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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. Iโ€™m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything weโ€™ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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November 19, 2008

Grain Pain

By Mark Sisson
112 Comments

Bowl of Oats and GranolaI’ve been grain-free for nearly three years now. Oh, every once in a while, I’ll have a bite or two of bread at a restaurant (it had better be really good bread though and even then I’ll still douse it with olive oil or real butter) or a couple of chips with guacamole – mostly just as a vehicle for delivering the precious emerald mixture to my mouth. I might even have a few sushi rolls with sticky white rice from time to time. But for the most part I stay far away from grains. No cereal ever, no pasta ever, no wheat, barley, rye, corn or anything of that sort. My exodus from grains was gradual, starting about five years ago, but it increased in fervor and resolve as I discovered more and more through my research how inappropriate grains were as a component of the human diet.

All throughout my youth and just up until a few years ago, I had also suffered from occasional intense, sometimes debilitating, gastrointestinal cramping that I had always chalked up to stress. The classic Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. You know how some people claim to carry stress in their necks, their groin or their shoulders? I simply believed I carried stress in my gut and that that was the main cause of my IBS. I missed school some days as a kid. I’d take a day off work once in a while years later. I even missed races occasionally as a result of it. As recently as three years ago, I spent several sleepless nights doubled over in excruciating pain during a stressful period when I was producing 50 episodes of my TV show within a very compressed time frame. As I look back now, I was still eating bread (sandwiches) and whole wheat rolls (at dinner) during that time. Hmmm.

I had basically lived on grains for 50 years, during 20 of which I had to cram down all the bread, pasta, rolls and cereal I could to obtain the 1,000 grams of carbs a day I needed to fuel my athletic pursuits. On a day-to-day basis, I felt fine. In all that time it had never occurred to me that my gut-wrenching stress episodes might have also had something to do with grains in my diet. I didn’t make the connection because I could go for many months at a time without an IBS episode, and yet I always had the grains in my diet. It wasn’t until I completely eliminated grains that any form of IBS fully disappeared – even during very recent times of significant stress. So it wasn’t just the grains and it wasn’t just the stress; it was the two combined that set off the alarm bells.

I had a real experience of that again just last week, though, and the connection became even more apparent. I was off on an organized weekend “self-discovery” retreat. I had signed up on the advice of a good friend and really had no idea what I was in for, except that it would be somewhere up in the mountains and we would be challenged on multiple levels. A few hours into the first night I realized that for the next few days one of the challenges would be the Spartan diet of nothing but granola, water and a few slices of fruit. My first inclination was to forgo these meager victuals and use this as a fasting (IF) weekend, but not knowing whether we were in for “Survivor”-type challenges, long nights shivering in the cold or forced 15-mile marches, I decided I might need the calories in whatever form I could take them. So I started downing the granola with the rest of the participants. I knew what I was doing, but I thought “how bad could three servings of rolled oats each day possibly be?” Oh, Lordy.

Everything was copacetic for the first 24 hours, but by Sunday morning, I was noticing a sensation I had thankfully not experienced for three years – the doubling over in pain and the urge to purge. By the end of the course Sunday afternoon, I was completely preoccupied with the pain and unable to participate in any of the post-event discussions as I tried to meditate my way to a “happy place”. Several trips to the bathroom provided only marginal relief, and it wasn’t until I got in my car to drive home Sunday night that I could see light at the end of the tunnel. The cramping continued sporadically well into Monday and only subsided as I resumed my regular diet.

I tell you all this to reiterate that the problems that arise from eating grains aren’t always obvious. As I have said here, the fact that you can eat grains for years and manifest no symptoms doesn’t mean they are not having some small insidious effect. In my case, it has always been the combination of stress and grains that has caused the red flags to go up, but I think there was always something going on even when it didn’t manifest itself in IBS. In the three years since I have been grain-free, the arthritis in my fingers – that I had already had for five years and had always assumed to be a natural result of getting older – has disappeared. I never get sick anymore, even when I’m stressed. I maintain my body fat level so easily it’s almost criminal. Yes, these could be due to other factors as well, but this past weekend really opened my eyes once again.

