I have struggled with IBS-C for years (constipation, spasm and bloat), so this is nothing new, but the constipation has been so bad lately, so I'm just wondering if there is anything obvious here I'm doing wrong. Maybe I need more soluble fibre or less insoluble? I feel like I'm eating a ton of fat. I eat basically the same thing every day:
AM: liquid vitamin D, Enerex Osteo supplement (which is 1:1: calcium:magnesium - http://www.enerex.ca/en/articles/calcium-magnesium-silica-and-boron-their-combined-roles-in-maintaining-bone-strength), 2 ADHS, 1 ProBio SAP probiotic pill, 1/2 grapefruit, 1 slice bacon, 2 eggs, mushrooms and spinach sauteed in bacon fat
Lunch: 300 mg magnesium citrate 1 chicken thigh with skin, 1/2 cup brown rice, pre-soaked (I'm not attached to this. Naturopath is a fan, though, wants me eating it twice a day), 1/4 avocado, romaine lettuce, pumpkin seeds, olive oil and red wine vinegar, 2-3 tbsp coconut butter
Dinner: 300 mg magnesim citrate, 1 Probio SAP probiotic, grass-fed steak or lamb, or ground beef or lamb patty, horseradish mustard, tomato, 1 Bubbie's pickle, fried kale, beets or carrots roasted in coconut oil
Dessert: 1 cup frozen blueberries heated, 2-3 tbsp coconut oil, cinnamon, maybe some coconut or almond flour
Bedtime: 1 mg magnesium citrate, 50 mg elavil, 2.5 mg zopiclone, 5 mg melatonin (just cut down from 10)
I also have a huge issue with bloating (literally, ha) and trapped gas which is why I've been avoiding sauerkraut and other foods. Once I get gas, it takes days before it passes and is unbelievably uncomfortable.
I have posted a lot here about my gut issues so I'm sorry for repeating myself. Any ideas are welcome. I am spending hours in squat position trying to get things going. When my bowels do move, it's a very small amount, but it's not hard or dry. If I don't go every day I get massive pain and pressure, can't sleep etc.
I wrote to my naturopath this week, he said to just keep upping my magneisum but I'm taking around 1200 mg per day.... I might just go back to Natural Calm which gave me loose stools and a lot of post-BM cramping, but at least it kept me going.
As I mentioned in another post, I've had a lot of work stress lately which does make my gut worse, but the fact that it's just not moving at all seems indicative of something beyond stress.
It sounds like your problem might be related to peristalsis.
When I eat certain foods, I cannot produce a bowel movement either -- and when I am finally able to go, the stool seems otherwise healthy and formed. In other words, it's not dry or pebbly or anything of the sort, but I simply cannot go and despite lower abdominal pain and discomfort, the necessary muscle contractions to produce a bowel movement do not occur.
However, for me, coconut is a major problem, as it completely paralyzes my peristaltic muscles. I think it's an irritant for me or something (no idea why), but I have to avoid that and other certain foods that trigger constipation in me. I also have to avoid pork products and grains completely, too, or it prevents peristaltic contractions and I am unable to use the restroom the following day.
Whenever my IBS acts up, I cannot even leave the house due to the pain. I can only imagine how dreadful you must feel. Good luck; I hope you're able to sort your problems out soon!
I can only give two things that helped me. Seperate meals of protein/fat and starch. That may or may not help The biggest thing by far is eating a large meal of only high protein low fat red meat. I'll eat lbs of lean briscuit (eat propotionally to your size of course. I am 175 Male) with no spices, no added fat and nothing else in the meals (no veggies or starch). I will literally have a good BM within half an hour of finishing. I think if you eat a meal like that on its own once every other day it should keep you going. Let me know how that works if you try it cause I've never heard that advice from anyone else but it works great for me
It would appear you do not have enough stomach acid as evidenced by your bloating and gas.
Take 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar 4x per day in 8 oz of water plus betaine HCL. The betaine HCL is nothing more than hydrochloric acid weak strength to assist you in food digestion. Once your digesting of your food is complete with the addition of more acid, the gas and bloating will abate.
