Understanding Poop – Constipation, IBS, and Other Digestive Disorders


I know a lot about poo. I have observed every possible type of poo on the Bristol Stool scale come out of my own body, because I have experimented with every type of diet on my own body. I have read about poo in a number of books and on countless websites. During the couple of cumulative years in which I kept a food diary I also kept a poo diary.

Go ahead, call me weird, but it is precisely my weirdness that has helped me to understand my body and bring it back to health.

What comes out of our bodies is a direct reflection of the health inside our bodies.

If our poop is laced with mucus, if we have diarrhea, hard stools, or undigested food, symptoms of ill health will also be present.

Let’s take a closer look at poop and the digestive system so that we can better understand the causes of constipation and what an ideal poop should be.

Types of Poop

Konstantin Monastyrsky goes over the types of poo in great detail. I’m going to paraphrase his work here but I encourage you to look at his website because he has pages and pages of valuable insight available both on his website and in his two books.

Stool 1 suggests a lack of bacteria in the gut. These often occur in people after an antibiotic treatment or in people starting fiber free diets. They are often painful and always difficult to pass.
Stool 2 is a whole lot of stool type 1 packed into a big mass. These are extremely painful to pass. They are the result of severe constipation of stool type 1, lasting for quite a long time. Adding fiber to the diet to try to help pass the stool can be “dangerous because the expanded fiber has no place to go, and may cause hernia, obstruction, or perforation of the small and large intestine alike.”
Stool 3 Similar to stool 2 but not quite as bad. The person will not have been stopped up for quite as long.
Stool 4 This is a normal, not constipated poo in which the person defecates once daily.
Stool 5 Monastyrsky considers this poo ideal. He says it is the typical poo of a person who defecates after every major meal.
Stool 6 This stool is indicative of someone with fast digestion. It isn’t really solid and can be messy. More information here.
Stool 7 Diarrhea

Stuff in the Stool

Stools can contain undigested food, they can be sticky or relatively clean to wipe, the stool may take on the color of an over-consumed food like white if a person eats an inordinate amount of dairy, or red or green as in a juice “fast”. Stool can be laced with mucus which vegans often claim are worms, but they likely aren’t; rather they are strings of dried, white mucus. Mucus in the stool is often seen in people with IBS, which is essentially the name doctors used to describe something they didn’t understand. Now this digestive disorder is known as carbohydrate malabsorpbtion, FODMAPs intolerance, or fructose malabsorption.

Size of the Stool

The size of poo varies depending on what and how much a person eats. According to Monastyrsky an ideal stool should be about the size of your middle finger. I think it can be a bit larger if you eat raw foods. People who eat a lot of fiber have larger stools. Fiber is indigestible which means that any amount of fiber not fermented in the gut, will pass through whole or be fermented by intestinal flora.

Click at your own risk!

When I was camping in Utah this last summer, I saw a poo in a campground toilet that was alien to me. I ran outside to tell my daughter and boyfriend to get in there and check it out, but then the bathroom suddenly filled with girls and Julian couldn’t come in. Intrigued, he practically ordered me to snap a picture. Giggling, my 5 year old and I went back in and got the picture. I now share my pain with all of you. Armed with your new-found knowledge of poo, where do you suppose this poo fits on the chart, and what in the world could have caused soooooo much poop?

Causes of Constipation

The causes of constipation are vast. Dysbacteriosis of the gut causes the type of constipation in type 1 and 2. Restoring intestinal flora is key to restoring regularity.

People who have eaten high fiber diets for long periods, who have used fiber in excess for too long, who have taken drugs, who have used antibiotics, who have eaten processed diets, who have nutritional deficiencies, who have mercury fillings, who drink alcohol regularly, who eat low-fat diets, who over-exercise, and even people who drink too much water may all be susceptible to constipation.

A lack of peristaltic sensitivity can also cause constipation. Peristalsis is a contraction of smooth muscle. We also have smooth muscle in the uterus. Smooth muscle is controlled unconsciously. We  cannot tell ourselves when to poop any more than we can tell ourselves when to deliver a baby. The causes of impaired peristaltic sensitivity are many. Here are a few:

  • Switching from a high fiber diet to a low fiber diet. A body will need some time to adjust. Fiber will have stretched the rectum and stools will now be much smaller and less abrasive.
  • Conscious suppression. Being in a hurry, stuck in traffic, at a concert, and in a conversation are among the many moments in life when we tell our bodies to shush. Doing this repeatedly sends the signal to silence the scream since we don’t intend to listen.
  • Stress also suppresses peristalsis. This is a very important mechanism actually. It could be fatal to run to the bathroom in the middle of an emergency. The daily stress in many people’s lives is as forceful as that of a real emergency and our peristalsis comes to a halt on a regular basis.
  • Laxative use for long periods can eventually replace our natural urges.

Reducing Fiber

Animals all over the planet go poop just fine without fiber and so do plenty of humans.

Traditionally, the Japanese people have eaten very little fiber, usually a little fermented vegetables and a few bites of fruit along with fish and rice. The Inuit Eskimos also did not eat much plant food. They did forage for a few growing things in the warmer months but did not have access to vast amounts of plant food. Many tribes in Africa including the Masai were reported by Weston Price in the 1930s to eat diets consisting mainly of meat from the whole animal, fermented milk, and blood. Some of the coastal tribes ate seafood. They did not eat much growing foods and didn’t have much need for them as they were well nourished by their diet of special foods.

Where Did the Fiber Myth Come From?

As discovered by Graham and later pushed by Kellogg (the crazy vegetarian that started cornflakes), fiber reduces sex drive. They were both anti-sex Christians and pushed their philosophy on the American public with a veritable campaign to increase fiber consumption and reduce sexual desire.

The idea that fiber is requisite for defecation is a myth and a very destructive one at that. Excess fiber can cause hemorrhoids, diverticulosis , IBS, and colon cancer. Likewise, the idea that all your nutrients come from vegetables is absolutely nonsense.

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  1. I guess I wonder about veggies. Should we eat them? Should most of our diet be meat and fat? Would that be a way to restore health??
    My poop is usually #4. But I get a variety, so does that mean what I ate before is something I shouldnt? Like how could I tell what the cause of a bad bowel movement is? Or do you have to restore your gut first?
    Thanks for this. I’ve read about it before on the GAPS website. But it’s nice someone else can talk about it and I’m sure the comments here will be very interesting too.

