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Why do I feel so constipated and bloated while on the Paleo diet?

Commented on October 29, 2013
Created October 27, 2013 at 11:44 PM

I started the Paleo diet two weeks ago and I have not lost any weight, but actually gained weight around the abdominal area, became constipated and bloated. Like literally I look pregnant. I had IBS before starting the Paleo diet but my constipation has not been as bad as it is now. It's quite weird because although I have constipation my stool looks loose as if I had diarrhea at times when I do use the bathroom. I thought the Paleo diet will help get rid of headaches, joint pain, inability to lose weight, constant hunger, chronic fatigue, ibs, brain fog, nausea, acid reflux and bloating, but I can't tell yet if any of these symptoms have gotten better. I guess I'm sort of diverting from the topic but I just don't know what to do anymore. I got tested for bacteria in my stomach and it seemed fine. I got an upper endoscopy which showed that I have a mild to medium inflammation of the small intestine. Somebody, please tell me why the Paleo diet isn't working for me.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 29, 2013
at 11:34 AM

Really doubt it's FODMAPs, particularly just a week or two in. There would have been signs before going paleo as well.

733af249eb24ad9b9b9a24ce05180d3e

(0)

on October 29, 2013
at 05:04 AM

Alright, thank you. I will definitely give everything you said a try :)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 28, 2013
at 11:19 AM

Very likely the case. Gut dysfunction is a popular answer, but a drastic change in diet will cause digetestive upset nearly every time. Amazes me that nearly every paleo guru/book suggests this abrupt change really, often combined with a ketogenic approach. And then simply claims that the "pain" is part of the process. Changing your diet need not be unpleasant.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 28, 2013
at 04:48 AM

Fructose levels and fodmops aren't exactly the same thing, but if you have trouble with higher fructose fruit from the safe list, you might want to skip those too. I wouldn't consider bone broth or gelatin to be processed foods unless you are coming from the perspective of a raw foodist, just cooked with water for the broth, or rendered and dried for the gelatin. The brand I suggested uses only grassfed cows too, and seems to be high quality without any additives or chemicals.

733af249eb24ad9b9b9a24ce05180d3e

(0)

on October 28, 2013
at 02:32 AM

Thank you so much for your comment. I will definitely try to eliminate foods that are FODMAPS. Is foods containing moderate to high amounts of fructose considered FODMAPS? I've noticed that fruits tend to aggravate me so I need to eat them at a minimum. Also, do you know how processed bone broth and gelatin are? Like if it is lightly processed, it's ok, but I don't enjoy consuming moderate to high amounts of processed foods on a regular basis.

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5 Answers

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6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on October 28, 2013
at 01:42 AM

FODMOPs are a likely cause. Many paleo foods can actually be more aggravating for IBS than processed foods. Sucks, but true. Check out this handy chart if you want to see if you've been eating things that could be triggers.

http://www.eat-real-food-paleodietitian.com/support-files/Paleo-FODMAP-food-list.pdf

If you have inflammation of your small intestine, I'd start with eating gelatin or drinking home made bone broth a few times per day. Great Lakes gelatin is my go to. If I stay on top of it I can eat a pretty varied diet without too much pain. Some people like drinking aloe juice to heal their gut lining too, I think it is yucky, but you might like it. You are also going to have to be patient. Healing of the small intestine can take months or years depending on the degree of damage.

Lowering salt, soluble fiber or fat intake, wasting of minerals on a low carb diet (losing water weight), or increasing insoluble fiber can be issues too with constipation. Gelatin when taken in large enough doses is a slight laxative, supplementing with magnesium, vitamin c, and salt can help, and if all else fails prune juice is wicked effective (although plums are on the avoid list for fodmops, so might want to save that as an ace up your sleeve and expect some bloating with it).

733af249eb24ad9b9b9a24ce05180d3e

(0)

on October 28, 2013
at 02:32 AM

Thank you so much for your comment. I will definitely try to eliminate foods that are FODMAPS. Is foods containing moderate to high amounts of fructose considered FODMAPS? I've noticed that fruits tend to aggravate me so I need to eat them at a minimum. Also, do you know how processed bone broth and gelatin are? Like if it is lightly processed, it's ok, but I don't enjoy consuming moderate to high amounts of processed foods on a regular basis.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 29, 2013
at 11:34 AM

Really doubt it's FODMAPs, particularly just a week or two in. There would have been signs before going paleo as well.

0
A290e65929059a692504949cc6fe3e6a

on October 28, 2013
at 05:28 PM

I think @Happy Now makes a really good point regarding FODMAPs, but it would be helpful to know what types of food you are eating, and a little bit more about you. Aside from eliminating grains, dairy, legumes, there is a lot of potential variety while still "eating paleo." I've found value in keeping loose track of the types of food I'm eating when I am not feeling great to see if I can identify specific foods that seem to correlate to the issue.

0
Be803dcde63e3cf5e21cc121097b8158

on October 28, 2013
at 01:22 AM

Constipation is extremely common when changing one's diet. This is especially true when lowering carb intake.

Your gut flora needs time to adapt.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 28, 2013
at 11:19 AM

Very likely the case. Gut dysfunction is a popular answer, but a drastic change in diet will cause digetestive upset nearly every time. Amazes me that nearly every paleo guru/book suggests this abrupt change really, often combined with a ketogenic approach. And then simply claims that the "pain" is part of the process. Changing your diet need not be unpleasant.

0
25e877c5b37b05c2318cad063154f3e2

on October 28, 2013
at 01:08 AM

I felt better the very same day I stopped eating grains, but everyone's mileage may vary, it takes time to repair a leaky gut. Still, I guess you should consult with a Paleo doctor should the symptoms do not get away in some weeks.

0
Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on October 28, 2013
at 12:29 AM

It took me about a month before I had a little bit of an idea of how to eat Paleo. Then about 3-4 months into it, I really started to dial in what works for me. At 6 months down the road, I'm just now beginning to feel the break through into optimal health, though there are plenty more things I need to get into (more fermented foods and organ meats to name a couple.)

It might take more than 14 days to make up for an otherwise lifetime of SAD living. Keep track of what works and what doesn't and you'll figure it out.

It often felt like 2 steps forward and 1 step back for me in the beginning as various foreign foods would generate Herxheimer-like effects. (granted, I was diagnosed with blood poisoning with s. aureus and MRSA with an active hsv1/hzv infection and had never really eaten vegetables before. also d3 deficiency and double MTHFR mutations.) This was a good book (and lecture.)

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