dc221104

No bowel movement for 9 days. Help?

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Whole30 has officially taught me that it's possible to feel slimmer and bloated at the same time. 

I'm on Day 9 and I've been very..... irregular. Well, if we define irregular as me not having a healthy movement for the past 9 days. So I have some bloating from that. Meanwhile, my pants feel looser everywhere except across the lower abdomen that is feeling all puffy. So, I guess that's good?

I drink a lot of water (upwards of 80 ounces a day, not counting the two or so cups of tea or cup of coffee--all compliant, promise!--I also have many days) and eat a lot of veggies. I've had issues with this my whole life and am IBS-C, and found that I need lots of soluble fiber to keep things comfortable. I'm still eating plenty of insoluble fiber, but the lack of beans and other starches I've relied on for soluble fiber in the past seem to be causing some serious disruption. 

I once had a doctor tell me I was his most severe case of IBS, and over the past 10 years I have had to do a lot of dietary adjustments as a result. I've tried most plans, like low-FODMAP and many other things, but found that just keeping a good mix of insoluble and soluble fiber and drinking lots of water has been the best solution for me. For a while I was taking linzess, but it is no longer covered by my health insurance so I stopped. That was the only time in my life that I had more than say 2 movements per week.

FYI: My primary motivation for doing W30 is an elimination diet to determine sensitivities or allergens. I've had weird symptoms such as swollen eyelids in the morning that have me convinced I'm ingesting an allergen. I have ruled out environmental factors. I want to see an allergist for testing, and have a request in for an appointment, but don't know when that will be just yet. I have not had any of the weird allergic reaction type symptoms since I've started W30, so I think I'm on the right track.

Anybody have any good tips on getting the trains back on schedule? Or recommendations for good soluble fiber foods that aren't super starchy? I don't want to overdo it on sweet potatoes, as I feel that could sabotage other positive results I'd be able to achieve on this plan. While I have maintained a fairly healthy diet pre-W30, or at least better than the SAD diet, I am victim to my share of emotional eating and sugar cravings.

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Hey @dc221104

You probably want foods with a good  mix of both soluble & insoluble fibre. Soluble helps with both diarrhea, insoluble helps with constipation. In place of the beans you could try flax-seeds (aka linseeds) which contain both. Then in the veg department you could try bell peppers, green beans & eggplants/aubergines - both low FODMAP with insoluble fibre, and then carrots & white potatoes - both low FODMAP with soluble fibre.

I'm not medically trained but AFAIK soluble fibre acts kind of like a sponge & helps remove excess liquid from the digestive tract which is why it helps with diarrhea. Insoluble fibre stays solid as it travels through the body so it basically adds bulk & draws water down into the colon, thereby helping with elimination.

Are you getting enough fat in your meals? What have you been eating over the past say 3-4 days? Perhaps even a tweak or two to the composition of your meals might help if you could list them out for us...

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I eat bell peppers and carrots practically every day! Two of my favorite foods! Do you have a recommendation for flax seeds? I've used them in oatmeals before, but am not sure how to go about incorporate them into W30 meals.

Because I'm single and live alone, I often make big batches of food and eat leftovers for a couple days, so my meals may seem repetitive. 

Yesterday:

Meal 1: A (compliant! promise!) sausage link which was cooked with slices of bell pepper and onion. I make this often, even when not W30-ing, I just put some sausage links on top of the sliced veggies and throw in the oven. My dad used to make this growing up, and I still love it. I also ate some leftover sweet potatoes, which were cubed and tossed with some olive oil and herbs and roasted. 

Meal 2: Leftover homemade soup, which was bone broth, big chunks of chicken, carrots, celery, and onion. An apple and some baby carrots, which I pack for every lunch. 

While at work, I had 60 oz of water and 2 cups of green tea with lemon.

Meal 3: Large spinach salad with cucumbers, broccoli, cherry tomato, and homemade oil and vinegar dressing + three hardboiled eggs as well as the last of my leftover soup, of which there was less than a typical serving. This salad was so huge, I worried about finishing it, but I wanted to use the last of my spinach as I didn't think it would survive another day in the fridge. I also had a coconut water after dinner. 

I probably had another 20 oz of regular water at home, aside from the coconut water.

Today's planned meals:

I've already had about 20 oz of water, and am about to make a cup of green tea with lemon. I also finished Meal 1 a little bit ago.

Meal 1: 3 hardboiled eggs, some cucumbers in vinegar, and the last of my leftover sweet potatoes. I find starchy veggies in the morning to be helpful to starting my day. I know some people have said meal 3 is good for them, but I tend to prefer them in the morning.

Meal 2: A repeat of the sausage + bell pepper and onion meal from yesterday's meal 1, as well as an apple and baby carrots. 

I'll likely have at least 2 cups of green tea with lemon again while at work, as I'm recovering from a cold and this is soothing to my still kinda scratchy throat.

Meal 3: I have pork chops marinating in olive oil and vinegar, and intend to make with asparagus, which I will likely also drizzle with olive oil. I intend to make enough of this so that I will have it for lunch the next couple of days. 