Further Reading:

The Definitive Guide to Grains

2 Minute Salad Video

My Knee is Killing Me… No Really.

TAGS:  gluten

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87 Comments on "Grain Pain"

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Son of Grok
8 years 21 days ago

Thank you for relating the personal experience Mark! That always helps make it more human. Its amazing how we forget how something we gave up long ago makes us feel until we lapse and it returns with a vengence.
I have my own theory about why people think they are addicted to grains or can’t do without grains from a culinary standpoint (remember I am not a scientist!) and I will be posting on it very soon. Hint… its not actually the grains you like.

The SoG

Tracy
Tracy
4 years 5 months ago

I too had horrible IBS and was having to up my meds which was not exceptable to me. I soughtbalternative healthier alternatives. First I found Kefir, then Kombucha tea, then I remembered being introduced to Paleo and rad Mark’s book next.

I am now symptom free of IBS and rarely have arthritis symptoms. Grain free is great!

Vasco
Vasco
8 years 21 days ago

interesting post. I must say I enjoy reading about “anecdotal evidence”. sometimes I almost wish I were older than 22, because whenever I try telling someone of the benefits of a low carb or no-grain diet, I’m being told to wait until I’m at the same age as whoever I’m talking to… too bad these people usually can’t be bothered to read up on folks like Mark, Art or Jack (or visit the blogs of many other successfull low-carbers/paleo/primal dieters who might not be as famous)

Jane
Jane
8 years 21 days ago

I’ve also heard/read about grains making people bloated and swollen (not getting fat, although it makes them look like they weigh more). It almost comes off as if it were an allergic reaction of sorts.

Ben
Ben
8 years 21 days ago

Just out of curiosity, was this an NWTA event? I did a similar weekend retreat with them. The insight I gained was awesome, though the nutrition did leave something to be desired. At least at the end of mine there was a “feast” of roasted chicken and a spicy lamb and root vegetable curry which I prepared. Oh, and also pizza, pasta, and potato salad… You can’t escape that stuff even in the mountains.

Donna
Donna
8 years 21 days ago
Mark, Thanks for sharing your experience. That definitely shows proof how bad grains are to one’s health. I don’t know why so many people think that granola is healthy, it’s “NOT.” I understand your situation, you had to eat to survive, you were between a rock and a hard place. Sorry that happened to you, but, your story is a certainly a big eye opener, thanks again Mark for sharing this. I think that’s happened to us all one time or another, being out in the middle of where ever that you can’t eat the way you want. YES, not… Read more »
Erykah
Erykah
8 years 21 days ago
I’ve had exactly the same experience with my IBS. I was diagnosed at 14 (I’m now 33) and I’d become resigned to it turning up regularly, usually when I was stressed by something. I went on a low carb diet a few years ago which, of course, meant cutting out grains. I not only lost nearly 4 stone over the course of a year but I didn’t suffer once during that time with IBS symptoms. Normally I would expect a good 4-6 attacks of varying strengths in that time. As soon as I loosened up my diet to include bread… Read more »
Ursula
Ursula
5 years 10 months ago

Erykah, do you realize that you likely have Celiac disease? In fact, most people who are ‘diagnosed’ with IBS (there is a REASON that the bowel is irritated) are gluten intolerant/Celiac.

Some people with gluten intolerance can eat oats, but a lot (including myself) cannot. In fact, I am pretty much carb intolerant (other than carbs form vegetables.

Charis
Charis
2 years 7 months ago

I had IBS and was finally diagnosed with celiac disease. Got better but not all the way. I think after reading this I should go grain free. Maybe there is hope.

stev1989
stev1989
3 years 26 days ago

How come rice is that bad? It is naturally gluten-free. Isnt the whole story against grains behing gluten as the main source of all evil ????

