- January 22, 2012 at 9:02 am #71334
As many of you know from my first posts, I suffer from severe/chronic constipation. Prior to last year, I have NEVER experienced constipation in my life. Now…it controls my life.
I started the diet at the end of September and have been faithful ever since. Like most of us on the forum, I have made some mistakes here and there. With each mistake, I have tried my best to learn from them and move on. For the past two months, I have been on the diet provided by the amazing people of this forum.
I have continued to make progress these past two months (such as a rash on my ankle healing that I have had several years and a film on my tongue). I KNOW that this diet is helping me, but it doesn’t seem to help me with my worst symptoms.
My one year anniversary is approaching when I first started having constipation. I guess you can say that I am very upset that I still am dealing with this symptoms despite everything I do (not only the diet but daily activities that have become part of my routine in order to go). I am completely reliant on MiraLax (a stool softener) as well many other products. Sometimes if I have a few good days, I try to go without those products but it is always a fail. 🙁
My question is, since I have been on the diet for four months (two very strict with the diet from the forum), and no longer am experiencing noticeable die-off, and my rash is continuing to improve, is there a possibility that I have another underlying condition that is making the constipation so bad?
Before I started this diet, I tried everything I could think of to help including, avoiding certain foods like dairy, gluten, etc. Also had a colonoscopy and food allergy test done. Nothing is coming up.
I realize that candida can cause constipation, but this symptoms doesn’t appear to improve consistently with the diet or with my other symptoms. I can do everything right one day and do okay. Two days later I can do the exact same thing and I am very constipated. It is not only confusing and stressful, but it is starting to make me very sad/depressed. I have changed many aspects of my life in order to do this diet (which I am okay with except that it does not appear to be helping my number one symptom). I don’t expect a lot, but some improvement would be appreciated…
Does anyone have any suggestions for constipation. Has anyone experienced chronic constipation over a long period of time and found out why? What were your symptoms and how did you discover the problem?
I have several doctor visits lined up because in two weeks I will hit my one year anniversary. My quality of life feels so low now and it is making it hard to do day to day activities. In the past, the doctors have not found anything but I know there are more test that can be done.
I would appreciate any advice anyone has. I realize this is a gross topic…and I don’t particularly enjoy discussing it…but I am SO TIRED of this being an issue. I just want my life back.
As always, thanks everyone for your help.
A very sad Kirsty 🙁 🙁January 22, 2012 at 9:27 am #71337
My friend who is a OBGYN said that you should eat lots of raw vegetables try to eat more raw than cooked and drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day and try to get exercise daily even if it is just 15 minutes of walking. She said that yoga is very helpful as well.. I too had problems at the start of diet…but took her advice as well as increased vit. C and much better. I’m sorry your dealing with this because the stress of the diet..what to eat, how much to eat, when to find time to prepare the food etc. is taxing…I followed her advice and life is much better. I wish you much luck 🙂
Some of this we can not do on our diet…some of it is helpful.CONSTIPATION AND HOW TO GET RID OF IT
Constipation is one ailment that you need never have again. It is certainly important to put the right kind of food into your body, but it is also essential to get wastes out. Naturopaths frequently address illness, bowel first, and with good reason. Scientific studies have shown increased incidence of diverticular diseases, heart diseases, and cancer among constipated persons. It is common for arthritics to have a history of chronic constipation. Probably at least one third of all diabetics would require less insulin simply if they had more fiber in their diet.
Throughout much of Africa and Asia, people eat a great deal of vegetables, grains and legumes (beans, lentils, etc.). These people have a digestive transit time of 18 hours or less. This means that what’s left of the food they just ate will be excreted as a bowel movement about 18 hours later. In Westernized cultures, a transit time twice as long (36 hours) is the rule, and 48 to 72 hours is not uncommon. This means the wastes stay in the body much longer, allowing greater opportunity for those toxins to be reabsorbed.
