Eat, Pray, Push

Newcomer to the Wheat Belly lifestyle is JM, who posted this request for some feedback on bowel experiences:


I am a 54 yr old male. Former high school and college athlete. Strong, and look quite a bit younger than my age. Honestly, I “LOOK” very healthy.

My lifelong health weak link has been digestive/eliminative with tendency to CONSTIPATION. Any disruption in schedule would have the potential to aggravate the condition. I could be almost guaranteed to be locked tighter than a drum after a flight, for example. I’ve always been envious of my friends who moved their bowels with ease and like clockwork.

Trial and error taught me some years ago that steamed veggies for breakfast produced regular, satisfying, “clockwork-like” elimination! It was phenomenal.

2+ yrs ago — seemingly over night (!) — this protocol stopped working dead in its tracks. I have been constipated every day since, and am resigned to several unsatisfying enemas/week.

I’ve tried multiple approaches around diet (oils, etc) and supplements. I always keep refined carbs to a minimum. I’ve played with reducing gluten, but a month ago I eliminated it entirely, although I’ve used some GF [gluten-free] bread (sparingly). No change. Starting today, I will dump ALL forms of wheat and see what that brings.

Does anyone on the board have a similar story??

Thanks all,
JM

This reminds me of Susan’s story. You may recall that Susan suffered from something called obstipation, or the most severe form of constipation, in which she moved her bowels once every several weeks. Within 3 days of eliminating all wheat, she lost 20 pounds of stool followed by normal bowel regularity.

Anyone want to weigh in for JM? Okay to keep anonymous on this one, as it can be a bit embarrassing!

Here is a previous Wheat Belly Blog post about simple strategies to loosen things up after losing the wheat.

For you Advanced Poopers out there, take a look at the wonderful Sean Croxton’s video, Poopin 2.0, for additional insights.

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Comments & Feedback...

  1. Becalope

    Oh yeah, honey. Oh yeah. I’m 52, female. Last year I had a not-good colonoscopy and as a result tried to eat “healthier.” I pushed the whole grains, went organic, light on meat. I felt even worse than before! I ended up sick for a month with diverticulitis last May. What a misery. Had a physical and discovered my “healthy diet” had led to the worst blood work ever. Doctor told me to cut the sugar. Um. There was no sugar in my diet. I had no where to cut. So I began investigating around and found Wheat Belly (through a link, if I recall correctly, from Dr. Christiane Northrup. At least that’s where I started my search for sanity). Wheat Belly described my blood work to a “tee” (low D3s, bad cholesterol, etc).
    July 4, I went wheat free. My bowel issues totally course-corrected. After a lifetime of constipation issues, I am doing just fine in that regard, thank you! :D It only took a week. I continue in much improved health (save for seasonal allergies), with more energy and feeling better than I have in years. I have also dropped 10 lbs with only this change in my personal diet and no change in my daily activities. I cannot tell you how much this has helped. Thanks Dr. Bill.

    • Becalope

      Post script
      Now that I think about it, it was not just “one change” — it was the host of changes recommended in Wheat Belly (move to full fat milk products, better quality meat sources, including the return of red meat–grass-fed–to my overall diet. I use coconut oil to cook with now and drink my morning coffee with coconut milk and full fat cream–my own healthy coconut creamer! and so forth). There are a host of low-carb, “paleo” diets out there. Wheat Belly is the most do-able for active adults. Again, my thanks.

      • Michael

        1. Enough good fats. Are you using the coconut oil? And plenty of butter? and eating the fat with your meat?
        2. Then probiotics.
        These are what have helped most people I work with.
        Keeping working on it.

      • Trisha

        Hi, Just wondering – why do you mix heavy cream & coconut cream & what is your recipe? Are you avoiding milk products at all? I’m trying to cut back on dairy but that sounds good, I’m having a hard time not having cream in my coffee. Thanks! Trisha

    • Debora

      Wow i felt like i was reading my own story have suffered from chronic constipation all my life. Have tried everything known to mankind to correct this problem with short term relief then just when i think i have it beat back again to the same problems. I have now been sugar free/wheat/gluten free for fifty days i feel so much better. I am still using laxatives but am hoping with the continued new way of eating that i will soon see some positives results.

