3

votes

Constipation remedies

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 15, 2011 at 1:57 AM

I've had constipation for a long time (had it before Paleo, continue to have it now). I usually go every 3-4 days, have to strain to go, and my stools are very hard. I've read a few tips on trying fermented foods such as sauerkraut or supplementing with pro-biotics. Has anyone found relief with these methods? How much sauerkraut do I need to eat? What kind of probiotic should I take (I was overwhelemed by the many different types in my local healthfood store)?

I also came across suggestions to eat more starch (ie. potatos, rice) to help with constipation... any truth to that?

Any suggestions would help!

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on January 24, 2013
at 04:55 AM

Senna is a gut irritant.

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on January 23, 2013
at 11:53 PM

Take out the 'tons of veggies'! Chris Kresser has a great article on digestive health and how 'tons of veggies' are probably aggravating your poor intestines. Leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower are full of insoluble fiber: think wire brush on a wound. Sweet potato, squash, carrots: soluble fiber = squeaky clean, happy gut.

663f1c53c1cab805ceec5c9cafe7ea18

(0)

on January 23, 2013
at 05:59 PM

Oh, I fogot: 7. Probiotic supplement and fermented sauerkraut daily.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 22, 2012
at 10:58 PM

Disagree. Via what mechanism does carrot, or papaya juice "detoxify" any part of your body over eating a carrot or eating papaya?

8b02ef6dda8b8154c4185a2ac0883b09

(175)

on December 18, 2011
at 02:17 AM

Prunes are dried plums

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on November 29, 2011
at 06:11 PM

I'm not sure how safe Senna is. It seems to help a lot of people but for long term usage I heard it damages something in the gut.

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on November 29, 2011
at 06:11 PM

Isn't this a prune?

3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on November 16, 2011
at 07:16 AM

I had constipation after I entered the Paleo world (which fixed my IBS-D). This is how I overcame it (long text): http://goo.gl/BbLc1

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on November 16, 2011
at 01:51 AM

Lactobacillus is not inherently dairy-derived - the "lacto" in the name refers to the fact that these bacteria produce lactic acid. Some commercial probiotic supplements may be dairy-derived, but many aren't. Fermented vegetables made with brine rather than whey will have naturally occuring Lactobacillus that are non-dairy.

B2cadbf43bddfbb523b8a53155656188

(548)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:29 PM

I have tried herbal remedies which have helped, but I don't want to grow dependant on them

B2cadbf43bddfbb523b8a53155656188

(548)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:29 PM

I just started exercising regularly and my water intake is definitely lower than it should be. I eat mainly protein and non-starchy vegetables.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:48 PM

Generally the higher the quantity of plant matter in one's diet the higher their volume of stool, *not* the nutrient density.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:41 PM

I asked the question in the past, but do you think vitamin D can contribute to constipation too, as it increases calcium levels?

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:37 PM

agreed, squash & pumpkin works well....tis the season right!

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:36 PM

AND you can use the compost scraps from the juicer to fertilizer your soil :)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:10 PM

You said poopies!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:09 PM

Sorry you got piled on Anne. I suspect that mentioning Dr. Oz didn't help - as there are not many of his fans around here. Glucomannan is interesting and may help for constipation/wieght loss/diabetes (at least according to Wiki). It can also be a choking hazard. I'll pass on supplementing with fiber for now.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:40 AM

Squash is wonderful for either constipation or diarrhea. Love that stuff!

Medium avatar

(19469)

on November 15, 2011
at 04:15 AM

Sweet! I've got both my magnesium bases covered :)

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on November 15, 2011
at 03:58 AM

What does a typical day look like as far as food is concerned? Do you get plenty of exercise, drink plenty of water? Do you take any supplements right now? What have you done for constipation in the past?

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on November 15, 2011
at 03:04 AM

I've learned that the citrate form is the most bio available.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on November 15, 2011
at 02:16 AM

Agree with Beth. I also take Mag Glycinate for it's better absorbability.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on November 15, 2011
at 02:16 AM

Most people are deficient in magnesium anyway, so using it all the time is not detrimental (unless you have a reaction specifically to the citrate form).

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on November 15, 2011
at 02:15 AM

In my experience with Natural Calm, yes. But since I need the magnesium anyways (don't care for food sources), I have been experimenting to find the right daily dose to keep me regular, and then also take mag glycinate to make sure I'm getting enough magnesium.

B2cadbf43bddfbb523b8a53155656188

(548)

on November 15, 2011
at 02:12 AM

But is Nautral Calm something that you have to depend on all the time?

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22 Answers

6
Medium avatar

(19469)

on November 15, 2011
at 02:03 AM

Chronic constipation can be a side effect of hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid hormone) so it might be worth checking with your doctor. It's a simple blood test and fairly routine.

