Reply To: Constipation Emergency

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nz4ever wrote: Ok, Everything seems better until i take kefir. Then it takes ages to digest my food and i’m hugely constipated. Please help, don’t know what to do. For previous weeks i used the hot water in the morning suggestion. but it doesn’t work any more. What could effectively cure a severe constipation?

How much kefir are you drinking?

I am learning it best to take breaks from kefir either 7 day breaks or 1-2 days a week.


This is a difficult question to answer, but I shall share my personal thoughts and experiences of others, including some research.

Certain individuals find they can comfortably drink between 1 to 4 cups of milk or water kefir each day, either on a continuous basis, or for a certain period of time taking a short break say on a week end or a regular basis. Others have found that taking 4 to 8 cups daily for a few weeks to a few months, has helped with impaired liver function including lung infection and gastric problems. The most obvious for me are the individuals whom I’ve corresponded with over the years, who have reported decrease in blood pressure after suffering from high blood pressure for many years. Some of these individuals have taken between 1 to 3 cups of milk kefir on a daily basis over a 3 moth period. Others who’ve suffered from certain conditions such as recovering from cancer or during or after chemo therapy, have found welcomed benefit by consuming 2 to 4 cups milk or water kefir daily.

Although I can not see why one can not drink appreciable amounts of kefir each day, I personally believe in practicing moderation [even moderation from moderation]. I feel that drinking kefir 5 to 6 days out of 7 is preferable for me personally. I would recommend that individuals who wish to drink kefir more regularly than this [e.g., every day], may benefit from 1 day abstinence from consuming kefir, doing so every 2 weeks or so.

I feel abstaining from all culture-foods during certain periods, to be a wise practice. Possibly the intestinal microflora benefits either directly or indirectly from a short period of abstinence. During abstinence, the body may be able to perform certain functions, that can not be performed or not performed as well if consuming cultured food-products daily, year in and year out. But more importantly, if we focus on the evolution of the microflora of the Gastro Intestinal tract, I feel, may benefit from regular abstinence from culture foods in general. However, if one can include preparing and consuming fresh kefir, and also include ripened kefir [strained milk kefir left at room temperature for 2 to 3 days to mature], then the evolution of the microflora among the variable kefirs may be an effective means of accomplishing a possibility to consume kefir on a more regular basis; abstaining at longer intervals. Once again, this is what I find is best for me personally. It may not be the same for others, though, and the best way is to find what works best for the individual, is by experimenting where possible, while making close observation.

The Holy Bible including the Holy Koran recommends to abstain from eat fermented food such as leavened bread during certain times of year, and for a certain period of time. Breads of those days were fermented by natural means, such as what we refer to today as sourdough. Whether or not this is divine intervention or the outcome of the ancients with good observation, either way, I take this issue serious enough to follow this recommendation. From personal experience with extensive fasting in my time, the body through the process of fasting, can perform specific functions that benefit the organism as a whole. A somewhat similar process, or a branch off of bodily functions are responsive only where abstaining from fermented foods is involved, I feel. Culture food product although organisms mostly product beneficial compounds, there are possibly certain compounds produced by friendly organisms, that may impair the human organism, where overindulgence, or too regular indulgence is involved.

In Tibet, I believe, where kefir grains are referred to as Tibetan mushrooms, a suggestion exists that explains to take 2 cups of milk kefir daily for 20 days, and then abstain for 10 days. This cycle is repeated on a continuous basis [Note that kefir grains and Tibetan mushrooms are the same mother-culture as explained in FAQ 34].

END NOTES For certain individuals such as those sufferers of Candidiasis [yeast infection] who consumed kefir for the first time, even when taking less than half a cup in some cases, have experienced symptoms of nausea, abdominal discomfort and or wind shortly after taking milk-kefir. Other individuals with a underlying condition, possibly due to a bad diet where the Gastro Intestinal tract is inflamed or the gastric intestinal microflora is impaired have experienced similar symptoms. Milk kefir is renowned to increase peristalsis, and where a sluggish Gastro intestinal tract with inflammation may be involved, the individual may experience nausea or abdominal discomfort including wind shortly after consuming kefir for the first time. This may be an indication of a pre existing condition, and not kefir being the culprit. In fact, due to a pre-existing condition, the beneficial organisms of kefir, and the compounds those organisms synthesize, are assisting the human organism as a whole by assisting the body to correct the imbalance or bodily dysfunction. While doing so however, the individual may or may not experience uncomfortable symptoms. This is where in the former, it would be best to take a small amount of kefir at first, and then observe for any symptoms over the proceeding 4 to 24 hours. If symptoms decrease or are non existent, one may increase the amount of kefir by 1 tablespoon to 1/2 cup or so more per day, until 1 cup of kefir on its own at one sitting can be enjoyed without experiencing uncomfortable symptoms.

In similar cases, it may be best to begin taking only 1 tablespoon of kefir mixed with 1/2 cup of fresh water or fruit juice, and increase the amount of kefir by 1 tablespoon more taken each day, until 1 cup of kefir on its own can be enjoyed without experiencing symptoms due to detox. In most cases, perseverance is the key factor to overcome an underlying or hidden issue either where immune and or gastric dysfunction is involved. Milk kefir may give a more pronounced benefit but with more pronounced symptoms in this case, while water kefir may or may not have such a pronounced effect. The only way to know for certain, is to try either variety of kefir, and observe closely how the body responds. Uncomfortable symptoms of nausea, abdominal discomfort and wind, usually disappear within a given period, the time of which is a case-by-case matter.