1

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Fiber and constipation with gluten free.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 14, 2010 at 4:52 PM

I'm a new convert to Paleo and my wife has not committed to it yet. She has agreed to limit our 2 year old sons gluten through gluten free alternatives but is not ready to take him off breads/pastas all together. He has always battled constipation but it has become worse since going gluten free. We have to feed him a lot of fruit to counteract this and I worry that we may have traded one problem (gluten) for another (increased sugars).

13f174d097c9293ed7d079dba783217c

(43)

on September 18, 2013
at 11:33 AM

I know the feeling.... If i get any kind of wheat in me, I'm destroyed for almost 3 days in the bathroom =/

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 19, 2010
at 05:35 AM

Exactly! I still find myself thinking whole grain breads are virtuous, and if I dump Red River Cereal (Sunny Boy) into oatmeal it will be healthier. I got brainwashed.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on February 15, 2010
at 03:37 PM

Fish oil is also a viable option. Carlson brand liquids tastes like lemon, and many kids apparently like the taste. If your kid is still eating grains, even non-wheat grains, it's probably a good idea to add some omega-3 into the diet anyway.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6082)

on February 14, 2010
at 08:19 PM

I think it is funny how people are reticent to remove bread and pasta from the diet. The political garbage known as the FDA Food Pyramid was beaten into our heads so thoroughly, we think that bread is necessary for survival.

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7 Answers

3
F1950c93a1a4e9e4f0b2892f3aebd0f2

(110)

on February 14, 2010
at 06:35 PM

Trial and error. As every person is different, I recommend with starting with sticking with a core premise (for example):

Increase fat intake

Decrease overall sugar/carb consumption

Balance the rest of the macronutrient profile

Don't be afraid to take him off the bread/pastas/fruits for a few weeks. See how he responds to the change. You can always bring them back in. In certain individuals, the absence of breads/pastas result in a more positive blood profile, and (taking his age into account) the possibility of avoiding plaque build up (and resultant cavity development).

Based on my own personal experiences, it was consuming slightly more root and green-type vegetables, bumping up fat content (butter, coconut, olive oil), and decreasing nuts/fruit consumption which slowly allowed my body to return to a higher-normal level. Had the constipation problem also - that cleared away (as David said, give the tract time to repair/adjust to changes).

Again, don't be afraid to test - figuring out what works best for your son now will lead to positive future results (and good habits that I wish I had at that age)!

2
Cc93847bfa820f0f2da654060b401fa5

(746)

on February 14, 2010
at 06:07 PM

Fat! I eat lots of coconut oil. Seems like if I eat 3T or so off a spoon on a fairly empty stomach things move down and out pretty quickly (if it's needed or not).

I wouldn't expect a kid to eat CO of a spoon, but tried making smoothies or something with coconut oil? I'm sure you could easily sneak it into a milk shake or smoothie type drink.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on February 15, 2010
at 03:37 PM

Fish oil is also a viable option. Carlson brand liquids tastes like lemon, and many kids apparently like the taste. If your kid is still eating grains, even non-wheat grains, it's probably a good idea to add some omega-3 into the diet anyway.

1
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on February 14, 2010
at 06:23 PM

I'd give it time, it can take months for the digestive tract to repair fully from gluten damage. Similarly if he's been used to lots of fibre (and gluten) from grain products then his digestive system will be used to that amount of fibre, but it'll adjust to work on lesser amounts of fibre.

I used to get absolutely tonnes (40-50g+) of fibre per day from linseed and latterly wheat bran, eating ever larger quantities in the hope that eventually it would be beneficial (and because every conventional source said fibre was the solution to every digestive problem). Now, off grains and flax, I'm adjusted to and comfortable on 12g of fibre from a few LC veg.

Feeding more vegetables rather than fruit might be preferable sugar-wise and equally palatable if pureed.

Incidentally have you tested whether the constipation is caused by some other problem, such as dairy intolerance?

0
0f8f77156cd0667d43194fc4b8bc3b5d

on September 18, 2013
at 06:10 AM

Flour (even gluten free ones) and cheese were the culprits for my constipation; solved by more root veggies and leafy greens in my diet.

0
93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on February 14, 2010
at 08:51 PM

Kurt Harris has an interesting discussion on grains and constipation here:

http://www.paleonu.com/panu-weblog/2009/12/28/avoid-poison-or-neutralize-it.html

The comments are worthwhile reading as well.

0
65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

on February 14, 2010
at 08:17 PM

Whenever I was constipated as a child, my mom would feed me carrots.

How much milk does your kid drink? Milk can increase potential for constipation.

Instead of giving him lots of fruit to loosen him up, try to get him to eat more carrots.

0
2163280ace0d40b8dc64947afcbfcb15

(100)

on February 14, 2010
at 05:40 PM

You're probably right about trading one thing for something else. Being new to paleo, you may find this hard to "swallow", but increased (good) fat intake has been suggested by Dr Eades as a possible solution. Too much fruit = too much glucose and too much fructose. Too much of either = bad for the child. Good move on the gluten elimination: I had some pizza with very thin crust Friday night, knowing in advance that I shouldn't. Sure enough, constipation was far from me the next morning. "It's Nature's Way of Telling You, Something's Wrong" (with hat tip to This Mortal Coil)

13f174d097c9293ed7d079dba783217c

(43)

on September 18, 2013
at 11:33 AM

I know the feeling.... If i get any kind of wheat in me, I'm destroyed for almost 3 days in the bathroom =/

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