Regarding "remedies", I have had quite a bit of success with Natural Calm (powdered magnesium citrate).

Some people don't like it, but it definitely "got me going."

Medium avatar

(19469)

on November 15, 2011
at 02:16 AM

Most people are deficient in magnesium anyway, so using it all the time is not detrimental (unless you have a reaction specifically to the citrate form).

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on November 15, 2011
at 03:04 AM

I've learned that the citrate form is the most bio available.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on November 15, 2011
at 02:16 AM

Agree with Beth. I also take Mag Glycinate for it's better absorbability.

Medium avatar

(19469)

on November 15, 2011
at 04:15 AM

Sweet! I've got both my magnesium bases covered :)

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37

on November 15, 2011
at 02:15 AM

In my experience with Natural Calm, yes. But since I need the magnesium anyways (don't care for food sources), I have been experimenting to find the right daily dose to keep me regular, and then also take mag glycinate to make sure I'm getting enough magnesium.

B2cadbf43bddfbb523b8a53155656188

(548)

on November 15, 2011
at 02:12 AM

But is Nautral Calm something that you have to depend on all the time?

5
Medium avatar

(4878)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:21 AM

  1. 2-4 heaping tablespoons of HOMEMADE sauerkraut per day
  2. Drink water through out the day (enough to make your urine lighter than tone of lemonade).
  3. Walk 45 mins per day
  4. Eat 1/2c sweet potatoes or pumpkin every other day
  5. Increase Vit C

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 15, 2011
at 11:40 AM

Squash is wonderful for either constipation or diarrhea. Love that stuff!

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:37 PM

agreed, squash & pumpkin works well....tis the season right!

5
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:13 AM

My methods for keeping my system regular are pretty basic.

Rehydrate: A tall glass of water first thing in the morning BEFORE I have any coffee. Think about it: You haven't drank anything for 8-9 hours so you're dehydrated when you wake up. Sip water throughout the day.

Begin a month long course of probiotics. I used the cheap Accuflora brand and they worked great. Took mine right before I went to bed.

Magnesium. I take 500mg (along with zinc) before I go to bed.

Calcium. Be careful if you're taking a cal supp. Carbonate forms can contribute to constipation, whereas citrate is best for those predisposed to hard poopies.

That's pretty much it. I don't concern myself with fiber intake, and often will end up around 12-15g of fiber per day. My BM's are about the same everyday. Although green leafy veg like spinach ALWAYS makes a reappearance the following day. That stuff is like corn, I tell ya.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:10 PM

You said poopies!

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:41 PM

I asked the question in the past, but do you think vitamin D can contribute to constipation too, as it increases calcium levels?

3
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on November 15, 2011
at 04:30 AM

Make sure you are getting enough magnesium. Eating a "mess" o' greens with your meat can help. I thought eating whole wheat helped me move things along, but then realized that I just have a problem with wheat.

1
Cd6d657c5dd26264b3ea4ece843ce65e

on August 27, 2013
at 07:50 AM

There's a guy who has a blog about overcoming constipation with a paleo styled approach. It's over at http://realconstipationremedies.com ...some interesting info on the dangers of laxatives and the power of probiotics!

1
0f44d81f247518d6fc2de0403ff9a68a

on August 26, 2013
at 10:29 PM

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Eat less protein. This should make it a little less hard
  • Eat more fat. This should help make it a little bit more soft and let it flow better
  • Supplement with magnesium. Magnesium in high doses can result in diarrhea (depending on the form), but if you use normal amounts (~400mg/day), it should not cause diarrhea, but loosen the stool a little and therefore help with consistency and make the bowel movements easier.
  • Try adding salt to your diet.
  • Make sure you drink enough (I am actually not a fan of drinking like 100 oz a day. But you should make sure not to go below 50 oz). You can mix magnesium and a little salt (~2g) with the water and drink it during the day.
  • If you drink or eat caffeine, stop or at least reduce it.
  • You can eat flax seeds and then drink a glass of water. The flax seeds you grind with your teeth will give you fiber and the seeds you don't grind with your seeds with produce a slime-like stuff inside you which can help with constipation. (Put the seeds in water for an hour to see how they produce this slimy thingy).
  • Make sure to either exercise or at least move throughout the day. You can just go walking for 30 minutes or so.

1
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on January 13, 2013
at 05:35 PM

RAW ORGANIC PICKLES AND PICKLE JUICE!!!

If you are still constipated after eating one with each meal, eat more. If you overdose, you will have a watery stool, that's it.

EDITED:

It is hard for me to eat those because of SIBO.

So another alternative would be raw beets (in salad). Again, not sure if you can have those with SIBO.

1
C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

on November 15, 2011
at 06:43 PM

Dont try and force pooping. if youre eating nutrient dense food and have normal flora, you wont have much waste. your body has the ability to take up what is in you eat and use it. plus one. now if your stools are hard pebbles and gassy, then you prolly have a problem. i wouldnt recommend more fiber though, more chewy meat will work wonders...eat close to the bone.