Anthony P
Anthony P
2 years 1 month ago
Rice and oats (and basically all grains) can be bad for people because “gluten” is not simply only found in wheat and those other grains that they mention, in relation to celiac/gluten intolerance. “gluten” is found in every single grain because what gluten actually is is the protein of the grain… however, the deceptiveness lies in the fact that all these different proteins found in various grains have different scientific names for their protein… so, for example, the protein found in wheat has a different scientific name as compared to the protein found in oats… and its interesting to note… Read more »
B
B
8 years 21 days ago

not to gross anyone out but: I suffer from intense chronic constipation, i often only have a bowel movement once a week. ive tried laxatives, high fiber diets (usually very high in grains), special exercises and nothing ever helped for long. Last month I decided to “go primal” by cutting out grains.

It’s unbelievable. My condition has almost completely gone away. The only time it comes back is when I slip up and eat a roll of bread at dinner or something. Thanks for all the advice mark!

mollie
mollie
1 year 7 months ago

b, I have chronic constipation too. I go for 2 weeks at a time before I finally resort to laxatives. I have been a couple days free of grains and dairy. How long until I see stomach results? I still am constipated and feeling discouraged.. ๐Ÿ™

DaliaMaria73
DaliaMaria73
1 year 5 months ago

For me, it helped to increase both the veggies and the fats.

Earth Beauty
8 years 20 days ago

Thanks for this illuminating post! So many are shy to talk of their experiences with IBS. I think you’re right about grains aggravating that medical condition. Since I’ve cut the majority of grains out, I’ve been alot better and more happy. Thanks.

Rob
Rob
8 years 20 days ago

I’ve given up grains for about 3 weeks now. My IBS went away instantly. I used to think that my IBS was caused by the tomatoes in spaghetti. Turns out, it was the pasta.

I also dropped 10 lbs easily. I feel like a poison as been removed from me.

Thanks Mark.

Jenny
Jenny
4 years 5 months ago
I was diagnosed with IBS about four years ago after having a number of severe attacks and multiple trips to multiple doctors. But when I was diagnosed I was told that IBS is the diagnosis they give when they don’t have an answer for what is causing so many digestive issues. And that I would just have to learn what I can and can’t eat. My question is, if you’re not eating any grains what are you eating? Because fruits and vegetables also give me attacks. Red meat also gives me attacks. Dairy also gives me attacks. What is left,… Read more »
LowCarbism
8 years 20 days ago

Been strugling with grains for many years, but health has dramatically improved since it has been cut out of my food.

Amanda
8 years 20 days ago

Interesting, and definitely something to think about. I think this “still doing something — even if you’re not aware” phenomenon is what happens to most people with unhealthy eating habits, no? People don’t realize until they eat healthier (though we all have our own interpretation of this haha) how much better they feel doing it.

Which always leaves me wondering if I’ll discover raw eating to be a Godsend one day… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Methuselah - Pay Now Live Later

Yikes – I was considering a month of grains for reasons I won’t go into here (but which I will be posting about in due course) but your story is definately making me think twice. In fact I was already thinking twice and this is adding a third…I wonder whether being primal for a while makes our bodies foget how to deal with the garbage we used to eat?

Robert M.
Robert M.
8 years 20 days ago

Jane wrote:
Iโ€™ve also heard/read about grains making people bloated and swollen (not getting fat, although it makes them look like they weigh more). It almost comes off as if it were an allergic reaction of sorts.

It is essentially fermentation of the undigestable material in your gut. Lactose can do the same thing. Loose stool is another sign.