Been there, done that.
If the above doesn't work, then add in and take 10,000mg of some sort of Vitamin C. Once you get the runs, then back off to 7000mg and titrate down until you are confortable.
Have you been tested for SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), or discussed that with your naturopath? I've worked with an ND lately about issues including constipation and food intolerances, and that was one of her first suggestions.
Been on a gut-healing protocol that's helped, including lots of bone broth and staying within the GAPS diet for a while. I've noticed a marked difference in digestion by taking 1-2 tsp of Bragg's apple cider vinegar 10-20 minutes before a meal, and not drinking too much water with the meal.
In any case, good luck and I hope you figure it out.
In all honesty, I am having trouble analyzing your food for all of the supplements you. I'm no expert, but maybe tone some of these down and focus on eating good, healthy food. I do understand the gas and bloat. I've been there (still am), and it sucks. Coconut products can cause me some discomfort and you list quite a few servings of coconut in your daily routine. My only other suggestion would be to vary your diet. Eating the same thing every day does not vary your nutrient intake and may be leaving you lacking something, if not a little variety. Most importantly, relax some if you can. I find when I worry about the Big C then I never go. Keep eating. It will happen.
Have you tried 3 days or more of VLC (no rice)? Just to see if the gas goes away. You should have next to no gas at all, as gas is almost always from UNDIGESTED carbs making their way too far in your colon. Bloating is usually a combination of too much sodium, plus having your glycogen stores full and consuming carbs on top of that. For instance, I just ate a 24oz porterhouse, a salad the size of a sald serving bowl, and 2 sweet taters with butter, after a heavy workout and I have no bloat. Had I tried this BEFORE paleo and working out, it would be bloat city.
You can get your carb processing enzymes ramped up by Intermittent Fasting (google).
That sounds so miserable, hopefully things will improve and your underlying IBS will become more manageable! I have dealt with very similar issues (had to go to emergency with gas pain twice, I flat-out fainted from the pain), and I found that occasionally I would find a "solution" only to find it wouldn't work the next time I tried it-very frustrating! One thing for the constipation I tried and seemed to work (for reasons unknown) is 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil on an empty stomach. First thing in the morning, I would just take a couple spoonfuls, not eat for a couple hours, and that seemed to help movements to start. If it got really bad, 3 cups of black coffee in times of desperation.
For the gas, I find that cutting out rice and decreasing salt helps most of the time (but not all of the time). I see other people have suggested the apple cider vinegar, I have found that helps, but I can't take it on an empty stomach, it gives me a real nauseous response (so acidic, obviously). Another thing is green tea, I drink it all the time, little bit of caffeine maybe helps.
No expert, but have suffered similar problems and have some thoughts:
From the Elavil and the constipation I'm guessing you've had your thyroid checked. Don't have to answer, just an observation.
Both fat and sour foods increases intestinal transit time. At least with fat, I've read a study where people with IBS were more prone to retain gas after a fatty meal. I've also noticed this personally. Only time I've had an reverse experience was after downing a bottle of olive oil in just a few hours on an empty stomach (note: do not try unless at home, preferably with a good stock of TP).
Agree about the rice. I've only read studies showing a correlation between rice protein and child constipation, but this also rhymes with personal experience.
Regarding fiber, I would take away lettuce, kale and pumpkin seeds as they can be at bit harsh on the system, at least in my experience. I would recommend root veggies, tubers and fruit like banana or apple, basically anything you can peel. Good that you already cook everything, it helps. Have you read about FODMAP:s?
My experience with VSL#3 was that it slowed me down even more. It is used for ulcerous colitis, so perhaps it is meant to slow things down. But if it works for you, keep on it!
I would also try taking it easy with the red meat, at least I still have problems digesting to much of it. Gelatin and broth are great suggestions, would recommend fish and fowl to be the next step.
Spices that I know can aid digestion or quicken things are black pepper, ginger and turmeric. Probably chili as well.
Coconut flour absorbs water like crazy! Eat with ample fluids.
Well, a rambling mix of physiology, medicine and personal opinion. Just as it should be on PH, no?
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