3

votes

Why can't I get rid of diarrhea unless I take probiotics?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 28, 2011 at 12:08 AM

I've been lacto-paleo over a year and mysteriously six months ago I started getting bouts of liquid diarrhea, which became continuous. I could not identify any cause of this -- no changes in diet, lifestyle, environment, etc. at the time.

I tried probiotics and these fix things up just fine for me within a day. However, anytime I miss a day, the diarrhea returns like clockwork. I've also tried multiple brands of probiotics (both the refrigerated and non-refrigerated kinds) and they all seem to work equally fine, but none fix this issue for the long term.

I've tried increasing starches (via vegetables) and this seemed to have no effect.

Yogurt seems to help, but I have to eat it almost every day, and I'm trying to enter a VLC period so I don't plan to be eating it for a while. I don't like other fermented foods that I know of so that doesn't really seem like an option.

I do supplement with magnesium but a) I had no problems with it before 6 months ago, and b) pausing it doesn't change things.

Intermittent fasting vs. not also doesn't seem to matter.

Sure I can just keep taking probiotics but it bothers me that I can't go without them now. I've had perfectly fine poop all the rest of my life, thankyouverymuch! :)

I'm an otherwise healthy, mildly physically active 28 y/o, 5'7", 158 lbs female.

Any ideas?

EDIT: August update: well, I toughed it through a few days without the probiotics and suddenly things seem fine! We were VLC at the time, for about 3 weeks, so I'm not sure if that had an impact.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on July 11, 2011
at 07:11 PM

Hey Jules, I'm in the middle of trying to go an extended period without probiotics, so I'll check back in in a few days. We're doing VLC for a while now so I'm probably not going to go without dairy/eggs until August, if trying to skip the probiotics for longer now doesn't work out. VLC is challenging enough without taking away my beloved dairy, but hey I seem to be breaking my weight loss plateau quite nicely!

24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on July 11, 2011
at 04:33 PM

Steph, how are things going? I've been eating super clean and dairy free since July 1 but am still having issues; quite perplexed :( Going to start back on probiotics!

Medium avatar

(3029)

on June 29, 2011
at 04:37 AM

I personally like the taste of kombucha, but you're right. I wouldn't want to take something every day that I hated. For me the effect lasted a few months after I stopped drinking kombucha... until it didn't.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on June 28, 2011
at 04:59 PM

Yeah I don't like kombucha, alas :( And if there's something I have to do every day or close to it, I don't really see the benefit over the probiotics.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on June 28, 2011
at 04:59 PM

@Grok, it's varied... anywhere from 50-80% fat.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 28, 2011
at 04:11 PM

Steph...it took months and I'm still balancing out. I wonder if it could be egg quality though. I'm buying suptmarket eggs. I'm learning more about my body everyday and I'm 8 months in.

Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on June 28, 2011
at 07:08 AM

On a very high fat diet?

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on June 28, 2011
at 07:04 AM

I've had this problem on and off mainly on!) for over 15 months. Adding sauerkraut and water kefir have helped a lot - and so has adding back potato at about every third meal. And no weight gain as a result... Eating Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke) was also very helpful when in season...

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:23 AM

@baconbitch eggs! Really! That is probably the easiest to eliminate for a while so I might start there, although I would definitely miss them. Interesting idea about becoming more sensitive to foods... did that happen immediately or after a while? I guess perhaps it's not so implausible that it could take 8 months of paleo for a sensitivity to show up...

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:21 AM

@grenadine, hmmm.. interesting thought, no I haven't because usually around 3-4 days I get pretty frustrated and go back to it. Might try that when I'm not planning to be anywhere important for a while :P

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:20 AM

Same thing here! I only have a splash of milk in my coffee but since going paleo I noticed that once tolerable foods negatively impact me. Im almost certain its my eggs. I have No idea what I will do if it is. I will mourn. I love eggs.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:17 AM

Oh right, no alcohol on that either. I've recently started drinking some hard alcohol, but I had these issues before adding that into my life. Still, another thing to watch... I just wish I had some kind of clue rather than random stabs in the dark :(

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:14 AM

Ooh good luck! Let me know if you have any epiphanies :)

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:13 AM

Eliminate the dairy.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:12 AM

have you tried going more than a few days without the pro-bs? just curious. i wonder if your gut flora would normalize on it's own. doesn't sound fun at all. good luck.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:08 AM

Also re: elimination diet: I'm already wheat, legume, and soy free, with next to no processed foods. So, I should try eliminating eggs, nightshades, yeast, "amines and/or salicylates"..? Are any of these more likely candidates than others for this kind of issue?

9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

(3325)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:08 AM

Sorry, that does sound a bit weird now that I look at it. ;) I meant it like one takes a round of antibiotics. Not as a single dose, but as a regiment of doses for a period of time. Here's a guide to the herbal parasite cleanse if you're interested: http://www.the-natural-path.com/parasite-cleanse.html I did used this method after traveling in Indonesia to eradicate intestinal parasites and it worked very well.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:02 AM

I tried Jarrow that I bought at a local store, some other kind that had to be kept in the fridge too, but am currently taking the 'pearls' brand because it's more convenient unrefrigerated since that doesn't seem to make a difference.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:00 AM

If it's the only option that comes up, I guess I'll try it :P It's really only butter, heavy cream in coffee and occasional cheese that I seriously love. But I am eating less dairy now than I did months ago and was fine the first 8 months of paleo, so I have no idea how it could *suddenly* cause a problem?

