1

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Been Paleo for 6 days now and very constipated, help!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 01, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Hi So I have been Paleo for 6 days now. Coming from a mainly vegeterian/vegan diet- vegetable & legume heavy. I had never been regular in the past bc of IBS, but I used to go 2-3 times/week.

For the last 6 days my typical day looks like:

Morning: fruit Lunch & Dinner: typically a lean protein & lots of green vegetables. For the first week, I have not been eating a lot of oils/nuts however.

I make sure to be physically active on a daily basis. I also drink a ton of water and a large infusion at night.

I have not done #2 for 6 days and starting to worry. I realize that the diet change and possibly the sudden introduction of meat is contributing to this.

Is this normal? Any advice?

In my previous diet, chickpeas always helped to get things moving, but I am afraid to re-introduce them at the cost if it re-triggering my sugar cravings from my previous diet.

Other then that, Paleo has been GREAT. I feel fantastic - wont get into the details, but I am feeling incredible difference!

Thank you!!

UPDATE: **Not wanting to get into too many details, but hours after I posted this, issue resolved! Naturally. I guess it was a matter of being patient, time and my body adjusting to something new.

A few interesting observations, is that on my prior diet (vegan/veg) if I had been severly constipated, I was also very gassy and bloated and the first bowel movement was extrememly difficult and the bathroom would stink. On Paleo, very very little gas, no bloat and first bowel movement came out rather comfortably and no need to light a candle in the bathroom. Sorry to get into the details but I thought it was a striking difference from my previous years!!!

With that said, THANKS to all for your comments!! **

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on August 01, 2012
at 11:37 PM

+1 for what Korion said... Eggs and nuts probably won't help you. Olive oil, coconut oil, animal fats (butter, lard)... Those will probably work better for you.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on August 01, 2012
at 07:56 PM

you guys are all awesome, thx for the comments! i finally went to the bathroom its all good now :)

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 01, 2012
at 06:05 PM

Korion, every BODY is different - what worked for me, might not work for her, and what works for you will not work for me. So she needs to try different things to see what would help her. I am just giving her suggestions.

9beda76f4e91faedc8fa70ecdc01251e

(298)

on August 01, 2012
at 05:26 PM

I know you want to avoid the sugar cravings, but maybe this was too much, too soon for you, so I second the comment about prunes. Nothing like warm prune juice to empty things out. Just keep it for emergencies, which I feel like you are having now...

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 01, 2012
at 04:29 PM

I think it's important to note that it should probably read "up the saturated fat intake", because I don't think nuts or even egg yolks will do much good for constipation.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 01, 2012
at 04:28 PM

More raw stuff? Come on VB, you want her to explode?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 01, 2012
at 04:24 PM

Sorry Todd B, I was addressing that question to yuzquat. Magnesium citrate would be my first choice of a magnesium supplement/mild laxative.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 01, 2012
at 03:34 PM

Also, you might want to try sauerkraut - maybe you are lacking good bacteria? Make sure the sauerkraut is "live", not pasteurized. Homemade is the best. I don't know what Paleo community thinks about kefir or yogurt made with grass-fed milk and no additives - that could do the trick as well. Good luck!

Baa413654789b57f3579474ca7fa43d7

(2349)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:10 PM

No, I was thinking of magnesium citrate. (http://www.calmnatural.com/constipation-relief) It has the benefit of a being better absorbed more bioavailable source of magnesium and yet still has a mild laxative effect.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:22 PM

Magnesium citrate is a magnesium supplement and one of the better absorbed ones. Are you maybe thinking of magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) which can be extremely laxative?

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:10 PM

Forgot to mention some good fermented foods will help as well. Yogurts, kefir, kraut,, etc.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:06 PM

thank you. i dont want to use mg citrate.. until it's really bad, will keep it in mind then. on a side note, i take mg supplements.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:05 PM

thank you- i did some research on other constipation topics on this site, and kept seeing this is a re-occuring advice. i plan on doing this for the next 48h see if it helps!! thanks

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:03 PM

thank you- i eat 50/50% between raw & cooked.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:01 PM

thank you- i really eat all kinds of veggies, incl those with most fiber. thanks for your comment.

