3

votes

2 weeks and and having bowel issues

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 22, 2012 at 1:43 PM

So we've been doing Paleo for about 2 weeks now, and my boyfriend came to me this morning asking if I had read anything having to do with starting Paleo and "bathroom issues". Apparently, he is a once every 2-3 days kinda guy, and "can feel it coming on". The last 2 days, he said it's been almost liquid, and it's a "I have to go NOW" type of thing. It seems like it's been more often too (he said once/day).

Is this normal for starting Paleo? We have had 2 "cheats", but the issues have not at all coincided with the cheats (one happened about a week before the issues, and one was last night, which was since the issues have started). I don't really know how to judge, because "normal" for me is around 2x daily, so yeah...

He hasn't been eating anything that he hasn't had before (no veggies, ferments, etc. that he hasn't had before and handeled fine), we have just cut out the processed crap, grains, etc.

What could be causing the loose stool, and the frequency?

NOTE: He does feel good, no tummy ache, or anything like that. Just the actual issues with the bm.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 23, 2012
at 02:46 PM

Well, coconut oil is not 100% MCT. And many people have reported this effect from adding coconut oil to their diet.

65bba2aa1de77b31c373c1a390c43ca8

(423)

on March 23, 2012
at 09:59 AM

I can't get him to eat offal :-( but he does love my home made sauerkraut and fermented salsa!

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on March 22, 2012
at 11:15 PM

I found that adding more carbs (white potato, occasional white rice helped - for a while. But whatever - it always ends back as loose stools! Perhaps this is, in fact, the human norm??!!

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on March 22, 2012
at 10:31 PM

I'm surprised that coconut oil causes you this trouble, since from what I've read, it does not require bile salts to be absorbed; rather it can be absorbed into the blood and processed by the liver directly. I'm sure I've even read that it's used in IV feeding solutions. Of course, now I cannot find those things to support what I'm saying....

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on March 22, 2012
at 05:16 PM

adding my two cents here, this also happened to me and was the increase of fat, definitely reduce it and work up slowly. A super enzyme will also help (get one for fat or one for fat/protein/carbs) and see if that helps. Introducing probiotics if you arent use to them can also cause loose stools, its all about phasing things in slowly and testing. hope he feels better!

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on March 22, 2012
at 05:14 PM

I would also add that sometimes you pay for the cheats no matter what or to what degree...you're system is changing and adjusting to the 'good foods' and tossing in something from take out could be enough to cause the system to want to do a clear out.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 22, 2012
at 02:54 PM

Yes. A large increase in fat can lead to steatorrhea (loose oily stools). The liver and gall bladder have to get used to the idea that you need more bile salts to digest the fat. Also, a lack of sugar/carbs can lead to gut flora die-off which can cause loose stools - again this would be temporary. You may want to try adjusting the amount of fat down a bit and/or adding some carbs to ameliorate the situation. Or it could just be a bug.

65bba2aa1de77b31c373c1a390c43ca8

(423)

on March 22, 2012
at 02:32 PM

Thanks for the info. For what it's worth, we haven't had full blown cheat days, just 2 lazy cheat dinners. The first was Taco Bell (yeah, yeah, lol), the one last night was Wendy's grilled chicken sandwich with side salad instead of fries. So, while not good, and nowhere near "Paleo", the rest of both those days were on point.

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8 Answers

7
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 22, 2012
at 02:23 PM

I wouldn't say it is "normal", but some people will experience bowel issues if their system is shocked with a big increase in fat (too much coconut oil can do this to me) or a big increase in fiber.

It also could be completely unrelated to diet and he might have a virus that his system is shedding.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 22, 2012
at 02:54 PM

Yes. A large increase in fat can lead to steatorrhea (loose oily stools). The liver and gall bladder have to get used to the idea that you need more bile salts to digest the fat. Also, a lack of sugar/carbs can lead to gut flora die-off which can cause loose stools - again this would be temporary. You may want to try adjusting the amount of fat down a bit and/or adding some carbs to ameliorate the situation. Or it could just be a bug.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on March 22, 2012
at 10:31 PM

I'm surprised that coconut oil causes you this trouble, since from what I've read, it does not require bile salts to be absorbed; rather it can be absorbed into the blood and processed by the liver directly. I'm sure I've even read that it's used in IV feeding solutions. Of course, now I cannot find those things to support what I'm saying....

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 23, 2012
at 02:46 PM

Well, coconut oil is not 100% MCT. And many people have reported this effect from adding coconut oil to their diet.

7
380ba09fce670758a46a7c5522e908b9

on March 22, 2012
at 02:22 PM

Not unusual in the early days, in my experience. This too shall, um, pass.

4
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 22, 2012
at 02:25 PM

I've had a slew of lower GI issues, which got way better when diet was formalized and made better, and finally resolved after a surgery (and still maintain diet). When things were bad, I probably saw every form of stool possible (yuck, I know).

