3

votes

What do you do about bad diarrhea?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 30, 2011 at 4:29 AM

I've been very strict paleo since January 1, 2010. I have religiously avoided gluten in any form for that entire time and the only cheating of any kind was some rice and cheese when camping over 6 months ago. I'm pretty serious about this, so I'm pretty sure this isn't gluten contamination I'm experiencing.

I've had some pretty bad diarrhea for the last week and I have no idea where it came from. Aside from trying to lean out by cutting my carbs way down I'm eating the same thing I always eat and I'd be surprised if I was in ketosis. My sleep is good, I'm not exercising myself to death...I just don't know what's up.

I'm trying to treat it with digestive enzymes and probiotics but it's not helping. I tried eating only broth, chicken and carrots to ease things off and even though I wasn't getting enough calories I felt better. However after a couple of solid meals my symptoms returned.

I'm completely at a loss as to what's going on and I'm terrified that I've developed a beef allergy because I don't know how you can possibly stay paleo with a beef allergy.

All that being said, I'm curious if you guys have any other suggestions to help with the water-butt itself. Have any of you guys had this kind of random outbreak or anything that has lasted this long? Would it be worth it to take some imodium? Should I just ride it out with the superenzymes and probiotics?

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 31, 2011
at 10:34 PM

Good, I'm glad everyone's advice helped.

A614e466d2a7f1d49b7e0b53619b4612

on March 31, 2011
at 10:13 PM

Thanks a lot. I had some carbs with my last couple of meals and things seem to be looking up. I had gone from a couple of weeks of carb rich diet to something with basically no carbs so I'm hoping this is the answer. Thanks again!

Medium avatar

(3259)

on March 31, 2011
at 12:10 PM

That's a tough spot to be in. My osteopath recommended a natural anti-viral, anti-parastic solution called Agrisept-L. I've been using it for a week or so and am hoping it takes care of the intestinal bug as well as anything else that may be contributing to autoimmunity. Not cheap, but lasts a long time. http://www.herbalab.com/agriseptgse.asp

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 31, 2011
at 12:56 AM

@Dveej: You're welcome! There's a wikipedia page for it also.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 30, 2011
at 11:25 PM

Well, I guess that was what my second-to-last paragraph was supposed to be about: those are various options for understanding what might cause it. (Not exactly the best-organized post, I admit.) So it's either playing around with those variables, the protein and the carbs and how they're mixed in with the fat; or just waiting it out to see if your body adjusts (what was suggested in those other answers I linked to). Guess I was trying to give all the options and my ideas about each of them. So you'll have to experiment a little I suppose. Good luck!

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 30, 2011
at 11:24 PM

Well, I guess that was what my second-to-last paragraph was supposed to be about: those are various options for understanding what might cause it. (Not exactly the best-organized post, I admit.) So it's either playing around with those variables, the protein and the carbs and how they're mixed in with the fat; or just waiting it out to see if your body adjusts. Guess I was trying to give all the options and my ideas about each of them. So you'll have to experiment a little I suppose. Good luck!

A614e466d2a7f1d49b7e0b53619b4612

on March 30, 2011
at 07:56 PM

I haven't been taking in any dairy at all, and I'm pretty strict about avoiding gluten. I think it's pretty unlikely that I have had a gluten exposure.

A614e466d2a7f1d49b7e0b53619b4612

on March 30, 2011
at 07:54 PM

This has occurred to me, but I have no insurance and no way to test it on my own.

A614e466d2a7f1d49b7e0b53619b4612

on March 30, 2011
at 07:52 PM

I am not taking in any kind of gums or sweeteners of any kind.

A614e466d2a7f1d49b7e0b53619b4612

on March 30, 2011
at 07:52 PM

I am currently cooking a sweet potato to test this.

A614e466d2a7f1d49b7e0b53619b4612

on March 30, 2011
at 07:51 PM

If it is steatorrhea, what do you do about that?

A614e466d2a7f1d49b7e0b53619b4612

on March 30, 2011
at 07:51 PM

Normally I do take Magnesium, but I haven't been taking any since the symptoms started

91487fa364848b52aad94002266aebc9

(76)

on March 30, 2011
at 04:58 PM

Boy am I glad you brought up "steatorrhea" - that explains what has been happening with me. I'll try to refrain from waxing disgustingly specific, but stools which are simply watery without pain, gas or bloating seem to me to need a word other than "diarrhea", and now you have taught me "steatorrhea." Never saw it before but a little knowledge of Greek makes it understandable. Thanks, WCC Paul!

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on March 30, 2011
at 03:41 PM

esp if it is one of the less-bioavailable once like Magnesium Oxide.