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on August 01, 2012
at 12:27 PM

Go for fat from meat, rather than nuts or oils as these are high in omega-6. Coconut oil is great though.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 01, 2012
at 12:15 PM

Try more raw greens and berries/fruit. More raw stuff. See if it helps.

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13 Answers

8
57bef671ea7e05631c9fa56f708bcaa9

(258)

on August 01, 2012
at 12:08 PM

Definitely up your fat intake.

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:05 PM

thank you- i did some research on other constipation topics on this site, and kept seeing this is a re-occuring advice. i plan on doing this for the next 48h see if it helps!! thanks

B8592e62f9804ddabae73c1103d6bcb9

(1956)

on August 01, 2012
at 12:27 PM

Go for fat from meat, rather than nuts or oils as these are high in omega-6. Coconut oil is great though.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 01, 2012
at 04:29 PM

I think it's important to note that it should probably read "up the saturated fat intake", because I don't think nuts or even egg yolks will do much good for constipation.

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on August 01, 2012
at 11:37 PM

+1 for what Korion said... Eggs and nuts probably won't help you. Olive oil, coconut oil, animal fats (butter, lard)... Those will probably work better for you.

6
A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on August 01, 2012
at 12:20 PM

I had the opposite problem, but in my experience, both problems can be addressed by feeding the healthy gut microbes. People often think fiber is the thing that makes them go, but it's important to recognize that microbes and their own waste and remains comprise a large part of feces, and your diet can influence the volume of these microbes. If you were eating a lot of carbohydrates, then suddenly stopped,it could be that your gut flora were more adapted to that food source and now perhaps aren't reproducing as rapidly, leaving you with insufficient volume of feces to eliminate as regularly as you might prefer.

On paleo, feeding gut flora often means introducing some food with more starch. Many people like sweet potatoes. I'm not wild about them, but white rice worked for me. Within a day or so of adding about a cup of white rice, things were getting back to normal. So, you might experiment with some starchier food for awhile and see how you do. Most of the usual root vegetables should work, like carrots, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava, and things like bananas and plantains.

If you tolerate it and it doesn't cause overgrowth of the wrong microbes, you could experiment with soluble fiber supplements, but many people in the paleo community don't seem very supportive of this option, and I have to agree that supplemental fiber seems totally unnecessary for me since I ditched most of the "non-paleo" foods. One rule of thumb I've read is that if it causes you a lot of gas, you're probably feeding the wrong microbes.

I fully expect someone else to mention that the suggestions I've made totally wreck them. Such is the incredibly variable nature of individual bowel habits. This is what worked for me. You will have to experiment.

3
A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:09 PM

I hope that you're adding good fats, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, butter in your diet. Generally fruit isn't the best thing to start off with in the morning especially if you have sugar cravings. Eggs, bacon, sausage, vegetables are a good solid way to start the day. Protein plus fat...keeps you satiated. If you must have fruit then at least try to get some avocado and/or protein source in there. Also, magnesium supplement is vital as Todd B. stated. It's hard switching it Ll around at first but it sounds like you're heading in the right direction. Good job!

A65499f2f8c65602881550fe309cd48c

(3501)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:10 PM

Forgot to mention some good fermented foods will help as well. Yogurts, kefir, kraut,, etc.

2
Baa413654789b57f3579474ca7fa43d7

(2349)

on August 01, 2012
at 12:24 PM

Many people find that taking magnesium citrate (such as Natural Calm - http://naturalvitality.com/natural-calm/) alleviates this problem. In addition to supplementing an important mineral, it acts as a natural stool softener.

