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Thread: Questions about healing my bowels page

  1. #1
    shadowfoot's Avatar
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    Questions about healing my bowels

    I have tried to avoid giving “too much information” here, but if talk of stool and bowels freaks you out . . . you probably wouldn’t have opened this thread in the first place. Nevermind.

    Anyway, my whole life as far back as I can remember, I have not had good bowel movements. This past summer, I adopted, as far as I can remember, a pretty completely primal diet for a week or two and actually had 1-2 weeks of perfect bowel movements. That was absolutely fantastic, but it didn’t last. Fast forward through two weeks of antibiotics for Lyme's disease and a few months of traveling and eating other people’s food, and my intestines are totally messed up again. After that, for a few weeks now, I have been at home and keeping up 80/20, with the twenty percent including grains, usually in the form of bread or pizza (I do live in a family, and those discretions have been a necessary compromise for me). I have also been eating a lot of probiotic foods (yogurt, sauerkraut, etc that I make myself). But things have not gotten better. My system has been in a state of constant flux, running the entire gamut of possible stools from rocks to diarrhea. While it doesn't really hinder me in any other way, I would really like to get everything normal and predictable.

    In regards to this, I have recently been reading a lot about both the specific carbohydrate diet and the GAPS diet, both of which are used to treat gut problems way, way worse than mine. I have seen good recommendations of them often, even on these forums. From what I understand, their base is very primal but, most notably, with the exclusion of starch. Having exhausted the online material, and wanting to get a little bit more in depth, I am looking into getting either Gut and Psychology Syndrome or Breaking the Vicious Cycle, or possibly even something else I haven't seen yet. I have convinced my family to give me a few weeks, 100% whichever diet, as an "experiment.” Depending on which research I present to them, they have tentatively said that they might even participate, as I know that my mom’s digestion, at least, is often off as well.

    So, I want to do this right, especially if they do decide to join me. Any tips or advice on reading material would be extremely helpful. What do you think?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    racingsnake's Avatar
    racingsnake is offline Senior Member
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    Hi shadowfoot. I can relate. There is one thing I would advise you do, which is to eradicate gluten grains from your 20%. There is nothing you can do that will help your bowel health more. Apart from the gluten itself, wheat also contains wheat agglutin, which damages gut brush border cells without even having to involve the immune system (in other words, it's directly toxic to them). Add to that the fact that 5 out of 6 people show an immunological response to gluten, and you've got yourself something that really shouldn't be in anyone's diet.

    In my opinion, the Primal diet is better than the GAPS and SCD diets, unless you react badly to saturated fats which is pretty rare. I wish someone had said to me 6 years ago - "Just go Primal and forget about messing around with all that other stuff" - I'd have been much healthier, much quicker.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    I can relate too. I'm on antibiotics at the moment for a urinary infection. I'm so annoyed because I had got my candida under control. My advice to you would be to eradicate grains, sugar and dairy from your diet, and fruit (for the time being). Swallow two or three raw cloves of garlic a day. Take 3lac probiotics, take olive leaf and caprylic acid extracts. Eat lots of organic, virgin coconut oil. Try a couple of days of eating nothing but fresh green vegetable juices (this worked the fastest for me). Juice fasting got rid of the oral thrush that had plagued me for years (nothing else would work). You can beat this, but it takes work.

  4. #4
    Grizz's Avatar
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  5. #5
    shadowfoot's Avatar
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    @racingsnake "Just go Primal and forget about messing around with all that other stuff"
    Thank you. I had been looking at that stuff more directly maybe as a way of trying to gain more acceptance, as they are based more directly around gut health. Considering that primal alone worked for me before antibiotics, I guess I could still call it an experiment, go closer to 100% primal and 100% grain free, keep my folks updated on the results, and maybe gain some more support.

    Based on racingsnake and StoneAgeQueen's responses, I have a few questions as to what you think about particular foods.

    Dairy. I understand the points about cutting dairy, but do you think this should include yogurt? On the one hand, that is my best source of probiotics at the moment and it is used a lot in both the diets I mentioned. On the other hand, I do still make it with conventional, store-bought cow's milk.

