 PM

Oh! Kate, that sounds great. I've got to get some plantains and give it a try.

7
31ce9bef124bcbd8328335ac7019ed8c

(70)

on February 15, 2012
at 06:32 PM

I had this problem too. It only got worse. Be careful as everyone is not the same. Some of us can't take the high amounts of fat/protein. I would ease into Paleo and add Magnesium (helps the elimination process).

6
C0965b6ba7fc6ce03faa5bf035937ef7

on February 15, 2012
at 06:11 PM

In a family of 8, we all poop less on Paleo. I think it's that our bodies actually use the foods that we eat. There is not as much unnecessary waste!

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

I bet you save a ton on toilet paper too! When I was a teen vegetarian and 3 women in the home (two of them vegetarians as well) we probably went through 2 rolls a day.

6
9e20abb05f3f6e3cc4bb107f8980aecd

on February 15, 2012
at 06:01 PM

It's a common problem on excessively low carb diets. Add some carbs, along with vitamin C and selenium, and odds are you'll be fine. For more possibilities to troubleshoot, see http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=2998.

6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

(1169)

on July 07, 2013
at 07:03 AM

That link was very useful. Thanks.

5
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on February 15, 2012
at 05:21 PM

Some people are different, but I can say for certainty that in my experience? Yo' mama was wrong.

One of my new years resolutions was to increase my vegetable intake by eating (in addition to my normal amounts of veggies) at least a pound of raw vegetables per day.

As I've mentioned before, for about a week I felt fantastic... I was taking half a pound of kale, cranberries, blueberries, grated carrots, and spirulina and shoving it all into a blender with water and choking it down with breakfast.

After a week, I stopped pooping for a couple of days. When I did finally poop, it was a 1 on the bristol scale (dense, painful little rocks). I drink at a minimum, 3 quarts of water per day, and most days, at least twice that.

I went back to my old standby, about 7-10% carbs from veggies, 55% or more from fat, and the rest protein. And now everything works as it should.

I'm not saying that you will be different, in fact I know for sure you will, but experimentation is key to find out what works for you.

5
3c71c8cec5921a8e0672108616f69843

(50)

on February 15, 2012
at 05:16 PM

When you think about what poop is (lol)--stuff that your body could not process--you may find your answer there! On a very strict paleo diet, even my multiple-times-a-day-every-day husband goes a few days between BMs(we had a whole discussion about it..romantic, huh?). As long as you are not uncomfortable physically, don't worry about it. It really is much more scary when you do poop after you allow yourself something decidedly unpaleo. Then you think, jeez why am i pooping so much?

Ff551acca848e7f98f34c4b8638bb9fc

(168)

on February 15, 2012
at 05:46 PM

like when I used to eat McDonald's? Wow...that travelled FAST. I think it's awesome you guys talk about poop...it means you're totally comfortable! :)

5
C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on February 15, 2012
at 05:05 PM

Try bone broth, some sweet potatoes, fermented foods (kombatchu, sourkraut, kimchi) and drink more water. Also long walks will help too.

3
619ac1fff9f4a5c54f0de8f6eac3e0e9

on March 02, 2012
at 12:53 PM

There are lots of things that can cause the symptoms that you are describing. I am on a Paleo diet as well and I love it, but I have had to go through lots of trial and error to find the correct balance of good carbohydrates, proteins & fatty acids to make by digestive system run perfectly. Constipation was the main problem and of course it's hard to lose weight if your your body is not digesting the proteins in the high quantities of meat consumed. The following worked for me:

Betaine Hydrochloride (HLC) tablets - Your stomach mat be underproducing stomach acid. HLC helps to neutralise stomach acid and break down the proteins in your stomach, before they enter the rest of your digestive system. It helps with constipation. Make sure you do the test to see if your stomach is underproducing or over producing BEFORE you launch into this. read this link http://www.modernherbalist.com/betaine.html.

Magnesium supplements - Sleeplessness and muscle cramping are both symptoms of a magnesium deficiency. Go to you local Pharmacy and ask which supplements are the best. Take one a day before bed.

Calcium supplements - Sleeplessness is also a symptom is being low is Calcium. Try a Calcium supplement before bed.

Lastly, you only need one serving of fruit per day and it's best to eat it in the morning. Increase the amount of green leafy vegetables that you are eating, decrease red meats and increase oily fish like salmon, increase your healthy fat intake (avocados, nuts, fish, coconut etc.), don't eat fruit with your meat.

