2

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Yams and sweet potatoes causing loose stool?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 26, 2011 at 11:29 PM

I've been following a fairly strict Paleo diet since the beginning of the year (almost four months). I also started doing CrossFit around that time. Things are going very well. Energy level is up, body composition is much improved, seasonal allergies are almost gone and I just generally feel better.

For the first couple of months, I was fairly low-carb, but discovered that after tough CrossFit workouts, my brain would not function too well. Thus, I decided to add some more carbs, mostly in the form of yams and sweet potatoes. This does seem to have helped with the lack of post-workout cognition.

However, my bowel movements have turned decidedly looser than I would care for them to be. Sometimes they are borderline okay, sometimes they are pretty much completely liquid. I have a fair bit of gas, but no upset stomach.

I have tried ingesting more probiotics, both in pill form and food form. Taking about 10 of the pills for a couple of days seemed to help a little, but as I tapered down, my symptoms returned. I don't really want to keep taking hand fulls of probiotic pills and how many pickled green tomatoes can a person really eat?

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:30 PM

Namby, I'm doing the same thing. It's tough work! I always get lost in the details and need to step back, and re-evaluate constantly.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on May 25, 2011
at 02:14 PM

In addition to gut flora there could be other issues: lack of antioxidants; hypothyroidism; gut virus; and dybsiosis or disbacteriosis. If you're self-diagnosing like I am, you need to eliminate each of these possible causes step by step. But have I been successful? Nope! Not yet!

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on May 25, 2011
at 02:12 PM

Not sure if we can conclude that. I'm now realizing that there are many components to what we common call "constipation" or "diarrehea" or "loose stool". You need to be more specific. How loose is it: consult Bristol Chart. Any issue with regularity (many people confusingly think this is all there is to constipation). Any issue with moisture in your colon: if so, starches will definitely help. However, the other issues may not be addressed by adding starches.

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5 Answers

1
76f3ead3aa977d876bcf3331d35a36e9

(4620)

on July 20, 2011
at 03:33 PM

Could be the raffinose in the sweet potatoes (the same sugar found in beans that causes flatulence). Definitely give white potatoes a try - I believe they have far less raffinose (if any).

0
F571bcba0e6196c3e53f599924eecab6

on November 08, 2011
at 11:39 AM

I think I'm having similar issues with sweet potatoes - I usually have baked sweet potatoes and while it doesn't give me an upset stomach, it upsets other things.

This sucks, because there aren't that many high-carb starchy tubers around - mostly potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and taro (which is usually not local and quite expensive). So I really didn't want to have to give up on sweet potatoes.

Anyways, do you think it might be an intolerance that can be overcome? Maybe eating some every day? I usually only have it once or twice a week.

0
E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on July 06, 2011
at 12:14 PM

Try white potatoes instead of yams and sweet potatoes. If you haven't been eating a lot of plant food I would give your body time to adjust.

0
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on May 25, 2011
at 07:01 AM

I find the opposite - loose stools have been the norm for me since paleo (it was a frequent problem before then too - just became more frequent after the change). Adding potatoes, squashes and some white rice most days has helped enormously.

Must be to do with the prevailing gut flora?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on May 25, 2011
at 02:14 PM

In addition to gut flora there could be other issues: lack of antioxidants; hypothyroidism; gut virus; and dybsiosis or disbacteriosis. If you're self-diagnosing like I am, you need to eliminate each of these possible causes step by step. But have I been successful? Nope! Not yet!

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5152)

on May 25, 2011
at 02:12 PM

Not sure if we can conclude that. I'm now realizing that there are many components to what we common call "constipation" or "diarrehea" or "loose stool". You need to be more specific. How loose is it: consult Bristol Chart. Any issue with regularity (many people confusingly think this is all there is to constipation). Any issue with moisture in your colon: if so, starches will definitely help. However, the other issues may not be addressed by adding starches.

50637dfd7dc7a7e811d82283f4f5fd10

(5838)

on July 20, 2011
at 04:30 PM

Namby, I'm doing the same thing. It's tough work! I always get lost in the details and need to step back, and re-evaluate constantly.

0
3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

on April 27, 2011
at 04:54 AM

Yeah, it will make your stool a little loose, definitely. But it's all relative. I'm constipated if I do very low carb. So if I add yams, my stool actually adds bulk. So for me, adding starch solves my constipation problem.

Perhaps that's not the case with you.

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