Charlotte
Charlotte
8 years 20 days ago
This happened to me too for years! I am 27, and the last 4-5 years I used to be woken up every morning around 6 am with an excruciating stomach ache that lasted for about 30-45 minutes before I could fall back asleep. The last year I have given up wheat 95% (still have the smallest piece of bread occasionally), and the difference has been night and day. I hardly ever get those stomach aches anymore, until this morning. I racked my brain trying to figure out what I had eaten with wheat in it when I remembered the beer… Read more »
Calvin
Calvin
8 years 20 days ago
Hey Mark, When I first started reading today’s post, I thought that it was a guest post, then as I read along further, I knew it was yours. I wonder if your abdominal stress and accompanying mental anguish were due to the grain/s (I’m curious: just oats, or oats & wheat?) or insulin rush, or too much fructose (e.g., many sports drinks containing fructose, versus just glucose, can cause abdominal cramping as I remember too well with my X’s bouts on some epic mountain bike rides, and hikes.) Personally, I avoid most grains (especially wheat which I think is the… Read more »
Calvin
Calvin
8 years 20 days ago

Here is a link to just one article on Stephan’s great site (Whole Health Source) regarding grains, gluten, etc. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2008/10/one-last-thought.html

Calvin

Marc Feel Good Eating
8 years 20 days ago

Since others paved the way for this poo post….

I’ve heard from many friends that actually they seem to have a “loose stool” when following a paleo diet. Compared to when they are eating some bread and pasta. Anybody have any insights to that?

Marc

Mike
Mike
8 years 20 days ago

Hi Mark,
I had almost the exact experience as you regarding IBS. Doctors were not much help and I basically found this out by myself. I used to double over over the throne and cursing god once every two weeks, sometimes even once a week. However, as I weaned myself off the grain, these episodes have vanished. Now whenever I eat any significant amount of grain, especially wheat, the dreaded feeling would come back. So as you can bet, my wheat intake is pretty much nil now.

zbiggy
zbiggy
8 years 20 days ago

that’s right ๐Ÿ™‚
prior to my ‘life without bread’, on a grainy diet I was sure the flatulence is something given with age, like grey hair or something. This is why they coined a phrase ‘old f*rt’, ain’t it?
And one of the benefits I noticed while low-carbing was … silence ;-D

ebrunner
ebrunner
8 years 20 days ago
Marc, I have the same problem on paleo. Loose stools, but strangely my stomach still feels full (probably from all the meat sitting in it). Maybe it’s all the fat? For me, what’s worse than grains is dairy: it makes my stomach “churn,” seems to mess up my skin, and affects my breathing. When I have the occasional sandwich or other grain, I definitely notice the need to sleep an extra couple of hours per night, but that’s about it. On paleo, I’m good with 5-6 hours of sleep; add grains and I’m tired even after 8. This happens even… Read more »
Robert M.
Robert M.
8 years 20 days ago
Ummm… if you have loose stool on a high-fat diet, it’s possible you aren’t digesting lactose properly either. Lactose intolerance is a known side-effect of Coeliac disease. If you have greasy stool, then you aren’t digesting the fat properly which suggests the villi are still damaged. Since we’re talking about turds here, you can’t really tell the difference if they are floating or not, but greasy will leave an oil film in the bowl if you don’t flush right away. If the villi are damaged you are probably iron deficient too. Biopsy is the best way to diagnose the health… Read more »
new_me
new_me
8 years 20 days ago
I have had the same experience as what you described, Mark. For 30-some years I’ve assumed that my body just needed an occassional ‘purge’ and so it went into cramping and purging. Thankfully this all resolved when I took on a primal diet. I eat very little grains now, compared to what I used to, and make sure that they are not overly refined. My first clue that I have eaten too much grain is that my very regular bowel becomes ‘irregular’….enough said. Also, I find that I can not tolerate pasteurized dairy anymore. I’ve had raw dairy for about… Read more »
Tom Parker - Free Fitness Tips
Hi Mark. I have been reading a lot of your writing on grains and think you make a lot of good points. Over the last year I made the switch from white pasta, bread, cereal etc to the wholemeal varieties. After reading your blog I have made further cutbacks in the last month or so. I no longer eat grains on non-training days. However, I still don’t think they should be completely cut out of a diet because there’s not many other meals better than a wholemeal sandwich when you need an on the go pre-gym snack. Meat and vegetables… Read more »
Mark Sisson
Mark Sisson
8 years 20 days ago
Thanks to all so far who have shared their grain experiences here. It’s amazing, isn’t it? How many of us (and our docs) never made the connection because we felt grains were a normal and healthy part of the diet? As for loose stools on paleo/primal, there could be many reasons. As mentioned here it could be after effects of unrepaired intestinal villi, lactose, dysbiosis (too few healthy gut bacteria or too many of the bad guys) and on. If you haven’t read Konstantin Monastyrsky’s book http://www.fibermenace.com/ I highly recommend it. Among other things, you’ll learn that a large amount… Read more »
new_me
new_me
8 years 20 days ago
In response to your query, Mark: I used to tolerate pasteurized dairy just fine, until I switched to raw. Now that I make my own yogurt and kefir and use only raw milk, I find it very hard to ‘stomach’ the pasteurized stuff. (On rare occassions, we have run out of raw and have purchased pasteurized.) I wouldn’t say that I have an intolerance, officially, but it just doesn’t ‘sit well’ within me. My father and one daughter find it the same for them. We don’t consume large amounts of dairy–1 cup, rarely more, per day. I love to put… Read more »
new_me
new_me
8 years 20 days ago

