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  • Would appreciate help

    Hello all, I hope everyone is enjoying a merry, relatively healthy Christmas.

    Unfortunately, I find myself needing as much help as I can get:

    A period of injury, antibiotics, and birth control has led to a significant Candida overgrowth/ IBS-C coupled with chronic fatigue/insomnia. The constipation is the most infuriating part, and I don't enjoy discussing it, but it's necessary.

    I eat organic, eggs, grass-fed butter, soaked almonds, pecans, and brazil nuts, zucchini, broccoli, califlower, collard greens, chard, olive oil, mac nut oil, spaghetti squash, cinnamon, saurkraut, spinach, coconut flour, kohlrabi, and the occasional acorn squash and sweet potato. That's really about it. I've been eating like this for almost a year now ( I have eaten other vegetables like asparagus and nightshades, but have been avoiding nightshades).

    I DID fall off the wagon pretty badly about two months ago, and I'm glad that I'm at least getting solid stools now, but they are still completely inadequate. I'm going off nuts for a few days to see if this makes a difference or if I am just eating too many of them.

    I take a multi vitamin, glutamine, 600 Mg of magnesium throughout the day, digestive enzymes, betaine HCl, psyllium twice a day (doesn't work as well as it used to), cod liver oil. I recently started taking cellulase and protease to aid with yeast killing and protein digestion. I'm also taking a massive amount of probiotics (Ohhira, Garden of Life HSO, FemDophilus, and recently started VSL #3) in the morning and at night on an empty stomach.

    What am I missing here? I'm tired of throwing away my money on weekly colonics (which at least keep me sane). The last time I got cleaned out I saw a long white thing swimming out of me; I was told it was a parasite.

    Just last week my doctor said a stool test wouldn't necessarily provide useful information, but in light of my possibly hosting parasites, I might try to get the test.

    Try a parasite cleanse?
    Explore my copper/zinc levels?
    Do a home salivary cortisol test?
    Flax seeds?

    My sincerest thanks in advance for any piece of thought out advice.

  • #2
    I'm certainly not an expert, but I see extremely little protein in your diet. Unless you're eating dozens of eggs a day.

    That's the glaring hting I see, though I have no idea how that could affect the issues you're having.


    • #3
      I eat four eggs a day. My symptoms worsen when I try to eat meat. I don't think I digest protein so well. I was raised vegetarian and am starting to learn about some ways in which I could improve this (e.g. making fermented foods, bone broths)


      • #4
        I had some serious gut issues as well in the past. I really cleaned it up using the GAPS protocol by Dr. Natasha McBride. It falls in line with a primal/paleo diet as well so it should not be hard to incorporate it. What worked for me was making a lot of bone broths and using coconut oil/milk as it is really good for the gut. Building up the small intestine walls and kicking leaky gut to the curb is a tough process, falling off the wagon once a month can really de-rail your success. Once the micro villi in your small intestinal wall is damaged your gut becomes permeable. You begin to have malabsorption of key nutrients/minerals and your waste transit starts to fall off. You may not ever be able to fully heal the micro villi but you can get it to a manageable point where you are once again absorbing the right vitamins/minerals and you will have less digestive issues. It may take a bit longer for you since you said that you grew up as a vegetarian. Just don't expect it to happen overnight since it took awhile to get this way, but do look for small incremental improvements as your diet gets better.

        My advice is:
        Probiotic - I used Jarro-Dophilus - 5 billion organisms - 1 pill per day
        Bone broth soup often
        No starchy carbs
        limit most fruits especially high GI fruits since they feed Candida
        maybe some digestive enzymes. I hear they work for some but I have never used them.
        Most importantly go GFCF.
        If you have amalgam fillings (mercury)/or root canals, research the connection between them and candida and your overall health. I removed mine and they could have possibly been feeding the candida as well.

        Good luck and let me know what works for you as you progress.
        "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

        People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.


        • #5
          Oh also you said you take "psyllium twice a day". I used that for about a week with terrible digestive results. I had a lot of bloating and gas. Why do you have it in your diet? Are you trying to increase your fiber intake? If that is the case your fiber intake should be more than sufficient with the whole foods and vegetables you are eating.

          Also eating 4 eggs a day every day can cause allergic reaction to the point of auto-immune disease. Eggs are great but Robb Wolf recommends not having so many every day. I eat about 6-8 eggs a week which seems more than enough for my tastes. But if you are doing 28 a week that can cause some trouble for sensitive individuals.
          "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

          People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.


          • #6
            I second the coconut oil suggestion. I immediately started experiencing yeast die-off when I started using it. I can't believe how much it's helping my skin topically, as well. I would gradually add at least 3 tablespoons a day to your diet.
            True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington. ~Anonymous
            The worst carrot is better than the best candybar.--TornadoGirl


            • #7
              Thank you Balance. I do not eat any gluten or fruit (cept for the occasional lemon and avocado), and I eat so many eggs because meat doesn't agree with me and I want to avoid the lectins in legumes. The only dairy I do is butter, so I am skeptical of Whey. I should cut down on the eggs though.

