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Constipation :/ (a bit long, but please read if you can help)

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Hello. I've read several threads regarding this issue on here, and I did go ahead and get digestive enzymes. I take them before each meal as I was told to, but unfortunately, they are not doing much for me.

This problem is a rather serious one for me, since I am someone who overcame severe constipation issues from childhood. I underwent surgery that was provoked by my poor eating choices which led to a barrage of health issues. The surgery scared me straight! And I was able to regulate myself and get off my laxative dependency. I dread the thought of being constipated and always assume that If I dont have a movement within 36 hours something is wrong. After changing many things about my lifestyle, I was good to go.

Prior to beginning my Whole30 I was as regular as one could get; once daily and I was happy. Now that I am just finished with my whole 30 (last day was 2/5), I sadly have to say that the entire month left me with issues in that dept. On 3 occasions I took a colon cleanse (active ingredients are psyllum husk and senna leaf). I have every intention of continuing this style of life; i think it's wonderful! But I am concerned about my regularity.

Digestive enzymes aside, is there any other solution to this problem? My diet mostly consists of the following:

Gym first thing in morning (5am)

Breakfast: Two egg whites (occasionally a yolk if I am really hungry) and a slice of turkey

A fruit at around 10am

Lunch: lean protein and veggies of some sort

mid afternoon snack: Smoothie with kale, spinach, 1/2 banana and berries

dinner: Protein (might be a bit more fatty than the lunch portion of protein) and veggies again

If I crave something sweet after dinner, I will slice up an apple.

I consume at least 100 oz of water a day as well (I have a liter bottle on my desk and always get thru 3 refills).

I don't take any other vitamins or supplements since being on the whole 30.

Thanks for any insight!

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I totally agree it does look as though you could use quite a bit more fat. Upping it really helped me.Pre W30 I used to yo-yo from being so severely constipated I'd end up taking Movicol which would swing it the opposite way and I'd have to take loperamide to counteract it and back and forth. W30 helped, upping the fat helped but what I really think clinched it for me was taking magnesium every night. Many people take Natural Calm, I can't get that over here so take magnesium citrate instead. I feel it helps me sleep and keeps me regular. In fact writing this post made me realise it's been ages since I even thought about it, it's just so completely 'normal' now.

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I'm not sure how you're eating your veggies, but raw is what has helped me out. Broc and cauli especially, starting with breakfast. I've also read that fruit is more helpful if not blended in a smoothie. Good luck!

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If I feel backed up, I drink a cup of senna leaf tea at night before bed. In the morning I'm all systems go. After my 2nd or 3rd day on the Whole30 I did it two nights in a row and things seem to be better. It's definitely fast relief. Magnesium works much the same way but I feel like it makes me go more than normal, so I stick to the tea mostly.

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Ive been a "chronic-since-childhood" and a 36hr slow transit has been my "normal". Plus some of my medications (blood pressure & asthma) cause constipation.

I agree with the posters above, magnesium at night. There are 9 different formulations (citrate, etc, see http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/types-of-magnesium/) Some cause diarrhea (eg. citrate), some dont. Check the label to know what youre getting. I find a blend works better at pulling water to the bowel, with out the unpleasant effects. Magnesium is necessary to be able to absorb calcium and potassium and to effectively use Vitamin D, so its best to find one that doesnt cause "immediate" effects, that you can low-dose daily.

I also favor prunes (which Ive had to give up for this diet - Im looking for a replacement, if anyone can offer one!). Pickles/pickled olives work (somewhat) but my DR doesnt want me overdoing salt. I eat lots of veggies, cooked and raw. Just drinking water never really does the job, that just makes me pee more. Ive tried a senna based tea as well. I also have tried (and still keep in rotation) daily enzyme and probiotic supplements. All of which I try to do in moderation (no one daily answer).

Ive found that the right "position" has helped enormously! I found this site http://www.squattypotty.com/ and found a box at home that works. A kiddie step stool (one that wraps around the toilet) would likely work just fine too. The stool seems to make the final difference.

Im thinking of trying fermented veggies (real saurkraut, fermented carrots) and have a batch "cooking" up in my cupboard now. I have high hopes!

Vera

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Ive found that the right "position" has helped enormously! I found this site http://www.squattypotty.com/ and found a box at home that works. A kiddie step stool (one that wraps around the toilet) would likely work just fine too. The stool seems to make the final difference.