    • I don’t see any reason not to eat a little veggies, particularly fermented veggies but in small amounts. Remember, you are not trying to combat constipation with fiber. It will work for a while but eventually it will cause damage. A small amount of veggies can adds nutrients, trace minerals, and can be fun! But eating tons of them in the name of “health” is simply misguided.

      • It’s just interesting because most primal paleo people talk about eating lots of veg.

        • It’s not just paleo people, it’s everybody. Even intelligent or enlightened people haven’t bothered to look into the issue beyond what’s available in standard literature. If they don’t have digestive disorders themselves, they won’t have any reason to go hunting for information. So they go on spouting off what they read in the literature. Plus, anybody who does have a clue about excess veggies might not want to withstand the ridicule that will inevitably ensue by making such a radical claim.

          If people would actually read the literature which reports observations of primitive peoples they would see that fiber is not high at all most of the time. I have scoured this kind of stuff, but then I enjoy uncovering how wrong Americans are in our treatment of nutrition.

  2. Thank you so much for this post X5. My reason for being paleo right now is that my body gave up on carbs about a year ago. More than 2 fruits a day and I’m back to the painful #2s. Does lack of bacteria in the gut mean I need probiotics?

    • If your poos are like one or two, then yes, you should try to re-establish a healthy colony of bacteria.

      • What kinds of food should we try to re-establish a healthy colony of bacteria? Mine is between #1 and 2.

  3. Oh man, that poop in the toiler is rough. I pity the one who “dropped that kid off at the pool”! ;)

  4. Well, I must concur that you are brave. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only “wierd” one out there! I worked at a diaper service and have been able to determine how my DD is feeling by simply charting her stools (consistency, frequency, any undigested food or other oddities). I discuss this sometimes with close family and they all think I’m wierd but love me anyway. Ha!

    I do wonder if undigested food shouldn’t go in in the first place. For example: My DD ate some corn awhile back and ended up with green diarrhea immediately. Then the next morning the kernels came through uneaten! As such I blame corn and am working to eliminate corn from her diet (amongst other things).

    Anyways, thanks for the post!

    • And thanks for letting me know that I’m not the only weird one! Maybe I feel somewhat comfortable posting this stuff on the internet for everyone to see (lol), but I don’t talk about it with friends.

      I’d have to agree, if the foods aren’t breaking down, don’t eat them. I can’t break down nuts. So I don’t eat them.

    • I’m with you on this one. I have no idea of the health impacts (although it stands to reason), but the waste gets to me. Why would I buy it, prep and cook it, use up plate space… and poop it all out?
      I had a friend once who had colitis and could never eat corn again. That does imply that it’s hard on our innards.

      • Corn always seems to come up. Before I was diagnosed with celiac, like 7 or 8 years ago, I had corn in my poo all the time.

        This is so gross, I’m sorry everyone.

        • I understand no-one digests corn. The skin is indigestible, although the starch inside is. My husband suffered constipation a while back (okay now) and one test to find transit time it so eat sweetcorn and see how long it takes to come out the other end.

  5. It is interesting that you posted this today because I’ve been wondering about this subject for a while now. I’ve definitely noticed a transition from conventional to paleo/primal in my stools. I was typically always a 3-4 conventional, but now I’m a 4-5 paleo/primal. I find that I don’t go to the bathroom as much, the stools are smaller, and I’m definitely regular. I also noticed that the coloration has turned darker and their is less toilet paper work to do (sometimes virtually none) which I find interesting and wonder if that is normal.

    • It is normal and it’s ideal too! Stools should generally not be sticky or too light in color. They also shouldn’t smell terrible. I noticed the same changes in mine as well and, as a parent, I observe the same changes in my daughter’s stool during periods in which her diet has shifted.

  6. This post was very interesting. I feel like there is so much I could write on poop. I feel like I have to share my experience (as if anyone needed to know about my poop, ha).

    I used to eat a fair amount of refined grains. Well, maybe a lot. I knew nothing about fiber. I got constipated a lot. Then I read up on the “importance of fiber” and switched to only whole grains, and even did a fiber “cleanse.” I went from constipated to having 2 or 3 comfortable, clean movements a day that looked a lot like type 5. Maybe this is what you mean by fiber working “at first”? I was absolutely a believer in fiber after that. I became regular and my acne started clearing up.

    I knew my cats didn’t need any fiber in order to poop. In fact, when I had them on a raw meat diet, their poops were much better and smelled less. So when I read “the fiber menace” I wasn’t too surprised that humans shouldn’t need fiber.

    I guess my conclusion is that if you are going to eat grains, you need to eat them with their natural fiber. But forgoing grains might actually make things better. And I would totally guess that that huge poop in the toilet was the result of eating way too much grain.

    The intestinal flora I believe is important, too, as well as eating foods with the lovely microoranisms in it. I noticed that simply drinking raw milk helped me have easier movements. I still go anywhere between 1 and 3 times a day. I guess some think 3 is too much while others think it’s fine…it “feels” healthy when I go, so I’m not concerned about it.

    • Yeah, I don’t think you could make a poo that large without plenty of grains. I’m guessing the grains were fermenting inside her.

      My dog, daughter, and I were all on a raw meat diet and our sh** didn’t stink. Lol, but seriously, it didn’t smell at all. Even on a cooked meat diet it doesn’t have much odor. That’s a nice perk.

      • Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention how much less odorous my stools are now. Even with eating a little fermented grain, I noticed they rarely smelled enough to have to turn on the fan in the bathroom. I imagine it will only get better as I convert to eating primal. And SO nice to use less toilet paper!

        But how interesting is that about raw meat!

  7. Wow, I’m curious, now. I am going paleo(ish) as of tomorrow night. I don’t eat a lot of plant type foods (I have a weird texture and taste issue that some would like to convince me is an eating disorder. I do not like many veggies or fruits and what I do like is limited.) But, I do eat a lot of meat and am going “no grain”. I’m curious as to what your limited diet consists of and if you eat a lot of veggies. I’ve also been keeping a….bowel diary. I have had to ever since being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2010.

    • Click on the Carnivore’s Dilemma post over in the right sidebar to see a real week of my diet.

