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Paleo for about a year, very loose stool

by (571)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:27 PM
Created August 07, 2011 at 3:29 AM

I've been eating mostly paleo for about a year. I went strict for the first 90 days, then had some cheats in the way of sugar and dairy (exclusively ice cream). Two months ago I decided to dial it back in and cut out the sugar and dairy. I eat a a serving or less of nuts a day and one or less servings of fruit a day, but otherwise just meat, veggies and fats.

Here's my problem - I've had very loose stool for at least two months. Not quite diarrhea, but when it's time to go I need a bathroom QUICK otherwise I'm likely to have an accident (that hasn't actually happened, thank god). I usually have to go 1-3 times a day within a 30 minute period. I can't imagine that this is normal.... what do you all think?

I should note - for my first 3 months on paleo I did not have this problem at all.

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15966 · June 11, 2012 at 8:04 PM

I don't think you should be phobic of any food. Carbs don't make you fat, calories do. For me I think we should be able to eat freely, eat anything and function well. I don't like the idea of people being limited. We should be well rounded warriorkillermachines able to run on nails and screws

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340 · June 11, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Plus 1 for teh first comment. Many take up to 1g of Mg without knowing its effect on stool texture.

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3690 · June 11, 2012 at 5:14 AM

I'm always battling "leaning out" with fixing loose stools with more starch. Is this a valid "battle" or am I just being carb-phobic when I shouldn't be?

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3280 · June 10, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Do a search here on "poop" and see how shy PH'ers are about their poop. ;)

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8953 · June 10, 2012 at 8:17 PM

what's your retinol intake?

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529 · June 10, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Nuts did it for me too. Also ended up having problems when I relied too heavily on lean protein and didn't get enough fat or carbs in my diet

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11683 · February 07, 2012 at 7:21 PM

could you give a sample day's diet? too much fat might be the culprit, as it speeds up transit time.

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78417 · August 08, 2011 at 5:36 AM

Thanx for that Sara. Yeah muscle weighs more than fat, so it makes sense.

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571 · August 08, 2011 at 4:11 AM

Also - no, my weight did not change, but I did lose three dress sizes (size 14 to size 8). Weight has only increased on paleo... but it's a good thing, lots of muscle tone.

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571 · August 07, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Yep, definitely gross.... but I couldn't think of who else to ask and I'm quite sure that my doc would suggest that I add in grains... Thanks for the suggestion!

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78417 · August 07, 2011 at 4:20 AM

Try having atleast 3ltrs of water a day Sara. By the way this is a very gross question. But one that affects all at some stage i think, lol. By the way, did your weight change at all within the 90 days?

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13 Answers

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4002 · June 11, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Have you considered SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)? More info on siboinfo.com and here.

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3337 · June 10, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Could you please post a photo of your stool, so that it can be accurately diagnosed?

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50 · August 07, 2011 at 10:47 PM

I suffered from this, and even full blown liquid poos for about 3 months. Started off with sticky poo that would require me to use the toilet brush to clean the marks off the toilet, to it just eventually being watery poo.

I was eating a 'snack bowl' of almonds, macadamias, walnuts, dried cranberries and dried dates every day. So I cut out the large amount of nuts and dried foods, and I am happy to report back to doing your average poo just 3 days after changing.

I was also probably eating too much sugar from fresh fruits. I now have half serves. I share an orange with my wife, rather than having the whole. I probably have 2 - 3 half sized serves of fruit a day. I think all the fat from the nuts, and all the sugar from the fruit was combining and just having a laxative affect.

I was actually quite concerned, and was going to take myself to the doctor, but thought I would adjust the diet first. So happy I did.

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529 · June 10, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Nuts did it for me too. Also ended up having problems when I relied too heavily on lean protein and didn't get enough fat or carbs in my diet

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20 · August 07, 2011 at 3:21 PM

I had a similar issue, cut out FODMAPS which resolved the problem. Am now slowly reintroducing/challenging to see what I can and cannot eat.. It's hard to cut out more when you've cut so much eating Paleo, but it's worth it!

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15966 · June 10, 2012 at 7:21 PM

The reason is too much fiber from vegetation. You need more starch. First I'd start eating a good amount of potatos of all varieties. See how that goes. That still didn't give me firm enough product.

I added grains back to my eating and voila I'm good. Eat clean whole unprocessed foods still (pretty paleo) but try adding rice, oats, buckwheat, etc. I think it's to do with he different type of fiber in veg/fruit/potatos versus that found in grains. May e some people run better with different types of fiber.