  2. Hi JM… Monday, August 20, will be one year since I eliminated wheat from my diet. I suffered from both constipation and diarrhea and had been diagnosed with IBS. Sometimes so debilitating was the gut pain, I’d lie on the cold bathroom floor for relief. After an initial few days of adjustment and a bit of constipation, I started having regular BMs, every single day. I add 2 Tbs of golden flaxseed meal or oat bran meal (make sure it’s gluten free!) to either scrambled eggs or yogurt and it is plenty of fiber to keep me regular.
    The biggest bonus, besides finally never having constipation or diarrhea? I lost 111 pounds in 8 months! Go wheat free… Do your body a favor :)

  3. My life was the opposite – 6 to 10 BM’s every single day for the last 3 or 4 decades. At 55, I stopped eating wheat, and immediately dropped to 1BM a day.

    Also stopped cleaning my ears 3 times a day and lots of other things.

  4. Betsyg

    Hi JM – I have been constipated since, well, birth? My mom has told me stories of our pediatrician making house calls when I hadn’t gone for a couple of days….now, it is more like two or three weeks. I was diagnosed with IBS almost 20 years ago (a catch-all for any gastro issues I’ve since learned) When Zelnorm came on the market I thought I had died and gone to heaven – that is how effective the medication was for me. Sadly it was removed from the FDA approved drugs for IBS (or anything else for that matter) and for the last 5-6 years I have been miserable. Coffee used to work and then it stopped, just like your experience with the vegetables. Now I use a laxative every couple of weeks…and I don’t wan to live that way. I stumbled on to Wheat Belly and everything I read convinced me I might have found the answer. I’m not really looking to lose any weight, I’m 5’0 and weigh 99 lbs, all my blood work is great, but I have been on Protonix for GERD for over 10 years – thought if I did the W.B. diet I might be able to address that issue too. I’m going into week 4 – very strict about it, no wheat at all. Haven’t lost any weight but I’m off the Protonix and no indigestion so far….unfortunately nothing has changed in the constipation “end” of things. I’m still hoping for some indication I might be on the right track with that – if anyone else has suggestions for other ways to improve this situation while on the Wheat Belly diet I’d love to hear them!!! Good luck JM!

    • Dr. Davis

      Probiotics, Betsy.

      People who go wheat-free can struggle to regain normal bowel flora, disrupted in quantity and species from decades of wheat poisoning of the intestinal tract. A high-potency, e.g. 50 billion CFUs or more, daily for several works provides relief in most cases.

  5. Sandy

    You might also add a magnesium tablet to your daily vitamins. Continue eating lots of veggies, good meats and go TOTALLY wheat and gluten free! Let us know how things “go” for you! “-)

  6. Sharon

    Along with diet changes have your thyroid checked. Hypothyroidism can cause these problems too. Also upon going to bed buy some CALM magnisium and mix a tablespoon in water and take with enzymes. I try to take enzymes with all of my meals.

    • Barbwil

      Here’s the old lady’s story: When I was first diagnosed with Hashimoto thyroiditis constipation was my WORST symptom and like you I had to resort to enemas for relief. Going on thyroid meds helped some until I went grain free and then I got so bloated and plugged up. Had a colonoscopy and everything looked fine so I was told to take Med-Lax (I think that’s the name, buy 3 bottles of Clear-Lax at Sam’s Club, same thing) every morning. I then started taking Magnesium Citrate 400mg twice a day; I eat a good handful of mixed nuts, raw, also take a probiotic, Colon Health also from Sam’s. Part of my food plan includes cheddar cheese and other cheeses which seem to be the culprit that binds me up. But the aforementioned does the trick for me.
      Hope you find some relief; I know when the bowels aren’t behaving momma’s not happy and when momma’s not happy, NOBODY’S happy!!!!

  7. Kim Haggard

    Wow Sandy that is an amazing weight loss! Did you cut out sugars too? I need to lose alot of weight myself.

  8. Vicki

    probiotics, psyllium husk capsules, and sipping hot lemon water in the morning has been working for me. I think my biggest problem is not enough fat in my diet.

  9. Rebecca

    I’m finding liquid magnesium in the morning (be careful around medication) and lots of water throughout the day helps.

