Hi, I've been through some of this, though not to that degree.
Ransom, if you're struggling to pass little rocks, this is called dysbiosis. That means a lack of beneficial flora in your bowels. The moisture in poop comes from bacteria, not from drinking a lot of water or taking fiber. (Perhaps you know, for instance, that tiny babies who have never had anything but milk, produce poops several times a day. Obviously fiber is not needed to make poo.) There's a very funny Russian guy who talks ALL about this. I own his book, called "Fiber Menace." You can visit his website, called gutsense.org.
HonuRacer, I'm glad you're giving up grains. You don't need their fiber, in fact, it makes things worse. Having a constant intake of fermented foods may help -- they certainly help me. It doesn't take large servings of them to do good, but the steadiness helps. It's good to have something fermented, even if just a tablespoon or so, every time you eat.
The ones I like -- kombucha (easy to make your own from sweetened black tea), apple cider vinegar in warm water, real live sauerkraut, real live kimchee (you can make that also, at least as good as store-bought), and yogurt, especially home made, because then you can let it culture for 24 hours. This rids it of almost all the lactose. Lactose can be a problem.
There's a good book called Breaking the Vicious Cycle, by Elaine Gottschall. A great many people have been helped by following her program, though you have to be strict. There are blogs about it, where people can compare what they are doing and get moral support. When I followed her program for two or three months, I completely lost my lifelong miserable hay fever, and my digestion was a lot less uncomfortable.
If you have trouble with the runs, you may not be able to take magnesium by mouth, even the supposedly gut-friendly kinds like glycinate. (I can't.) I use magnesium "oil", which is a strong brine of magnesium chloride rubbed on the skin. I rub quite a bit on, then shower 1/2 hour later, since it's sticky. Magnesium is readily absorbed through the skin.
I also have trouble with cruciferous vegetables (and squash, and especially ASPARAGUS! ... might as well be Epsom Salt.) However, I do a lot better with members of the cabbage family if they are raw or fermented. I can have a small salad of chopped raw cabbage, with some olive oil and vinegar, some avocado, and sometimes sardines on top. Cook the cabbage and I'd be miserable from smelly gas and bowel cramps.
I find that taking a lot of fish oil can annoy my gut. However, krill oil is much better absorbed and also much less likely to be rancid (check the astaxanthin levels in it -- should be at least 1.5 mg per gram of oil.) Therefore, you don't need to take as much krill oil to get the benefit, and it isn't annoying. I felt better when I changed from fish oil to krill oil.
If you need just a little blood-thinning, you can get it from drinking Good Earth Tea, which is strongly cinnamon-flavored. Turns out that most "cinnamon" in North America is really cassia, which contains coumarin. (Coumadin is a copy of coumarin.) So if you use "cinnamon" you need to add it to your blood-thinning list, to be sure you don't overdo.
Hope this helps .............. I think you'll find matters go a lot better when you're totally off grains.
I have it pretty bad too. I can't eat fruit or drink milk. No nightshades at all. No onions. No carrots. I can't eat eggs if any part of them are even close to raw. I find cooking makes some of these foods more tolerable. Basically, I stick to leafy greens, cucumbers, some hard cheeses and meats. I also can tolerate sweet potatoes pretty well--probably because I cook the hell out of them.
I'll try to find Krill oil. I hope Planet Organic carries it. Not a big fan of fish oil capsules, especially mackerel. Smelly stuff.
I guess I'll go back to making my own yogurt. It's just that the bacteria available here end up making it such a sour product. I guess I'll get my mom to send me some yogurt bacteria from Germany. They have so many different varieties, even the ones that make the 'mild' yogurt that is not so sour after culturing. I don't know why I stopped. I guess sometimes you just get sick of it all.
Lots of good advice from everyone. I really appreciate it. It's often difficult to find people with similar problems and similar interest when it comes to getting healthy. There's just too much misinformation out there.
Might be helpful to find a skilled acupuncturist or tradition-chinese-medicine specialist. There are some good recommendations in this list, but working with an experienced practioner would be best.
My $0.02. Most people suffer from what TCM would call "Spleen Qi Deficiency" which is essentially not enough fire in your digestion - everything from stress to caffeine to gluten to anti-biotics to poor sleep to eating the wrong foods can severely weaken your digestion. And when your digestion is messed up, it takes a while to repair it.
The good thing is most Primal eating is recommended by TCM as a "cure". You want all your food to be warm or at least room temperature...that way your body doesn't have to warm it up to digest it...limit consuming water with meals...chew your food. You want to eat foods that are "warming" (see my link below) from a food-energetics standpoint...it's pretty common-sense. And you want to do things with your lifestyle to support good digestion; lot's of what Mark talks about - reduce stress, go for a walk after meals, self-massage your digestive track (rub your tummy clockwise).
I'm doing all these things and my digestion has improved considerably. But since I don't know exactly what you're dealing with, I'm just offering this as suggestions to consider...then go deeper.
Check that out...it's the guy who writes the Primal Wisdom blog.
I also recommend "The Way of Qi-gong" great section on diet...hint...it's Paleo:
Gas is usually what causes the most pain, cramping and bloating associated with IBD at least. On flare ups a combination of gasx and some sort of pain killer works quite well. Gasx itself will stop the pain if you can wait it out. Gas itself is actually like little bubbles in the gut and I assume they scrape the sides of the intestines.
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You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout
read the whole thread... i definitely have IBS, but it goes from one extreme to another... i figure the best way is to start meat and slowly add in but i cant go back to ZC cuz well i have a bad history with it... what happens if you have IBS and like a wholotta gas.constipation and occassional diareha and you just keep eating primal? im not sure what causes all my gas but i GOT A LOT.
i usually eat some sauerkraut(good stuff) before meals...occassional yogurt but the stuffs expensive and i vary my veggies so much its hard to tell what causes it cuz its pretty much every meal. tried the kombucha stuff before but i kept burping it up in my mough. tried ACV(with the 'mother') and i cant tell if it does anything but i use it in like tuna salad and stuff
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