F52b51135f2c47eb46c986fdc9760b9b

(180)

on March 30, 2011
at 02:47 PM

I agree that adding carbs back in to see what happens is a good idea. Whether or not Punchomatic decides to keep with the low carb thing in the long term, I think it would stil be useful information to know for sure if the lack of carbs is really the culprit or not.

F52b51135f2c47eb46c986fdc9760b9b

(180)

on March 30, 2011
at 02:45 PM

I agree that adding carbs back in to see what happens is a good idea. Whether or not you decide to keep with the low carb thing in the long term, I think it would be useful information to know for sure if the lack of carbs is the culprit or not.

344102b6bc599c7c3f1f58ca0ac29513

(451)

on March 30, 2011
at 08:32 AM

If you also sweeten any drinks/food with Stevia, well - that gives me the wicked runs. Once I cut out stevia it took about 5 days for my gut to come right. Now I never struggle with diarrhoea.

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11 Answers

6
47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 30, 2011
at 06:26 AM

Hello, Punchomatic. Have you looked into the possibility that this is steatorrhea? Do you see oily films down there after you go? That might lead you down some profitable avenues of investigation.

I would also look at some of the other threads on digestion on Paleohacks. You probably already looked at the "diarrhea" tag, but here's a good one tagged "digestion": "Trying to treat ibs with Paleo, how long does it take to work?" You'll get a lot of other people's experiences there. Make sure you also look at this answer and this answer on the "Irritable bowels on Paleo?" thread.

I think the basic thing you can take from a lot of this is that adjusting to new dietary habits can take time, and maybe more than you think -- weeks or even months.

But of course if you don't think that "cutting carbs way down" counts as new dietary habits then there could be something else going on, and you could either think about it from another angle or talk to a doctor.

Personally, I am more likely to have the watery steatorrhea stuff if I don't have any carbohydrate at all. I always thought that that was just because I needed something down there to slow down the passage of the fats. I also think the steatorrhea is less likely to happen when the consumed fats are "integrated" into protein: so if you eat a bunch of butter straight it will run right through you, but if you eat a ribeye that's "marbled" with fat -- fat "interlarded" throughout -- then it won't. Now, though, after looking at those threads on digestion again in trying to answer your question, I think that maybe this would go away after a longer stint with VLC, that I would eventually get used to eating fat without "sopping it up" with carbohydrate or protein. Who knows though.

Hope this gives you some ideas.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 30, 2011
at 11:25 PM

Well, I guess that was what my second-to-last paragraph was supposed to be about: those are various options for understanding what might cause it. (Not exactly the best-organized post, I admit.) So it's either playing around with those variables, the protein and the carbs and how they're mixed in with the fat; or just waiting it out to see if your body adjusts (what was suggested in those other answers I linked to). Guess I was trying to give all the options and my ideas about each of them. So you'll have to experiment a little I suppose. Good luck!

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 31, 2011
at 10:34 PM

Good, I'm glad everyone's advice helped.

A614e466d2a7f1d49b7e0b53619b4612

on March 30, 2011
at 07:51 PM

If it is steatorrhea, what do you do about that?

91487fa364848b52aad94002266aebc9

(76)

on March 30, 2011
at 04:58 PM

Boy am I glad you brought up "steatorrhea" - that explains what has been happening with me. I'll try to refrain from waxing disgustingly specific, but stools which are simply watery without pain, gas or bloating seem to me to need a word other than "diarrhea", and now you have taught me "steatorrhea." Never saw it before but a little knowledge of Greek makes it understandable. Thanks, WCC Paul!

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 31, 2011
at 12:56 AM

@Dveej: You're welcome! There's a wikipedia page for it also.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on March 30, 2011
at 11:24 PM

Well, I guess that was what my second-to-last paragraph was supposed to be about: those are various options for understanding what might cause it. (Not exactly the best-organized post, I admit.) So it's either playing around with those variables, the protein and the carbs and how they're mixed in with the fat; or just waiting it out to see if your body adjusts. Guess I was trying to give all the options and my ideas about each of them. So you'll have to experiment a little I suppose. Good luck!

A614e466d2a7f1d49b7e0b53619b4612

on March 31, 2011
at 10:13 PM

Thanks a lot. I had some carbs with my last couple of meals and things seem to be looking up. I had gone from a couple of weeks of carb rich diet to something with basically no carbs so I'm hoping this is the answer. Thanks again!

2
74d0407ca99061cab2512ed83683b498

on March 30, 2011
at 01:28 PM

Are you taking Magnesium? This can definitely contribute to bowel liquidity...

A614e466d2a7f1d49b7e0b53619b4612

on March 30, 2011
at 07:51 PM

Normally I do take Magnesium, but I haven't been taking any since the symptoms started

B3c62d89cd47b7d7209b6a99243d0ded

(10778)

on March 30, 2011
at 03:41 PM

esp if it is one of the less-bioavailable once like Magnesium Oxide.