Your colon (or bowel) is designed to collect and hold wastes, but only for a while. If the colon is not emptied regularly, it begins to resemble a backed-up sewer. Fecal matter packed into the bowel can stretch it out of shape, which reduces muscle tone, and poor elimination is the result. Wastes then become more and more compacted and concentrated, and harder still to eliminate. Stools become foul smelling as normally beneficial colon bacteria give way to a polluted, pathogenic bowel.
Here are ways to end constipation.
1. Become a vegetarian. Less meat and more produce guarantees easier bowel
2. Eat lots of fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables. Salads are the answer, not laxatives.
3. Drink a glass of water, preferably warm, right after you awaken in the morning. Store-variety herbal teas are good, too.
4. Make a habit of sitting on the toilet for five minutes right after breakfast. Your body will soon get in the habit of an early morning bowel movement.
5. Adding fiber to your diet is easily accomplished by eating better snacks. Popcorn, vegetable sticks, fruit, and nuts are excellent.
6. Molasses is a good natural laxative if you need one. About one third cup will do it.
7. Freshly made raw cabbage juice is even better. Juiced zucchini works equally well. One or two 8-ounce glasses will probably be enough.
8. A can of sauerkraut, juice and all, is a fine laxative.
9. 4,000 to 6,000 milligrams of vitamin C taken AT ONE TIME has a laxative effect. Adding two teaspoons of calcium-magnesium gluconate powder is even better.
10. You can encourage a bowel movement with a gentle abdominal massage. Generally, you follow the bowel. Begin in your lower belly, below and to the right of your navel. Move up, and then across. Then, move down your left abdomen and finish just above the groin area. Repeat this a few times, and in a while you will likely notice an urge to have a bowel movement. This is especially helpful for children. Do not massage if there is a pregnancy or any medical or surgical reason why you shouldn’t.
11. Walking, yoga postures, bicycling and other light-to-moderate exercise is always helpful for regularity.
12. Stewed fruits (such as prunes) still work well for many people. When I was a kid, my Mom invited a friend over for lunch one day. I was sorry to see that dessert consisted of stewed prunes. I did not like stewed prunes. To my genuine amazement, my friend not only ate his serving but mine as well. He then proceeded to have additional helpings. After lunch we went out to play, and my Mom counted pits. There were about thirty pits on my friend’s plate. My mother dutifully telephoned his mother, and apologized for inadvertently letting him eat so many prunes.January 22, 2012 at 9:29 am #71338
ThomasMemberTopics: 71Replies: 605
are you in stage 2 of the diet and eat wild rice now? What are you eating?
Try to take a lot of vitamin C, every 45 minutes take a dose until the constipation loosen its grip.
ThomasJanuary 22, 2012 at 9:56 am #71342
Thank you Jackie and Thomas for your quick replies.
Jackie – I have tried many of those suggestions over the past year. Many of them I still do. For example, I always drink more than 8 glasses of water a day. I work out usually every other day – usually I go jogging. I eat cooked/raw vegetables for lunch and dinner every day. Breakfast I usually eat oat bran/cream of buckwheat with greek yogurt. I always drink about about 32 oz right around breakfast time. It does help. Always try to eat higher fiber foods. I guess I can give the Vitamin C thing a try. I am only taking 1000 daily now. Oh and I am a vegetarian already.
In the beginning when I first started having constipation, I was all over the internet trying different things. I found no relief until I started taking MiraLax. I seriously feel like an 80 year old lady for taking it (and I’m only 24)…but it the ONLY thing I have found that can help me have more good days than bad days.
I also think when I have constipation, it slows down my progress. When I get really bad, the rash on my ankle gets a little worse. Then I spend the next week trying to make up for the progress I lost in one day.
I will increase my raw vegetables and increase my Vitamin C in the mornings. How much are you taking currently, Jackie? (If you don’t mind me asking).