an addition….

I do personally know of three cases where individuals have been able to tolerate raw cow’s milk when they had been diagnosed as lactose intolerant and could not consume pasteurized milk.

Andrew R
8 years 20 days ago

I agree. The problems that arise from most things in our daily routine aren’t always obvious. There are so many variables, most of the time, that it’s hard to pinpoint the culprit in any given situation.

Thanks for the post!

All the Best,

Andrew R

Heather
Heather
8 years 20 days ago

Robert M: people with celiac disease have to go 100% gluten free for the rest of their lives.

Personally, I think that MANY people fall somewhere within the spectrum of gluten intolerance, with celiac disease at one end, and mild digestive discomfort on the other.

Walter Pittman
Walter Pittman
8 years 20 days ago

Well, it’s good you discovered the source of your problems.

Most of us have no problems with grains, however. For Europeans you see how this must be true, since for a couple thousand years most people (peasants) lived on litle more than grains, beans, a few vegetables, some dairy products, and the occasional sour fruit.

The paleo-type diets are probably a good thing for a minority of the population that can’t handle grains, but most of us definitely can. And grain eaters live a long, healthy time, too.

Ania
2 years 8 months ago

I wonder if this grain-gut epidemic has anything to do with the mass production of grains? The reason we are getting sick could be that the grains are rancid. We also have added a ton of different chemicals to preserve/prevent mold, and an interesting article to look at would be:
http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-foods/wheaty-indiscretions
There is also the WAPF explanation that ancient societies soaked and fermented their grains to make them more digestible. Using these methods reduces the phytic acid content and makes nutrients from the grains more bioavailable. Modern man does not do this anymore because it’s too much of a hassle.

David
David
8 years 20 days ago

Retreats are a real problem for me because they are so carb and wheat heavy.

I’d like to go on an extended camping/canoe trip, but the food one must eat is always that de-hydrated high-carb stuff.

Do you have any suggestions for eating the primal way while backpacking/camping (meaning you carry all the supplies on your back)? There’s beef jerky, but I’m not sure of what else. A frozen piece of meat will last an afternoon, but days two and three would be difficult.

Son of Grok
8 years 20 days ago

David,
For backpacking, jerky and nuts are awesome. Canned fish is also great to bring i.e. sardines or kipper snacks. Powdered eggs…
There are a lot of good primal options!

The SoG

Henry Miller
Henry Miller
8 years 19 days ago

David,

check on hunting/fishing regulations where you will be going. Some places/seasons don’t allow it, and some that do have safety issues meaning you can’t. Still a squrrel or fish here and there will do a lot when you can work out all the details.