I can never remember which is soluble and which is insoluble.

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15966 · June 11, 2012 at 8:04 PM

I don't think you should be phobic of any food. Carbs don't make you fat, calories do. For me I think we should be able to eat freely, eat anything and function well. I don't like the idea of people being limited. We should be well rounded warriorkillermachines able to run on nails and screws

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3690 · June 11, 2012 at 5:14 AM

I'm always battling "leaning out" with fixing loose stools with more starch. Is this a valid "battle" or am I just being carb-phobic when I shouldn't be?

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3690 · June 10, 2012 at 5:38 PM

I have the same problem. Currently trying to figure it out.

1-3 times within a hour and half though, for me.

First time is solid. 3-4 on the Bristol.

Second and third time is more 5 on the Bristol. Not diarrhea, but in pieces.

The pattern makes sense. Usually breakfast is non-vegetable -based. Eggs, meat. Lunch and dinner are more vegetable based.

It's kind of annoying. I'd rather have it in one go.

Currently, I'm trying less vegetable matter.

Other things to try:

Cutting out balsalmic vinegar. (Or at least taking the bite out of it somehow), and not on an empty stomach.

More starch? I'm a bit carb phobic, and I have no reason to be, as I am metabolically healthy, and never was damaged.

Less stress about eating and food choice in general.

Sometimes I think...is it supposed to be this freaking complicated? Our guts are not dainty (not healthy ones anyway).

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10 · February 07, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Sara - any updates? I'm in the middle of week 5 of Paleo and am definitely having the exact same problem. 1-3 times within a 30 minute period, about every 2-4 days. Very much an emergency!

Luckily, it hasn't been too much of an issue yet. I was just hoping you could tell me that it will subside quickly.

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3014 · August 09, 2011 at 5:26 AM

Try drinking a small amount of kombucha daily for a week or so. Solved the problem for me even after I stopped drinking it.

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974 · August 08, 2011 at 5:31 PM

suggestions: if you supplement with magnesium, cut back on the magnesium supplementation.

cut out the nuts

add in zucchini

add in bone broth or munch some small bones

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340 · June 11, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Plus 1 for teh first comment. Many take up to 1g of Mg without knowing its effect on stool texture.

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60 · August 07, 2011 at 3:07 PM

I like that you raised the question. People are too shy about talking about this kind of stuff even though everyone poops!

I've noticed that my movements vary a lot when I switch between strict paleo and cheating. I would assume that you are still in a transition period but 2 months does seem like a really long time to adjust.

Perhaps your eating schedule could be evened out more and also a better ratio of meat to veggies with your meals would help solidify things. I've noticed that when I eat a could amount of veggies with my meal it helps keep it more solid and together the next day.

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3280 · June 10, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Do a search here on "poop" and see how shy PH'ers are about their poop. ;)

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180 · August 08, 2011 at 1:53 PM

From the way you worded your question, it kind of looks like you started experiencing these symptoms at the same time you gave up the ice cream. Every time I give up dairy I have the same reaction. Paleo theory aside, I think my body in particular functions much better with some dairy products. If I were in your position, I'd try adding some dairy back in and see what sort of changes that produces. I'd probably go with some yogurt or cheese instead of the ice cream, just so I could know for sure that any difference is due to the dairy, not to the sugar

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2047 · August 07, 2011 at 1:59 PM

This happens to me occasionally and I attribute it to the increased fat in my diet. It's not a daily thing, though. Are there any diet differences between your first 90 days and what you're doing now? I'd suggest that your body is adjusting again, but 2 months seems like a long time for that to go on, especially if it happens every day. Maybe a visit to your doc is needed.

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78417 · August 07, 2011 at 4:31 AM

Try having atleast 3ltrs of water a day Sara. By the way this is a very gross question. But one that affects all at some stage i think, lol. By the way, did your weight change at all within the 90 days?

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78417 · August 08, 2011 at 5:36 AM

Thanx for that Sara. Yeah muscle weighs more than fat, so it makes sense.

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571 · August 08, 2011 at 4:11 AM

Also - no, my weight did not change, but I did lose three dress sizes (size 14 to size 8). Weight has only increased on paleo... but it's a good thing, lots of muscle tone.

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571 · August 07, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Yep, definitely gross.... but I couldn't think of who else to ask and I'm quite sure that my doc would suggest that I add in grains... Thanks for the suggestion!

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