I know this is only anecdotal, but in my case, I would say two things helped. 1) Ran a course of a potent, mixed variety of probiotics for about 1 month. 2) Maintained eating "enough" fiber - this varies from person to person (for be it's 14-24g a day), and the type of fiber (soluble v. insoluble) matters - i.e IBS sufferers probably want to avoid "scratchy" supplements, for e.g. I'm not necessarily advocating supplementing fiber.

I do strongly suggest running a temporary course of probiotics. Gut flora is a tricky internal system to maintain. If you get one, make sure it's a good one that a) has a variety of bacterium, and b) hopefully makes some claim that their proprietary system somewhat gaurantees that the pill will actually make it through the stomach undigested -- you want to get those bacterium in there! The why, is because bacterium will help to digest some otherwise undigestable material, as well as actually adding a substantial amount of bulk to stool.

I do continue to supplement fiber, but very little - I get 85% of what makes me feel normal from diet alone. I suggest trying that, but especially varying the natural soluble and insoluble fiber (e.g. broccoli and sweet potatoes gives a nice spectrum of both). If I eat a white potato, I'm "too bound up" - then again, this may be exactly what the BF needs. Soluble fiber will help to keep stool together, whereas only insoluble fiber (i.e. "roughage") will help one pass stool, but it won't help the stool "togetherness".

Finally, don't discount the badness of your cheat days. I don't want to take something you enjoy away from you, but it may be hindering progress.

65bba2aa1de77b31c373c1a390c43ca8

(423)

on March 22, 2012
at 02:32 PM

Thanks for the info. For what it's worth, we haven't had full blown cheat days, just 2 lazy cheat dinners. The first was Taco Bell (yeah, yeah, lol), the one last night was Wendy's grilled chicken sandwich with side salad instead of fries. So, while not good, and nowhere near "Paleo", the rest of both those days were on point.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on March 22, 2012
at 05:14 PM

I would also add that sometimes you pay for the cheats no matter what or to what degree...you're system is changing and adjusting to the 'good foods' and tossing in something from take out could be enough to cause the system to want to do a clear out.

3
673637677e38acbbb43976aecfcefa9f

on March 22, 2012
at 03:18 PM

The increase in Fat did that to me, it went away pretty quickly. If he's been on antibiotics recently (in case its C diff) or lasts too long, he may want to get checked out. Just be sure to stay hydrated

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on March 22, 2012
at 05:16 PM

adding my two cents here, this also happened to me and was the increase of fat, definitely reduce it and work up slowly. A super enzyme will also help (get one for fat or one for fat/protein/carbs) and see if that helps. Introducing probiotics if you arent use to them can also cause loose stools, its all about phasing things in slowly and testing. hope he feels better!

1
A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on March 22, 2012
at 10:36 PM

I had precisely the same trouble. For me, probiotic supplements helped, but things didn't really settle down until I reintroduced some "safe starches," which wasn't until after about 4 months. I wish I'd done it sooner, because for me personally, I think my gut flora just wanted more carbs.

It didn't take much, but after months with barely any starch, it made a big difference, and within just a day or two. I used primarily white rice. For me, white rice and raw fish (as in sushi), or white rice and lamb (specifically--no other meat worked), both proved very soothing to my gut.

I still use those foods "medicinally" when things flare up a little down there. I remember the "lamb and rice" formulas for our dogs and cats, when they got sick...maybe there is something to that.

Also, homemade chicken soup with some rice in it. I made a looooong simmered bone broth first from the chicken carcass. That was a great combo to get things under control. Bone broths are often mentioned for gut health.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on March 22, 2012
at 11:15 PM

I found that adding more carbs (white potato, occasional white rice helped - for a while. But whatever - it always ends back as loose stools! Perhaps this is, in fact, the human norm??!!

1
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 22, 2012
at 08:11 PM

It will pass. But definitely not just cut down foods, but you should add foods to help this: offal, coconut oil, home-made goat kefir, sauerkraut etc.

65bba2aa1de77b31c373c1a390c43ca8

(423)

on March 23, 2012
at 09:59 AM

I can't get him to eat offal :-( but he does love my home made sauerkraut and fermented salsa!

1
D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

on March 22, 2012
at 04:29 PM

Also, if the fiber intake has been markedly reduced, the bowel muscles need a time of adjustment to return to their normal function, after having been overstretched by large amounts of fiber.

I've read other posts of folks having loose stools or diarrhea during the adjustment time. When I went very low carb, and went on a low fiber diet, my bowels needed a few months to adjust. Once they adjusted, all was well again. :)

Bone broths, meat broths, sea salt might be helpful.

Another possibility: has there been an increase in FODMAP foods?

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2036.2005.02506.x/full

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.06149.x/full

All the best to you. :)

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