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  • Primal & IBS

    About 5-6 years ago I started having problems with IBS. I also have Factor V Leiden, which means I'm a hyper-clotter and have to watch my Vitamin K intake (dark leafy greens). I had laproscopic surgery last summer. Right after the surgery (which fixed another serious problem) the IBS really took off and now I'm struggling. I started out taking large doses of acidophilus and other gut bacteria "specifically formulated" for IBS sufferers. That helped, for a while.

    Part of the primal diet means you have to eat veggies. But the IBS causes serious problems when I eat any cruciferous vegetable, any cabbage & related vegetable, tomatoes, beets. About the only vegetables that I can stomach, pardon the pun, are avocados, celery, carrots, mushrooms. I can't eat grapes, citrus, plums, pears, and apples have to be skinned and in small quantities. Pineapple causes no end of digestive pain.

    I'm hoping that being on the primal diet will help with my IBS, but since all these vegetables cause serious digestive upset, what do I do?

    If there are any other people on the primal diet and suffer from IBS and have made headway in controlling their IBS, I would love to hear from you.
    You donít stop riding because youíre getting old, you get old because you stop riding.

  • #2
    I was "diagnosed" with IBS about 8 years ago, but nothing as bad as you have. What is your diet like now?
    I would start by cutting out as much grain and sugar as possible, focus on: beef, eggs, pork, chicken, fish, the veggies you can have, etc. After 3 days of eating primally my chronic stomach pain went away, after several weeks I noticed that I could now tolerate things that before would have set off my IBS. I don't know if you will respond the same way, but it is worth a try. After a while you may find that you can eat some of the things that used to cause you trouble. Good Luck.

    EDIT - Also meant to say that I found it helpful to make a list of all the things I can have (including herbs and spices), then use that list to come up with different recipes and combinations. Seemed easier that way, rather than thinking of all the things I can't have.
    Trying to avoid the things you can't have (for example), breakfast could be bacon, big omlette with avocado and maybe some cheese, tea or coffee. Lunch could be chicken or fish, some celery, maybe some almonds, etc. Dinner could be steak or pork tenderloin, grilled mushrooms, steamed carrots, etc.
    I found that after eating this way for a short time I just wasn't hungry at breakfast anymore, so now I mostly eat between 11-6 every day. That also means fewer meals to plan.
    Last edited by jasonmh; 01-13-2011, 04:03 PM.

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    • #3
      hyper clotter? In regards to your blood platelets? Fish oil should help with the overclotting if I understand you correctly.

      I have IBD irritable bowel disease, Chrohns. http://www.ccfa.org/about/news/ibsoribd

      Several things I can think off to help. If your having flare ups go zero carb (no fruits or vegetables) or no nightshades. I tend to limit vegetables as well since too much fiber can trigger a flare up. I can eat more vegetables than I used to without adverse effects but I have been primal for awhile. Potatoes and rice may also be helpful, not quite primal but it might be worth trying. No digestion problems with them for me. Also its extremely important to be aware of how much Omega 6 your taking and trying to limit it as much as possible. This is nuts, nut butters, vegetable and seed oils. It easier to limit the omega 6 than try to 2+ tablespoons a day of fish oil to counteract it for me at least. Although I still do 1 tablespoon of fish oil a day.

      Are you sure dairy isn't an issue?
      My journal where I attempt to overcome Chrohns and make good food as well

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      • #4
        My diet now is rather plain. I try to stay away from spiced foods which I used to love. I don't use any sugar. I don't eat junk food (chips, candies, chocolate gives me migraines, so does booze, cake, cookies, etc). The only cake I'll eat is my home-made cheesecake, because I know what's in it. But I'll take off the crust before I eat it. I do eat yogurt often, especially the Greek-type, high-fat 11%, 15% ones, but again, without sugar.

        Our meals are high on the protein scale - beef, chicken, pork, some seafood. Unfortunately we've been eating whole-grain breads, too. My doctor suggested that since I can't take fiber supplements I have to get fiber somehow. Whole grain breads would be a solution and as long as the wheat portion was not so high, it might not aggravate the IBS so much. I don't think that's working out.

        I've already got a list of foods, spices, herbs that cause me problems. I guess I should convert it into the 'can eat' list - it'll be short.

        Breakfast has never been easy for me. I just don't get an appetite until close to lunch-time, but I know how important breakfast is. I guess I'll start slowly with some lighter fare and see if I can handle that.
        You donít stop riding because youíre getting old, you get old because you stop riding.

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        • #5
          I used to have major IBS problems along with serious allergy issues. Going on a paleo style diet relieved those two issues about 90%. I also used to eat a lot of whole wheat bread and cereals. Removing those from my diet was the key to eliminating my IBS and allergies. Gluten is a serious concern to people with gut issues since they destroy the micro villi in your small intestine. Without your small intestine working properly you won't be absorbing key nutrients. It was a long process of eating gluten/grain free and removing dairy products. I made a lot of bone broth early on. Cruciferous vegetables tend to give a lot of people gas and discomfort. But I do pretty well with most vegetables. For me the main perpetrator was grains and gluten especially. You may want to look into that if you can.
          "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.