  8. i confess, i was thinking about this just the other day and got pretty excited when you gave us a heads up you’d be writing about this. very interesting article!
    i’m still trying to figure out what my issue is…i think i’ll tinker around with my veggie intake and see what happens.

    p.s. i tried to eat raw meat for the first time today…it tasted fine, but i admit it was weird, and i couldn’t finish. i’ll keep trying…

    • Yeah, raw beef is strange at first. The benefits of raw foods, though, don’t have to come from raw beef in particular. Raw anything is beneficial. If that comes in the form of sea food, raw egg yolks, raw milk, or raw bugs. ;) Take you pick.

      • Going off on a tangent here – what do you think about egg yolks added to a smoothie? I love to reconstitute coconut cream and blend it with ice (it’s hot in Austin, I was dying for an ice cream replacement), and I’ve added raw yolks a few times. My question is whether the harsh blending is damaging to the nutrients inside. Better to stir it in, or does it matter?

        • Well, I’ve also read that the blender is damaging to fragile eggs. I don’t use blenders because the foaminess of the final product kind of freaks me out. But maybe I’m just being paranoid and reading too much Mercola…

  9. I’m glad you’re brave enough to talk about poop on your blog :-) Between what I learned from Mark’s Daily Apple and your link to the fiber menace a month or so ago, I’ve been noticing that fiber has pretty much nothing to do with the, erm, quality of my poops, but fermented foods, lots of fat, and drinking enough water are key!

    • Thanks for adding your experience! That is exactly what I find keeps me regular as well.

  10. So what amount of fruit and veggies would you recommended for someone who doesn’t eat organs/oysters yet, but follows a paleo diet otherwise? I’m intruiged by the idea of your diet,and the conecept that plants are less necessary than CW would have you think, but because I haven’t gotten to the point of eating organs yet( I’m hoping to get some liver this fall when we buy our 1/4 of grassfed beef) I’m thinking I still need a fair amount of plants for the vitamins. Is this wrong? Thanks!


    • You could try relying more on starchy tubers than on veggies. You can also make soups with veggies, replacing much of the veggies you eat with veggies you drink. And little by little start adding special animal foods. They are important and every healthy tradition culture ate them.

  11. How did you know I was just thinking about this very topic? Pre-Paleo I was a 1 and 2 type…since I’ve been Paleo I am a type 4 and 5!! And feel SO much better. But also had no clue on what “normal” is. Very informative post. thanks.

    • Most of us probably think about this topic pretty regularly! lol

      • So what should I do if I am constipated. Today is the second day I have no idea what type of poop I have been having. If it matters I’m 14, and not allowed laxatives I ate prunes two bacon pizzas water and tea on the past two days.

  12. Very interesting article Peggy. As a veteran in the world of constipation (which ceased 5 years ago) I had the urge everytime to drink some kind of fiber supplement because I couldn’t have a stool, the reason? stress, work, but mostly my diet, high in carbohidrates, processed foods and excessive intake of water and again fiber.

    While pregnant with my first daughter I was severely constipated. When labor time came up, I literaly gave birth first to a pretty disgusting and large green ( and with a very faul smell) stool that lived in my gut for about 6 months or more, SCARY!!!

    I switched from eating mostly rice, beans and corn to high fat, meats, vegetables and little fruit… it took me several months to regain the ability to go poo by myself, it sounds almost like “potty training” again.

    i have never experience constipation again, and labor (of my second and third child) weren’t gross like most people have seen. Having a women giving birth without having to incommodate people by funny odors was a relief! hehe

    Your stool determines your health…green stools are the worst of all.
    Thank you for sharing : )

  13. “Fiber should not be the moving force behind bowel movements” .. Excellent! Undoing large-scale brainwashing one concept at a time.

    The idea of stress affecting peristalsis is an insightful one and is a good addition to the perception I have of people in cities being caged animals: constant fight-or-flight situations, frustrating confinements, .. general stress.

    Great points, great message. Thanks for posting this.

    • “Undoing large-scale brainwashing one concept at a time.” Also excellent!

      Funny you mention that about caged animals. I had to force myself to not write about that idea on this post because my posts always end up so dang long. But that concept is so important and interesting I’ll probably do a post on that alone one of these days.

      • Haha, that should be your Super Hero tag-line. “Peggy Emch, Super Hero, undoing large-scale brainwashing one concept at a time.”
        I forgot you were doing this post, but I was at a friends house, and she had some of her other friends over, and one was having major issues, her doctor having just put her on medication for it. Well, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, as usual, but I did my best not to sound too teacher like, as I have a habit of sometimes doing, and they all seemed interested enough. Just as the woman was walking out the door, I made a decision, and wrote down MDA the TPP websites for her. Then, when I got on this morning and saw the post, I said, well, if THIS doesn’t get her attention, there is nothing more I could have done for her. It feels like it was meant to be. I hope she has a look, and gleans some bit of insight into healing herself.

  14. Thanks for this. It comes at a good time for me. I’ve been gluten free but still felt bad. Then I went completely grain, nightshade free and felt better but still not right. So now i am in the midst of transitioning to the low fiber. How does one plan a meal and what does it consist of? I’m kind of at a loss here. thanks

    • My experience was similar. I eliminated a lot of things which helped but still never felt great. Check out my post the Carnivore’s Dilema for a week’s diet.

  15. I feel like I have a good diet – I try to eat Paleo (I usually only have veggies with dinner).

    I used to have a BM after breakfast every morning – but then I gave up coffee, and I got very constipated (I’d poop a type 1 when I went). After a month of this torture, I started drinking coffee again (and I use a lot of liquid creamer) and I’m back to having a good poop after breakfast – it’s almost a 6, but not that soft. I know the creamer isn’t good for me with all those carbs, but I feel like I should keep drinking it if it makes me have better BMs. I guess I should try a meat diet instead…

    • Try using actual cow’s cream if you can tolerate it, or coconut cream instead of non-dairy creamer.

      coffee with coconut cream is luxurious :)

      While researching about my IBS, I read that many people are reliant on their early morning coffee for a bowel motion, so you’re not alone there!