              Could organic, grass-fed butter be a problem? Would goat butter be a better substitute?

              I have been taking glutamine every day for almost a year for leaky gut, but I think bone broth soups are a good suggestion; many people have said this to me.

              It never occured to me to take psyllium until a doctor suggested it to me. I was skeptical since I eat so many vegetables, but figured I'd try it. Taking it on an empty stomach twice a day did wonders for me for about six weeks: I had two bowel movements a day, and felt only slightly bloated. Then I got off track, and now it doesn't appear to help much.

              I'm lucky to have no cavities, and eating virtually no sugar should keep it that way


              • #8
                Well, not sure what might help.

                You're eating an awful lot of nuts.

                That'd stop me up.

                Fiber (which you get plenty of) Water, and Fat make for good bowel movements to my understanding.

                Personally, and this is just my perspective, "cleanses" "detox" and the like are a bunch of snake oil. I did all that stuff, and kind of wish I had my money back.

                Most folks around here eat Meat, and veggies, and a high amount of fat. That's kind of what we do. Sorry it seems to make things worse for you, I hope you get some advice that helps.

                Good luck.


                • #9
                  Get your vitamin D levels tested.

                  No Grains

                  No Dairy

                  No legumes

                  Diet should be mostly protein, fat and vegetables. Stay away from PUFA's.

                  Get plenty of sleep in a dark room.


                  • #10
                    Yup, I pretty much forgot about grains, legumes, and dairy and have significantly reduced PUFA's.

                    Got F.lux on the computers and will talk to my doc about vitamin D testing this monday. Thanks.


                    • #11
                      Merry Christmas!

                      My intuition is that you need to "rest" your bowels and lay off the psyllium husks and colonics. Let your body heal and drink plenty of fluid. Your intestines do not need lots of fiber or external simulation to work properly--that's a CW belief. Your stools will be smaller and less frequent on a Primal diet, so your expectations around your elimination habits may need to shift, too. (I was a vegetarian for 14 years, so speaking from experience!) It took me 2.5 weeks to finally normalize my digestion after going Primal--it can take up to 8 weeks for some people. Be patient!

                      I used to have 2 bowel movements a day, now I have one small one every day--or every other day. Make sure you are getting sufficient magnesium (you can do a search on this site for more info on magnesium and constipation.)

                      Even with soaking, there is still a fair amount of phytic acid in nuts & seeds which will inhibit mineral absorption, so I would eliminate them for now. I think I read somewhere on this site that coconut flour can be constipating for some again, do a search!

                      I make sure I drink a small amount of kombucha (4 oz) with every meat-containing meal and have had no problems with digestion. Perhaps eat a small amount of meat at a time?
                      Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
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                      • #12
                        And you feel okay with every other day? I feel like crap if I don't have a fulfilling one once a day.

                        I'm going to avoid the nuts for a while, and I take Magnesium citrate daily.

                        Thanks for understanding the vegetarian to primal shift!


                        • #13
                          4 eggs? that's only 24 g protein. you need to triple that protein intake. that alone would make me fatigued and ill. the nuts would also cause problems. a colonic might not be an issue on rare occasions, but they are "addictive" like laxatives so you need to find a way to wean yourself off (they can completely muff up your microbial balance).

                          Not sure if dairy is an issue for you, but i would introduce a small amount of real kefir to improve your gut microflora (helios is a good U.S. brand, just be sure to buy the plain kind). if you can't tolerate dairy kefir, hunt down some water kefir grains and drink a water kefir beverage daily. Kefir is preferable to yogurt because kefir contain beneficial yeasts as well as beneficial bacteria.

                          Due to the constant colonics, you need to rehabilitate your microbial populations (the kefir will help, but i think you'll need more intensive care). I'll look around to see if i can find specific bacteria that are beneficial for constipation. Most probiotics are going to contain your standard L. acidophilous and/or L. bifidus. These might help you, but I need to read a little to see if these are beneficial specifically for constipation.
                          Last edited by Saoirse; 12-25-2010, 05:03 PM. Reason: bad grammar
                          my primal journal:


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nutritionut View Post
                            And you feel okay with every other day?
                            This doesn't happen that often, BTW. I usually have one every day.
                            I wasn't comfortable at first because I had a habit (pre-primal) of going twice a day, plus a belief that it was necessary for health. Now that I am eating when I am hungry and fasting when not, my bowels are getting into synch with the amount of food I am ingesting. If I start feeling constipated, I drink some caffeinated tea or eat some chocolate and that does the trick.
                            Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
                            Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
                            Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article


                            • #15

                              I would love to be able to wean myself off laxatives and colonics, but, honestly, I could probably go for weeks staying backed up without them. It's getting better slowly, but it will take some time.

                              I am thinking I might try to do a brief "intro diet" of sorts (a la GAPS/SCD) filled with bone broth, fermented foods, easty to digest vegetables, etc. I also need to experiment with which meats/fishes agree with me.

                              I am avoiding dairy that isn't butter. I take a lot of strong probiotics (with a variety of strains) and adding more fermented foods should help as well. I take a lot of them especially after a colonic.