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Diarrhea on Paleo?

by (65)
Updated about 4 hours ago
Created October 28, 2010 at 5:27 PM

I've been semi-paleo (about 80%) for about 10 months. I started a really clean, strict 30 day challenge 10 days ago. I have celiacs disease and over the last 10 months I have been cheating here and there eating glutenous foods and occasionally eating gluten free but non-paleo foods. I also have food cravings, acne and a very irregular period. I'm over weight and have not been regularly active. I'm a high energy, happy person, but I wanted to go strict paleo in order to try to 1. gain health, 2. lose weight, 3. remedy the irregular menstrual cycle and acne. So far, after 10 strict days I haven't lost any weight, and I've had constant diarrhea. Has anyone else had this problem? My food cravings are not as bad as I thought they would be (I crave sweets) and my energy is pretty good, but I still haven't had my skin clear up or lost weight. The main questions are: why am I having diarrhea? (my fat intake seems moderate compared to most paleos). How long has it taken other overweight people to lose weight on the paleo diet? Is 10 days a reasonable amount of time to start to see weight changes? Thank you!

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2954 · December 30, 2011 at 2:14 AM

I know, right? "I have celiacs disease and over the last 10 months I have been cheating here and there eating glutenous foods and occasionally eating gluten free but non-paleo foods. " Umm.... DUH?!?!

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7275 · December 29, 2011 at 8:22 PM

"better double check your spice rack" ... or your supplements. I'm also diagnosed celiac, and as I went longer being gluten free, I seemed to get more sensitive to trace amounts. So supplements that didn't cause you problems before may cause problems now. You (Lis) say above that it feels different from glutening, but could it be a difference in degree?

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242
7275 · December 29, 2011 at 8:21 PM

"better double check your spice rack" ... or your supplements. I'm also diagnosed celiac, and as I went longer being gluten free, I seemed to get more sensitive to trace amounts. So supplements that didn't cause you problems before may cause problems now. You say above that it feels different from glutening, but could it be a difference in degree?

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d
17949 · May 19, 2011 at 12:08 AM

Maybe you're not on the Paleo Diet but on the Pooleo Diet. It's easy to get them confused.

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6
1665 · March 10, 2011 at 10:43 AM

I don't have a link, but I remember an article arguing that sometimes fasting can actually exacerbate gut problems.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · October 29, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Overall, it looks pretty good. Agree with ditching the juice - it may not have anything to do with your gut problems, but its not really paleo (real/whole foods). And paleos that want to lose weight usually forego fruit &nuts - or at least keep to a minimum. Don't be down on yourself for not exercising - your not doing it "wrong". Results are 90% diet. Its Paleo to exercise when you feel up to it/desire to do it. After some time (could be months) you will just want to - no reason to force it - it could even be counter-productive - and no studies show that it helps with weight loss.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · October 29, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Melissa know what the heck she's talkin' about, as she has lived through gastrointestinal hell. Its certainly worth a try if you get desperate, or even if you don't. The holidays are coming, time to stock up on pumpkin!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · October 29, 2010 at 2:22 PM

Agree with ditching the juice - it may not have anything to do with your gut problems, but its not really paleo (real/whole foods). Don't be down on yourself for not exercising - your not doing it "wrong". Results are 90% diet. Its Paleo to exercise when you feel up to it/desire to do it. After some time (could be months) you will just want to - no reason to force it - it could even be counter-productive.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · October 29, 2010 at 5:28 AM

That was my first guess actually. Also, too much protein with too little fat can do the same. Best to keep a food log and then look for patterns. OFten, you can't see the pattern until it's all written down and you can go back over it and compare all different kinds of factors.

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22913 · October 29, 2010 at 3:06 AM

Ditch the fruit juice. If you gotta eat fruit(bad for weightloss) at least keep it whole

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2206 · October 28, 2010 at 11:05 PM

Nuts kill me. They pass through whole and irritate me a lot. It's too bad because they are so tasty!

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2604 · October 28, 2010 at 9:41 PM

A long shot, but could be the almonds. I love them, we have them free at work. But every time I eat more than a handful I get diarrhea. It's the only thing that affects me this way.

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6157 · October 28, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Exactly. We don't know what you are eating if you say you are "strict." I've seen people eat Subway sandwiches because they thought whole wheat was okay. Seriously. Not that you are one of those people, but if you want us to be able to answer your questions, post a log of at least 3 days' worth of food.

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56616 · October 29, 2010 at 12:22 AM

Have you read about my anti-diarrhea diet? I'd follow that protocol until the diarrhea goes away and then add in some meat, eggs, and fish. Monotonous, but it really does work.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · October 29, 2010 at 2:27 PM

Melissa know what the heck she's talkin' about, as she has lived through gastrointestinal hell. Its certainly worth a try if you get desperate, or even if you don't. The holidays are coming, time to stock up on pumpkin!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
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20411 · October 28, 2010 at 5:52 PM

What are you eating? Saying that it is "strict" paleo is almost meaningless. Could be low/moderate/high carb and still be strict. Nuts? Fruit? Dairy? Do tell.

