Fixing constipation

Note: Read on about how to fix other things apart of constipation too. Please remember though, I’m not a doctor, that’s just what I did to get out of the health situations I’ve been into.

You might have read my story about battling IBS-D for 10 years, and how the Paleo/SCD diets helped me got rid the IBS menace & all sorts of other problems. However, about 2 weeks into the diet, my diarrhea had morphed into constipation of sorts. Apparently, a lot of people (with IBS or not) get constipated on Paleo/SCD at first, because they enter these diets with a badly altered gut flora. Eating “more fiber”, doesn’t really help.

But early-on, a comment on PaleoHacks.com made me see the light. The guy said something to the effect of “diarrhea is usually the outcome of some food that shouldn’t have been consumed, and constipation is food that should have been consumed, but it wasn’t“. This made sense to me somehow. Since my diarrhea went away after I stopped eating grains/gluten, it only made sense that constipation was here just because I was not doing enough to fix my terribly damaged gut flora. I was not eating everything I was supposed to eat. I was simply eating “the Standard Western Diet, but without grains/beans/sugar”. The part I was missing from the whole story was that there were other, ancient types of foods, fermented foods, that our modern society has completely shunned off. In the olden days, people were eating fermenting foods all the time. Even their bread was fermented.

It’s been 2.5 months since I started the diet that saved my life, and based on this new information I was able to fix my constipation within a week of following the regimen below. As my leaky gut heals, bowel movements & overall health are getting better. For a month now I have one, firm bowel movement within 30 to 45 minutes of waking up (no matter if I eat/drink or not). It’s like a freaking clockwork. A few days I might have two BMs a day, but they’re always well-formed and looking healthy. This is a kind of healthiness I wasn’t accustomed to after 10 years of feeling like the shit I was over-producing.

If your condition is too extreme (I’ve heard nightmare cases about constipation — and I thought diarrhea was bad), give it at least 4 weeks on the regimen below. For me the problem went away in a week, but then again I had already started Paleo weeks before, and my case was very mild anyway (I never had pain for example).

This regimen might also be helpful for those with diarrhea who are following the mainline Paleo/SCD/GAPS diets, but somehow these diets haven’t help them alleviate their symptoms (because they might be battling mutated bacteria/parasites/protozoal/H.Pylori, which eat anything that falls into the stomach, not just carbs). In that case, add more carbs in to your diet (e.g. parsnips, turnips, sweet potatoes, beets) to empower your “good” gut bacteria, while introducing more “good” bacteria and competition using with the regimen below.

1. Follow the Paleo diet. This is for now, and forever. It’s your new diet, for life. Get into the right brain mode, and accept the realities of why you’re sick and what you have to give up to get healthy again. The Paleo diet can fix, or make asymptomatic, a whole slew of inflammatory, auto-immune, gastro-issues, and even mental issues (e.g. light depression, ADD/ADHD etc)! If the mental issue is severe (e.g. bipolar, autistic etc), you might need to go Paleo-Ketogenic to see more change. If your auto-immune disorder is severe, you might also need to follow the auto-immune Paleo protocol (which also removes “nightshade” vegetables, shellfish, eggs, nuts, and all dairy — eliminating each for a period of time until you find the “offending” food). But just for IBD issues, the plain Paleo diet, is enough.

2. Kefir, kefir, kefir. Home-made, and from goat milk (not store-bought). Most dairy intolerant people can tolerate goat/sheep milk (different casein than that of cows), and if you ferment kefir for over 24 hours, little lactose remains. Kefir will also build better dairy tolerance overtime. If dairy is out of the question, then go for probiotics. I used to buy iFlora before the magic of kefir came to my life.

3. These are the superfoods to go after: bone broth, offal, sea veggies, some raw honey, and most importantly for IBD issues: fermented foods (e.g. live sauerkraut). And some supplementation: D3, Mg, K2-Mk4, fish oil.

Oh, and start researching for yourselves! All of what you read above is knowledge accumulated after spending hours and hours reading everything related to my problems that made some sense. From testimonials, to research papers, to science blogs. Don’t expect doctors to fix your chronic issues, this is almost never possible. For chronic issues, you need chronic, radical changes. There is no magic pill.

Good luck!

5 Comments »

Ivan wrote on November 16th, 2011 at 12:33 AM PST:

ötzi, the European ice mummy, a mountain traveler, had mushrooms in his prehistorical ‘medicine pack’. Scientists believe they were used therapeutically, as a natural source of antibiotics.
Mushrooms should be an important part of the paleo diet too.


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Eugenia wrote on November 16th, 2011 at 12:54 AM PST:

I mention mushrooms in the “Paleo diet” link, they’re Paleo food. But different mushrooms have completely different health benefits, so not all have antibiotic properties. In fact, research for using mushroom elements as antibiotics is very new (plus, it’s usually research for poisonous varieties).


Monty wrote on November 16th, 2011 at 9:35 AM PST:

Hi Eugenia,
Long time reader…
I’ve had an ongoing problem with these same things, and stopped eating gluten and wheat and have had a lot of luck with it. I think I am both gluten/wheat intolerant and lactose intolerant.
I was talking to a friend recently re. the fact I would like to switch to an almost completely vegetarian diet, but the legumes just kill me with gas… she suggested taking Alfalfa pills. She said that would probably fix it. Haven’t tried it, but will be. Good luck, and thanks for all the great reading and entertainment.


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Eugenia wrote on November 16th, 2011 at 11:26 AM PST:

I wouldn’t personally go vegetarian, not even with a gun to my head, so I can’t help you much there. Paleo is the only diet that worked for me (I was a vegetarian in the ’90s for a while, and spent quite a few years engaged to a vegan, so I was mostly eating what he was).


Monty wrote on November 17th, 2011 at 9:41 AM PST:

Yeah, I’ve been thinking on it for a while…then I started thinking about Rib Eyes… Hamburgers… and especially Italian Beef Sandwiches, and my favorite (any kind of lamb). But I think I’d like to eat vegetarian a lot and just eat my favorite meats occasionally.


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