      If you really want to give up the coffee, try doing it gradually – cut down to half a cup in the morning for a month, then switch to tea, etc – this should theoretically wean your body off the caffeine. Worth a try :)

  16. Hi Peggy, I’m wondering what you do to keep good bugs in your belly? Since you don’t eat veggies, that means no fermented veggies (but, when you were eating veggies, did you notice if fermented ones were easier for you on some level then non-fermented, even if it all caused stomach upset?), but do you take a probiotic? Do you feel like you re-established a good colony in your belly, and now that your diet is raw meat based, that that (in and of itself) is enough to keep your guy full of good bacteria? Thanks for the poop talk!

    • Lucia,

      I ate fermented veggies for a long long time in the name of health even though they caused so much tummy upset for me. But guess what I didn’t know at the time, I’m allergic to the cruciferous family!

      Raw foods are full of good bacteria, yes. Staying away from grains 100% as I do also helps keep bad yeasts and bacteria at bay. I also eat yogurt so I get extra bacteria from there. Back when I started eating all my meats raw (which I don’t do anymore) my stools went from the hard type 2 to a 4. They aren’t middle finger size either. They are a little wider, which I think is indicative of plentiful bacteria.

  17. I myself experienced that fiber isn`t the cure: I once was prescribed of fiber supplement and it made my constipation worse and I had bad, bad cramps! I also feel worse with a lot of bulk in my stomach so fiber isn´t the number one cure…My only concern is that fiber seems to help prevent breast cancer as it helps eliminate excess estrogen (which seems plausibel to me). You recommended starchy tubers instead of fibrous veggies – is it because their lower fiber content or bacause they are more nutritious? Thank you for adressing the issue!!

    • It’s not so much that I recommend starchy tubers but that if you’re worried about getting nutrients from plants, and you’re not on a low carb diet, then starchy tubers will probably suffice. Sweet potatoes aren’t actually low in fiber. If you ate 3 of those in a day you’d be pretty loaded up actually. I fed sweet potatoes to my daughter when she was just starting solids and she got constipated.

      The studies about fiber reducing cholesterol, preventing breast cancer, etc. are irrelevant in my opinion. They do these studies on people who eat SAD and many of their test subjects are suffering these major ills as a result of a lifetime of grain and processed food based diets.

      So, if you eat like an American, then yeah, maybe adding fiber would be helpful.

      Use the wisdom of primitive cultures as a guide, not American researchers.

  18. Love this! I had type 1/2 poos before going paleo, and a painful fissure to show for it. Now I’m a remarkably regular 4, although too many nuts throw me off. Working on that. It’s funny that once my stools loosened up and my fissure healed, I actually had many moments where I looked in the toilet thinking “Oh no, it’s too loose! Do I need more fiber?” Then I realized that what was going on before was what was unhealthy. Funny how CW creeps up on you.

    This may be fodder for another post, but have you heard of the cashew/orange oil thing? If I eat even one cashew I have oily poo. The only explanation I could find was that it’s because they’re so oily. But I eat a pretty high fat diet without having that issue…it’s for sure something specific about cashews, and I’m dying to know what it could be. It seems to be a common intolerance.

    • I’ve run into that before too in forums and stuff AND I suffer the same. It’s not the oil per se – some kind of intolerance I guess. I would like to know the reason too!

  19. Hi, I am 7 months pregnant, and am so constipated. I eat mostly Paleo (eggs for breakfast, salad with fish or a meat for lunch, and dinner is usually fruit and yogurt). I take a probiotic every day (the pearl brand ones), and that’s not really helping. I do drink a ton of water though. Could this be my problem? Or do you think it’s the large salad for lunch and fruit at night? I read Fiber Menace a few years ago. Maybe i should reread it. Love your site by the way! By the way, off topic, but did you nurse your daughter? If so, did you do anything special to make sure you had enough milk? I had issues with supply with my first 2 children. Thanks!

    • Tina,

      Yes, I did nurse my daughter for 18 months. And my milk supply was off the hook. I ate a pretty high fat paleo diet. Are you eating enough fat? Most of us in the primal community these days eat a decent amount of fat – saturated, monounsaturated, and omega3s. You could try giving up the salad and pearls for some fermented veggies instead and lard or butter. Your dinner sure seems small. Are you eating enough? You say mostly paleo. Does that mean you’re still eating grains sometimes too? It’s hard to say what might be causing it since I don’t know you.

      • I thought I was eating enough fat (having the eggs with butter for breakfast every day), and my salad usually has a good amount of olive oil on it. I don’t eat big dinners because I just don’t feel good at night after I do. Sometimes I’ll have a steak and a vegetable, but I don’t feel so well at night after eating vegetables either. Maybe I should start eating more fermented veggies. Do you recommend a certain type to start with to try? I love Pickles, but am just getting used to the naturally fermented ones, Bubbies. They def taste a little stronger. I say I’m mostly paleo, as I do sometimes have a piece of bread with my salad, or a creme brulee when we go out to dinner. I really try to limit this. With my other 2 kids, I wasn’t following paleo, and actually didn’t eat much animal foods back then, so maybe that’s why i had supply issues. I’m excited to see if this new way of eating will mean I’ll have aa lot more milk. I really want to last at least a year this time!

        • Tina, check out kellymom.com and The Healthy Home Economist re milk supply. With all the low fat “wisdom” around, it’s hard to know what a decent amount of fat looks like; I look for some left in the pan/bowl/plate when I’m done eating. Fish is great for your baby! What’s the ratio to salad, and is it an oily fish like salmon or mackerel? A helpful neonatal nurse told me about magnesium citrate, which someone above has mentioned and I find super helpful when I need a boost in the pants, so to speak. Nourished Kitchen has lots of ferment recipes, or for print resources see Nourishing Traditions or Wild Fermentation. Good luck!

  20. this post is a keeper. had to forward it to my non-primal hubby who’s been dealing with a long bout of gastro-intestinal nastiness. The chart alone is priceless. It’s so great to be able to identify my poop-type and know what the hell it all means. Switching to primal caused discouraging constipation at first, so it’s incredibly reassuring to learn that it’s not the lack of grains causing the trouble, but the lack of healthy gut flora. Fermented foods and probiotics, as well as a magnesium citrate supplement have helped re-train my gut to do its job. Meanwhile how scary is it that I’ve been using fiber as a crutch since the first days of my life. Talk about ingrained beliefs.

