Lexy123

Constipation - Please help!

Recommended Posts

Help me!

Some of the reasons I am doing Whole30 is because I have experienced extreme constipation and bloating for the past 12 months. For the last six months I have been gluten and dairy free as directed by nutritionists and doctors. This made a difference to begin with and relieves some symptoms, but not the bloating constipation. 

 

From Sept 27th, I have needed to take enemas or laxatives to have a bowel movement. Both of which are extremely uncomfortable and not fixing the problem. 

 

I started the Whole30 as I thought it might help alleviate these problems. I am now in day 3 of my Whole30 and I still haven't had a proper bowel movement for 10 days. 

 

I am a Personal Trainer so with my work and my dairy/gluten free lifestyle, the only major changes for me have been including meat at breakfast, removing my protein (pea) shakes, removing coffee and nuts, and removing snacking between meals, to 3 large ones. 

 

So my cry for help is about the following - 

1. Does anyone have any suggestions as to food/whole30 compliant substances that I can take to help me! I am willing to go extreme and have eaten a whole packet of prunes to help in the past! Have already tried magnesium (higher doses). 

2. Sort of related, I sometimes have to start work at 5am and work gym reception so literally do not get a meal break until 11.30am. Most afternoons are spent with clients. Can anyone suggest what meal format I could follow on these days, as I am finding eating a full meal 1 at 4.30am difficult as it is not everyday I do it so hard to get into a routine. Previous to Whole30, I would have a green smoothie (kale, spirulina, antioxident powder, cucumber and sometimes coconut water)

 

Some other points to note, I have increased meal size to try to fit to 3 per day and always include protein, fat and lots of vegetables. The concern is it's still in my stomach!!!!

 

Any help or suggestions anyone could give would be amazing, as it is stressing me out. 

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You might want to look into digestive enzymes. I've not taken them myself but I know a lot of people need them to help their bodies adjust to more meat. You might also try adding fermented foods into your diet. Kombucha and Raw Sauerkraut are good options as well as fermented pickles (a brand like bubbies in the fridge section). Have you tried eliminating whole 30 approved foods that can cause stomach problems? Some people find they are sensitive to fodmaps. Others eggs. Other coconut. Have you noticed any patterns to when things are better or worse? Also how much of your veggie intake is raw vs cooked? Cooked vegetables are much more easy to digest.

 

As far as the timing of your meals you may want to try for some calorie dense by smaller meals in the morning and than get a good sized meal at your 11:30 break. I would maybe go for 3-4 eggs, a large mug of veggie soup, and some raw sauerkraut. Can you snack on anything while at the reception area? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for your response!

 

I'll give the sauerkraut a go. I have tried kambucha but only for a week. 

Regarding the whole30 approved foods that can cause stomach problems, do you know if there is a link to a list of them? Or are they all fodmaps? Which I have a list of. 

 

I will look at what you've suggested above to fix the problem long term, thank you. 

 

In regards to patterns, when I went off gluten and dairy in January it improved for at least one month. Other than that no patterns have emerged. Not to get all weird and girly but when I'm bloated and can't move anything, I also won't get my period. 

 

I guess I was also really hoping for something that would help me alleviate what is currently in my stomach right now as my next step is to go back to my doctor who only gives me laxatives. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's great, have just googled fibrous vege's and I am mainly eating broccoli, kale, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, tomato's, cauliflower etc so will definitely add more starchy. 

Other than sweet potato and pumpkin both of which I already eat, can you suggest any other whole30 approved? My research is showing corn and pea's which I don't think is whole30??

Oh and definitely drink PLENTY of water :) 

Thank you!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beetroot, parsnip, turnips, swede, carrots are starchy. Of the veges you listed, the only ones I don't get stomach problems with are tomato and spinach. Other good veges for me are zucchini, cucumber, green beans, lettuce. Extra olive oil and olives helps me, dried fruit makes me worse. Eggs, ghee and coconut oil makes me worse, as does coffee and coconut and nuts.

Have you tried raw cocoa? It is high in minerals like magnesium and high in fibre and has a mlld laxative effect as in helps without side effects IMO. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What type of magnesium are you taking? Also, prebiotics can help. These can come from fermented foods, or if you can find some in the healthfood store with bifidobacterium in it, these work in the colon and can help with constipation.

 

Here is a great article from Mark's Daily Apple on Prebiotics  http://www.marksdailyapple.com/prebiotics/#axzz2jljG6vBr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're really in a pinch, would you consider colonics? Despite high levels of probiotics, several whole 30s, starchy veg, supplements, eliminating all the foods I'm sensitive to, etc., I wasn't able to get things moving again until I broke down and got a series of 3 of them. The colon is essentially a muscle, and if you're so backed up all the time, it isn't getting the exercise it needs, so it doesn't work as well... which compounds the problem. There are some great ideas above that are certainly worth trying, but if you're still not having any luck, look into them. For me, it worked wonders and I'm back to going just about every morning again! Finally!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This extreme constipation is new?  No history?  I would get a good work-up if you have not already.  

 

You don't say if you take any meds... so I will ask.  Do you?