Fran
Fran
8 years 19 days ago

Mark, thank you for writing this. I do eat one grain–brown rice. But for many many years I had terrible migraine daily. Eventually diarrhea started. Had a blood test. Found I have celiac disease. Stopped eating wheat, barley, rye, and oats (because of possible cross-contamination). Migraine ceased instantly. Who would have made the connection–besides another celiac that is?

Sofie
Sofie
5 years 3 months ago

Same here. In school I’d get migraines a bit less than once a week. After ending school and getting enough sleep it went down to once a month. Since going primal (7 months ago) I haven’t had a single migraine.

KZeee
KZeee
8 years 19 days ago
I know I’m a bit late to the party.. I have been following your site for about 8 months now. I find it to be very helpful and informative. I was struck by this post… I had the SAME problems as a teenager.. Horrible tummy pain, very upset digestive system, sometimes vomiting-It landed me in the ER more than a few times. The Dr’s I saw tried about 9 different pills to “cure me”. None worked. I had Upper GI scans done, blood work you name it. My sister started on the then popular “Atkins”, I joined her in 1999….… Read more »
Dr Dan
8 years 19 days ago

Amazing. I have also noticed that a lot of my ailments have simply disappeared since been on Paleo!

Gary
Gary
8 years 19 days ago

Mark:

Interesting personal account of your experience with grains.

Since you are getting personal here, I wonder if you have every shared your blood chemistry profile (stuff like triglycerides, HDL, LDL (puffy and not puff), CRP, etc.).

Would be interesting to see.

Gary

stephanie
7 years 11 months ago

just came across. Nice blog

carli
carli
7 years 6 months ago
hi, i just wanted to say how impressed i am with all of you for finding out what things to take out of your diet,as its not at all easy. and i think its disguisting that doctors dont do more. its such a horrible thing to go through (ibs) until you gain some control) the times i have cried around shopping,and felt like my life wasnt worth living!! though maybe im a big baby i dont know. i have been mentally messed up from my experience,scared to leave the house early and not confident to get a job where i… Read more »
Dawn
Dawn
7 years 3 months ago

It’s true. I have severe IBS and whole grains can make IBS worse.

http://www.helpforibs.com

Michael
Michael
7 years 1 month ago

I’m going to take this advice to my wife, who has been suffering from IBS for two years, now. Thanks.

PrimalK
7 years 1 month ago
I would totally second this post, Mark (I know I’m a bit late in responding!). I cut out all grains and all dairy from my diet 17 days ago and I feel wonderful. I always had ‘something going on’ intestinally and the first time I experienced IBS cramps, once i had picked myself up off the floor, I truly expected to find a huge pool of blood there, the pain was so intense. For several years I’ve had to carry around ibuprofen and mebeverine with me ‘just in case’ – now I am free of it all. On top of… Read more »
BlazeKING
BlazeKING
7 years 29 days ago

I’m free of Crohn’s Disease after stopping the consumption of grains, most importantly, the gluten…..

Sonagi
Sonagi
7 years 18 days ago

I had to look twice to make sure this post was written by Mark. I’m heartened to hear the primal guru confess that he occasionally noshes on a little bread or a few chips.

pat
pat
7 years 21 hours ago
Hi Mark, My IBS started in my mid teens; It left me doubled over in pain, screaming into a pillow. The pain, as you know, was absolutely awful. It got worse in my early 20’s. The pain radiated to my lower back; I would have ‘spasms’ of pain that would last for HOURS: radiating from my bowels to my back. I was in so much pain I wanted to die. I actually thought there was something wrong with my back, and spent two years visiting four different chiropractors. Big waste of time and money there. I started eating on the… Read more »
Dave
Dave
6 years 7 months ago

Great Advice. I can feel the pounds dropping with no grains in my system. I was just wondering what are some good alternatives for breakfast, since I have only ever eaten cereal or toast in the morning.