1
39a1a0bc7855c084ac59df60fdf9c0dd

(1505)

on March 31, 2011
at 06:10 PM

Stick close to the bathroom.

1
8e75344356f4a455185ee52da0b90bf2

on March 30, 2011
at 01:21 PM

Ditto what everyone said about too much fat / too little carbs.

I can happily eat only meat, fat, and eggs for weeks at a time. I discovered the hard way, however, that I have to have SOME veg or I have foul, liquid, diarrhoea (sorry TMI) every single day after eating (I eat one meal a day).

So long as I eat a serving of leafy greens or cruciform veg a day, I'm fine.

I say throw in some collards or spinach and see if that helps.

Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!

1
Medium avatar

(3259)

on March 30, 2011
at 12:16 PM

Have you ruled out some kind of bug or parasite? We have a wicked runs-inducing virus going around our part of the world right now. I've had it for a few days and have been alarmed at how fast things are running through.

Just a thought...

Medium avatar

(3259)

on March 31, 2011
at 12:10 PM

That's a tough spot to be in. My osteopath recommended a natural anti-viral, anti-parastic solution called Agrisept-L. I've been using it for a week or so and am hoping it takes care of the intestinal bug as well as anything else that may be contributing to autoimmunity. Not cheap, but lasts a long time. http://www.herbalab.com/agriseptgse.asp

A614e466d2a7f1d49b7e0b53619b4612

on March 30, 2011
at 07:54 PM

This has occurred to me, but I have no insurance and no way to test it on my own.

1
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 30, 2011
at 12:02 PM

canned pumpkin + broth = a soup that really slows things down and soothes the stomach.

1
7f7069fc4d8d2456cec509d0f9e9bb34

(865)

on March 30, 2011
at 11:02 AM

Pumpkin for the diarrhea.

1
Fac1af832cc3c6a20059c41411fd0f6b

(1548)

on March 30, 2011
at 07:01 AM

Xanthan gum and other gums give me these issues. I found this out when I first went gluten free and was still accosted with issues when having gluten free breads etc. Excessive fiber and some types of nuts are an instigator as well. So long as i use plant matter solely to flavor my food I am fine.

I have tried to cause similar issues by basically eating pure fat but that did not do it.

344102b6bc599c7c3f1f58ca0ac29513

(451)

on March 30, 2011
at 08:32 AM

If you also sweeten any drinks/food with Stevia, well - that gives me the wicked runs. Once I cut out stevia it took about 5 days for my gut to come right. Now I never struggle with diarrhoea.

A614e466d2a7f1d49b7e0b53619b4612

on March 30, 2011
at 07:52 PM

I am not taking in any kind of gums or sweeteners of any kind.

1
6d81a9a26ae23f9c15729b76483439db

(110)

on March 30, 2011
at 05:08 AM

I've had the same thing happen when cutting my carbs down to a very low level, like less than 10 per day, and I've read that some people just starting out on Atkins induction also get these, uh, transit problems. Why not raise your carbs back up and see if that helps?

A614e466d2a7f1d49b7e0b53619b4612

on March 30, 2011
at 07:52 PM

I am currently cooking a sweet potato to test this.

F52b51135f2c47eb46c986fdc9760b9b

(180)

on March 30, 2011
at 02:47 PM

I agree that adding carbs back in to see what happens is a good idea. Whether or not Punchomatic decides to keep with the low carb thing in the long term, I think it would stil be useful information to know for sure if the lack of carbs is really the culprit or not.

F52b51135f2c47eb46c986fdc9760b9b

(180)

on March 30, 2011
at 02:45 PM

I agree that adding carbs back in to see what happens is a good idea. Whether or not you decide to keep with the low carb thing in the long term, I think it would be useful information to know for sure if the lack of carbs is the culprit or not.

0
B1fcaceba952861d0324bdb291edbbe0

(3159)

on March 30, 2011
at 01:04 PM

Do you eat any kind of dairy? Could anything you've eaten have traces of gluten?

For now, you need to be drinking A LOT of fluids to re-hydrate- coconut water is an excellent option.

And just a thought, maybe your body needs a bit more of carbohydrates? Perhaps add a sweet potato or starchy vegetable of some sort in and see if that helps?

If it lasts more than two weeks I'd try to change something or call a doctor. :/

A614e466d2a7f1d49b7e0b53619b4612

on March 30, 2011
at 07:56 PM

I haven't been taking in any dairy at all, and I'm pretty strict about avoiding gluten. I think it's pretty unlikely that I have had a gluten exposure.

0
452b4d079e0c39d4ca923e712f64239f

on March 30, 2011
at 12:53 PM

You might be allergic to something--diahrrea is a symptom of food allergies. You might also be getting too much fat--too much fat in the system causes "flaming" diahrrea.

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