    • Yeah, same here. Growing up my diet was heavy on the whole grains, fruits, veggies, and lots and lots of peanut butter, and then tons of other junk food too. Sometimes I would eat 3 peanut butter sandwiches in a day and suffer the worst cramps. Cramps and bloating were always big problems for me.

      A few years ago I had a friend that wasn’t primal but eliminated fiber after I let him borrow the fiber menace (which he never returned!). He was doing sooooo much better even though he continued to eat white rice and sugar. If your husband isn’t ready to go primal, see if he’s willing to try low/no fiber anyway.

    • I am encouraged by your report of retraining your gut. I’m not there yet. Perhaps partly because I just can’t seem to get into ferments? Nourished Kitchen is running an e-course on ferments – now? soon? – which is tempting.
      I snorted at the “ingrained beliefs” thing – such an appropriate turn of phrase here!
      And re early diets and BMs: how did I (or my parents, for that matter) think what I was passing as a child was normal?? I don’t think I’ve ever managed anything above a 4 except when very ill, yet my mother is still concerned when my child produces anything over a 3.

  21. That is one mean poo!

  22. From my experience, stress plays a HUGE role in poop! The more calm I am the easier it is to poop. If one is on the “pot,” as my mother likes to say, for more than 5 minutes, then they should re think their diet and look at their stress levels. No one should ever take more than 2-3 minutes in my opinion. We are not perfect but this should be the case most of the time.

    I will add that sleep plays a role too! It’s amazing how everything is connected!

    • Everything matters when it comes to poop! Our digestion is sensitive to any negative impact like sleep, stress, or diet. While an ideal poop should be short and relatively effortless it may take a while for very damaged guts to get back together. Sounds like you came from a good family, having a mom with poop wisdom!

  23. Hi Peggy,
    I’m wondering what you think of the floating vs sinking thing. I’ve seen a lot of people say it should sink, and if it floats then we aren’t digesting fat properly. I eat tons of fat and always have floaters regardless of shape. I take probiotics too (when I remember to, which is like every other day). Could it also be a fiber thing? I eat lots of vegetables.

    • Katie, where your poo sits in the toilet depends on various factors. If you eat a lot of fiber it will often float due to the gas content in the poo itself, or so I’ve read. That would be a solid floating poo. If your poo is on the loose side and looks greasy, then it’s fat malabsorption and that is a problem. Extremely heavy, sinking poos are also not good. They are much too dense, which indicates they’ve been sitting in the intestines a while.

  24. I have definitely noticed that I feel better when I don’t eat a lot of veggies, but I am worried about not getting enough nutrients because I find it difficult to eat organ meats. Do you think it’s okay to juice veggies instead of eating them so I still get the vitamins or would that still hurt my intestines?

    • As long as you don’t have any allergies to any of the vegetables you juice I think drinking raw veggie juices is a great idea!

  25. A while ago I tried eating hulled hemp seeds and something pretty significant happened to the number 2’s! It was quite different to other types of seeds/ fibrous foods, I was pretty sure it was good/an improvement but haven’t gotten around to ordering any more since I finished the packet – anyone else tried these?

  26. What do you think about adding pro-biotics in the form of raw goats milk?
    I just recently cut out ALL vegetables out of my diet to see if that would solve my slight constipation problem.
    Well it didn’t cure my constipation but it did cure my hard and clumpy stools, even though I was already on a primal diet (aka MDA) for the last 1.5 years.
    M. Sisson promotes vegetables quite heavily and makes it sound like they’re supposed to be the base of every meal to get nutrients from. Well, it worked at first starting out, coming from a SAD diet high in grains and sugar, low in ANY fats and proteins.

    I’ve read K. Monastyrsky’s Book and even e-mailed him personally about my constipation problem that I have every month AFTER ovulation. Hydro-C doesn’t really help.

    My stools are perfect, soft blobs that look like elk droppings (what my husband calls them), passing painlessly and within seconds after sitting on the toilet.
    But, after ovulation, my sensors are completely dead. I get the urge, but when sitting on the toilet nothing wants to move. K. Monastryrsky recommeds using a glycerin suppository right away when getting that urge and then heading to the toilet. That is what I do now and it works like a charm. That tiny piece of ‘soap’ tickels the rectal nerves enough to trigger complete elimination.

    Anyways, drifting too far of my question…would drinking raw milk be enough pro-biotics to help my small issues, or do you know of something else that might be missing?
    Thx in advance :-)

    • This is REALLY interesting to me, because last month, out of the blue, I had a total system crash. 1 week no poop, another week of horrible rabbit pellets. There was simply no peristoltic action or elimination urge, and I am stumped. I’ll pay attention now and see if it corresponds to any particular part of my cycle.
      Thanks to a single helpful neonatal nurse, I take pure magnesium in water late in the evening, and start my morning with warm lemon water before any food. Does the trick for me.
      As far as goat’s milk, the most probiotic and least allergenic version would be home-made 24-hour yogurt.

      • What form of magnesium do you take? Were you taking the magnesium when you had the system crash?

        • I’ve got pure magnesium citrate from a company local to me here in Bavaria. I bought it after the crash as part of my triage efforts. I think BioKult is also in my future.

    • It might be. I would try it if I were you. You could easily ferment it too by just leaving it out on the counter for 10 hours or so. I used to do that with my raw milk for years. The good bacteria will flourish and make it a bit like yogurt. Or you could even add yogurt bacteria to it and make a more traditional type of yogurt. Try all three and see what works!

    • Another month, another crash. Not as big, but I wasn’t fully recovered from the last one yet. WTF?

  27. Can you please tell me what are some examples of fermented veggies? Thanks

  28. Your website has come to me in such perfect timing. Literally one week ago, I came across Fiber Menace and read Konstantin Monastyrsky’s articles over and over and over again. I just couldn’t believe everything I was reading – practically everything I knew about “relieving” constipation was all a lie and quite the opposite of the reality of relief. And then in the middle of this week, I came across your blog through Mark’s Daily Apple on some article regarding acne. Since September, I’ve went from vegan/vegetarian to primal. Now that I’ve reading all this information on how bad veganism and vegetarianism, I wonder how I just got sucked into their abyss of lies and broken promises. Anyway, now I’ve adapted a diet very much primal – following a lot of the basics laid out by the WAPF. High fat/protein low/no carb. Totally have eliminated almost all vegetables, since I am trying to stay away from fiber. Making such a dramatic switch has definitely made me constipated, but I know this will take time. Anyway, very glad I came across your blog – definitely will be another one that I check on occasions when I have time to be on my computer and read through articles.