    Garlic. Whenever I eat whole garlic cloves like that, it feels a little bit like I have dropped embers into my stomach. Is this at all normal? Should I eat it anyway and see how it affects me long-term, or should that scare me off?

    Potatoes. Primal allows potatoes, SDC and GAPS don't. While I think that humans are designed to eat, at least occasionally, starches, I also think that some things, including fruit, might be best to avoid initially and add back in later. Potatoes have also been a good source of primal calories for me, considering my unusually high appitite as a teenage male.

    @Grizz - While I am not questioning your testimonials, it sounds too much to me like a bandade, like using fiber supplements for constipation. Anyway, I want to fix this with food, and would prefer not to use any kind of supplement like that.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowfoot View Post
    @Grizz - While I am not questioning your testimonials, it sounds too much to me like a bandade, like using fiber supplements for constipation.
    +1



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  7. #7
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    I'd completely ditch the grains from the 20%.

    Probiotics instead of dairy. Or ferment your own kimchi, sauerkraut etc if you don't want to use supplements.

    Consider the possibility of fructose malabsorption. There appears to be a 30-50% incidence of fructose malabsorption in western and central europeans (Emily Davis posted about this in her evolutionarypsychiatry blog).

    For some, tweaking the amount of saturated fat is the answer. For others it's working out the right amount of raw/cooked veggies. Or a combinaion thereof.

    Be sure you're getting sufficient D and magnesium and not getting too much calcium.

    Best,
    Katherine



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  8. #8
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    I had chronic, pretty bad diarrhea for more than ten years. It was brutal. I am now 100% recovered.
    Here is what worked for me:

    1. Eliminate ALL grains 100% from you diet. No cheating for two weeks. Then you can test them one at a time to see if one is the true culprit. For me, oddly enough, it is oats. I cannot eat ANY oats without having significant problems. The nice thing about this, is now if I want to have a tiny amount of some grain for a special occasion, I can choose to do so. But oats I avoid like the plague.

    2. I found raw milk Kefir to be far better for repopulating my gut flora than even homemade raw milk yogurt. It is a bit of a pain to get raw milk and kefir grains - and a little scary to drink it the first time but it worked really well for me. I no longer consume dairy, but if I develop bowel issues again, i would make an exception for kefir.

    Good luck and be persistent. I think that chronic inflammation in the bowel is likely what led to my serious autoimmune condition now.
    Last edited by jammies; 09-19-2010 at 07:35 PM.

  9. #9
    racingsnake's Avatar
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    Dairy. I understand the points about cutting dairy, but do you think this should include yogurt? On the one hand, that is my best source of probiotics at the moment and it is used a lot in both the diets I mentioned. On the other hand, I do still make it with conventional, store-bought cow's milk.
    For the test I would get it out - casein is a fairly major gut permeability nasty. You can always use probiotics or prebiotics as cillkat said, and you can get water kefir as well.

    Garlic. Whenever I eat whole garlic cloves like that, it feels a little bit like I have dropped embers into my stomach. Is this at all normal? Should I eat it anyway and see how it affects me long-term, or should that scare me off?
    "Embers in stomach" - good / bad?

    Potatoes. Primal allows potatoes, SDC and GAPS don't. While I think that humans are designed to eat, at least occasionally, starches, I also think that some things, including fruit, might be best to avoid initially and add back in later. Potatoes have also been a good source of primal calories for me, considering my unusually high appitite as a teenage male.
    The problem with potatoes is that they are nightshades. They (I think) are the least likely to be causing problems, but it depends how pure you want your test to be. If you were OK with them during your previous good period, they should be OK. I have just cut them out as I've had some reaction to large amounts.

  10. #10
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    Take the garlic with lots of water if it still hurts your stomach then try taking little pieces at a time. I would ditch the potatoes for now. Not sure about the Kefir as I've heard it's great for yeast overgrowth, but maybe cut it out for a few weeks and see how you feel.

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