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          • #6
            I don't think dairy is a problem. I've tried cutting it out completely and it made no difference. When I added it back to my diet there was no change with the IBS. Ice cream on the other hand is another matter entirely. I don't eat nuts or nut products, don't use vegetable oil other than olive oil and that not often either. Main fat is butter and for some frying it's rendered goose/duck fat. I also can't stand anything that's been deep-fried.
            You donít stop riding because youíre getting old, you get old because you stop riding.

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            • #7
              I don't eat breakfast, lost fat from not eating it. Ditch the grains stat. Especially wheat. Corn can be problematic too, so I try not to eat it. I'm not perfect though. But wheat you need to completely cut out. NO whole or half grain breads. Fiber isn't necessary, fat can do the same thing along with magnesium. You may eventually be able to tolerate more vegetables after being wheat free for several months or more.

              IBS and IBD have different treatments that's why I brought it up.
              My journal where I attempt to overcome Chrohns and make good food as well

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              • #8
                Ok, so I'm tossing the grains altogether. Haven't eaten corn in years - can't digest it. How much magnesium should I be taking? I was on it for a while when we were trying to figure out a way to help with the migraines.
                You donít stop riding because youíre getting old, you get old because you stop riding.

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                • #9
                  I use 2 magnesium chelate pills (400 mg) and 600 mg oil spray if I remember it. I am not quite at optimal level, you really need to experiment with that. Too much causes diarrhea or lose stools with a magnesium smell. Too little and your constipated and have muscle aches.
                  My journal where I attempt to overcome Chrohns and make good food as well

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                  • #10
                    I take 1 400mg pill a night if needed. But I tend to snack on almonds and walnuts which tend to have a good amount of magnesium. I also hear that Natural Calm is an excellent magnesium supplement. Robb Wolf endorses it.
                    "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.

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                    • #11
                      Thanks guys. I'll try the magnesium. It'll be a bit tricky since I have the IBS with the alternating Montezuma's Revenge and constipation...
                      You donít stop riding because youíre getting old, you get old because you stop riding.

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                      • #12
                        IMHO, vitamin D and fish oil and cutting out ALL grains, corn, soy, and sugars is the best.

                        A friend of mine was put on one quart per day of fresh cabbage juice by her naturopath. She had to stick with it for several months before the results kicked in, but she said it was miraculous. Others swear by fresh homemade sauerkraut. I'm not disciplined enough to make and eat those every single day, but I don't doubt those who sing their praises.

                        Good luck!

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                        • #13
                          HonuRacer, from my quick scan of the thread it appears you're still eating grains. The first thing I would do is drop them from your diet, especially gluten-containing ones. I'd be very surprised if this didn't improve your IBS symptoms radically within a month - I've seen it happen several times with friends with long-standing IBS problems.
                          My primal journal
                          You might find these handy: Free gluten free restaurant cards in 50+ languages
                          In Praise of the Primal Lifestyle

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                          • #14
                            I don't mean to jack this thread but it's at least on topic. What does IBS really look like(just an expression, please don't answer in detail)? I've wondered if I'm still having it but I'm just not sure. For me, I find that sometimes I have a lot of difficuly...uhh...getting it out. I feel like I need to use the facilities but I get in there and I have to push so hard I feel like my head is going to explode and even at that I'm only successful sometimes (usually the muscles down there contract before anything comes out and it pulls it back in...very frustrating because it's right there - sorry for that detail). Even if I am successful, there are usually pellet like and it's only a little bit. I've found that the only way to get it out easily and in a decent amount is to wait until my body says, "It's time...like, RIGHT NOW!" This doesn't always happen every day, sometimes it's a couple days. Is that IBS?

                            I average between 50-100g of carbs a day (95% are veggies) and I eat a plenty of fat and protein. I do have cheat meals once a week (sometimes less, never more) that do include grains and/or sugar (not really a difference, I know) so I guess that could be the problem. I just remember that I seemed more "regular" pre-primal where I was lean and "healthy" but I ate whole grains and such consistently... I'm just kind of confused by the whole deal.
                            Strength and Honor

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                            • #15
                              IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Can't tell you what the symptoms are since I don't know, but that doesn't sound like what you have. Yours sounds more like simple constipation.

                              For what it's worth that's what I have, I usually go every two days. Stool is soft though, comes out with no straining so I don't worry too much, but I know I need to balance my gut flora. Don't strain, it does bad things to sphincters like the one that keeps stuff in the large intestine from entering the small one. Instead, get something like a Nature's Platform (not affiliated), it supports proper evacuation and you'll be spending much less effort on the can.

                              HonuRacer, one suggestion I haven't heard is getting your gut flora balanced, try asking your doctor about that. That's probably what's behind the results slacker mentioned with the cabbage juice and sauerkraut, which are cruciferous veggies anyway.

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