If you really are constipated, dont over consume protein or fiber- neither will be of much assistance.

some swear by probiotics/kefir/kombucha.... i personally swear by real good cuts of meat(meaning lots of bones and eating up to the bone) & stock

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:48 PM

Generally the higher the quantity of plant matter in one's diet the higher their volume of stool, *not* the nutrient density.

1
Ab19df3ededa28f7bf7daeba8435b205

on November 15, 2011
at 06:26 PM

I had (probably still have IBS wtih COnstipation) which when I eat anything with Beef or beef broth or any beef items no matter how small it caused severe constipation. I try to keep myself in check since starting Paleo I have learned a few tweaks along the way. 1. by not eating a ton of nuts like I did in the beginning of Paleo. 2. Walking appears to be a must for me. 3. Kimchi occassionally (2 times a month or so) 4. Kombucha (I purchase the GT Kombucha that you have to show your ID for since it is now regulated due to fermentation producing higher than previously thought alcohol levels...still not at the level of wine or beer but enough to regulate) I only drink about 1/3 to 1/2 a bottle a day if I feel like things are not moving along well. Plus I get the flavors that only have 2 sugars. 5. WATER ....not a ton but definaltely try to drink two large tumblers (so probalby equal to 4 8 oz glasses over a day) 6. Coconut Milk...if i get backed up and cant get to the store to get Kombucha 7. Magnesium as has been suggested but please read other threads, it can cause vivid dreams in some people so start with a smaller dose and work your way up. 8. Sweet Potato and more veg....when is started Paleo in January, I wasnt eating much allowable vegetables and I just wasnt losing. So I upped my carbs through Veggies and it resulted in better stools too.

PS. I tried Pearls probiotic and was good at taking it daily for about a month then I would forget so even though it seemed to help, I just couldnt take it daily for an exteneded period to be able to tell you if that was all i needed daily.

Good luck.

1
6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on November 15, 2011
at 04:49 AM

I've had good results by increasing my saturated fat intake. I started eating 1 or 2 teaspoons of coconut oil daily, and I cover all my veggies with some pasture butter.

I also started consuming homemade milk kefir, about six oz/day.

Adding these 2 things to my diet helped me a great deal.

0
F0a0388780f840769af6aaba400a9d7a

on May 23, 2014
at 06:51 PM

When you eat cleaner you naturally detoxify. You awaken toxins as your body cleanses itself. Your body's main way to eliminate toxins are via the bowel. Sometimes when you eat cleaner you awaken more toxins than your bowel can handle, which results in constipation. To really enjoy the benefits of a clean diet, get a gravity method colonic to remove the excess toxins and help tone the bowel. Read 'The Raw Food Detox Diet' by Natalia Rose or 'The Body Ecology Diet' by Donna Gates for more information. Peace out @PaleoGal

0
E76e047a3505c74ca12a67a7bde07685

on August 26, 2013
at 11:37 PM

Wine. And coffee. For some reason, although obviously not a Paleo-ish solution, either substance induce a blow-out. Which is nice at times.

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on August 26, 2013
at 11:10 PM

My wife got hold of similar problems by eating first one, then two kiwifruit a day. Eaten with meat or other mineral rich food they will improve absorption. In my view, beets are also helpful.

0
6b64310272ffb5c220762037877f110a

on August 26, 2013
at 09:53 PM

In self-treating my own chronic constipation, I removed a lot of potentially disruptive substances from my diet, but only eliminating fructose (including in fruit and fruit juice) more or less cured that condition, which had plagued me for well over a decade.

Fructose-elimination worked when cutting out dairy, wheat, all grains, starchy vegetables - alone or in combination - did nothing.

Fruit - especially fruit juice - was somewhat tough to give up, but the benefits have been worth that small sacrifice. I just wished I had discovered the connection far sooner.

0
74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

on January 23, 2013
at 11:50 PM

Natural Calm before bed.

Eating a teaspoon or so of sauerkraut whenever I remember or feel like it.

0
19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on January 23, 2013
at 11:08 PM

I would do all of the above, and then if you are still having trouble find an acupuncturist. I am finding it really helpful for constipation.

0
663f1c53c1cab805ceec5c9cafe7ea18

on January 23, 2013
at 05:59 PM

I'm 21 days into a squeaky clean Paleo but suffering major constipation. Very uncomfortable!! I'm currently doing the following to no avail:

  1. 64 - 96 ounces of water per day
  2. sweet potatoes or butternut squash every day
  3. magnesium every day
  4. exercise every day for at least 1 hour
  5. no caffeine
  6. tons of veggies

What else can I do?

