I've had constipation for a long time (had it before Paleo, continue to have it now). I usually go every 3-4 days, have to strain to go, and my stools are very hard. I've read a few tips on trying fermented foods such as sauerkraut or supplementing with pro-biotics. Has anyone found relief with these methods? How much sauerkraut do I need to eat? What kind of probiotic should I take (I was overwhelemed by the many different types in my local healthfood store)?
I also came across suggestions to eat more starch (ie. potatos, rice) to help with constipation... any truth to that?
Any suggestions would help!
Chronic constipation can be a side effect of hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroid hormone) so it might be worth checking with your doctor. It's a simple blood test and fairly routine.
Regarding "remedies", I have had quite a bit of success with Natural Calm (powdered magnesium citrate).
Some people don't like it, but it definitely "got me going."
My methods for keeping my system regular are pretty basic.
Rehydrate: A tall glass of water first thing in the morning BEFORE I have any coffee. Think about it: You haven't drank anything for 8-9 hours so you're dehydrated when you wake up. Sip water throughout the day.
Begin a month long course of probiotics. I used the cheap Accuflora brand and they worked great. Took mine right before I went to bed.
Magnesium. I take 500mg (along with zinc) before I go to bed.
Calcium. Be careful if you're taking a cal supp. Carbonate forms can contribute to constipation, whereas citrate is best for those predisposed to hard poopies.
That's pretty much it. I don't concern myself with fiber intake, and often will end up around 12-15g of fiber per day. My BM's are about the same everyday. Although green leafy veg like spinach ALWAYS makes a reappearance the following day. That stuff is like corn, I tell ya.
Make sure you are getting enough magnesium. Eating a "mess" o' greens with your meat can help. I thought eating whole wheat helped me move things along, but then realized that I just have a problem with wheat.
I've had good results by increasing my saturated fat intake. I started eating 1 or 2 teaspoons of coconut oil daily, and I cover all my veggies with some pasture butter.
I also started consuming homemade milk kefir, about six oz/day.
Adding these 2 things to my diet helped me a great deal.
I had (probably still have IBS wtih COnstipation) which when I eat anything with Beef or beef broth or any beef items no matter how small it caused severe constipation. I try to keep myself in check since starting Paleo I have learned a few tweaks along the way. 1. by not eating a ton of nuts like I did in the beginning of Paleo. 2. Walking appears to be a must for me. 3. Kimchi occassionally (2 times a month or so) 4. Kombucha (I purchase the GT Kombucha that you have to show your ID for since it is now regulated due to fermentation producing higher than previously thought alcohol levels...still not at the level of wine or beer but enough to regulate) I only drink about 1/3 to 1/2 a bottle a day if I feel like things are not moving along well. Plus I get the flavors that only have 2 sugars. 5. WATER ....not a ton but definaltely try to drink two large tumblers (so probalby equal to 4 8 oz glasses over a day) 6. Coconut Milk...if i get backed up and cant get to the store to get Kombucha 7. Magnesium as has been suggested but please read other threads, it can cause vivid dreams in some people so start with a smaller dose and work your way up. 8. Sweet Potato and more veg....when is started Paleo in January, I wasnt eating much allowable vegetables and I just wasnt losing. So I upped my carbs through Veggies and it resulted in better stools too.
PS. I tried Pearls probiotic and was good at taking it daily for about a month then I would forget so even though it seemed to help, I just couldnt take it daily for an exteneded period to be able to tell you if that was all i needed daily.
Dont try and force pooping. if youre eating nutrient dense food and have normal flora, you wont have much waste. your body has the ability to take up what is in you eat and use it. plus one. now if your stools are hard pebbles and gassy, then you prolly have a problem. i wouldnt recommend more fiber though, more chewy meat will work wonders...eat close to the bone.
If you really are constipated, dont over consume protein or fiber- neither will be of much assistance.
some swear by probiotics/kefir/kombucha.... i personally swear by real good cuts of meat(meaning lots of bones and eating up to the bone) & stock
RAW ORGANIC PICKLES AND PICKLE JUICE!!!
If you are still constipated after eating one with each meal, eat more. If you overdose, you will have a watery stool, that's it.
It is hard for me to eat those because of SIBO.
So another alternative would be raw beets (in salad). Again, not sure if you can have those with SIBO.
Here are a few suggestions:
There's a guy who has a blog about overcoming constipation with a paleo styled approach. It's over at http://realconstipationremedies.com ...some interesting info on the dangers of laxatives and the power of probiotics!
Constipation & Probiotics 6 Answers