Thomas – I am still on stage 1 of the diet with several items introduced such as greek yogurt, kefir, coconut/buckwheat bread, rutabagas, quinoa (once a week), oat bran, and cream of buckwheat. I have tried red rice twice. The first night I tried it I felt just fine. The next morning was good too. The second time I tried it a week later didn’t go as well…but I was already feeling constipated. I also eat vegetables that are higher in fiber suh as cabbage, brussel sprouts, and avacado.
That’s the thing, I have not found anything CONSISTANTLY to help. I’ll get to thinking that something is helping and then it suddenly doesn’t. Sometimes, it seems like no matter what I do, I can’t help it and I just have to ride it out until it’s done.
That’s why I’m thinking there might be something else causing it. I’ve been dealing with this for about a year and every time I try something…it appears to work and then it doesn’t at all (even though I don’t change anything).
Thanks again for your help!
KirstyJanuary 22, 2012 at 10:08 am #71343
JavizyMemberTopics: 20Replies: 945
kirstyk4 wrote: It is not only confusing and stressful, but it is starting to make me very sad/depressed. I have changed many aspects of my life in order to do this diet (which I am okay with except that it does not appear to be helping my number one symptom).
Do you experience any additional stress to this? Do you worry or ruminate over the past? Stress literally shuts down your digestive system, so it can lead to symptoms like constipation. This may be something you want to look at.
The diet has made me very irritable in the mornings and evenings, and if I hadn’t learnt to deal well with stress (luckily) before starting, I could see myself getting aggravated, annoyed with people and generally setting of a stress response left, right and centre. It’s easy to imagine someone developing a stress problem, at least during phase 1.
In addition to the stuff mentioned already, you might find mucilage (found in high amounts in freshly ground flaxseed, okra and slippery elm) helpful.January 22, 2012 at 10:12 am #71344
I take a mulitvitamin that has 400mg of C and then I add two 1000mg of vitamin C as well as some other supplements.
The thing that changed for me was eating RAW food. I eat a huge salad for my dinner. It has 2-3 cups of spring salad mix, 2 stalks of celery, 1/2 to 1/4 of a pepper (green,red,yellow) what ever I have in the house. 1/2 cucumber, 1/4-12 cup broccoli, cauliflower and anything else I have to throw on it. Sometimes red onions, green olives, hard boiled eggs…it is huge. For dressing I use olive oil and Braggs ACV. I once in a while add a small bit of chicken or salmon but I have really lost my interest in meat ( I have not in a month or so). I am so full after I eat this I don’t want more…before I was cooking my dinner. Steaming veggies etc. Trying to get the old three things on my plate as I had before. Meat, veggie, starch. Now I just eat a huge salad and that along with yogurt and kefir seemed to help me a ton.
I hope you find relief. I know how stressed out I was about the whole situation and it is really a huge mental relief to have my body adjust. I also think it was the walking etc. At first I felt like I was too sick/weak to exercise so I didn’t but once I started that helped as well. I hope you find relief. I will try and ask her some more questions. I just told her bits and pieces about this whole thing because doctors just act like this is not a real problem.January 22, 2012 at 10:56 am #71347
I know that I have a lot of stress. I’m currently on my last semester of graduate school and about to propose my thesis (I hope next month). Honestly, I’m not as stressed about that as I would expect. I’m more stressed about the constipation and how I can’t even travel without having problems and feeling yucky. My Christmas day was SO uncomfortable. It really made me down because two days before that I was doing so good.
The last doctor I talked to ran some tests and mentioned depression. The thing about it is that I don’t know if it is the constipation making me depressed or if I’m depressed and getting constipated. This whole weekend I have been very upset because I just feel like I’ve been going in circles with no relief.
I think Monday I am going to talk to the doctor about trying a medication to help. If at the very least it might help me calm down enough to make it through this diet.
Also since I’ve started the diet, I’ve been without my period (sorry guys). So four months without it. I stopped taking my birth control when I started the diet because I read that birth control can help feed the candida. I’ve taken a pregnancy test every month and it is negative. I know it might take a few months for my cycle to get back on track…but four months seems kind of long.
