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Constipation, gas and fiber

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  • Constipation, gas and fiber

    When my fiance and I got together, he became curious about my paleo, came to love it, and we've been eating mostly paleo for almost two years. Early on he told me he had a terrible problem with gas and constipation, and the only thing that ever helped it was daily intake of metamucil, which is straight bran of wheat and other seeds, which turns into this slime when consumed with water. I said not to worry - paleo was going to fix it. Sadly, it didn't. After a moth or two he begins developing severe gas, which tries to come out up and down, in the middle of the night, with a lot of pain. After a few days of metamucil, and long uncomfortable sessions in the bathroom, the symptoms pass.

    I didn't interfere with this regiment but each time it looked horrible. So I started thinking what to do. He said, the only time in his life that he did not have this problem was back at his mother's house when he ate insane amounts of oatmeal each morning. So... I made paleo oatmeal with a variety of seeds, he ate a huge bowl - and had the desired effect - just like metamucil but better tasting.

    So we can now go with is daily seeds. But there is flax and prostate cancer risk, and all of Mark's comments on fiber itself. Are there any suggestions for what else we could do?

  • #2
    Has your fiancÚ ever tried a low fodmap diet? He could try eliminating fodmaps, then slowly introducing them to see if certain fruits and vegetables aggravate his digestive distress. If he is sensitive to fodmaps, it might be as easy as eliminating the trouble foods and then not needing the seeds.


    • #3
      In my experience I get chronically constipated when I eat something I am intolerant of regardless of my fibre intake. For me this is dairy and paprika (yes paprika still coming to terms with the bizarreness of it)


      • #4
        There are so many factors that go into digestion, just eliminating that massive amount of fiber and relying on a well-rounded diet is often not enough. Tried going dairy-free? Tried an elimination challenge (foods, that is)? Does magnesium work to relieve the constipation? It will likely take some time for his body to adjust, so it's important to find something like magnesium or high doses of Vit C to keep elimination up while testing.

        I would guess that he has some issue with gut flora since it's not just constipation but also gas. Some people use probiotics plus resistant starch to good effect. You can search around on these forums for more info on that.
        Depression Lies


        • #5
          Wait. Oatmeal helps him, but you want to find a more paleo way of eating?

          Oats are paleo as anything we eat around here, certainly moreso than Mark's whey protein...Mark himself even (begrudgingly) endorses oats. Stick with the oats! In fact, everyone should eat oats, and not the instant, flavored kind, either! There is a whole world of oaty goodness out there: groats, steel-cut, thick rolled, oat bran. All equally paleo and perfect!

          From National Geographic:

          Maybe the Paleo Diet should include a nice warm bowl of oatmeal.

          Strict followers of the fashionable “caveman” regimen shun starchy foods, sticking to breakfasts such as cold halibut with fruit and snacks of pork chops and celery. Bread, pasta, and potatoes are verboten. Our Stone-Age ancestors didn’t gorge themselves on grains and other starchy fare, the thinking goes, and neither should we.

          But now evidence has emerged that people enjoyed their carbs even during the Paleolithic era, a period also known as the Old Stone Age that stretched from roughly 2.5 million to 12,000 years ago. A new analysis of a Paleolithic pestle shows it was dusted with oat starch, suggesting that ancient humans were grinding oats into flour and, presumably, dining on oatcakes or some other oat-based delicacy.
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          • #6
            I agree with tatertot.

            Once or twice a week I have a bowl of oatmeal with a tablespoon of honey, a banana, and some strawberries (if I can find good ones).

            It never fails, I'll have a movement that day. I usually don't go at all the rest of the week.

            Sent from my iPhone using Marks Daily Apple Forum