 

When you wake up each morning, drink a large mug of warm water with lemon.  Try to do it so you have some time and aren't rushing out the door.  I have struggled with constipation myself over the years and I find that when I am running out the door in the morning I rarely go... 

 

When you do go, is it normal?  Are you "holding it in" when you are with clients and not excusing yourself to go?  Big no-no  

 

Sorry.  I so understand how you are feeling.  I still get constipated when I travel (without fail; the entire trip) and when I don't give myself some time in the morning to relax and drink something.  I love Crio Bru (cacao beans) and it seems to really help me.   This extends back into childhood for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're really in a pinch, would you consider colonics? Despite high levels of probiotics, several whole 30s, starchy veg, supplements, eliminating all the foods I'm sensitive to, etc., I wasn't able to get things moving again until I broke down and got a series of 3 of them. The colon is essentially a muscle, and if you're so backed up all the time, it isn't getting the exercise it needs, so it doesn't work as well... which compounds the problem. There are some great ideas above that are certainly worth trying, but if you're still not having any luck, look into them. For me, it worked wonders and I'm back to going just about every morning again! Finally!

I second the colonics. They did wonders for me, as well. I don't need them currently and can generally have a bm every morning. A year of chronic constipation would certainly impact the tone and contractility of your colon. The theory of colonics is that they retrain your colon's peristaltic action. Be sure to take a good quality (compliant) probiotic after the colonic, too.

Could it be something other than diet related causes? For me, diet does help with gas production, which I believe prevents the solid material from moving through. However, if I don't have enough relax time in the morning, before I get going for the day, won't have a bm for whole day! And it sounds like you have to get going (ie to work) pretty early.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not enough starchies could be the source of your no periods as well. Lots of great advice on this thread. I would try 1 or 2 things for a week and see how you feel. If you try everything at once you will have no idea what is and isn't working. 

 

And yes stress can cause constipation too. It starts with food but it doesn't end there. Look at lifestyle changes that may need to be made as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your schedule swings wildly from early mornings to non, that can have a bit of an effect. I do my best if I make all of my morning wake-ups within an hour or two (with exceptions, like if I'm sick and need to sleep in) of each other all week. Saturday, Sunday, whatever day - wake up closer to your earliest wake-up day. It means you'll have to feel old and go to bed early (hey, I'm getting ready for bed at 9 every night, in bed by 9:30) to get enough sleep and will adjust your schedule. That way you can wake up earlier without feeling off and eat your breakfast.

 

I did that on my deployment last year - my work shift started at 7 in the morning, so to get a workout/shower/breakfast in I got up between 4 and 4:30. Ran/whatever while it was still cool-ish. I was the only person in my 10 person tent on that schedule, so I barely ever saw any of them awake, but it was seriously worth it. I felt fantastic, and my body was used to it. It also helped me learn to fall asleep during anything...I started out needing a light mask and earplugs but by the end I slept through it all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MAGNESIUM!!  I suffered from terrible constipation after having my thyroid removed in March of 2012.  For 18 months I was miserable.  I tried everything from daily laxatives to enemas.  Then when I started my first Whole30 in August someone on the forum here mentioned Natural Calm magnesium supplement, then I heard about it again at the Whole9 Seminar in September.  I bought some and started taking it - working up to a heaping tsp in water at night and in the morning.  By day 3 I was worried it wasn't working and that's when I upped it to the max recommended dose.  Starting on day 4 I have been completely regular, going daily without pain and without any backed up feeling.  It has truly been my miracle cure.  And if you get the unflavored "original" it is Whole30 compliant.  I get it on Amazon.  It's about $13 cheaper for the large size than in the stores.  http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Vitality-Magnesium-Calm-1x16/dp/B000GJOZWE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1383838663&sr=8-2&keywords=natural+calm

 

At this point if someone wanted to take it away from me they would have to pry the jar out of my cold, dead hands.  Seriously.  We all like to laugh at the "regularity" commercials.  But it's only funny if you've never been chronically constipated.  It's a mineral that our bodies need anyway and it's not a drug.  It's a win-win.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, so I'm kind of having the same issues... I have been going like 2 days without a BM, and then bam, I'm running to the bathroom. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I've tried to up my starchy veggies, but maybe not enough? Maybe too much fat? Not enough veggies? I have no clue! Please help. This is frustrating.

 

I haven't been taking any supplements, though I keep hearing about Natural Calm.

 

I post daily my food intake in the Your Whole30 Log forum - my log is: Trez 1st Whole30 Log

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about chia seeds? I drink about tablespoons of chia seeds with about 1/4 cup of pure fruit juice and water. It's not the most pleasant way to drink them, but they're so good for you.

 

Also - if you go down this route, drink immediately... they're like aloe when and absorb water - they get gelly, which is what will help cleanse your gut. 

I swear by them!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about chia seeds? I drink about tablespoons of chia seeds with about 1/4 cup of pure fruit juice and water. It's not the most pleasant way to drink them, but they're so good for you.

 

Also - if you go down this route, drink immediately... they're like aloe when and absorb water - they get gelly, which is what will help cleanse your gut. 