I can second that. I've had my eye on one of those for years but, up til now, they haven't been available over hear and it's silly money by the time I add shipping, customs tax, PO handling charge etc. However, there's now one company selling them here so I ordered one. It's fantastic. Obviously it's not going to counteract a bad diet but, coupled with W30, what a difference. And, though it's a strange topic of conversation over coffee :), friends who've visited have gone away and ordered one as well to go with their copy of ISWF :)

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If I feel backed up, I drink a cup of senna leaf tea at night before bed. In the morning I'm all systems go. After my 2nd or 3rd day on the Whole30 I did it two nights in a row and things seem to be better. It's definitely fast relief. Magnesium works much the same way but I feel like it makes me go more than normal, so I stick to the tea mostly.

Jessica- can I suggest magnesium as a better choice? If it makes you "go more than normal" then your dose is too big--just reduce the amount until you get to a comfortable level. Why? because senna is a stimulant that can have long-term negative effects on your bowel and digestion (and it can be habit forming, meaning eventually you might NEED it. not good). Magnesium is a muscle relaxant, and a mineral that people need (most people eating the standard american diet are somewhat deficient in magnesium). It isn't habit forming either, so...anyway...generally a much better choice IMO.

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I'm a big fan of a good old fashioned warm water enema. From my research, the main benefit seems to be that the water "exercises & tones" the colon. It's a topic worth googling for sure. I also elevate my legs like the squattypotty but I use my kids stepstool.

And I agree with the others that sounds like you need more food and definitely more fats.

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I also favor prunes (which Ive had to give up for this diet - Im looking for a replacement, if anyone can offer one!).

I like Prunes too. Mainly for the 'regularity' effect they have. And they're more convenient that whole plums. Why have you had to give them up?? I eat pitted prunes (not dried), no additives. I was under the impression there was no problem with them re: Whole30. They have some natural sugar - so obvious moderation.

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So, I've got some frustration in this area too! I am in my 3rd Whole30. The best thing about round 2 was that I became completely regular...once daily like you say. Now, I think I am dealing with constipation and general GI discomfort. I added the magnesium but not magic just yet.

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I too have had constipation issues in the past. Mostly whenever I ate a high protein diet was a biggie for me. Whole 30 was about the same results. I started taking the probiotics and enzymes around day 18, this was after only having a BM every other day or so, and it was not very substantial. And I was eating a lot of food. A lot of veggies. The probiotics and enzymes did not help too much. I then started taking Magnesium and it helped get things moving a little bit.

Then, for a couple of days I ate some sourkrout with my dinner, and it was like a miracle. I still take the supplements, and every couple of days I eat some some and it helps tremendously.

Good luck and hang in there! I know how it is to not be regular! Many folks do not understand!!

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Is it OK to drink coffee in the morning; and do you?

I drink Crio Bru and it keeps me so regular! It is cacao and I make it in a french press. I add a few tablespoons of full fat coconut milk and emulsify it with a neat little hand blender.

I have to stay regular due to a pelvic organ prolapse. My long term constipation issues are partially to blame for my current predicament. I don't know if you are male/female. I'm only 48, and now my active lifestyle has been altered considerably. It stinks. For that reason I am obsessed with staying regular!

Magnesium citrate works quite well for some. Even as low of a dose as 150mgs. I also take 1-2 grams/day of quality Omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil).

Tons of cruciferous veggies: tonight I made a stir fry of red/white cabbage, brussel sprouts, onion, and spinach.

Increase your fat intake! Please.

Good luck to you. It can be such a drag to be constipated.

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I'm on day 4 of my first Whole30 and am experiencing constipation. I assume this is from the added vegetables I've been eating. :)

Just tried sauerkraut for the 1st time in my life as a side-dish with my lunch. For my taste buds, it was just ok: didn't love it and didn't hate it (glad the serving size is just 1/2 cup).

Wondering if folks have ideas for things to mix with sauerkraut, to make it more palatable? I'm thinking it would be good on top of a burger ... looking for other suggestions.

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Sauerkraut is a good option, all around, for your gut. We love fermented foods around here :)

 

As for your constipation issue - that's completely normal, actually. Many folks experience significant upheaval during the first half of their Whole30.  A few days, and a bit of sauerkraut, will likely do the trick.

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I make my own but if I buy some I look for raw live cultured veggies in the refrigerator case- bubbies is ok, but for real krauts there is Farmhouse Culture, Fab Ferments and Rejuvenative Foods. For the price of a jar of one of those you could make quadruple yourself. YouTube, Nourished Kitchen, Food Renegade, Weston A Price- all excellent DIY resources.

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Cool, thanks.  Where do you get jars?  That may sound like a dumb question, but I've been looking around lately and haven't seen any glass ones (I'd really like to find some glass jars with those clamp-like, attached lids on them, in various sizes).

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I think someone earlier posted a link to swing tops with airlocks, which would be ideal. In the photo I have used a gallon size ceramic crock from Cabellas catalog. I also use reg mason jars- make sure to let the air escape lest they explode. I've seen people ferment in plastic buckets- anything can work besides metal.

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