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Thread: PB, chronic constipation, and mental health page

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    angincanada's Avatar
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    PB, chronic constipation, and mental health

    Primal Fuel
    Thought I"d group both my questions together in one thread!

    So regarding PB and chronic constipation. My son who is now 6 years old has suffered from chronic constipation since birth. When I was breastfeeding I had to completely cut out dairy from MY diet or he would scream in pain. He's been hospitalized on and off with bowel impactions. Been tested for various illnesses and negative for all. It's got a little bit better as time goes on, but we still have to watch VERY closely at how often he has a BM or he will get impacted again which ends up with us having to give him pico-salax (pretty much an oral enema) because supposatories and enemas don't work for him. He doesn't consume dairy except butter, we have him on almond breeze. We've seen a nutritionist and the best piece of advice (his words) he could give us was to give him two fiber one bars a day to get his fiber up. Needless to say that never worked. My son is a bit of a challenge to feed. He has certain aversions to foods. He doesn't like any food mixed together (ie casserole). He has a very hard time eating meat (he chews chews chews and then has to spit it out). He loves eggs and eats them daily. So obviously the SAD hasn't worked for his bowel issues and neither has high fiber. Does anyone have any experiences with constipation and the PB?

    Now my 2nd question. I am trying the PB mostly for my mental health and general health. Weight loss is well needed, but I am wanting to focus on my mental health first. I suffer from anxiety and panic disorder and depression as a result. I am currently on 15 mg cipralex, which has greatly helped my anxiety and depression but has also left me with a 40 lb weight gain in 11 months. I still get a fair amount of mild general anxiety but thankfully no panic attack in 5 months. Pre-PB, my diet was absolutely shitty. I will admit that. Lots of junk food, lots of bread, maybe one or two servings of fruit and veggies a day. My doctor is actually the one who recommended I check out primal or paleo so here I am. I've read a few threads regarding anxiety here and some people say that it helps, some say it made theirs worse. I am curious for everyone who uses this forum today, did your anxiety get better or worse going primal? I am defenitely an emotional eater. I eat when I'm happy, sad, tired, bored, angry, etc. I hope there's a day where I can have cookies sitting in a cookie jar in front of me and say "no thanks".

    Thanks in advance for looking at my questions!

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    sbhikes's Avatar
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    The periods of time that both my boyfriend and I have had depression severe enough to be prescribed medication we both were on low fat diets and had lost weight and reduced our cholesterol. Since switching to a high fat low carb primal diet, I have never felt happier in all my life. It's almost sickening.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

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    angincanada's Avatar
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    It's funny you mention fats because around the time my anxiety REALLY flared up my gallbladder had stopped working. Whenever I consumed fat I would get the excrutiating GB pain, vomit, and have diarrhea. I had to cut out all fat from my diet in order to keep the pain, vommitting, and diarrhea at bay until my gallbladder got taken out. Every single day I ate the same thing. Breakfast was a fruit smoothie (just blended fruit and water). Lunch was turkey meat, veggies, with a sprinkle of soy sauce. Dinner was another tiny bit of turkey meat, steamed zucchini, and some other steamed veggie. That's all I could eat without ending up having to take gravol for the nausea and vommitting and oxycodone for the pain.

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    Going primal helped regulate my moods over all, but I take various supplements to manage my anxiety (based on guidelines from a book called "The Mood Cure" and another called "Depression-Free: Naturally") and depression. Personally I think handling one thing at a time will make it easier. Either focus on weight loss through primal eating, or focus on mental health through primal eating. Focusing on your mental health would mean you follow the PB and wean off your medication (under doctor's guidance, I've done it on my own enough to say that first timers should NOT try it on their own). I usually had a low spot 2-3 weeks after a decrease in dosage and then even out again. You won't really know how primal helps until you try without the meds, IMO.
    Journal on depression/anxiety
    Currently trying to figure out WTF to eat (for IBS-C).

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    Just a couple things- I think "Fiber Menace" would be worth a read for your son's issues.