Kim
Kim
6 years 7 months ago

Dave,
I just started eating Primal so I am still trying new things. For breakfast I have found I really like mixing a few berries, anything you like, with greek yogurt and a few walnuts. The yogurt is a little bitter at first so you might drizzle just a little organic honey on it until you get used to the flavor. KC

Stef
Stef
6 years 6 months ago
I too suffer from the agonizing pains that Mark described, as well as a long history of heartburn due to reflex. Since going primal 3 months ago, not only has my body fat percentage been going down, but I have been able to stop taking my medication. However, in the last couple of weeks stress at work has gotten to me and here are the pains again. Mark, do you ever get them just due to stress or am I missing something from the blueprint? I do like squash, but my carbs are averageing 100g a day and NO bread,… Read more »
Primal Toad
6 years 5 months ago

Great post Mark! I just had a recent experience of indulging in non primal food and I paid the price of it. I am sort of happy I did this though because I felt like crap that night and even for the next day or 2. I learned my lesson as I will never ever do this again in my lifetime.

I was at my cousins graduation party and the main dish was pasta along with grilled pizza. There was fruit too, along with salad and some veggies but not much of it.

Again, I learned my lesson!

Jen
Jen
6 years 3 months ago

I don’t know if anyone is still reading this post…but I have had terrible intestinal discomfort with being primal. I had as well been diagnosed with IBS in my teens (in my thirties now) and was hoping Primal would clear it all up. But as I say- I was more sick then ever. I had terrible, terrible cramps and pain. I gave up after three weeks and ate some brown rice for a few days and felt 80% better. Now I am really stuggling. I believe in the health benefits of being Primal but I don’t know about my gut.

Stef
6 years 3 months ago

Jen,

I have found that it depends on what food I’m eating. Some fibrous raw veggies kill my gut and give me the terrible cramps (stress brings it on too). What does your primal plan look like? Are you heavy on the veggie? Fatty meat? For me, I can’t eat much in the way of raw vegetables or I’m keeled over and feel like I’m about to give birth! Veggies that do it to me are: raw spinach (and man do i love spinach salad), cabbage, broccoli, and uncooked or underdone asparagus. Does any one thing set you off?

Jen
Jen
6 years 3 months ago
Stef thanks so much for replying!! Yes – it feels like you are giving birth!! I was doing a lot of big salads as raw spinach as the base. So- good to know I should maybe cut that out. I am really in to baking with almond, coconut, etc meal so I start my day with a muffin with some various “meal” and blueberries. Otherwise I was doing a lot of variations of soup- chicken thighs with all sorts of veggies. So yes- heavy on veggies but I guess I need to keep them cooked. Not too heavy on fatty… Read more »
Stef
6 years 3 months ago

Hey Jen,

A friend of mine mentioned that the seeds in strawberries and raspberries aggravate her IBS…I don’t experience that but though I’d pass it along. I am sure that with a bit of tweaking and experimenting you can find the primal fit. ๐Ÿ™‚

HB
HB
3 years 7 months ago

Hi Jen,

You mention eating lots of nuts. Ground and handfuls as snacks. I have a bad intestinal reaction to nuts, you may be having it too. I started low-carb by doing nuts as snacks, it was bad! I’m doing 80-90% paleo, but no nuts, and I’m feeling great.

Rebecca
Rebecca
6 years 1 month ago
I was diagnosed with IBS a year ago (I’m 21). Since then I tried everything and I mean almost everything (vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic, insoluble fiber free diet) in an addition to some stress management in an attempt to get rid of the symptoms. I went primal three weeks ago after researching the diet. I must say that I’ve noticed significant increases in my energy levels, especially compared to my vegetarian days. However, even though I’ve seen significant improvement in some of my IBS symptoms (gas and bloating), I have not been able to completely get rid of my IBS symptoms… Read more »
Bern
Bern
6 years 1 month ago

I thought I’d tried everything too! you may want to look into fructose malabsorbtion or FODMAP intollerance. Certain fruit and veg contain types of carbohydrates that some ppl can’t absorb and cause IBS symptoms. Cauliflower is one of these veg. Sticking to a primal diet and avoiding foods high in FODMAPS I’m now symptom free for the first time in years

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