  10. Maggie

    I’m a 53 yr old female. Thankfully, I’ve so rarely had a problem with constipation in my life. Growing up in Southern California, with a mom who’d been malnourished as a child, we ate a pretty healthy diet of lots of fruit, vegetables, rice & beans, eggs, dairy, and lean meat; hardly ever drank soda; and didn’t eat much processed foods at all. My 4 siblings and I spent a lot of time outdoors and we were all as skinny as a rail growing up. Last September I read Wheat Belly and have been mostly modern-wheat free since. The ONE thing I did about ten years ago that seemed to have a noticeable impact on my already regular elimination, was adding omega-3 to my diet. I noticed it soon after I started daily getting omeg-3 in my diet. I had heard Dr. Joseph Hibbeln, (NIAAA), Bethesda, MD, on the radio talking about omega-3 and how humans require it in their cells, but are diet dependent. That info, just like Dr. William Davis’ warnings about the damaging effects of modern wheat on the human body, changed my life. I started out with flax oil [but some say flax is not really good for humans], switched to fish, then krill oil. However, I like the idea of getting my required omega-3 daily from a SAFE, whole food source. Now, while I love to eat salmon and walnuts, I know I can’t count on eating them daily for the rest of my life. For me, eating about 2-4 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds—PLUS drinking plenty of water—is the perfect answer. Safe, inexpensive, a superfood, easily stored, relatively tasteless and easily added to food or drink. It absorbs about 9 times its volume in liquid [per Dr. Wayne Coates, of AZ Chia], so maybe that’s why it seems to really help the body eliminate waste very efficiently; efficaciously, I’d say!! Don’t know if this would work for you, but worth a try. The one caveat: BE SURE TO STAY HYDRATED with 8-10 glasses of water or a bit more every day. One day I had about 4 T. of Chia Seeds with my breakfast, and then had such a busy, distracted day, I completely forgot to drink much water except with dinner. Boy, oh boy, I’ll NEVER do that again! It was a painful experience a day or so later, kinda like childbirth gone terribly wrong, LOL! Hope that helps! Would love to hear if it does. :)

  11. Myrna Silva

    I would like to recommend having your constitution at the same day, every day, regardless of “urge. At 20yo. I had a full colonoscopy because I would “go” once a month. The gastroenterologist said, “Some people go every day, some go twice a day, some go every few weeks.” Well, if you’re eating, you should be “going”. Since then (I’m 50) I’ve been making the time, weekends, vacations..7am. If I miss the “window of opportunity” I have to compensate for the next day by diet and water.

  12. LivingInFreedom

    Hey JM,

    I can TOTALLY relate! I was also a collegiate athlete :). Constipation has been an issue for me since I was 18. I tried everything natural that I could think of or find online…I even became vegan for awhile, in hopes that it would work for me – loaded up on those “healthy grains.” *side-note – I was diagnosed with high cholesterol, at age 24, when I was a vegan! Now my cholesterol is at a healthy level*

    Well, needless to say, that did not work! It made me worse! Finally, I went to the doctor, and was diagnosed w/IBS. Now, I’m not a pill person, but I was DESPERATE, so I took prescription meds for two years to keep things moving (after pooping 2 times in 6 weeks, and only because of TONS of laxatives, I was willing to do anything!).

    I stopped taking those pills when insurance stopped covering them (don’t you love insurance?!). Things were tolerable, but not good for a couple years. Constipation was still an issue, but I just kind of dealt with it.
    Looking back, it really had an impact on my social life and mood – what a downer!

    So…now I’m 29, being treated for chronic Lyme (which they think I’ve had since I was a kid). Before I started treatment, I started the candida diet (which is somewhat similar to the WB diet, except more strict). I also started taking a product called Candex, which fights Candida (yeast). For the first time, I had diahrrea – it was like my body was detoxing from all those years of nastiness.

    It was GLORIOUS! Since then, I’ve had other issues with my gut, but the constipation has abated. So, I suggest a strict diet, like WB…but maybe even trying the candida diet if that’s an issue for you. Another thing that has helped me a lot is Digestive Enzymes. I take them before each meal, and they help decrease the bloating, etc.

    Happy Bowels to you! :)

    oh, p.s., good point about the thyroid, Sharon…I’m hypothyroid, taking armour thyroid – that could be helping, as well.