Lack of period along with how sad I’ve been lately is starting to make me wonder if their might be something else going on. I’m going to a GYNO Thursday to talk to her about all of this. I’m just afraid that I will be told that constipation is part of a woman’s normal cycle…or that I might have IBS…or something along those lines without any real help.
Until I can talk to the doctor later this week, I will give the vitamin C, extra raw veggies, and other recommendations a try. I guess I had kind of hoped that by my birthday (March) that I would be able to reduce the MiraLax. 🙁
Thanks you two again for your advice.
KirstyJanuary 22, 2012 at 11:29 am #71352
I will again tell you that Yoga is supposed to be very helpful in the area of stress and digestion 🙂 Your in my thoughts and prayers. I feel your pain.January 22, 2012 at 11:30 am #71353
CTMemberTopics: 12Replies: 63
Hi, I’m sorry to hear that you are having such a stressful time with your problem. Have you investigated food intolerances? These are completely different to food allergy and are most effectively tested by trying a food elimination diet.
IBS- Constipation- if you have ruled out all types of other intolerance you might have IBS- IBS can be helped by using the Low fodmaps diet by Sue Sheppard- she has a very good book with recipes and the book tells you all about the diet (the food intolerance management plan) http://shepherdworks.com.au/shop/food-intolerance-management-plan
The low fodmaps diet can also be used for most of the intolerances above.
Since you are already on the candida diet you probably aren’t eating anything with wheat in, but double check in case.
If you have a really good doctor then they will hopefully mention the fodmap diet. Please consider using it before taking pills that might have bad side effects, that you can only take for a limited time period because although they might help you at the moment once they are gone the constipation might return. Other helps for IBS are having hypnotherapy. Taking probiotics.
Also consider counselling if you are feeling depressed and down. At my old uni there was a free well being centre with trained councellors, check if you have one too at your graduate school?
If you want to check for a food intolerance the most valuable thing that you can do is to start a food diary. This may be difficult to do well at the moment because you’re on the candida diet, so you may want to investigate this after the diet to find out what is troubling you.
An elimination diet involves choosing one of the food groups you want to test such as lactose, exclude all foods with lactose in it. Record in your diary how you feel each day, then after 4 weeks try a mouthful of something with lactose if it troubles you then this may be the problem. If not, then try one of the other food intolerances.
Even if you think a food intolerance is the problem be aware that candida could still be the problem as well. I initially went on the candida diet and found that my diarrhoea was getting worse and worse over the three months I was on it. I stopped the diet and investigated eventually working out that I had fructose malabsorption. I found that eating lots of onions and garlic (good for fighting candida) was exactly what my body did not want. So I stopped eating foods with fructose, which led to no more diarrhoea, but I still had other problems so I am now back on the candida diet.January 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm #71357
JavizyMemberTopics: 20Replies: 945
If you’re feeling depressed it could be linked to quitting the contraceptive pill. They really mess with your hormones and biochemistry in general, and are linked to all sorts of digestive and other health problems. The fact that you’re having menstrual issues makes it seem even more likely. I’ve heard that it can take a very long time to adjust after quitting in some cases.
Bad digestion itself can lead to depression, since any malabsorption problems will negatively affect your brain chemistry. Another nutritional problem that’s been linked to depression is EFA (essential fats) deficiency. Eating omega-3 rich fish and freshly ground flaxseed could be beneficial. If you feel it’s really a problem, there are other natural supplements, like 5-HTP that’ve been shown to be as effective as leading antidepressants without any of the toxicity and dependence issues (antidepressants are poison).
I don’t know anything about MiraLax, but long-term use of laxatives has been known to irritate the gut and exasperate the problem. If it’s a natural herbal remedy it might be okay, but otherwise I’d check to see if it’s okay to use it regularly.