Over the weekend, I had the worst of my cold. On Saturday, I ate that soup all day and 3 hardboiled eggs. That wasn't typical, but I spent the day on the couch napping and sneezing and eating soup. I also had several cups of tea for my throat. Sunday is when I made the sausage, pepper and onion meal and sweet potatoes, so I had a serving of that for meal 2. Meal 1 was the soup, as well as 3 hardboiled eggs. Sunday night, my friend had a Super Bowl party and made compliant foods for me because he's a good guy. He made sloppy joes with ground beef, mushroom and onion browned in olive oil, a homemade ketchup that was just tomato paste, vinegar, and herbs, and we ate them in lettuce wraps. I also ate an apple drizzled with about a tablespoon of almond butter as a way to munch during the game so all the potato chip and pretzel crunching wouldn't be that tempting. 

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14 minutes ago, dc221104 said:

Do you have a recommendation for flax seeds? I've used them in oatmeals before, but am not sure how to go about incorporate them into W30 meals.

Make sure you get ground flax seeds as the whole ones are hard to digest and could cause bloating which you don't want. I sometimes just sprinkle them over salads, but you can add them into omelettes, meatballs, meatloaf etc. They absorb A LOT of water, so definitely up your water intake, and don't add them into 'wet' dishes or they'll go all gloopy. And ease into them - aiming for a max of 2 tbsp per day until the constipation improves, then you can use them every few days to keep things moving.

Magnesium is another thing that may help in that department if you're not already using it?

Food wise your meals look pretty low on fat to me. Other than cooking fat, and the occasional drizzle of oil you don't appear to be adding any to meals - I think this would also help.

Let us know how you get on :)

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@jmcbn Thanks! I have a hard time with fats, which is why there isn't as much there aside from what would be in the meats and the added oils. My instincts have been to get fats from raw nuts, which have actually always been easier on my stomach than some suggest. I don't know, I'm weird.

I don't eat seafood at all, I just can't acquire a taste for it. I have been trying to like it, but I just generally find it appalling. I have grown to tolerate shrimp in small doses, and I keep tasting fish dishes that others eat around me but still am disgusted by any taste of fish. And I just can't eat that much avocado every day! hah

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Reading these posts makes me wonder if I'm getting enough fats. How do we incorporate fats besides by cooking with them? I usually eat 2 eggs in the morning with 1 Tbsp of coconut oil, along with veggies. Is that enough fat, along with what's in the eggs? Maybe it's a good to eat more avocados, but any other suggestions of ways to get fat into meals short of just chugging it?

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Avocado can be problematic so I'd probably stay clear of that for now @Kathy Jackman. Maybe focus on the likes of home-made mayo, and mayo based sauces/dressings? Then there's rendered animal fats, olives, coconut oil/milk/flesh, nut & seed oils, chicken wings/thighs with skins on, fatty cuts of meat like ribs & brisket, compliant bacon, ghee/clarified butter.....

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23 hours ago, jmcbn said:

Make sure you get ground flax seeds as the whole ones are hard to digest and could cause bloating which you don't want. I sometimes just sprinkle them over salads, but you can add them into omelettes, meatballs, meatloaf etc. They absorb A LOT of water, so definitely up your water intake, and don't add them into 'wet' dishes or they'll go all gloopy. And ease into them - aiming for a max of 2 tbsp per day until the constipation improves, then you can use them every few days to keep things moving.

Magnesium is another thing that may help in that department if you're not already using it?

Food wise your meals look pretty low on fat to me. Other than cooking fat, and the occasional drizzle of oil you don't appear to be adding any to meals - I think this would also help.

Let us know how you get on :)

1. I got ground flax seeds. I sprinkled them on my asparagus that I made for dinner--would recommend, by the way. It was very complimentary! I probably used about a tablespoon total, and the asparagus I made was about 4 servings worth. So I didn't overdo it. 

2. I hadn't been taking magnesium, as I had tried it ages ago with limited success at the time. I got the bottle out and will try again. Willing to do anything. 

3. I made some guac, which I will dip my lunch carrots in. I also really did go out and buy olives! hah! I had some with breakfast (hardboiled eggs again) and also didn't cut the fat off my porkchops for dinner. That may seem silly, but I have always had a hard time eating fat on meat. I always bought the leanest cuts because I dislike meat fat so much. Can't bring myself to eat chicken skins. It's a lifelong struggle.

I also hate mayo so much that the actual idea of it almost makes me gag (I have a few odd food aversions, also am repulsed by cottage cheese and cream cheese and ranch dressing and sour cream in this same way!) so I don't want to make a paleo-ified version of it. Still need to find ways to add fat to my diet outside of my olives and guac strategy at present. 

I have to attend calling hours tonight, so I will be eating leftover porkchops and asparagus for lunch and dinner since I won't have time or opportunity to cook this evening. So I have a few days to think of better ways to get fat :)

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For what it's worth, I experienced a little relief last night (Day 10). Certainly not enough, given the length of time I went without. But I think things are starting to move. 

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