I hope this helps a little :)

3
6c23a5e81a9d8dfa1f18e203b0f01d82

on February 15, 2012
at 05:37 PM

Since this is a place to be open and frank, I'll share my experience with this subject. Before going to a modified Paleo diet, I was once a day every day, like clockwork. When I made the switch, all of a sudden I didn't have to go as much, and when I did it was like half the volume (sorry if this is to detailed).

I'm not sure why this happens, but it doesn't seem to be a big deal...just the new reality. I also eat as much or more fruit and veggies as before. Could the volume be down because of less indigestible fiber from breads, etc.?

1096aa84d006fe967128ffbd37e8070e

(1002)

on February 15, 2012
at 10:00 PM

+1 for details. It helps, I think.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 15, 2012
at 07:33 PM

"Could the volume be down because of less indigestible fiber from breads, etc.?" Yes.

2
16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

on May 19, 2012
at 02:47 AM

In addition to all the great suggestions already mentioned I would add that you could take magnesium and if all else fails, try making some bulletproof coffee (either caffeinated or decaf seems to work the same for me) with a tablespoon to two of MCT Oil. That stuff will make you poop like nothing else.

2
9a8ba8256b8c9ba6b69a8a8762783ca1

on February 15, 2012
at 08:16 PM

try adding in bone broth. spinach always makes me poop.a BIG spinach salad with dinner the night before and I'm definitely having a glorious BM the next morning :)

2
723d3f665b2c4b0d40cb439bd6827bb2

on February 15, 2012
at 05:14 PM

Wide legged squat and hold. Lay on a big ball, belly down and make circular movements clockwise. While sitting in the bathroom, add a stool where your feet are, so your knees come up higher than your hips. Last, eat some prunes. Good luck!

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on February 15, 2012
at 05:44 PM

That's a temporary fix. I like Joshua's idea more.

723d3f665b2c4b0d40cb439bd6827bb2

(20)

on February 17, 2012
at 02:07 AM

Yes it is, but your body needs to time to adopt when you change your diet and six days are not enough usually. Temporary fixes are then good to have.

2
5249df0c1098a8ea4607cc305f0cbdcf

on February 15, 2012
at 05:06 PM

WATER WATER WATER !

Also, don't eat as much fruit and see what happens.

Good luck!

1
D01e0446214c70b611564048a72fdd72

on August 16, 2013
at 10:29 PM

Walk/Jog/Run for at least a half hour per day, at least 4 days per week. Shoot for an hour but do at least a half hour. If you don't already do this you may be surprised at the effect this type of exercise can have on your pooping. I am woken up by my body at roughly 7am every day. I poop then I walk/jog/run, and my body thanks me in this and many other ways.

We can all tell you what to do but the only thing I feel close to saying which is nearly guaranteed is that if you are determined and if you experiment on all fronts - exercise, diet, sleep, stress, meditation, etc. - keep an open mind and listen to your body you will find an approach that is over time personalized for you and by you and will therefore work for you, of that I am sure. Think about what others tell you before you might just jump in and do something. Try to move forward with well defined purpose, not just good intentions. Good luck.

1
6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

on July 07, 2013
at 07:10 AM

I have always gone every morning and sometimes twice a day and always eaten a lot of fruit and brown rice and veg. Now I have cut out the fruit and brown rice I am going every 2 or 3 days which somehow does not feel right and always perhaps is why the weight is not going on the scales because all that food is sticking in there for 2 or 3 days.

I would not however call it constipation because that is when you need and want to go and cannot get it out. This is totally different. It is just needing to go less for all the reasons people explain so well above.

I have found if I add a baked potato or sweet potato at night then next morning yes I want to go as normal.

We shall see. I hoping the stalling on weight loss (another 28 pounds to lose) is because of lack of the regular movements and once they get going again I might lose a pound or two.

1
B04787f664abf9bebc28f71bf7825a3c

on May 20, 2012
at 01:34 PM

My husband had IBS for two+ years. Paleo solved it. No more chronic diarrhea! I used to get constipated sometimes. In the beginning, I was having very oily poops (floaters!) but it wasn't uncomfortable either. I also noticed that I was going less frequently as well.

Lately I've been going like clockwork in the mornings on most mornings, especially after adding more fruit to my diet (in the form of smoothie).

1
7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

on May 18, 2012
at 06:03 PM

I have to say with my digestive problems constipation isn't one on paleo, which I'm grateful for

I attribute it to the levels of fat, I know it sounds weird but I kind of think of it as a lubricant :s

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on May 19, 2012
at 07:22 PM

I agree. And maybe also the Mag Cit.

