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Anyone have a solution for my frequent stomach aches?

Answered on April 02, 2014
Created September 22, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Hey everyone,

I've been Primal for a month now and recently I started experiencing stomach aches. They were mostly mild (still annoying) but yesterday I had severe cramps with diarrhea and I decided that was a sign to look it up.

The problem is I get confused with all the different solutions. I hope you guys can help me out.

Ok so a couple of things to know: I'm a 19 year old male. I lift weights and do a bit of cardio. I'm tracking my diet most of the time to see if I get enough nutrients. I eat eggs, veggies, meat/fish(not much), dairy, fruits, nuts and oils every day. (+ some dark chocolate and red wine here and there) I supplement with fish oil and vitamin D3.

After I started experiencing more frequent stomach aches the first thing I tried was getting more fermented foods in. I started drink 1 glass of Kombucha a day and about a cup of greek yogurt. The pains didn't subside, and as I mentioned yesterday they were even worse.

Am I eating too much fat? Am I nog getting enough probiotics? Should I cut out dairy? Cut back on greens? Take digestive enzymes? There's so many posibilities. I'm starting today with cutting dairy and see how it goes. If you guys need more information please ask.

Thanks in advance!!

Medium avatar

(624)

on October 03, 2013
at 01:50 AM

24 hour fast does wonders? Like what? I'm a skinny guy but have been looking into IF. According to the PHD book IF is a lot more healthful than 24 hr + but what do you have to say about not eating for a day?

1f9b52f29960095986234231d91e1967

(529)

on October 02, 2013
at 06:22 AM

Quick suggestions -- remove nuts (or soak and peel-- antinutrients can be very, very problematicl test period of no nuts is recommended), investigate SCD & GAPS diet, consider lactulose testing, breath testing for H. pylori, stomach acid testing, or a complete gut biota test (this may be more invasive). Your symptoms sound like potential malabsorption of fructose, FODMAP sensitivity, or leaky gut.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 02, 2013
at 04:11 AM

@draw19 Lose the bacon & the apples. Some people on paleo pig out on the bacon. Bacon may be tasty but it's not that great for you and its $ / protein ratio sucks. I would suggest you stick with chix & beef. Simplify. Some people do not tolerate raw veggies or fruit.

Three times in a week? So after three "meals" or eating episode? Best keep a food diary.....

Medium avatar

(238)

on September 22, 2013
at 05:45 PM

You should also consider seeing a doctor to rule out anything serious if it doesn't clear up in a few weeks. I had a friend who had stomach pains for months and the doctor gave him some medicine which did nothing. Turns out he had something very serious and fortunately with the right specialist he was diagnosed and treated and that was 20 years ago, and he is doing fine.

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13 Answers

0
7b9b5de13a30c823dae64a971cb14add

on April 02, 2014
at 04:09 AM

kombucha really helps settle my stomach.

0
6b5b40d0c705f70b367b205163ccd466

on October 11, 2013
at 08:22 PM

Thanks a lot for the answers!

It seems like I have things kinda under control. I'm making home-made Kefir and avoiding high FODMAP foods which seems to get rid of 95% of the pains. I'm also making bone broth tomorrow and had a meeting with an doctor in alternative medicine of whom I'm awaiting the advice.

Happy Now: thanks a lot for your detailed answer, if this goes on any longer I'll check out the stool tests!

Raye: that sounds pretty scary actually. The pain description is kinda familiar since I can feel it in my upper chest sometimes. And I definitely eat high-fat. It's not clear in the article how to go about this though. I guess I should notify my doctor..

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 11, 2013
at 07:32 AM

You could try gelatin. My list of food sensitivities seemed to grow and grow until I added broth and gelatin to my diet on a regular basis. I can even eat regular ol' wheat crust pizza now without mondo bloat and feeling like I'm going to fall asleep at the table.

But, from your follow ups it sounds like a lot of diet tweaking and little change. I don't think it is what you are or aren't eating at this point. If you didn't have the pain and diarrhea before eating the same foods, and you have had it now for weeks that is more indicative of a pathogen. You can keep tweaking till the cows come home, and maybe that is it, but I think you'll save yourself a lot of time, and spare yourself a possible slip in your health and fitness if you get a stool test earlier rather than later to see what all is going on in there. You don't even need to go to a doctor and can order this yourself with a company like this one:

http://www.labtestingdirect.com/test-kits/item/?pid=633

I don't know how they stack up price-wise to other companies so you may want to shop around. The cool thing is with those tests in addition to finding out if you have salmonella or an ecoli infection, is you get a profile of how well you are doing to gut bacteria too.