If you are going VLC from not VLC, one possible cause of diarrhea is bacterial die-off. This should be fairly temporary - 10 days seems too long. Did you not have diarrhea prior to being "strict"? Are you eating any "new" foods that might be causing an allergic reaction? Are you eating your veggies?

Do you take any Pro/Pre-biotics? What other supps? Meds?

On the weight loss aspect, paleo can be used to drop poundage, but that is not the primary function - health is the primary function. Tweaking carbs, IF, and (gasp) checking in on your calories can help. Did you lose any weight for the 10 months of 80% paleo?

Also, check this thread... http://paleohacks.com/questions/5795/paleo-found-a-solution-to-diarrhea-queasy-stomach-may-help-you#axzz13gFUTkyZ

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523
6157 · October 28, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Exactly. We don't know what you are eating if you say you are "strict." I've seen people eat Subway sandwiches because they thought whole wheat was okay. Seriously. Not that you are one of those people, but if you want us to be able to answer your questions, post a log of at least 3 days' worth of food.

B1186c535d3b4c8358dba6a3e494e37a
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65 · October 28, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Thanks for all your help guys! By "strict" I mean, no dairy, no sugar (other than occasional fruit or fruit juice) no grains whatsoever. Meat that only comes from happy, healthy animals and lots of veggies. I have been eating almonds now and then.

The upset stomach hasn't been consistent for 10 days straight, more off and on.

For supplements I'm taking a probiotic, iodine (because I was told it can help regulate your cycle), Omega 3s, Vitamin D and Thymex. I'm on no meds whatsoever.

I drink lots of water and I get adjusted regularly by a chiropractor. I haven't been working out, that's the only thing I can think of that I'm doing wrong!

Because I am celiac I am super careful about spices and condiments. This doesn't feel like a normal gluten reaction.

Bacterial die off or a sort of "detox" could be a viable answer...

I'm definitely doing paleo because I want to be healthier in general and keep myself healthy and disease free for a long time, I just assumed I'd lose weight along the way! Losing weight, clearing up my skin and being regular again would be a big plus! I realize though that I'm only 10 days in, maybe I just need to give myself more time!

Thank you for any and all input and help!

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · October 29, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Overall, it looks pretty good. Agree with ditching the juice - it may not have anything to do with your gut problems, but its not really paleo (real/whole foods). And paleos that want to lose weight usually forego fruit &nuts - or at least keep to a minimum. Don't be down on yourself for not exercising - your not doing it "wrong". Results are 90% diet. Its Paleo to exercise when you feel up to it/desire to do it. After some time (could be months) you will just want to - no reason to force it - it could even be counter-productive - and no studies show that it helps with weight loss.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4
20411 · October 29, 2010 at 2:22 PM

Agree with ditching the juice - it may not have anything to do with your gut problems, but its not really paleo (real/whole foods). Don't be down on yourself for not exercising - your not doing it "wrong". Results are 90% diet. Its Paleo to exercise when you feel up to it/desire to do it. After some time (could be months) you will just want to - no reason to force it - it could even be counter-productive.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1
22913 · October 29, 2010 at 3:06 AM

Ditch the fruit juice. If you gotta eat fruit(bad for weightloss) at least keep it whole

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14
2206 · October 28, 2010 at 11:05 PM

Nuts kill me. They pass through whole and irritate me a lot. It's too bad because they are so tasty!

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf
2604 · October 28, 2010 at 9:41 PM

A long shot, but could be the almonds. I love them, we have them free at work. But every time I eat more than a handful I get diarrhea. It's the only thing that affects me this way.

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11099 · May 18, 2011 at 10:31 PM

Have you ever looked into the GAPS(gut and psychology syndrome diet) by Natasha Campbell-McBride? If not, I would highly recommend it to you...compatible with a Paleo diet...

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6082 · October 29, 2010 at 12:57 AM

Too much fish oil? It can give you the runs.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
20787 · October 29, 2010 at 5:28 AM

That was my first guess actually. Also, too much protein with too little fat can do the same. Best to keep a food log and then look for patterns. OFten, you can't see the pattern until it's all written down and you can go back over it and compare all different kinds of factors.

95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14
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2206 · October 28, 2010 at 11:03 PM

I think it is also really important to remember the role that hormones (and not just the digestive ones) play in digestion and gut regulation and that food intake is only a piece (although a very important one) of a well-functioning system. If your system is way out of whack, which I am assuming it is since you are having trouble with menstrual stuff and weight loss, that is going to take a long time to repair itself and will affect your bowel function along the way.