I swear by them!!

I wondered about chia seeds - I have them at home already, but didn't know what exactly they were good for :) Will try... thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi There,

 

I second the Natural Calm.  I don't need a large dose, but man, o man do I sleep well.  (and the BM's are very regular as well)

 

Chia seeds - overrated.  They are Whole 30 approved but go easy on them.  Higher in omega 6's rather than omega 3's.  Personally speaking Chia seeds have the opposite effect on me.  I find them constipating.  Of course I seem to have an overall issue with nuts and seeds - so not surprising.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Natural Calm here, too. I'm taking it for a TMJ problem, but wow, it relaxes EVERYTHING and really gets things moving. This will definitely be my go-to for constipation issues, if I ever have any more for the rest of my life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't have gluten and chia seeds make me quite ill, so beware these if you've not tried them before.

 

I'd cut out cauli, broccoli & brussel sprouts (cruciferous) and see if you get any positive changes, if not, maybe try nightshades.

 

I take a lot of magnesium every day and I take it before bed.

If you can tolerate coconut oil, consume it before bed and it may help get things going in the morning.

Coffee helps some people and makes it worse for others.

 

Do you keep a food diary?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

strong black coffee works for many. It's a shame you have given up the coffee. And have you tried massaging your tummy? Clockwise movements as you look down at yourself, sweeping continuous circles with a good firm pressure - this is in the direction that your bowel moves and helps to stimulate what should be natural movement through your system. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MAGNESIUM!!  I suffered from terrible constipation after having my thyroid removed in March of 2012.  For 18 months I was miserable.  I tried everything from daily laxatives to enemas.  Then when I started my first Whole30 in August someone on the forum here mentioned Natural Calm magnesium supplement, then I heard about it again at the Whole9 Seminar in September.  I bought some and started taking it - working up to a heaping tsp in water at night and in the morning.  By day 3 I was worried it wasn't working and that's when I upped it to the max recommended dose.  Starting on day 4 I have been completely regular, going daily without pain and without any backed up feeling.  It has truly been my miracle cure.  And if you get the unflavored "original" it is Whole30 compliant.  I get it on Amazon.  It's about $13 cheaper for the large size than in the stores.  http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Vitality-Magnesium-Calm-1x16/dp/B000GJOZWE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1383838663&sr=8-2&keywords=natural+calm

 

At this point if someone wanted to take it away from me they would have to pry the jar out of my cold, dead hands.  Seriously.  We all like to laugh at the "regularity" commercials.  But it's only funny if you've never been chronically constipated.  It's a mineral that our bodies need anyway and it's not a drug.  It's a win-win.

I'm having a hard time getting Calm down, and I'm only doing 1/2 tsp.  I have a real sensitive gag reflex and the littlest things that don't both most people will be awful for me.  I know, I'm a wimp.  Is there anything I can do to mask the taste without hurting its efficacy?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest   
Guest

I'm having a hard time getting Calm down, and I'm only doing 1/2 tsp.  I have a real sensitive gag reflex and the littlest things that don't both most people will be awful for me.  I know, I'm a wimp.  Is there anything I can do to mask the taste without hurting its efficacy?

You can get it in capsule form.  I have found that I can get more magnesium in capsules, my stomach isn't as bothered, and I can get a better value.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Throughout the process of healing my gut after celiac diagnosis, I've struggled with constipation on and off for a while. During the first week of my whole 30, I noticed an increase in bloating, gas, and a few days of constipation. Every time I eat raw veggies -- especially kale, cauliflower, etc. -- the symptoms return and I'm blocked for a few days. So definitely try the cooked veggie route. Although, massaged kale salads work well and seem to help me stay moving. 

 

Cacao has helped me, too. Seeing that it's high in  magnesium, this makes sense to me. Also, daily consumption of avocado (also higher in magnesium) has helped. 

 

Nuts and seeds have been tricky and contributed to some awful constipation symptoms recently -- I cut them out for about a week and noticed an improvement. Now, I'm having 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of cashews // macadamias per day and am fine with that. Seeds don't work right now. 

 

Every so often when I can't take it anymore and want to speed up the process, I try this supplement at night and feel relief the next mornng: http://www.bluebonnetnutrition.com/product/117/Albion%AE_Chelated_Magnesium_200_mg_Vcaps

 

It was recommended to me by my integrative MD.

 

Good luck! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anybody ever use psyllium husk?  It's supposed to be helpful for both constipation and the opposite.  I used to tend toward loose stools and pysllium helped bigtime.  When I did my first whole30 (in Oct 2013) I quit taking it so I could see whether the dietary changes I made would be helpful.  Surprisingly I got a little plugged up during my whole30, but decided to stick it out and see it things leveled out.  I talked to my chiropractor and he suggested mixing my greens up (was mostly eating kale because it was easy) and adding a pro-biotic.  Things aren't perfect, but they are definitely better.

 

I've been reading up on resistant starch lately and am on the verge of adding it to my diet.  Sounds like it may have some benefits along the lines of this thread. 

 

Good luck, there's nothing like a good bm, just sayin!  :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now