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Paleo constipation instruction manual?

Answered on July 12, 2018
Created January 19, 2018 at 3:17 PM

I have been partly paleo for about a year. I would eat paleo at home, but when eating lunch with coworkers at restaurants it wast hard so I would just try to make the least damaging choice. My experience with the paleo way of eating during this time period was very positive. I felt better than I had since I was a teenager. I tried paleo on a fluke. I know someone with an autoimmune disease that had went on diets like paleo but more strict and had fantastic results. I originally intended to only go gluten free but my finicky taste buds turned that into a paleo complient diet (or Atkins). Since then I have added many new vegetables to my pantry and am I feeling great. Theres my background.

Now to the question. A few months ago I went almost completely paleo, no more cheating at lunchtime. My cheat was/is potatoes. I have included potatoes because I find it hard to get enough carbs to prevent weight loss. There have been two results of this. 1) I feel even better! 2) I get constipated. So far the only ways I have found relief from the constipation is eating a meal with grains (usually rice and never wheat), adding milk back for a day or two, or large does of magnesium supplements.  I have actually been on 500mg daily of magnesium glycinate for a couple of years for tight muscles. If I take it I can touch my toes, if I don't take it I can only reach six inches away from them. I drink plenty of water and take a probiotic supplement as well.

I need some advice. The closer I get to a completely paleo compliant diet the better I feel. But went I comply with paleo rules I get constipated. I search forums for answers and find several ideas. But I'm looking for a definitive "manual" for paleo constipation. Does one exist?

Less important question: why do grains loosen me up? I mean, they don't have much fiber if any at all. But if I eat them I don't have to worry about constipation. If I go back to my old diet that included grains of all kinds my skin around the stomach area gets red, dry, and itchy. But I was regular....

5ff9632e0035e1e34861859bf1df71bd

(0)

on July 02, 2018
at 05:01 PM

I'll follow up with my progress since sageriverheart is following. I can now be 100% paleo compliant and have perfect digestion/bowell movements. I no longer eat grains, sugar, or any dairy. I have just about quit white potatoes and switched to sweet potatoes.

I also believe my digestive system tries to move grains out fast. It could be the stimulant effect of the sugars but I don't know.

Here are the things I have done to accomlish this

1. I drink a 32oz green smoothie almost every day. It consists of 10-12 oz of water, 1 cup of frozen mix fruit (just enough to make it easy to drink), frozen greens (6 to 9 weighed ounces), a large carrot, and then any other vegetable I have to raise the volume to 32 oz. I buy all kinds of fresh greens and freeze them myself.

2. I include caffine daily. Usually 1/2 teaspoon of matcha mixed in a bottle of water almost every morning. Regular steeped green tea also works. I don't drink coffee and I rarely drink iced tea. No alcohol.

3. I salt everything now. Even most of my raw fruit. I have read that when you're on a low carb diet that you nee to increase your sodium intake, and that low sodium will cause constipation.

17abed50cd9bbbbe3b02336ae6b746ac

on June 23, 2018
at 03:28 PM

I just came up with a theory about this. Perhaps we are indeed intolerant of those grains and we have been inadvertently taking "stimulant laxatives" all of our lives in the form of those grains. So now we have become dependent on these de facto "laxatives." In fact, before I changed my diet I actually would have a very urgent need to go in the morning, like "get out of my way I've got to go now!"  That used to bother me but now I'm wishing it would return!  I think this supports the intolerance laxative theory.  Not sure where that gets us in terms of a solution but it was an interesting thought.

17abed50cd9bbbbe3b02336ae6b746ac

on June 23, 2018
at 03:11 PM

I have the exact same problem since going on a diet to lose weight. And I read all these things about increasing fiber and drinking lots of water. I've been eating ginormous salads and lots of other fiber and drinking tons of water but nothing works like a bunch of white bread. It's getting very frustrating. I'm going to follow this question to see if anybody has an answer for this.  In fact this question is the reason I even signed up for Paleo hacks just so I could make this comment.

Medium avatar

on January 19, 2018
at 03:26 PM

I highly recommend juicing and trying out kimchi or sauerkraut.  Also strong coffee should help as well.  When I have issues, I usually increase my intake of greens and/or kimchi.  Also, extremely ripe bananas will help you with bowel movements as well.  

Your question about grains - it depends on what grains you were eating.  It could be that your major fiber intake was from grains and was never replaced from another source.

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17abed50cd9bbbbe3b02336ae6b746ac

on July 12, 2018
at 11:01 PM

I'm having trouble navigating this string on my phone, but I wanted to thank the poster who updated this thread in response to my comment.  I alread have green tea every morning.  The smoothie sounds a bit caloric for me.  Very interesting about the salt!!  I will try increasing that.

0
5ff9632e0035e1e34861859bf1df71bd

on January 19, 2018
at 11:35 PM

Thanks for your input. I can't believe that the fiber from grains kept me regular before paleo. I get ten times the fiber now. the grains i ate befor were bleached flour and white rice. I'm beginning to think I have an actual reaction when I eat grains and my digestive system pushes them through as fast as it can to rid my body of them.

I've read that paleo will make you stools smaller and you shouldn't expect to go as often. That makes since to me, but impacted stools are not fun. and I'm dumbfounded that I have to eat something i believe hurts me to clear my system.

0
Medium avatar

on January 19, 2018
at 03:27 PM

I highly recommend juicing and trying out kimchi or sauerkraut. Strong coffee should help as well. When I have issues, I usually increase my intake of greens and/or kimchi. Also, extremely ripe bananas will help you with bowel movements.

Your question about grains - it depends on what grains you were eating. It could be that your major fiber intake was from grains and was never replaced with another source while going grain free.

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