  13. Angie

    Hey JM,

    I’m 42, female, fought constipation for most of my adult life. I used to be dependent on things like bran flakes or prunes (talk about feeling old before my time!) But then my digestive problems got worse, elimination grew painful (sometimes even bloody) and since my dad had been diagnosed with colon cancer at age 53, I started to panic a bit.
    After some trial and error, I found a good naturopath who first put me on an anti-candida diet. It helped a little, but progress (and BMs) stalled out. Doing the yeast-free diet eliminated wheat for a while (since most breads contain yeast), but when I tried to make my own wheat pancakes, I noticed that my GI problems flared again, big-time. That’s what got me looking into gluten sensitivity, which then got me reading about leaky gut, which in turn led me to the GAPS diet. I looked at GAPS for a long time before even trying it…at first glance, I thought, “No way! Too complicated!” But in April of last year, things got so bad that I was desperate to try anything. I went on the GAPS protocol and haven’t looked back since. Within a week I was noticing major changes for the better when it came to bathroom visits.
    Through a GAPS support community online, I also learned about another book that’s been life-changing for me, called “Fiber Menace.” I learned about how too much fiber was really damaging my colon, and also learned that the majority of our stools are mead up of spent bacteria. So I started making and eating generous portions of my own homemade probiotic foods (started with sauerkraut, later added in raw milk kefir) and now things are regular as clockwork. I go at least once a day, sometimes more. Stools are small, soft, comfortable to pass.
    I’ll probably be on the GAPS protocol for another 1-2 years, but I don’t mind that a bit. I eat great foods, don’t have sugar/sweet cravings anymore, have noticed signs of healing all throughout my body.
    Going wheat-free is important, a big first step. But some people, like me, need more help to get our GI issues under control. I’ve made a lot of progress in just 16 months, and look for things to only get better.
    Stay strong about keeping wheat-free, and maybe look into the GAPS diet and that book on fiber as well. Best of luck to you!

  14. Pam

    My issue is IBS but I have constipation for 2-3 days after i am blessed with cramps and everything goes through me. It comes out of nowhere but sure makes it presence. Always alittle worried when I have to go out or on vacation. Any help to aleve this? I take Miralax at night and probiotics. Also, am lactose intolerant. Gee, Aren’t I fun to be around? ha

  15. Meighen

    I battled with constipation for most of my life (I’m now 65), knew I was hypothyroid at least 30 years ago, was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s about 10 years ago. I tried high-fibre eating, low-fibre eating (after reading Fiber Menace). I’ve been taking Thyrolax for at least 3.5 years (includes bovine glandular). I’ve been gluten free for several years. However, about 3 years ago, I followed some advice from Matt Stone (can’t remember if it was a posting, email, or from an ebook). Basically it’s this: nothing but fruit for a week, add some vegetables and a bit of fat the second week, gradually add protein the following week. Unless I’m travelling, and my schedule is off, I usually have a bowel movement on average 3 times a day. Lately, I’ve been eating more fruit than I used to, very little grain food, and usually a raw carrot every day.

  16. Anon

    Think about what a healthy animal’s poop looks like – small round pieces.
    Once we cut the wheat we suffered a bout of constipation. It was because the muscles lining the intestine were so out of shape. Once the excess hormones were able to exit and the muscles get in shape everything moves along regularly.

    But – watchout for carbs! They will set you back. Something happens to the muscles and they stretch out again until it is eliminated.

  17. Linda

    A good probiotic will help the elimination issues. Hubby needs extra help (gets really constipated on dairy), and found Glucomannan to work perfect for him. Got it at the Health Food Center. No bloating or cramping or diarrhea. Eating melons really works for me also. We have been mostly grain-free since hearing about the Lets Do Lunch plan in 2009. Lost 60 lbs and hubby lost 85. Hubby is off BP meds and GERD meds and both of us have found we nearly never need motrin for aches, pains, or headaches. And we have been been able to maintain the weightloss and good health for over 2 years now.

  18. Sonia

    I would like to see a basic outline of your daily food intake.. You need to be having/doing:

    A) water
    B) fats (grass fed butter, coconut oil, avocados, eggs…)
    C) exercise…. Yep, movement..

    So, let’s see ht you’re putting in there and doing with your bod. Sounds terrible having to do te enema thing!! You could also try slippery elm mixed in some yoghurt..

    Look forward to seeing what you’re eating! :)

    • Dr. Davis

      Yes, I did see it.

      While I am grateful that they are talking about it, I cringed when I saw the closing comments.

      There is no way around it: Modern wheat is poison and it cannot be undone by such things as sprouting it.