As an aside, almost half of the US population doesn't get enough magnesium in their diet. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22364157

I'm not sure what the number would be for Paleo eaters but Mark Sisson cites it as one of the most common nutrient deficiencies and cites constipation as a symptom. http://www.marksdailyapple.com/5-common-nutrient-deficiencies-and-what-to-do-about-them/#axzz22IR65oi5

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:06 PM

thank you. i dont want to use mg citrate.. until it's really bad, will keep it in mind then. on a side note, i take mg supplements.

Baa413654789b57f3579474ca7fa43d7

(2349)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:10 PM

No, I was thinking of magnesium citrate. (http://www.calmnatural.com/constipation-relief) It has the benefit of a being better absorbed more bioavailable source of magnesium and yet still has a mild laxative effect.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:22 PM

Magnesium citrate is a magnesium supplement and one of the better absorbed ones. Are you maybe thinking of magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) which can be extremely laxative?

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 01, 2012
at 04:24 PM

Sorry Todd B, I was addressing that question to yuzquat. Magnesium citrate would be my first choice of a magnesium supplement/mild laxative.

1
Adb249ff0b1447d86ed308d0265e2b86

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

I posted exactly the same problem 6 days in some two years back. After 8 days everything was normal without any changes. But if you're going to try something how about high doses of Vit C and Magnesium.

1
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on August 01, 2012
at 02:29 PM

As I guess you won't be willing to increase carb intake, you could use coconut oil and gelatin. Just 2 spoons of gelatin in the morning worked for me in november 2011.

I also remember my brother mentioning that they used to treat constipation with spoonfuls of sugar and salt. I guess you won't be using sugar, but no harm in trying (sea) salt.

1
Abfca61280362cfdc0206784c2839ca9

(10)

on August 01, 2012
at 12:23 PM

Water and 3-5 prunes should do the trick

0
F0a0388780f840769af6aaba400a9d7a

on May 23, 2014
at 06:47 PM

When you eat cleaner you naturally detoxify. You awaken toxins as your body cleanses itself. Your body's main way to eliminate toxins are via the bowel. Sometimes when you eat cleaner you awaken more toxins than your bowel can handle, which results in constipation. To really enjoy the benefits of a clean diet, get a gravity method colonic to remove the excess toxins and help tone the bowel. Read 'The Raw Food Detox Diet' by Natalia Rose or 'The Body Ecology Diet' by Donna Gates for more information. Peace out @yuzuquat

0
0da576b8386b9c5ae2df529c4181fb43

on January 18, 2013
at 01:01 PM

Heh, heh..."run" into the opposite problem!

0
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 13, 2013
at 05:31 PM

I found the best cure for constipation:

RAW PICKLES AND PICKLE JUICE!!!

Careful. If you eat too many, you will run into opposite problem.

0
A3bb2c70384b0664a933b45739bac32c

on August 01, 2012
at 08:47 PM

Use a combination of the advice here. Up the fat intake, add in fermented foods to increase gut flora and maybe reduce the amount of fruit. When my younger cousin was potty training she would get severely constipated. Dr told my aunt to cut back on the apple juice. I don't see how chickpeas would trigger sugar cravings if you are already eating fruit. I'd be more afraid of the phytic acid. I usually follow the 80 20 principal, if the chickpeas worked them one or two servings will not hurt.

0
4ef079c57d2140bba4dbf4e30240a645

on August 01, 2012
at 03:30 PM

Magnesium Citrate should do the trick.

0
Ec1dc4f8143b6bdaa0ff64fafa55d424

(246)

on August 01, 2012
at 12:57 PM

if bulk is what you need, perhaps some more fiber as well? celery, root vegetables; what Grandma used to call 'roughage'? unfortunately most of the things we think of as bulk are grain based, but keep trying!

C7960eecd671a3ac8a1700445631b74a

(115)

on August 01, 2012
at 01:01 PM

thank you- i really eat all kinds of veggies, incl those with most fiber. thanks for your comment.

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