If you are worried about being overmedicated at a MD's office, you can always go see a naturopath about this, NDs can have all the same prescriptive powers as an MD if you do need a stronger medication, but they will usually work with you to try more natural ways to bring your body back to a better place before going there.

From Melissa McEwen's list of why someone might have stomach problems on paleo. http://www.huntgatherlove.com/content/reasons-your-worsening-stomach-problems-paleo-low-carb-ancestral-gaps-etc-diet

"They have food poisoning. I'll never forget several years ago in college when I was having worsening IBS symptoms and I kept trying to fix them with diet until I ended up in the ER. A stool culture revealed I had salmonella and needed antibiotics. If you symptoms keep getting worse, it might be time to go to the doctor and ask for a stool culture."

0
E1b66e811a0410b685b454c992d6d4cd

(15)

on October 11, 2013
at 02:20 AM

The location of your stomach pain can be a good indicator of what may be going on. For instance, if you've recently increased your fat intake substantially, (even if it's wholesome fat) it could be irritating your gallbladder. "According to "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine 17th Edition," the gallbladder connects to the biliary tree by a cystic duct. When a stone migrates from the gallbladder into the cystic duct, it blocks the flow of bile and causes RUQ pain. The pain begins suddenly and remains constant with severe intensity lasting from 30 minutes up to 5 hours. Pain may radiate to the right shoulder or upper back and diminish gradually or quickly.

Symptoms may reoccur after consuming a fatty meal, which causes the gallbladder to contract against a blocked cystic duct. Repeated attacks of steady, aching pain separated by a period of wellness is the presentation of biliary colic." Just something to think about. Try and take note of whether or not the pain is followed by a high fat meal. Best of luck :)

0
A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on October 04, 2013
at 08:12 PM

You might want to consider cutting dairy (it helped exponentially for me) or take a lactase pill if you're in doubt. Probiotics/fermented foods help too.

0
6b5b40d0c705f70b367b205163ccd466

on October 03, 2013
at 01:26 PM

Doesn't hurt to try that I guess, thanks for the tip saraiza!

I made an appointment with a sort of functional medicine practitioner for next week. So a whole week to to try things out for myself. I'm just keeping my diet as basic as possible only eating things I'm pretty sure of they can't hurt.

0
Bb96a597db7f1cf68a5304bc70875ee7

on October 03, 2013
at 01:07 AM

I eat eggs, bacon, and nuts everyday and love them, so it would suck if you have to eliminate them. Before you go to the doctor, a simple thing you can try is adding more sea salt to the things you eat. Your kidneys can get rid of excess salt, but nothing in your body produces salt, which is necessary for the hydrochloric acid produced in your stomach to aid in digestion and kill unwanted microbes.

0
6b5b40d0c705f70b367b205163ccd466

on October 02, 2013
at 11:40 AM

First of all, thanks a lot for the help guys, you have no idea how much I appreciate it.

This morning I had stomach issues again. I decide to make it a priority to fix this. As of today I'll also eliminate bacon and nuts. The suggestions make sense.

Sabertooth thank you specifically for the detailed answers. I looked up some posts and it seems like you know your stuff. I'll try to reply to the best of my ability. You should also know I struggle with a desease called 'information overload sensitivity' ;) So I'll make a short action plan of what I'm gonna do based on your recommendations and information I found in the scd/gaps diets and other articles and discussions on gut health. Just to simplify and make it easy for myself to follow. It would be great if you could comment on it, if you have the time. Advice from other people is obviously still welcome aswell!

My current plan:

1st week(s):

Focus on: grassfed-meat, fresh seafood, organic eggs and vegetables.

Eliminate: nuts, processed meats and limit fruit.

Add: bone broth/grass-fed gelatin and probiotic food.

The bone broth thing is new to me so I'll try that out, otherwise buy the gelatin. Since I'm still not quite sure about dairy I'll try to add small portions of organic sauerkraut every day as my probio. Gradually increase it and maybe add kefir later.

Regarding the tests: I'll put them on hold for now and experiment with my diet. If it holds on too long I think I have no choice but to do tests/seek medical advice.

0
1f9b52f29960095986234231d91e1967

on October 02, 2013
at 06:24 AM

Also -- more/daily bone broths with collagenous/connective tissues, grass-fed gelatin, and wild-caught/fresh seafood may help with healing the gut. Probiotics are generally most effective in ferments, which contain ~1,000x more live cultures/food to potentially help the survival of beneficial microorganisms you're encouraging to colonize your gut.