      • Mrl

        I totally agree, I have a lot of people ask me about sprouting it, if it’s in the genes no amount of sprouting will get rid of it!

  19. Janne

    Magnesium supplements. Flax/psyllium and lots of water. Exercise. Lot s of healthy oils. Good advice to ‘go sit’ every day at the same time.

  20. Yes I used to have big problems with this. Fibre and things like psyllum just made it worse, and eventually the laxatives stop working. I was already wheat and gluten free but it didn’t help. It was only when I went low carb and started adding more fat to my diet that the problem eased. Three crispy lamp chops with fat on work a treat for me.

  21. JIllOz

    Dr Davis,
    you’ve mentioned thyroid issues.
    My last test results are:
    TSH 1.32 (0.35 – 5.50) mIUL
    Euthyroid TSH.

    I gather that my result is the lower end of the above little scale.
    Can you please tell me if this 1.32 result is good or bad, too low, too high or just right?
    I have started taking kelp again a few days ago but was not on it when I took this test.

    Any comments appreciated!!

    • Dr. Davis

      Based just on TSH, Jill, this is pretty good: the lower the TSH, the better.

      Next time, consider insisting that a free T3 and free T4 and reverse T3 be run to get a fully picture of thyroid status. There are occasional people who have thyroid dysfunction yet have the appearance of normal TSH.

  22. JM

    Hi Sonia,
    Thanks. I eat very cleanly. I haven’t been down the middle aisles of a supermarket in yrs. Here’s a typical day –

    Brkfast — Glass of water, Steamed broccoli or asparagus, olive oil, 1-2 soft boiled eggs (In past – gluten-free toast. Now zero bread), cup of coffee – black, 1 sugar

    Lunch — Salad (made by me) with grilled chicken or salmon – lettuce, tomato, onion, goat cheese, fresh mint, olive oil/fresh squeezed lemon juice, salt, pepper. Occas apple. Water or occas iced coffee. No bread.

    3 PM — Gluten-less FRUITION bar (from Pro Bar). Water.

    Dinner — Vegetable(s), hummous, avocado, olives, etc., chicken or fish or occasional organic ground beef — or perhaps NO perhaps animal protein…

    I probably drink too little water through the day. Maybe once/week I might have a piece of chocolate – a small Snickers bar or such… or gluten-free choc chip cookie. I never touch donuts, crap fast food, pizza (damn!), hot buns, etc., etc…

    JM

    • Heather

      JM, I was diagnosed with IBS in 1965 when I was 11 years old. I have suffered from chronic constipation my entire life. I, too, would get plugged up all the time. My doctor says I just have a lazy colon. HA!! I used to eat an enormous bowl of high fibre cereal every morning loaded with bran buds, oat bran and psyllium husks. Incidentally, I was always starving by mid-morning and never knew why. I went wheat free in mid-July of this year and haven’t been constipated once. Try eating the flax seed wrap in Dr. D’s book every morning. Instead of the spices, I add a heaping tsp of cinnamon to the batter and then spread the wrap with peanut butter. Also, try eating Dr. D’s granola every other morning and eat more nuts too. Keep us posted.

    • PJ

      JM, you may want to consider your intestinal bacteria status. Fermented foods and/or a good probiotic may help and certainly wouldn’t hurt. You may want to completely eliminate the sugars from your diet as these can increase the yeasts and fungi in your gut. Sounds like you could use more good fats in your daily diet.

    • Kay

      Try more nuts and lots of water!
      Since I have been wheat (and almost ALL grains) free, I have been using almond flour for baking and almonds for snacking.
      I drink at least 2 Liters of water per day.
      I now have the most regular bowel habits I have ever had.

    • AD

      Sure you definitely eat clean, looks more like you don’t eat enough. Your metabolism would of slowed and your bowels et al. have stopped working. You probably need to exercise more and eat more.

    • ORapunzel

      JM,

      That Fruition bar contains oats. Oats are still a problem for many people who must avoid gluten. So, I’d ditch ALL GRAINS for at least 2 months, not just gluten. (The 2 month time period would give your digestive tract a chance to repair and improve.)

      Furthermore, avoid snickers or any mainstream chocolate or candy bar. If you want chocolate, find a bar that’s labeled gluten-free. Otherwise, don’t eat it.

