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Upset Stomach after starting paleo

by (154)
Updated about 8 hours ago
Created September 08, 2013 at 6:00 AM

So I recommended paleo to a friend of mine after having great success on it myself for the last year. When I started paleo I had a LOT of digestive problems and paleo helped heal them a great deal. I recommended paleo to a friend who is fairly athletic and was looking for a way to drop the last 10 lbs. She previously had no digestive problems. She has now been on the diet for a month and has told me that everything she is eating makes her sick. Here are some examples:

- She used to eat avacado and cheese on a rice cake. She tried eating avacado and cheese (yes she i still eating cheese) without the rice cake and got a stomach ache, gas, diarrhea.

- She made soup and left out the white potatoes, and ended up with a stomach ache/same deal

- some raw vegetables or fruits on their own also seem to trigger this

I am totally stumped with this as everything I hear from people including my own personal experience suggests paleo should HELP fix digestive problems. Not cause them. The only thing I can think of is that she has her gallbladder removed when she was younger, HOWEVER, up until this point she has been able to eat fatty foods without any kind of digestive upset (and she had gallbladder removed 20 years ago).

I was thinking that maybe because the fat to carbohydrate ratio is now higher on paleo, that it could be triggering digestive upset for her?

If this is the case, is there a way for her to follow paleo while avoiding digestive upset?

Is anybody else out there doing paleo without a gallbladder?

Or, has anybody else experiences worsening digestive health on paleo?

I feel kind of bad being the one who recommended the diet and having her not do so well on it, any advice would be appreciated. In the mean time I told her to try taking digestive enzymes with her meals and incorporating more safe starches into her diet.

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4991 · June 29, 2014 at 7:25 AM

Do you eat very low carb? I found that I had severe stomach issues until I added back potatoes, white rice, plantains etc. A good amount of carb to help the good bacteria flourish. I also dialled back on the fats and all is much better now. Also, resistant starches help me a lot.

This is a LONG thread, but lots of good info here

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread73514.html

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154 · June 29, 2014 at 3:15 AM

Hi! She is still doing paleo, she eliminated some of the foods that were causing her problems (she won't eat avocados or certain raw vegetables anymore) and started working on including safe starches with her meals and shes fine now.

Sometimes digestive upset happens when changing your diet around. Try to stick with a consistent diet for a while. Switching to paleo probably upset your system and then switching back after 2 weeks might have upset it more. Taking a good quality probiotic will help your bowels out as well! Nothing lasts forever so don't let it stress you out :)

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154 · September 09, 2013 at 4:23 PM

I mistook the fact that I did well with less carbs thinking she would be the same. Also she doesn't eat a huge amount to begin with and because she wanted to do it for weightloss I thought reducing carbs would be a good step. Obviously not though! Thanks for the comment!

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154 · September 09, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Thats awesome!! :)

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4991 · September 09, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Why miss out the rice cracker? Why leave potatoes out of the soup? With no source of carbs to feed the beneficial bacteria in her gut, it is no surprise she is having digestive issues. When I first began on the Primal / Paleo route I also made the error of thinking it had to be VLC with exactly the same results. I think white rice, potatoes, plantains etc are pretty much essentials for a lot of people - myself, certainly.

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4393 · September 09, 2013 at 2:21 AM

here's another relevant link to the PHD site http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/02/perfect-health-diet-weight-loss-version/ This talks about the 'weight loss' version, which is "about 30-40% fat as compared to 55% fat on the regular diet". So this may be a better fit for her, whether being used for weight loss or for maintenance.

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4393 · September 08, 2013 at 11:50 PM

as well as white rice, worth mentioning that the 'perfect health diet' also 'allows' white rice products & other safe starch products; "Rice noodles, rice crackers, and the like are fine, as are gluten-free foods made from a mix of rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch" http://perfecthealthdiet.com/the-diet/

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4393 · September 08, 2013 at 10:01 AM

High fat & low carb will be a problem with no gallbladder & that may be what her diet has now moved towards.

She should try & get her macronutrient ratio back to where it was pre-paleo diet, when she had no issues. Or if she was very high carb (& possibly low fat), she could move more towards a 33/33/33 ratio (calories).

A diet like the 'perfect health diet' with plenty of (safe) starches would probably work well for her, which also 'allows' white rice. http://perfecthealthdiet.com/the-diet/

With the digestive enzymes supplements, they may not be much help, unless they include ox bile. With no gallbladder she will be missing bile, which helps digest fat. Bile supplements can be purchased, usually Ox Bile. But supplements seem like a step backwards, as she never needed them before. Hopefully a few diet tweaks as mentioned should help.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4393 · September 09, 2013 at 2:21 AM

here's another relevant link to the PHD site http://perfecthealthdiet.com/2011/02/perfect-health-diet-weight-loss-version/ This talks about the 'weight loss' version, which is "about 30-40% fat as compared to 55% fat on the regular diet". So this may be a better fit for her, whether being used for weight loss or for maintenance.

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb
4393 · September 08, 2013 at 11:50 PM

as well as white rice, worth mentioning that the 'perfect health diet' also 'allows' white rice products & other safe starch products; "Rice noodles, rice crackers, and the like are fine, as are gluten-free foods made from a mix of rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch" http://perfecthealthdiet.com/the-diet/

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0 · June 29, 2014 at 2:00 AM

Hi, This post is from almost a year ago but I am wondering what happened to the girl who started having digestive issues after starting Paleo. The same thing happened to me. I was fine and could eat anything. After a week or 10 days of Paleo, I had the same symptoms described above. I couldn't eat anything. Constipation was more common than diarrhea but I suffered from both. It's been terrible. I came off the diet and my stomach is better but my bowels are still a mess with constipation and irritation. It's been 8 weeks since I came off the diet. I was fine before I started. Oh, I forgot to say that I have my gallbladder. I've been very worried that I'll never return to normal.

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154 · June 29, 2014 at 3:15 AM

Hi! She is still doing paleo, she eliminated some of the foods that were causing her problems (she won't eat avocados or certain raw vegetables anymore) and started working on including safe starches with her meals and shes fine now.

Sometimes digestive upset happens when changing your diet around. Try to stick with a consistent diet for a while. Switching to paleo probably upset your system and then switching back after 2 weeks might have upset it more. Taking a good quality probiotic will help your bowels out as well! Nothing lasts forever so don't let it stress you out :)

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4991 · June 29, 2014 at 7:25 AM

Do you eat very low carb? I found that I had severe stomach issues until I added back potatoes, white rice, plantains etc. A good amount of carb to help the good bacteria flourish. I also dialled back on the fats and all is much better now. Also, resistant starches help me a lot.

This is a LONG thread, but lots of good info here

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread73514.html

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0 · September 09, 2013 at 7:14 AM

I am following Paleo and had my gall bladder removed a couple of years ago..The only problem I seem to be having is with nuts, walnuts brazils and almonds, I haven't tried macadamia nuts yet. Headaches a another concern. Even though I am doing Paleo, I don't have unnecessary fats like coconut oil and butter,(in fact I don't have dairy at all) and it is taking a while to get used to the fact that I can eat avocados, eggs,meat and other little delights that I have been avoiding for about 20 years!

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154 · September 09, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Thats awesome!! :)

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43 · September 08, 2013 at 8:48 AM

A Low-FODMAPs Paleo diet might be a good option for her. I can't tolerate avocados due to high polyol levels in the fruit. Plus she might consider fructose malabsorption. Sugary fructose-filled fruits aren't for everyone. Good luck!

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