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What LONG TERM paleo-friendly constipation hack do you recommend?

Answered on January 30, 2014
Created January 30, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Hi all,

I am looking for a LONG TERM paleo-friendly hack for my constipation. My goal is to eat "real" food and not worry about "unnatural" interventions to poop. What do you guys recommend?

To make a long story short, I need to wean myself OFF laxatives (currently "hooked" on metamucil) and "fiber". I made the mistake of using metamucil daily for 5 years AND have recently taken several rounds of CIPRO for a prostate infection. My guess is I have a leaky gut and no GI flora.

My biggest weakness are sweets. I'm not a very strict paleo guy, but I know that has to change.

I've looked at paleohacks postings and it seems like people following one of three methods:

  1. Cure Your Constipation - Kristopher Cleary
  2. Gutsense/fibermenace - Konstantin Monastyrsky
  3. Jack Kruse

I would like to hear your recommendations.

THANKS in advance!

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on January 30, 2014
at 04:49 PM

I've answered a lot of questions about constipation on here because I'm the proud owner of a fairly well refurbished gut and it took me just 2-3 months to get almost completely there. Still no bowels of steel like my hearty girlfriend but 100% better than before. My biggest complaint and greatest triumph was constipation.

There's no magic bullet (or "hack" if you will) that isn't a laxative but I'll try (and fail) to keep this one shorter. Read on if you're serious about fixing this the right way, long term. And do take the time to do your own research from the guys you mentioned in your question.

-For me, like most people, fiber supplementation is pointless. I only eat fiber is because the natural, whole foods I love have it in them. I go out of my way to avoid too much since I do eat lots of fruit and veggies and a big ass salad can really block me up, but I wouldn't go so far as the Gutsense "Fiber is a Menace" people. Just wean yourself off the supplements. Consider resistant starches instead.

-Magnesium supplementation is definitely paleo. You're probably deficient if you're not supplementing so it's a no brainier. The nice thing about Mag Citrate (I just take generic pills) is that when you're feeling constipated you can just take a few extra with no ill effects and little to no habit formation. I take 400-800 MG on most days and rarely pop an extra for a full gram, which is the tipping point that usually gives me undesirably loose stools, but definitely clears me out.

-Salt your food to taste. Unless you have a salt issue, this works for most people. You should end up with at least 2.5 grams of sodium in your diet. Insufficient sodium causes your body to relentlessly suck the water from your bowels in an attempt to pull extra water and salt into your blood.

-Get lots and lots of potassium. It's difficult to get enough, and practically impossible to get too much without pills. You should aim to get at least twice as much potassium as sodium, probably more like 4x as much but I find that nearly impossible. Others will disagree with me on the sodium/potassium ratios. Easiest way to boost it is NOT eating bananas, though those are great. Coconut water can be bought by the ton at Costco, or pieced out through smaller retailers. I "supplement" with coconut water, but aim to get lots through other whole foods.

-Probiotics and fermented foods. Need I say more? Kefir, kombucha, krauts, kimchi, and more.... Kosher pickles are great too. The occasional yogurt is fine. Plain, whole milk always for kefir and yogurt. I like goat's milk kefir I get from Sprouts.

-If you don't already, take a good long walk/jog a few times a week. No other form of exercise does so much to improve regularity.

-I don't need to beat the drum any more than it's been beaten, but eat plenty of healthy fats, and don't eat too much dry, crunchy foods, and avoid excessive nut consumption.

-Lastly, take the time each day to relax, stretch, roll around on the floor in whatever way feels best, rub your tummy, lift your knees to your chest repeatedly, and generally move/exercise/stretch/massage your core. I don't know why more people don't recommend this but it seems vital to keeping me regular and comfortable.

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