      Next, you might try dropping all forms of dairy, as well, b/c dairy is also a problem for many people (though they don’t realize it). I’m one of those people. (Sigh) What many tend to forget is that cow’s milk is meant to nourish an 80lb calf and grow it to several hundred pounds in the space of several months. That’s massive growth! (I grew up on a dairy farm, btw, and saw this first-hand.) That means, the nutrient make-up in cow’s milk is meant for that calf…and that particular nutrient make-up does a number on the human body, though most do not realize it. Some experience worse effects than others. So, it’s quite possible any and all forms of dairy are an issue for your body…as they are for mine.

      Furthermore, dairy might not be the only problem. Corn is another one. So is soy. Both of which are now seriously genetically modified…and those GM effects are untested on the human body.

      You might even cut out nuts for a while, too.

      In fact, cut out all these things. Keep a food diary of what you intake each day, along with noting how you feel and if your bowels improve. Give yourself at least 2 months off the dairy but for everything else, you could do 2-4 weeks off them.

      Then…VERY SLOWLY…add nuts back in. Wait at least a week and see what happens. Record your findings in your food diary. Next, add soy back. Again, wait, observe, record. …And so on….

      Lastly but also *very* important, consume a minimum of 80-96oz of clean water a day! If you’re drinking tap water, try spring water or reverse osmosis water. Read the book “Your Body’s Many Cries For Water” by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj for excellent information on why we all need to consume more water!

      If after doing all these things and you’re still not experiencing results, it’s quite possible there’s still another unidentified food allergy wreaking havoc for you. Watch your food diary and look for potential triggers.

      Lastly…be very careful regarding your sources for meat. Animals on these large farm operations are fed items that were they were never meant to consume, and those products end up in the meats. So, you’re eating what they ate and with what they were injected. Find organic sources of meat, preferably from local small farmers, grass-fed beef, chickens and turkey that are NOT fed grains (which, contrary to popular belief, isn’t what they were meant to consume as their primary means of nourishment, either). It’s more common that people realize – folks who react to the meat of grain-fed, antibiotic-and/or-chemical-injected animals.

      Do your detective work. I promise you that it will be worth it!

      HTH! …and let us know what worked for you!! :-)

  23. Firebird7478

    What makes me go and is VERY effective is bacon! Within an hour of eating bacon, I get the urge.

          • Jennifer Snow

            I, personally, would say you’re low on fat, there. I’ve been doing a low-carb (and yes, wheat-free) diet for over a year and I’ve found getting the digestive tract in good working order takes some effort, but it’s SO worth it. Anyway, here are my results from my various n=1 experiments on myself.

            (I seesawwed back and forth between diarrhea and constipation, no fun, so I have lists for both.)

            When I have the Runs:
            Eat more sodium
            stop taking magnesium for 3-5 days
            stop taking potassium for 3-5 days
            increase protein intake (for me, this means eating *slightly* leaner meat)
            some dairy other than butter (usually cream)

            when I am constipated
            cut back on sodium
            take magnesium
            take potassium
            increase fat intake
            eat a ton of raw vegetables positively drenched in oil/vinegar dressing–this serves more to increase the *amount* of poo so you’ll go *more often*, the fiber, for me at least, doesn’t seem to have any effect on whether I’m actually constipated or not.
            eat nuts (not peanuts, those are a legume)
            no eggs
            no dairy other than butter

            I had severe diarrhea last month accompanied by feelings of exhaustion until I RADICALLY increased my salt intake. I’d switched to sea salt and I was going light on it in the thinking that this would be good for me. WRONG. Since I more or less quit carbohydrates my body cannot seem ti retain sodium, so I have to eat what some might consider prodigious amounts of the stuff to maintain my energy levels and not feel like the ocean is sloshing around in my bowels. The opposite of your problem, I know, but I found it’s rather easy to go too much the other direction when you have a problem. Balancing sodium, potassium, and magnesium levels seem to be key.

            Oh, and if you get REALLY blocked up, try taking a ton (like, 5000 mg or more spread out over the day) of VITAMIN C as this has also been known to loosen the bowels appreciably. It won’t hurt you and a lot of people are somewhat deficient in this essential nutrient, anyway.

          • Dr. Davis

            Excellent, Jennifer!

            You are coming to some of the same conclusions that many others are coming to, especially about salt/sodium “supplementation” when you are wheat-free and low-carb.