    And boy, may I add my reaction to that picture. I just had to click on it, “click at your own risk” was just too tempting for me. Oh boy to think that even came out of a human being.

    • Veronica, I’m in the same boat as you but I am just starting the transition from veg. Head to meats. Any tips? Will you share how things have gone so far? What works and doesn’t work?

  29. By the way, I forgot to mention:

    You type into google: relief for constipation, or remedies, etc etc etc.

    You will get page after page after page of articles recommending some remedies – all of which include adding more FIBER to your diet. Hmmm…wonder when/how articles like “Fiber Menace” will make its way onto the first search page.

    • Veronica, I know the feeling! When I discovered his book, years ago before he had much of a website, I read it over and over. It saved me from so much discomfort, it was absolutely amazing. I feel bad for people who still eat tons of plant matter, even so many primal people still do. It’s still the norm out there. But oh what a difference without it!

  30. I’ve had chronic constipation for years and nothing so far has helped. I went zero carb a few years back for a total of 9 months which didn’t help (expect for occasional diarrhoea). Since then I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar and the drugs I take can cause constipation too. I don’t eat much veg or fruit, I eat meat, fat, was eating white rice and potatoes too but trying a cyclic diet atm for weight loss (zero carb 6 days a week, and one day high carb (but still low fibre)). I take a tons of supplements (vits/mins) including 20billion bacteria of 10 species and even that doesn’t seem to be helping. I’ve read Fibre Menace and I take hydro-c every day, sometimes it works and I can just get some poop out, but it’ll be hard, pellets, I’ll bleed and also get light headed from straining; and sometimes it doesn’t work and I’ll go without pooping for over a week (despite increasing hydro-c each day) until I take a stupidly huge poop that is like giving birth: huge amount, really wide, splits my ass in two with lots of bleeding for a while. If I miss taking hydro-c for more than 1-2 days this will happen.

    I’m running out of ideas for what to do. Nothing seems to help. I’m only just 22 years old, are my bowels that seriously f’ed up? Please help me…

    • Try taking magnesium and doing enemas. No joke. Read Gut and Psychology Syndrome – the GAPS diet and paleo are quite compatible, but beyond that the explanation of constipation’s effects and possible treatments (including how to give yourself an enema) will be of use to you.
      Particularly note that your liver can’t process fat for weight loss if it’s struggling with the toxic load caused by rotting fecal matter. Get your guts in order and your weight will follow.
      I’ve had luck with large doses of chlorella, but that’s obviously plant matter and may not be for you.
      You’re going to want to do some serious research on those drugs and their side effects. Maybe search out a holistic health care provider that can look at the situation from another angle with you.
      Good luck. Your pain and desperation are obvious, and I wish you speedy answers and relief.

      • hi Peggy, how did you overcome constipation? what was the solution except excluding fiber? I have suffered from diarrhea,cramps and bloating for years, and now finally when there is almost non of the above present I am totally constipated! :( I am mostly on meat, fish, sugar and fat diet,sometimes I add sth different for a few days like orange juice,or little milk(can’t handle it well), no grains,no fruits or veggies,only 1 raw carrot a day.I couldn’t say what was worse, this or diarrhea:)

        • Lilly, the same happened to me once I eliminated gluten and stopped the diarrhea and cramps. My digestion just stopped. It was so weird and for the longest time I didn’t know what to do. Going Paleo didn’t help. My digestion started to improve I guess when I started eating raw meat and quit stopping it up with tons of fiber and cooked meat (which goes a lot slower through me). Although, I remember going everyday back when I did that crazy raw milk diet. So maybe it was more of a bacteria thing. Raw meat offers bacteria and so even now, without the raw fermented dairy, I can go. But there are still many foods that slow me down. I wonder if our digestive muscles get damaged from 20 years of diarrhea. Seems reasonable. Anyway, yeah, I have to watch what I eat and drink. Drinking alcohol makes my digestion come to a complete stand still. See if any of this makes a difference and ask again if not!

          • Thanks a lot Peggy!
            I would like to try eating raw (I already eat oysters and piece of raw liver, on occasion) but the problem is here I cannot buy grass fed meat anywhere, so I am not sure if it’s clever to eat raw grain fed meat?
            And also, do you think that adding more milk will help? I’ve read a lot of dr. Peat’s articles lately and trying to inlcude dairy back, but it’s not so easy. I had IGg intolerance to it,but now trying to fix it, even though I have no idea how:)
            And third question is did you use juice from sauerkraut or fermented carrots to help with bacteria or only raw meat?

          • Lilly, you could still eat that meat raw if you just want to freeze it first but I’m not personally convinced that meat from feedlot cows will do you any good so I’d avoid it all together. I don’t eat meat anymore from animals who are not themselves Paleo. haha I like that. Eliminating that kind of meat and eating more seafood might help.

            I don’t know about adding more milk. If you have an IGg or lactose intolerance it might only do more harm than good.

            I don’t do juice from sauerkraut anymore but yes, I used to. I used to do all different kinds of fermented juices. Don’t guzzle them though. That can be counterproductive.

    • try adding carbs in form of sucrose(white sugar), milk, orange juice from strained oranges,and juice of a fermented food like sauerkraut or carrots, and check your thyroid.

      • the last comment was for Depaw

        • Lauren, how does the chlorella work? Can only find info on detoxing, not helping the bowels. I already take a lot of magnesium as chloride and via hydro-c.

          Lilly, why sucrose, would honey not be better (natural or whatever)? I don’t like oranges as was allergic as child. I drink milk in small amounts now and then, but don’t have money to buy raw though I much prefer it (god raw milk is yummy! no nasty after-taste like normal milk). I used to eat home-made sauerkraut but stopped after only eating half of it, cos it tasted gross, part of it was that it was too salty. Do I ferment the carrots the same way as sauerkraut? My thyroid has been checked many times, last TSH was 2, though it has gone as high as 6.something ages ago. I take iodine and selenium is help my thyroid and think it really helps.