Consider eating low-carb if you think overgrowth might be a problem, and investigate mnicrobiota overgrowth. Microbiota overgrowth and leaky gut can both cause sharp pains from undigested carbohydrates and leaky proteins respectively.

0
6b5b40d0c705f70b367b205163ccd466

on October 01, 2013
at 05:29 PM

So quick update. Been off dairy for little more than a week. Stomach pains have reduced by a LOT. However I still experienced them three times. One was after 2 full plates of sauerkraut/sausage/apple + 2 glass of wine so that's not too weird. I figure just too big portion of non grassfed meat/probio/alcohol. Second I don't remember (ugh stupid) and today after having an apple and some water. It went away quickly after urinating though.

I'm kind of at a loss. My diet is pretty good but I eat a lot of bacon (of which a couple times was processed/added sugar) maybe cut that out for a bit.

Also thinking about samc's suggestion of going to the doctor. I realize digestion/stomach issues can be serious and after having read multiple times that the stomach is your 'second brain' I feel like fixing this asap lol.

However I have no idea what to say to my doctor. I'm afraid he'll prescribe me some drugs or something.

Also still thinking about getting a digestive enzyme and/or probio as I keep reading those help some people. (kinda expensive though)

Obviously I'll keep researching and testing myself but any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks :)

1f9b52f29960095986234231d91e1967

(529)

on October 02, 2013
at 06:22 AM

Quick suggestions -- remove nuts (or soak and peel-- antinutrients can be very, very problematicl test period of no nuts is recommended), investigate SCD & GAPS diet, consider lactulose testing, breath testing for H. pylori, stomach acid testing, or a complete gut biota test (this may be more invasive). Your symptoms sound like potential malabsorption of fructose, FODMAP sensitivity, or leaky gut.

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on October 02, 2013
at 04:11 AM

@draw19 Lose the bacon & the apples. Some people on paleo pig out on the bacon. Bacon may be tasty but it's not that great for you and its $ / protein ratio sucks. I would suggest you stick with chix & beef. Simplify. Some people do not tolerate raw veggies or fruit.

Three times in a week? So after three "meals" or eating episode? Best keep a food diary.....

0
6b5b40d0c705f70b367b205163ccd466

on September 22, 2013
at 05:35 PM

Okay to give some more background information:

My eating pattern basically consists of 4 phases. First I was into strength training and bodybuilding so I ate pretty healthy according to conventional wisdom. Lots of carbs and protein. A lot of processed foods though. After that I did more research because I was feeling tired all the time, brain fog, you know the regular symptons.

I decided that my priority was health and that I wanted to feel good. I went primal and started to feel a lot better.

Then came the holiday with friends. I realised it would be too much of a hassle to keep up my diet and completely let go for 2 weeks. Lots of alcohol, processed foods, cigarettes and even some drugs.

I felt like shit after and immediately went back to primal. It's no issue for me to stay healthy. Since then almost perfectly primal diet (with the occasional cheat), no more smoking and hardly any alcohol. It's been a month now and I'd say the pains started maybe +/- 2 weeks ago.

I guess you could say my vegetable consumption greatly increased yeah so that's a good point. I'll see how this no dairy thing goes for a couple of days and then cut back on the veggies if it doesn't work.

Oh and thanks for the tip on fasting. Might try that out aswell.

Medium avatar

(238)

on September 22, 2013
at 05:45 PM

You should also consider seeing a doctor to rule out anything serious if it doesn't clear up in a few weeks. I had a friend who had stomach pains for months and the doctor gave him some medicine which did nothing. Turns out he had something very serious and fortunately with the right specialist he was diagnosed and treated and that was 20 years ago, and he is doing fine.

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on September 22, 2013
at 04:49 PM

I think you are on the right track by getting rid of dairy. Then go without eggs as the protein in them may be causing you distress until you have healed your gut from old eating habits. Also give a go at a 24 hour fast, it does wonders for you.

Medium avatar

(624)

on October 03, 2013
at 01:50 AM

24 hour fast does wonders? Like what? I'm a skinny guy but have been looking into IF. According to the PHD book IF is a lot more healthful than 24 hr + but what do you have to say about not eating for a day?

0
F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on September 22, 2013
at 04:18 PM

>>>eggs, veggies, meat/fish (not much), dairy, fruits, nuts and oils every day<<

A bit more detail on current & previous diet... tremendous changes?

Are there some items you now eat that you never used to?

Have you greatly increased veggie consumption? Some veggies (raw or cooked) can cause problems.

Raw broccoli is a real problem for me. Cabbage is hard for some people.

Simplify (reduce variety) for a while, allow some time for gut to adjust.

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