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Day 29 and both of us are having diarrhea daily


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Hi everyone! My fiance was advised to try the Whole30 by his doctor due to years of intermittent GI signs (bloating, cramps, diarrhea). I didn't have digestive issues prior to the Whole30 but wanted to do the program with him for moral support and also to see if I would "feel better" eating more wholesome foods.

 

I have been following the guidelines, cooking many recipes from the book, and also paleo recipes that I found online (making sure they used compliant ingredients). We try to adhere to the serving suggestions for protein, fat, fruit, we eat a variety of veggies (bell pepper, carrots, celery, cucumber, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, sweet potato, green beans, cauliflower, etc).

 

Since we started the Whole30, both of us have had very soft stool or diarrhea EVERY DAY. My fiance's bowel movements are worse than they were before, ie. watery. Myself, before the Whole30, would RARELY ever have soft stool or diarrhea, and I have been having daily diarrhea for the first 20 or so days, then started having days where I would "skip" a bowel movement, so I was hoping that things would be firming up. However, no such luck, will skip days then have worse diarrhea next time I have to go, and sometimes have tummy cramps too.

 

I think that my fiance is eating too much fruit sometimes for his serving sizes. We've been trying to eat more cooked veggies because I thought I read that too much raw stuff can be hard for your digestive tract.

 

We are planning on extending the Whole30 for a couple more weeks, but I was wondering if anyone has any tips? Are other people experiencing problems like these? My fiance doesn't think that he will be able to tell if he 'reacts' to any of the reintroduced foods since his GI tract is not any better than it was before.

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It would help to see a sample food log of 2-3 days worth of what you're eating, including amount of daily water intake.  
 

You are correct on the raw vs. cooked veggies - raw can bother some folks. I would switch to 100% cooked for your Whole30 extension and see if that gives you improvement.

 

In the meantime, on the fruit, the recommendation is 1-2 servings per day, where a serving is a whole piece of fruit the size of your fist. Further, it's recommended to have fruit as part of or immediately after your main meals: not as a snack.

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A couple of suggestions not really whole30 related. I had this problem and it turns out that my Pyloric valve (the valve between the large and small intestine) was stuck open so everything I ate was just running through me. I am not a doctor but if the stools are like water this could be your issue. I believe the valve is located between your belly button and hip bone on your right side. If you massage up in this area that should help it close. Maybe go to a natuaralpathic doctor for more help.

Another thing could be an issue with bile. If your body releases too much bile after you eat it will cause diarrhea. Usually within 20 or 30 minutes of eating. I would check with a natural path for more help.

If you find a solution post it here so we can all learn. I hope you feel better soon.

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Thank you both for the quick replies! I feel much better knowing there is such a support group on the forum.

 

Dear Eleanor, yes, I am eating nuts daily, up to 3oz (usually less than that). I usually have them with my lunch for an added source of fat. I do not like olives, so nuts are my best portable fat that I have. I also use guacamole or fresh avocado, usually in the morning with my eggs. The only other fats I have are the cooking fats or the fats naturally in the meat. I have been relying on nuts for more energy as I am still getting hunger pangs 2-3 hours after meals. I eat as big portions as I can (I stuff myself to full or overfull!) but find myself hungry later. So I thought that meant I need to eat more fat daily. I was taking it literally not to snack between meals and would drink water or tea to help try and abate the hunger pangs, but I have been less strict on this since one day I almost blacked out at work before lunch, guess it was real hunger after all.

 

Chris, here's some sample daily foods from day 20-22. I have an excel spreadsheet with foods we've been eating but I didn't always record what kind of veggies I made with meals. I have been trying to cook veggies with meals but we will have raw tomato with breakfast, and raw veggies with lunch sometimes (e.g. sliced carrots, bell peppers, celery, cucumber) for some crunch. 

 

Thursday - Breakfast: boiled eggs, (+ tomato slices?), Lunch: leftover chicken breast and baked sweet potato (+veg?), Dinner: Italian sausage and veggie curry soup

Friday - Breakfast: poached eggs w guacamole on smoked salmon, Lunch: sausage coins, chopped boiled eggs with sauteed veggies (green bean, portabella mushroom, bell pepper, onion), Dinner: ribeye steak, baked sweet potato (+ veg?)

Saturday - Breakfast: eggs scrambled with spinach, Lunch: rotisserie chicken with asparagus, Dinner: salmon cakes (+ steamed veggies?)

 

On the weekdays, we most likely had a piece of fruit (mandarin oranges, apple) with lunch and also I would have nuts (almonds, pecans) with lunch, my fiance often adds olives at 2-3 meals of the day for added fat. I don't know about my fiance for his fruit choices, I pack fruit in his lunch but he may not eat it at the same time as his lunch. I have seen him grab fruit after work as snacks too. I try to eat fruit with the meals as much as possible and not between meals.

 

Fluid consumption for myself, I have 6-8 oz black coffee in morning, then, 16 oz decaffeinated tea in my thermos to sip though out the morning (if it is a work day), and I drink 24-36 oz water at work the rest of the day, and also a 8oz glass with breakfast and dinner. Often I will have decaf tea 8-16 oz after dinner as well. On weekends I just drink water at every meal and when I am thirsty, and have a cup of tea here and there if I feel like it. I am a thin body condition and weighed 108 pounds before starting the Whole30. I don't know how much my fiance is drinking. He takes a 24 oz water bottle to work and I assume that he refills it throughout the day.

 

Thank you for the help! I am concerned about cutting out the nuts for myself because I fear that I will be starving and lose more weight. I've always been very slender and I haven't re-weighed myself yet since starting the Whole30, but I think my ribs are showing more than before and it was never my goal to lose any weight with this elimination diet.

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Dear Tina,

Thank you for your post, I am considering making my fiance go back to his doctor for tests, but thought that I could try extending our Whole30 a little longer first since he isn't in any distress. I am concerned that he may have an underlying health issue other than food sensitivity. However I had normal GI function before starting the Whole30 but I am also having problems with diarrhea since starting, so I am hoping we can tweak what we're eating to help get normal bowel movements.

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From the sample you posted, no wonder you've been hungry and your ribs are showing: it appears that you're not eating enough, and/or not eating foods that satiate you for 4-5 hours.

 

You want to get 1-3 cups of veggies in at each meal. Some meals I see very little, others not at all.  Again, go for 100% cooked veggies from this point on. Get 1-2 palms of protein in (dimensions of your palm).

On the fats, in meals where you're not eating eggs or a fatty fish or meat, I wonder if experimenting with other fats would work for you? Ghee, clarified butter, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil for example? On cooking fats, note that when sauteing, much of the fat stays behind in the pan, so you may need to make up for that regarding the fat you put on your plate.  I really do feel eliminating the nuts for your extension is worth a shot.

If you don't want to lose weight on your Whole30, here is an article worth reading: http://whole30.com/2013/12/keeping-weight-whole30/

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