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:59 AM

No travelling. I'm not sure what you mean about the herbs.. how does one have "a round" of those? :)

6a71349baca79ffabcda02ee4b284bef

on June 28, 2011
at 12:52 AM

Just curious, what kind of probiotics are you taking? Where can you get them?

9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

(3325)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:48 AM

I also agree that It might be the dairy, but I'm going on the assumption that you've already considered that.

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:45 AM

I agree with the dairy, I know it sucks but it causes a lot of problems for a lot of people and it's worth a try.

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7 Answers

3
9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

on June 28, 2011
at 12:46 AM

Did you travel 6 months ago? It sounds like it could be parasites.

I recommend a round of ground cloves, wormwood, and black walnut.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:59 AM

No travelling. I'm not sure what you mean about the herbs.. how does one have "a round" of those? :)

9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

(3325)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:48 AM

I also agree that It might be the dairy, but I'm going on the assumption that you've already considered that.

9759643ce5d97ab8fa649ae954656c4c

(3325)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:08 AM

Sorry, that does sound a bit weird now that I look at it. ;) I meant it like one takes a round of antibiotics. Not as a single dose, but as a regiment of doses for a period of time. Here's a guide to the herbal parasite cleanse if you're interested: http://www.the-natural-path.com/parasite-cleanse.html I did used this method after traveling in Indonesia to eradicate intestinal parasites and it worked very well.

2
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 28, 2011
at 03:09 PM

I would see a doctor just to rule out infections/parasites. Don't do a parasite cleanse at home, some of those have ingredients with serious side effects.

Based on personal experience, this will probably get worse on VLC. Many vegetables will also make it worse. I try to eat a lot of foods I've found to be "digestive transit regulating." These include:

  • rice
  • pureed cooked pumpkin
  • bananas
  • applesauce
  • broth
  • gelatin

If you do VLC I suggest adding gelatin or lots of broth into your diet. Maybe make some gelatin desserts with stevia or making lots of stews with broth. I personally try to eat at least one serving of these sort of foods a day.

Some things are triggers for me. Broccoli, onions, and seedy foods give me this problem.

It's hard to say this for some, but if that doesn't work, perhaps you just are getting too much fat in your diet. Maybe dial it done and include some applesauce or banans.

2
B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on June 28, 2011
at 06:48 AM

It is possible that you have something in your diet which is causing you issues, but only after 'prolonged' or constant exposure. For myself, this is eggs. I can have eggs 2-3 times a week no problem, if I have them everyday after a couple of weeks I start getting some diarrhea and other digestion problems.

I would consider an elimination of no grains, legumes, dairy, nightshades or eggs for about one month, and then start slowly adding some foods back to see if you can locate the culprit.

2
116d23135449332a8bf9106220cf632b

on June 28, 2011
at 12:32 AM

Keep taking your probiotics and try an elimination diet. Try and get away from the dairy for awhile as well.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:08 AM

Also re: elimination diet: I'm already wheat, legume, and soy free, with next to no processed foods. So, I should try eliminating eggs, nightshades, yeast, "amines and/or salicylates"..? Are any of these more likely candidates than others for this kind of issue?

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:00 AM

If it's the only option that comes up, I guess I'll try it :P It's really only butter, heavy cream in coffee and occasional cheese that I seriously love. But I am eating less dairy now than I did months ago and was fine the first 8 months of paleo, so I have no idea how it could *suddenly* cause a problem?

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on June 28, 2011
at 12:45 AM

I agree with the dairy, I know it sucks but it causes a lot of problems for a lot of people and it's worth a try.

1
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:01 AM

I'm having the same issue! Starting a Whole30 on July 1; hopefully I'll find the culprit.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:17 AM

Oh right, no alcohol on that either. I've recently started drinking some hard alcohol, but I had these issues before adding that into my life. Still, another thing to watch... I just wish I had some kind of clue rather than random stabs in the dark :(

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on June 28, 2011
at 01:14 AM

Ooh good luck! Let me know if you have any epiphanies :)

0
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on June 28, 2011
at 02:47 PM

wow thats interesting! I have the opposite issue!!

I've had to opt for Digestive Enzymes instead, I know not the same, but helps me and doesnt cause me the distress that probiotics did. (I also was taking the MS probiotics which were way too strong a dose for me)

Sounds like something in the probiotics is helping you, so keep on them!

Not at all paleo, but 1/2 of an Immodium A&D will settle things down in a pinch, and won't stop things up either.

0
Medium avatar

(3029)

on June 28, 2011
at 04:26 AM

Another thing you might want to try is drinking a little kombucha every day for a couple weeks. Seems to be doing the trick for me.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on June 28, 2011
at 04:59 PM

Yeah I don't like kombucha, alas :( And if there's something I have to do every day or close to it, I don't really see the benefit over the probiotics.

Medium avatar

(3029)

on June 29, 2011
at 04:37 AM

I personally like the taste of kombucha, but you're right. I wouldn't want to take something every day that I hated. For me the effect lasted a few months after I stopped drinking kombucha... until it didn't.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on June 28, 2011
at 07:04 AM

I've had this problem on and off mainly on!) for over 15 months. Adding sauerkraut and water kefir have helped a lot - and so has adding back potato at about every third meal. And no weight gain as a result... Eating Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke) was also very helpful when in season...

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