          My digestion seems ok if I stick to meat, eggs and occasional white rice or potatoes. BUT, it’s really hard though not eating bad food, like mum had a cake in the house cos it was her birthday and I ate some even though I know it was bad for me cos I couldn’t stop myself… It’s not low willpower, it’s like my body acts without my brain. It’s not cravings that get me it’s the automatic eating, like when friends eating crap at social events, I can’t not eat some too and don’t even realise…

          Anyone got help for this?

          • Chlorella acts as indigestible fiber; it sucks liquid into the gut (it’s amazingly absorbent) and thereby bulks up and lubes out your poop – and any toxins, as you mentioned – which is then coated in army green. As a prebiotic, it also supports your friendly flora. But it’s a temporary measure for while you’re getting your guts up and running, not a permanent solution to constipation. A whole lot of green poop in your guts won’t help either. You’re bunged up enough that it sounds like enemas are your first stop.

            I’d say you really need to get ahold of a copy of the GAPS book and perhaps Nourishing Traditions (check your library for both to start with). Saurkraut does not need to be hyper salty, you do not need to eat huge quantities of it at a time, and yes, you can pickle carrots as you would cabbage. Cut it into matchsticks, add some slivers of ginger, and cover in SEA salted UNCHLORINATED water in a loosely capped jar on the counter for 3 days or so (depending on room temp). When little bubbles start to rise up in the liquid, cap it and refridgerate. Wherever you find Nourishing Traditions, you’ll find Wild Fermentation, which has recipes for fermenting pretty much anything. Google for individual recipes.

            If you are overrun with beasties and yeasties, they may be running your brain more than you know, demanding the cake that feeds them. Read GAPS.

      • That sounds like what Ray Peat recommends, and your comment above about being on a ‘meat, fish, sugar and fat diet’ also sounds like Ray Peat. I’m still not convinces fructose is safe (I tend to follow perfecthealthdiet which says it’s evil). And more-so on white sugar, as it’s refined and without vitamins/minerals. How are you finding it? My hardest thing with Ray Peat is no traditional culture ate his diet, most cultures were more starch over sugar/juice, even if they did eat dairy, fish and little meat.

        I’m now eating sauerkraut everyday, still too early to see how it’s effecting me though. I thought the carrot was meant to kill off flora (as he says flora=serotonin), so isn’t it counter-productive to probiotics and sauerkraut? Just trying to understand here.

  31. Lauren, I already own GAPS and Nourishing Traditions. I don’t think chlorella will help me, most of the problem is too much bulk. Quite possible on bad bugs making me eat cake. I will try saurkraut again, just drinking the liquid as suggested. I’m getting better at not eating social foods, I really just have to keep at it, keep eating my meat. GAPS only allowed monosaccharides, problem is only fruit I like is bananas and they take forever to ripen properly so not very good as a ‘no eat this instead’ food when cake appears.

  32. This is great information and very eye-opening. I’m planning to get the fiber menace book to try to understand it all better. Now I’m very curious as to how much water should we drink daily. I assume it varies with activity level and such, but would appreciate any guidelines or pointers you can provide. Does he discuss this in the book?

    • Page 48 of Fibre menace says a person weighing 70kg/155lbs needs at least 1750ml/59oz of water per day. BUT only 650ml come from drinking, 750ml come from food (meat, fruit and veg are all very high in water), and 350ml is from oxidation (made in the body when you burn fuel). 1750ml is 7.5 ‘glasses’ which is where the ‘8 glasses a day’ comes from, but actually you need only drink 2.5 glasses not 8. He mentions two oranges, a tomato and a cucumber provide enough water for a day.

      He also mentions that one needs more sodium when protein is higher. A lack of sodium can cause dehydration on higher-protein diets.

      A few pages later he says over-drinking of water can cause a loss of potassium which is needed to keep water in the bowels, stop kidney disease, maintain blood pressure, even stop heart disease and premature ageing. He says that the government telling people to drink 8 glasses of pure water is causing over-hydration.

      Dehydration though doesn’t cause constipation, as moisture is given to the bowel from the 7 litres of digestive juices made a day. He also says being slightly under-hydrated is much better than over-hydrated and to add potassium as you drink more.

      Water should be drunk well before eating and not for several hours after as it can interfere with digestion by diluting your hydrochloric acid.

      I personally add potassium and sodium chloride to my water. The chloride will also help you make hydrochloric acid.

      Sorry for the long post, hope this helps.

      • I helps me. I’ve had some stuff come up lately and this is the second time in 3 days that I’ve come across the idea that I need more salt. There’s more in that book than poop – I should re-read it. Thanks for the tip.

        • I fell prey to the salt free diet nonsense. Did it for a log time. It never did me any good. I am not really aware of in what ways it might have done me bad. I definitely don’t worry about salt anymore. I love the stuff and use it freely – quite freely.

      • Thank you so much! I actually felt really stupid for asking that question since immediately afterwards I came across a post on MDA on water, which basically says to drink when you’re thirsty – a no brainer, really. The idea that if you wait until you’re thirsty to drink then you’re already dehydrated is ludicrous. I’m new to the paleo/primal community (after being vegetarian for 15 years) and asking that question made me realize how disconnected I’ve been from my true nature. I mean to think that I need someone to tell me when to drink water rather than listen to my own body?! Sipping water all day has just become a habit for me, but now I’m stopping to think first and only drink when I’m actually thirsty.

        The information you posted about sodium and potassium was really helpful (to me and I’m sure to others) so now I’m glad I asked the question. I have the Fiber menace book on order so I’ll be able to dig deeper soon, but thanks for taking the time to share!

  33. Hi Peggy

    I love your blog!
    You seem to be the queen of poop. I got my sister on a primal diet about 2 months ago. She is doing awesome… Today she told me there was blood in her stool…. What could cause this?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Alecia. A lot of things could cause bloody stools – ulcers, hemorrhoids, sharp objects. The king of poop is definitely the author of the fiber menace. I’d check out his website. Chances are he has a whole article on the subject!

  34. I’ve searched the internet and found nothing on poop smelling like rotting grass. I’ve been completely gluten-free and my poops still smell like rotten grass. The smell is best described as when you cut grass then pile it up and forget about it for a week, that’s the closest to the smell of my poop. It’s a recent change, I thought it was being caused by gluten, but now realise that gluten was just making me poop on that day, but it must be coming up to a month now that my poops have always smelt like this. Has anyone got any ideas?