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on January 23, 2013
at 11:53 PM

Take out the 'tons of veggies'! Chris Kresser has a great article on digestive health and how 'tons of veggies' are probably aggravating your poor intestines. Leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower are full of insoluble fiber: think wire brush on a wound. Sweet potato, squash, carrots: soluble fiber = squeaky clean, happy gut.

663f1c53c1cab805ceec5c9cafe7ea18

(0)

on January 23, 2013
at 05:59 PM

Oh, I fogot: 7. Probiotic supplement and fermented sauerkraut daily.

0
2c3e77c518204ecb2dff606d48c2d170

(30)

on November 16, 2011
at 05:24 AM

Lots of water and Plum fruit leather! My mom swears by it. She food processes ripe plums and puts the puree in the food dehydration, or you can bake on low heat in the oven for a few hours. My brother and I thought it was a treat growing up, but it was in part to keep us regular. The riper the plum the more naturally sweet the leather.

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on November 29, 2011
at 06:11 PM

Isn't this a prune?

8b02ef6dda8b8154c4185a2ac0883b09

(175)

on December 18, 2011
at 02:17 AM

Prunes are dried plums

0
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:28 PM

  1. enzymes
  2. probiotics
  3. senna tea

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on November 29, 2011
at 06:11 PM

I'm not sure how safe Senna is. It seems to help a lot of people but for long term usage I heard it damages something in the gut.

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on January 24, 2013
at 04:55 AM

Senna is a gut irritant.

0
559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4

on November 15, 2011
at 05:58 PM

Effective forms of magnesium for constipation are magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide. They are not as well-absorbed as, say magnesium taurate, and therefore absorb more water in the gut. They are also much cheaper.

0
Cfec4f7412ba8430a965cc117b53b22b

(50)

on November 15, 2011
at 02:47 PM

I totally know that probiotics can help jumpstart things- but they are derived from dairy so it can be a bit problematic if you might have any slight dairy allergies (most probiotics are generally derived from lactobacilus- such as the natural live cultures in yogurt).....

Best advice i've got is to try juicing... me and my hubby bought a juicer and started jucing a variety of fruits and vegetables (carrot and orange make a delicious juice).... juicing can help remove toxins, help to process food and can help satiate your hunger if you find yourself tempted to snack.. also, if you want to maximize the effect of the juicing, throwing in some fresh papaya (papaya has papain in it, a natural enzyme that aids in processing food, the taste when juiced is similar to mango with a bit of a peppery flavor if you juice the seeds- the seeds are claimed to have lots of health benefits)..I would be sure to juice both fruits and vegetables and this should adequately flush your system...

also, fish oil/flaxseed oil capsules can also get things moving down there sufficiently...sometimes having a lack of excess fat in the diet will tend to bind so being sure to take in a healthy dose of coconut/olive oil when cooking your proteins also helps to keep everything lubed up (lol couldn't find a better word..lol) and prunes can also act as a bit of an aid to loosen up the bowels (but only has a temporary effect for some, so I wouldn't use often) but as far as eating more carbs- I wouldn't up the intake overall but I would up the intake of sweet potatoes... if you're eating rice, this can bind and actually worsen your constipation, oatmeal can have a bit of a "flushing" effect but any uppage in carbs should equal you taking in more water to flush...so I would try the juicing, prunes and increasing the fat content in your diet (capsules, cooking foods in oil) first then if none of these things work, i'd pursue seeing a doctor and discussing your concerns with them as severe constipation could be a sign of a further health problem. Hope this helps!

C471216c9fb4fcf886b7ac84a4046b49

(1371)

on November 15, 2011
at 06:36 PM

AND you can use the compost scraps from the juicer to fertilizer your soil :)

306aa57660d911781231f8090c2a5619

(3808)

on November 16, 2011
at 01:51 AM

Lactobacillus is not inherently dairy-derived - the "lacto" in the name refers to the fact that these bacteria produce lactic acid. Some commercial probiotic supplements may be dairy-derived, but many aren't. Fermented vegetables made with brine rather than whey will have naturally occuring Lactobacillus that are non-dairy.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 22, 2012
at 10:58 PM

Disagree. Via what mechanism does carrot, or papaya juice "detoxify" any part of your body over eating a carrot or eating papaya?

-1
4c197bf333480ae7c349acddb781cb40

on November 15, 2011
at 03:00 AM

I like a natural fiber called Konjac Root powder, It is amazing! Take 3 tablets 20 min before meals. Google Dr. OZ - Konjac root!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on November 15, 2011
at 03:09 PM

Sorry you got piled on Anne. I suspect that mentioning Dr. Oz didn't help - as there are not many of his fans around here. Glucomannan is interesting and may help for constipation/wieght loss/diabetes (at least according to Wiki). It can also be a choking hazard. I'll pass on supplementing with fiber for now.

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