    I have beaten depression, before I got on PB though. I used to take Wellbutrin & Trazodone, which worked (this was after going through many many MANY differen't AD's for depression and anxiety). But I was sick of the drugs. I weaned off the meds (slowly, over the course of a few months) and never looked back. That was 7 years ago, and I've never even come close to needing AD's, despite some difficult times in my personal life. When we started primal, I remember feeling a bit blah for the first week. Kind of like I needed a walk in the sun, or a bowl of ice cream for a quick pick me up but I pushed through, and have found that I feel even better without the grains and sugar.

    I'm a born-again Christian, by the way, which was the single most important factor in my recovery from depression.

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    Quote Originally Posted by namelesswonder View Post
    Going primal helped regulate my moods over all, but I take various supplements to manage my anxiety (based on guidelines from a book called "The Mood Cure" and another called "Depression-Free: Naturally") and depression. Personally I think handling one thing at a time will make it easier. Either focus on weight loss through primal eating, or focus on mental health through primal eating. Focusing on your mental health would mean you follow the PB and wean off your medication (under doctor's guidance, I've done it on my own enough to say that first timers should NOT try it on their own). I usually had a low spot 2-3 weeks after a decrease in dosage and then even out again. You won't really know how primal helps until you try without the meds, IMO.
    I acutlaly followed the mood cure guidelines for about 4 months and noticed absolutely NO difference. I was under the care of my doctor at the time. It was during this time I became agorophobic and couldn't even leave the house without having a major panic attack. So I tried really hard to do it med free, but I didn't, and I'm not ashamed of that. My goal is to get off meds, but I won't do it until I've fixed my dietary habits and exercise habits. I want to get things set up first before I go off meds so I have something solid to fall on. Know what I mean? I think I still have a good chance of positive changes going primal even while on meds.

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    To elaborate on "Fiber Menace", too much fiber might be causing the constipation. I get a good amount of fiber from copious vegetables and have never been more regular, much more so than mostly carnivore paleo, but that's mostly soluble fiber which good bacteria go to town on. Gut flora is vital, bacteria make up at least 20% of the stool (some say up to 75% but it's mostly water so that's doubtful).

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    angincanada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patchthebun View Post
    Just a couple things- I think "Fiber Menace" would be worth a read for your son's issues.

    I have beaten depression, before I got on PB though. I used to take Wellbutrin & Trazodone, which worked (this was after going through many many MANY differen't AD's for depression and anxiety). But I was sick of the drugs. I weaned off the meds (slowly, over the course of a few months) and never looked back. That was 7 years ago, and I've never even come close to needing AD's, despite some difficult times in my personal life. When we started primal, I remember feeling a bit blah for the first week. Kind of like I needed a walk in the sun, or a bowl of ice cream for a quick pick me up but I pushed through, and have found that I feel even better without the grains and sugar.

    I'm a born-again Christian, by the way, which was the single most important factor in my recovery from depression.
    Will have to check out that book! Thanks!

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    For your son, even butter may have enough dairy to cause issues if he is very sensitive. Could you switch to ghee? It is very easy to make your own. Or even better a mixture of ghee and coconut oil. Getting his fat up may help a lot with his constipation.

    I would also suggest magnesium for you and for your son. Given his constipation, I would suggest the oral route. Natural Calm makes a great brand that is pretty well absorbed and comes in some decent flavors. It is really good mixed in a little bit of orange juice.

    Lack of magnesium causes anxiety as well. So make sure you are getting plenty. You will have to start slow to avoid any GI upset, if you have issues there are several topical magnesium brines that work well. Also, make sure you are get your vitamin D levels checked and then supplement as needed. It is very important for good mental health.

    There is a website that is highly recommended around here for anxiety. Evolutionary Psychiatry Hopefully you will find it helpful.

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    I'm intrigued about the Mood Cure guidelines not helping you. I don't follow them exactly, just the "major" stuff. I use 5-HTP for depression and Tyrosine for anxiety and they've been a huge help. I don't bother with anything else she recommended, really. Reducing sugar was HUGE for me too. I can manage fruit okay, but even one cookie and I'll be an irritable grump later in the day.
    Journal on depression/anxiety
    Currently trying to figure out WTF to eat (for IBS-C).

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