Why are my intestines so abnormal? (And will diet ever help?)

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 22, 2012 at 11:45 PM

Background: Eating disordered (starve, binge, fast, binge, binge, binge, fast) from 13 until today (age 22). Don't remember the last normal bowel movement I had. Most recently struggle with intestinal pain, trapped gas at random times (so uncomfortable), hardly any bowel movements, a feeling of constipation without the hard stool.

Tried everything. Added mag, vit d3 which helped my eczema but didn't seem to totally help my intestines. Have gelatin everyday. Most recently went on a high fat low (almost zero, but unintentionally) carb, moderate/low protein. Grass fed ground meat, Kerrygold butter (lots), coconut oil, pastured eggs. This seems to help the most with bloating, etc. But my bowels don't move much and then something will happen where I get really bad trapped gas, and no bowel movements (this happened 3 days ago) which stresses me so much I end up bingeing again (I type as I sit here with a swollen, bloated, extremely painful abdomen). I lost weight and my stomach had been feeling much much much better compared to how I feel when I binge (obviously). I have IFed, tried not IFing, added veggies, subtracted veggies (currently my opinion is they make me bloated, but I don't know, maybe they are necessary). Have read Fiber Menace, Hyperlipid and Optimal Diet stuff which make the most logical sense to me, but I don't know if they fully help. Do I just need to stick it out longer? I have tried adding rice, potatoes etc, but I tend to binge on these (I don't know why). Same with fruit. I get very stressed when I am this confused about what to eat/what not to eat which leads to bingeing as well.
How can I just normalize my digestion and have regular bowel movements? I will do literally anything. It's hard to be hopeful and motivated through the hard times when I don't know if what I am doing (i.e. high fat low carb, or whatever I am trying at the time) is the actual right path. Without direction I am more susceptible to falling prey to my addiction. I have tried fermented food (homemade and otherwise), kefir, tons of different probiotics, etc.
When I was on my recent high fat, low carb stint, I was very tired all the time as well. I slept a lot and had trouble getting out of bed. I feel less tired after bingeing on rice, raisins, apples, almond butter, etc for the last 3 days, but that might relate to sheer amount of food not macronutrients.
I hope someone has some words of wisdom to share. After 9+ years of this hell I am at the last straw. And I am sick of having my family tell me to go to the doctor. I don't have the money nor the patience for conventional "wisdom," but nothing I have done so far has helped mitigate all my symptoms (although I have made progress with a few things). My seeming inability to pass waste out of my body is the most concerning to me.

Thanks for reading this novel.



on November 23, 2012
at 02:12 AM

What's Fiber Menace about? Is it basically saying you should have only meat/eggs/fats in your diet?



on November 23, 2012
at 01:48 AM

I have the exact same problem (I am 24). I have done many things: tons of veggies, fat, prescribed meds for motility, magnesium and nothing has helped. I am at a point were I have given up. My only solution for now are laxatives...I am trying to build up the patience to go back to the Dr. this month and see if MAYBE he can finally fix the problem (though I doubt it). I am sorry, I have no answers but wanted to say you are NOT alone and that I hope someone here gives you a solution!

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6 Answers



on November 23, 2012
at 04:04 AM

I am sorry, but you will HAVE to go to the doctor. I recommend getting a hydrogen methane breath test for SIBO. 84% of all IBS syndrome patients have it. It also common among dieters and anorexics. You can purchase a home kit - compare the prices, it might be cheaper.

Yes, Paleo will help, but GAPS and SDC will help even better. But diet alone won't fix it.

Good luck!


on November 23, 2012
at 12:45 AM

I'll tell you right off the bat that I don't have the answers for you, but having said that, your concern is palpable and I didn't want to just read and run, if that makes sense, because I've felt the same kind of something approaching desperation WRT my diet, or rather its effect on my digestive health.

My only query would be--how long are you implementing all of these changes for? You have certainly tried many different approaches that all sound worthwhile, but I'd like to know how long you've given to each.

Finally, good luck. The path to full intestinal health is definitely an ongoing process with a lot of trial and error; however I truly believe these days that tweaking and experimenting with an essentially Paleo diet is the best chance most of us humans have of finding our way back to health.


on November 23, 2012
at 01:58 PM

I have similar problems and haven't found a way to cure it yet. A medication probably was the cause for those. For constipation I eat fresh pineapple daily (about 1/4 pineapple) or as much as I need. This doesn't make my bowel movements super regular, but at least they're not stuck inside anymore. Furthermore I'm experimenting with pure cocoa powder. It seems to make me more regular and also increases my general mood and vigor (theobromine probably). About 1/3 cup of powder dilluted in water. I think I've read two studies that showed bacteria eat cocoa fiber and people achieve a better improvement in IBS symptoms if they drink high-flavonoid cocoa compared to low-flavonoid cocoa. I don't know what to think of this. If you add a bit of water to cocoa, it actually looks and feels like the stuff that leaves my body several hours later lol. Whatever, it seems to help ;)



on November 23, 2012
at 05:44 AM

Try GAPS. The theory is that you have bad gut bacteria, and the GAPS diet starves out the "bad" bacteria, and seals the gut. However, it can be very triggery as far as eating disorders go, because the first few days are an extreme elimination diet (aka, broth, boiled meats, salt, and not much else.) There is a 30 days on GAPS intro book that will lay out what to eat for 30 days if the structure will help with the ED issues. http://www.healthhomehappy.com/grain-free-2/30-days-on-gaps-intro-e-book



on November 23, 2012
at 02:14 AM

my bowel movements have been hell for years now so i can't help you with that. just wanted you to know that i'm struggling along with you. i tried doing very low carb for 5 days and i had the worst headaches and brain fog. i couldn't even think straight. i added back in a little bit of fruit so i at least had something because veggies aren't enough for me.



on November 23, 2012
at 02:49 PM

I suffered from severe IBS for several years. Going paleo certainly helped a lot but it took months, and during that time the situation was extremely volatile (some good days, some horrible days). Eventually I was diagnosed with an H. pylori bacterial infection and received treatment. The impact on my IBS was immediate. Within a couple of months my IBS seemed to be all but gone. So I recommend getting tested for H. pylori.

As with many others on this forum, I understand your situation completely. It was only when I developed IBS did I realize how many folks suffer silently with bowel issues. Incredible.


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