I hope you can get to the root of the problem before your birthday anyway. I’m sure when you do your candida-fighting progress will speed up too!January 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm #71360
rasterParticipantTopics: 104Replies: 6838
I don’t think you have an underlying condition kirstyk4; I believe this is something that we all have been dealing with one way or another.
The game changer for me dealing with constipation came when I tried acupuncture. Right afterwards I experienced 2 footer stool samples pretty much every time. This will be effective for weeks until you will have to do it again for the same problem. Acupuncture can help with other ailments as well such as depression, detoxing, stress, etc. I highly recommend it because it is one of the things that really helped me get better.
Here is the constipation remedies post from awhile back:
Chamomile tea is great for constipation as well!
Probiotics can cause constipation, so if you stop probiotics for a day or two, it could help or improve the movements.
-RasterJanuary 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm #71391
This is the greatest place on earth. We have such personal problems and we can reach out to complete strangers across the other side of the earth for help and advice and we only have each other to rely on. This is such an amazing support system and I’m so thankful for others who share their honest experiences with us so we can continue to learn from each other.
I wish you well. I like the suggestion about acupuncture sounds like something to try 🙂 I hope your stress is lifted from you…you just don’t need this extra piece on top of everything else.
Great big Hug!!January 22, 2012 at 8:36 pm #71412
CT, I have tried each of those things at once time or another before the diet. And now that I am on the candida diet, it takes care of many of those anyway. My constipation (when it first showed up) was pretty sudden, like in a manner of days. It actually took me a few days to understand why I felt so yucky because it was never something I had ever had to think about.
I had the constipation starting in Feb and stopped taking my birth control in September. I only stopped it because I was getting serious about this diet and read that it was a good idea. Plus my insurance sucks…so that made it that much easier. I feel like I should go ahead and get myself checked out just to be safe. The fact that I have never had constipation at all my whole life makes me HOPE that there is something that other doctors have missed. If I could get the constipation taken care of…the rest of this journey would be much MUCH easier.
I take omega 3 pills on a regular basis. Also take some natural herbs that are for stress and unhappiness. Malabsorption could be as issue. I know my digestion is nowhere near what it used to be. I have the bitters that I haven’t tried too much. I think I will give those another try.
I noticed a long time ago (before the diet) that probiotics seems to help. At least they seem to help more than they hurt. Sometimes when I up the dose, a few days later gets a little rough.
That is very interesting about the acupuncture. I might have to see if I can find a place to do that here. If anything maybe it can give me some relief until I get further along and my digestion heals more.
I am so thankful for everyones advice and understanding with my gross issue. It’s nice to be able to share my frustration. I am going to give many of your suggestions a try and still continue to go to the doctor on Thursday. I don’t want to live like this for the rest of my life if I can help it. And it appears to be getting gradually worse, so I feel it best to get it checked out.
Hug back to you Jackie! 🙂
KirstyJanuary 22, 2012 at 9:09 pm #71418
carla mcMemberTopics: 14Replies: 15
a lifetime of constipation(and many childhood hospitalizations for that reason-sometimes it was over a month before i could go) and endless tests resulted in nothing but possible ibs or lazy bowel. these days(at 39 yrs) if i don’t go everyday a striking temple headache occurs…but i know it’s sooo much due to stress.and smoking! massaging the belly helps, as does leaning against the bathroom sink to put extra pressure onto the lower abdomen. any kind of stool softener or laxative seems to make it better-then much much worse. since beginning the diet i’m almost regular…but alas, there’s usually no quick fix. thankfully vitamin c(didn’t know one should take it in one dose?) is a lifesaver! good luck to you!January 22, 2012 at 9:20 pm #71419
I plan on giving Vitamin C a try tomorrow morning. I have been told many times that I might have IBS. Its just so frustrating because I NEVER had constipation before. Just so hard to deal with it in addition to everything else this diet brings. Plus the constipation really hinds my ability to improve.
Is there any dangers of taking high doses of vitamin c for long periods of time? I suppose I should ask that because doesn’t appear that my constipation will go away anytime soon. 🙁
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