            Shook my sea salt shaker several times today!

  24. flyingq

    Eat lots of nuts… almonds, pecans, walnuts… and you won’t have this problem. I also eat wheat-free. The nuts supply magnesium. Days when I don’t eat nuts, I have different elimination.

  25. Peg

    I went low carb last Nov. and have lost 40 pounds that are staying off, but I still had to be very careful to eat enough plant foods when eating wheat crackers, or constipation was a problem. Since finding this website, and quitting wheat, all I’ve done is replaced wheat with an equal volume of more veggies. I was already a vegetarian, since 1987. I keep up my normal walking exercise routine. And wow! No more wheat, no more constipation! Everything moves just fine. First benefit showed up really, really fast! I’m relieved.

    Thank you Dr. Davis, for your good advice, and everyone who comments, for the support here.

    Just yesterday night, I attended my first group gathering since quitting wheat – a picnic where wheat was prevalent – buns, crackers, cookies and brownies. I did not eat any of it. I brought my own summer vegetable salad with balsamic vinegar and feta cheese, and had some of the waldorf salad, with fruit, celery and nuts, but no wheat. Today, my body thanks me by not being sluggish.

    I am looking forward to seeing what other changes this will bring me.

    Regards, Peg

    • Dr. Davis

      That’s wonderful, Peg! And it’s good to hear that you are doing this successful while adhering to your vegetarian philosophy.

  26. Jenny

    I was still mildly constipated in spite of being gluten free (and not replacing with substitutes) for the last 7 years.

    What has finally solved it for me is also eating Low Oxalates – the likely cause have been 2 weeks of Augmentin for a very serious ear infection. There are some good lists on the web of low oxalate foods – which match pretty well with Paleo.

    Replace the grains and carbs with more vegetables – I even have them at breakfast time.

  27. Michelle

    Magnesium could be a great help here, and you might need more than you would think. I recommend the book The Magnesium Miracle, by Carolyn Dean, MD. You’re doing great; keep up the good work!

  28. Cece4184

    I had the opposite effect when I gave up gluten last October after reading Wheat Belly — diarrhea! Turned out I have lactose intolerance, too. Then I was sensitive to GF foods (I’m a baker), had to give them up. I found out that I do best on an almost straight Paleo diet these days.

  29. Sherry

    JM,
    Try leaving off fluids when you eat a big meal. Give your food 2 hours to digest, then drink fluids.
    Also, Chris Kresser has a good article on FODMAP foods, and how they can worsen the digestion for some people. Might make a difference in the KINDS of veggies you eat, how they are combined, or how they are prepared. If you like the brassicas (broccoli, kale), these might be implicated, and not in a nice way. Apple Cider Vinegar (gluten-free) can also be helpful for elimination.
    http://chriskresser.com/got-digestive-problems-take-it-easy-on-the-veggies

  30. Dawn

    I found that after being wheat free for 8 months, the mixture of some lifestyle changes can ease things in this category. I find that adding fresh veggie’s, steamed or lightly sauteed in olive oil/garlic to like 7 to 10 servings per day, and take some additional organic unrefined coconut oil with the last or biggest meal. I also found that eating fresh juicy kiwi’s either green or golden (once a week) can be beneficial too, I think it is in the juice. Consuming 3 to 4 oz. wild sockeye salmon that has the natural omega’s every day for a couple of weeks also aides to keep regular. Always the more the water drank can help, but I find that drinking about 1 cup per hour is key to helping things along. And, eating plenty of raw organic nuts like brazil, pistachio, hazel, and pecans plus a stable supply of walnuts and almonds throughout the day. One of my favorites is treating myself to occasional plain, full fat, plain yogurt such as Dreaming Cow brand, it has natural cultures that promote healing. Basically, it is a team effort of a variety of focus attempts that have made somewhat of a difference in keeping regular. I am still losing weight and have lost some 33 pounds. I would like to continue to work out with cardio and strength training for a total of 240 minutes per week, as to try to keep muscles and lose the fat and create energy to keep on moving a bowel movement.

  31. Sarah

    After only three days of completely a wheat free diet, I’m have a normal BM every day for the past two days. Unheard of in my bathroom, unless I’m having a gallbladder attack and running to it every other moment. Feeling great with less blotting and no pain and nausea for the gallbladder either.