1
C5c2912a5bfc95f28d6a89ac29e04283

on March 15, 2012
at 10:59 PM

WOW. i think i just had my answer. I am week 3 into going paleo...around 80% if including the cheat meals. Otherwise when its paleo day, im' strictly paleo. My intake has included alot of meat (eg beef, chicken thigh, fish and lamb) with loads and loads of vegetables on the side (celery, squash, cauliflower, eggplant etc). I was experiencing constipation the past 2 weeks and have been wondering why. It's not a new problem though, I've always suffered from poor digestion (especially after eating carbs ie white rice). However, I had salmon for the first time last night and BM was perfect. I might just continue having salmon and more fat (ie avocado)..maybe even include bacon into the diet to see how things go.

These forums on paleohacks have been awesome!!!

Thanks everyone for all the tips!

:D

1
4ccf5d9bba64e54fc95802fe8ae33c47

(900)

on February 15, 2012
at 06:47 PM

When I first started paleo I also didn't "go" for several days, don't remember how long. But it started worrying me because I didn't go for days yet ate large amounts of food, had a flat belly, no pain, no bloating, nothing. It took awhile to normalize and I don't remember if more or less fat or roughage helped. But another thing is that your intestines are the most sensitive or one of the most sensitive parts of your body and react immediately to emotion, stress, change, etc. Have you EVER been seriously frightened to death and within seconds as a consequence not only peed in your pants but also #2 in form of diarrhea? That's not an urban myth but happens more than people will admit to. More common even is for example not going for days after travelling abroad. Not necessarily because of different foods and bacteria but just the stress of change to the body system.

1
3b81530944ae7e11e92f4b967f9c0333

(100)

on February 15, 2012
at 06:09 PM

Exercise is a great digestion aid. I've been Paleo for three months now and I noticed I'm not as gassy as I used to be. I like to think that on Paleo, you're eating whole foods as comapred to the processed shit you used to eat, so your body is actually using the food you put into your body (Amazing concept!) as opposed to tabling it and sending it straight through the digestive tract. That's just my theory, though. And I've been known to be a little cray.

0
A08b210e4da7e69cd792bddc1f4aae4b

(1031)

on May 19, 2012
at 10:57 PM

More starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, bananas and (strangely enough) less green salad works better for me.

0
35c8f0c35da258ac54165ef14195e0b8

(167)

on May 18, 2012
at 05:25 PM

My mom is a nurse who has some knowledge about low carb diets. She says that low carb diets have a diuretic effect. You might notice that you're peeing more often, particularly if you had a high sugar, high refined carb based diet before the shift. The problem is that initially, the stool in your bowels dry up and you start pooping these little pebbles, if anything at all. I just took a huge amount of magnesium citrate and that did the trick. My mom and my boyfriend are also on the diet and experiencing constipation as well.

0
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on March 16, 2012
at 10:22 AM

Well, I think you are LUCKY!! I've been paleo 2.5 years and from week 1, I have had frequent and loose stools. I've tried all sorts - adding potatoes / white rice helped, I've tried probiotics, sauerkraut, diatomaceous earth, iodine - some things help, sone don't, but I actually envy you! If "normal" is going to change - at least you've changed in the right direction!!!

0
5f6acaa2591c41cc091fffd6e453c518

on March 15, 2012
at 11:26 PM

I've been on paleo for 4 months and I'm still having constipation issues. Saw a G.I specialist a month ago about severe constipation and had to take moviprep, which is usually used before a colonoscopy, but because I was that severely constipated I used that. Now im on osmotic laxatives ( they are safe for long term use) if i stop usng them I feel I start to get constipated again. Thank goodness next week I'm seeing the specialist again. I got blood tests for celiac and ill get the results next week, and hopefully some more clear insight into why I STILL have this problem.

All these answers are very useful for me! Thank-you

0
0784eb6e070aeeeafb517cc4c3546458

on February 15, 2012
at 06:05 PM

You can also try Tea Yogi makes a "Get Regular" organic tea.

9a8ba8256b8c9ba6b69a8a8762783ca1

(110)

on February 15, 2012
at 08:14 PM

careful with this stuff though... not a permanent fix. dont recommend using it everyday.

-1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 16, 2012
at 04:11 PM

My cousin with similar problems told me that he found on http://constipationtreatments.info/ the help for his problems.I heard the tips from here are very goo to combat constipation problems. I hope this helps.

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