I, like many women, am hypothyroid, have adrenal fatigue and am estrogen dominant. This dysfunctional hormonal milieu took 30-plus years to shape (starting with genetics, my mom's dietary choices when i was in uetero, having been fed soy formula as an infant, crappy dietary choices my whole life, years on hormonal birth control, antidepressants, ADHD meds, etc.) and I know it will take a really long time to get to a place where I feel somewhat healthy and functional again. Paleo has been a great step in the right direction and I already am feeling WAY better in the day-to-day.

But I also have bouts of diarrhea from time to time that sometimes aren't clearly connected to any dietary choice (or misstep) and it is really discouraging. But it totally makes sense given my hormonal imbalances. Cortisol and thyroid hormone has an affect on bowel regulation. So does estrogen, hence part of the reason that way more women suffer from things like IBS (we all have estrogen receptors in our small intestine and stomachs that respond to fluctuations in the hormone--when i found this out suddenly "period poops" finally made sense instead of just seeming like a cruel joke.) I posted my menstrual history in another thread (here) and one thing I could have added is that the more regular my periods become, the more noticeable it is to me how my digestion is affected around the times of ovulation and menstruation. Hopefully the same will happen for you and things will calm down and start to get a bit more regulated.

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0 · December 29, 2011 at 6:27 PM

The only thing that ever helped my acne was a 100% clean diet for at least 3 months. Sounds daunting, but it will work. Also, acne.com makes a benzoyl peroxide treatment that is cheap and effective during this cleaning out period. That way no resistance will develop in the bacteria. Additionally, if you are taking kelp pills for your Iodine, those will cause diarrhea in some.

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4991 · March 10, 2011 at 7:54 AM

There was a wonderful programme on BBC radio yesterday

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006th1n

about gut bacteria etc. It is available for 1 week on listen again. Worth trying to listen to it on your PC / Mac ? whatever.

This diarrhea thing has plagued me too since years before I went paleo but has worsened since - for over 15 months now. This programme has got me convinced it is gut bacteria and that loads of probiotics are a good way to go, with yogurt and sauerkraut with each or most meals.

Does fasting help? It strikes me that a good long fast would give the gut time to get rid of a lot of the existing bacteria.

One doctor on the radio programme gives his patients antibiotics to kill off the bad gut bacteria and then introduce good bacteria carrying food - sauerkraut, probiotics, prebiotic foods etc - so that a good bacterial build up is jump started.

Sounds good to me?

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6
1665 · March 10, 2011 at 10:43 AM

I don't have a link, but I remember an article arguing that sometimes fasting can actually exacerbate gut problems.

F337bbc2a2e83b09d3fbad37c865716a
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0 · March 10, 2011 at 1:22 AM

I've tried everything from otc facial creams to accutane and the only thing that decreased my acne was spirinolactone aka aldactone to decrease testosterone levels. If you have acne problems and they won't go away, you could try that or another oral medication for acne. Pretty much the only way to treat acne is with oral medication. It's chemistry mostly, not much to do with hygiene like a lot of people think.

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75 · October 29, 2010 at 12:02 AM

Hi, I am a celiac too. I started out dairy and gluten (wheat, barley and rye) free, I then went the rest of the way paleo - no grains and no processed foods of any kind. BTW, I feel much better after giving up the rest of the grains. When I eat a lot of nuts I tend to have diarrhea too. Also, remember you are consuming fruit, vegetables, meat, etc which are going to have a higher moisture and fiber content than what you were consuming. Your body needs to transition and adjust. Plus, your body does not have to work as hard to digest food on the paleo diet so "things" will be softer than before... or at least that was my experience. Things will stabilize if you stay with the paleo diet 100 percent. Going back and forth makes it worse.

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158 · October 28, 2010 at 6:54 PM

The very best thing you can do is up raw leafy greens, especially romaine lettuce and spinach. These are known to make people regular because they're high in soluble fiber. I would also try balancing meat and veggies at every meal, focusing on cruciferous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, celery). No dairy, and go easy on the fruit. Best of luck!

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3651 · October 28, 2010 at 6:37 PM

I am going to guess that having Celiac, you know not to get into certain condiments and things.

Perhaps you are eating too many raw veggies? I know that my poor celiac stomach needs its veggies cooked.

Also if paleo involves trying new foods, you may have introduced more spicey stuff?

10 days of sick stomach tho seems like you may be glutenning yourself, better double check you spice rack and just cut down to meat and veggies you prepare yourself.

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7275 · December 29, 2011 at 8:22 PM

"better double check your spice rack" ... or your supplements. I'm also diagnosed celiac, and as I went longer being gluten free, I seemed to get more sensitive to trace amounts. So supplements that didn't cause you problems before may cause problems now. You (Lis) say above that it feels different from glutening, but could it be a difference in degree?

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242
7275 · December 29, 2011 at 8:21 PM

"better double check your spice rack" ... or your supplements. I'm also diagnosed celiac, and as I went longer being gluten free, I seemed to get more sensitive to trace amounts. So supplements that didn't cause you problems before may cause problems now. You say above that it feels different from glutening, but could it be a difference in degree?

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