  35. Hi,
    this is such an interesting post. i went from a type one to a type 5 on the whole30! Absolutely amazing!

    • hmmm. You may be correct about the water over hydration. maybe? Someone starts to mention over chlorine and fluoride? wow, how does this affect the body systems? I am afraid to say, I was very very vegan. My body loved beans. (low flatulence even) I had super clean #2, perfect. No need to wipe, 1-3 times per day. Donating blood… But when I took up eating raw cheese, pastuerized cheese organic, and spinach I developed impacted bowels (yes, Doctor identified documentation). I had ceased to eat the coconut yogurt (probiotics) and I was on SSRI medications (Depression? uh? maybe it’s the constipation? or causing one and the other hand in hand?) SSRI meds damage the GI tract. I wish more people knew. Esp. if you are… inclined to anxiety. I could have died from impacted bowels! now, unfortunately, I am vegan. So I don’t fit into your raw meat eating propaganda. (did the meat industry sponser this blog? ; P just checking….) True! I notice I can not eat: #1. Soy… #2. Wheat Gluten globs (soy+seitan this is basically what lots of vegetarians eat for meat substitutes! eek…) #3. I can not eat popcorn! (my favorite!! Oh no!) popcorn ruined my stomach acidity causing sulfer burps! and corn is not good to me! #4, I’m not sure (???) I should be eating cheese? Does that cause constipation? (Not sure) I actually am a “suffering” vegan who loves cheese. haha. So, any reasons you can give me to go ahead and eat cheese is OK with me. Ha. I only gave up cheese because of my budget issues. (I can only eat organic. The other stuff does not taste anything near as dreamy…) OK> other tips. Personally, I find coconut very helpful for energy! it metabolizes differently than other fats. I don’t know if we should eat nuts as much as vegans do? Maybe I SHould consider omnivore lifestyle? It just really creeps me out, since I was five years old and caught my first fish. The world can not feed it’s current population sustainability on meat alone. I also love Apple Cider Vinegar!Wow! That is the same fermentation that the people talk of here, yes? The MOTHER apple Cider Vinegar that is cloudy. That’s the good stuff. What I mention is only my personal experience. Maybe coconut is not good for “everyone” here according to this blog. I just wanted to add my 2 cents. We would love to try raw goat milk. My child is lactose intolerant. (but not to hard cheese,oddly enough , just cow milk). She enjoys her fish too. (She did not inherit mommy’s tastebuds. ha!) So, I’m open minded. We try here. Please. Suggest any hints to me if you prefer I eat meat or what not. Anise oil helps for constipation, Flax seed oil, cod liver oil , kelp (iodine for me, Iwas not eating much salt) Oh yes, balance the salt and she sugar. I tried raw honey, prunes (prunes figs: not working!!!!! your pro meat blog will be so happy to hear.) Multi vitamin with magnesium, but not enough potassium. I’ll try that next. I feel I was over hydrating. Dandelion root, licorice root, I’ve tried everything. God help us all. Green Tea, Coffee (only in mornings). Garlic (to lessen flatulence). Parsley is next to try. I’ve tried Cilantro for detox. I’ve tried … DE. So manythings under the sun. I’m willing to try some fish, but it’s so difficult. I never eat white bread, chips, any process food, it’s all pure. why me? I was not eating enough salt, either. I was using sea salt on popcorn (no idodine, I may need some iodine to regulate my thyroid. I thought I hypothyroid. 1.4) yes. THe liver is sluggish to metabolize fat if your body is full of rotting …matter.. that refuse to eliminate. GOOD BELLY probiotic drinks might have saved my life. That. and. about 3 months of eating apples. (why? why? why ? did I not see your blog?) My doctor suggested apples. and salt. yes. Salt. I feel salt bonds with the sugar and aids digestion. Please don’t laugh. I feel very in tune with my body now. with my limited food diet. I notice now. I Never ever used to eat salt. (no reason. I just did not crave it.) Suddenly, salt makes a difference! Salt does something for digestion! I’m not sure what… I think I might have a digestive hernia. (due to the distended/impacted bowels for months. yeah. I’m that stupid. I sought help repeatedly, but the doctors dismissed me, and I felt like a fool. .. Loose bowels for 6 months. Could I have parasites? I mean what the heck? help me doctor? am I constipated? no, opposite? right? I was even in the office complaining of abdominal pain under my ribcage, she just suggested that if I could excuse myself to the facilities I would find relief.) I ran away from her office flushed redder than red. OMYGOSH…. utterly humiliated. Finally, one doctor suggested apples.Turns out, with impacted bowels, the only way #2s can escape around the impacted area … is in liquid form. Who knew? right???? wow… sorry

      • “sponsored by the meat industry”? That’s funny and disgusting. I would never support eating sick and dying feedlot animals.

        The circle of life is nature and living as nature intended is the only thing that supports a healthy life. Humans are at the top of the food chain, like it or not. Eating cows that live a peaceful, natural life grazing on grass in the sunshine or other animals that live their lives outside is what humans do. And for those humans that don’t have meat available, they eat bugs and termites and other creepy crawlies. Vegan humans don’t exist in nature only in cities. I would encourage you to add some animal food back into your diet, even just a little at first. Cheese is not the best choice for everyone. Eggs on the other hand are extremely healing. You can probably find some pasture raised eggs at a health food store somewhere.

        • I am sorry to disturb you. I did not mean to insult you. I hear organic free range cow meat is rather healthy, actually. Because fish contains so much heavy lead and mercury, and … well “ordinary” store bought chicken (not organic) has way more growth hormones and antibiotics. No Seeds, nuts, and pure grains? Not even in farming Native American cultures? OK, I’ll let you go, sorry I freak out. I have access to country organic free range farm eggs! I will try that! Thank you!

  36. Great article! I just have a couple questions. I did the master cleanse basically for 12 days and that was great because it seemed that I was all cleared out. I was still passing poop by day 5 and 6 even though I wasn’t eating. Is this normal or is this because I was really backed up? When we eat should our body be cleaning everything out the same day? By the end of the 12 days I could let my tummy muscles relax and my gut didn’t stick out. Then I started eating and I should have ended the fast properly but I ate maybe too much too fast and became constipated and then my tummy got big again. Finally I found out about Slippery Elm and adding lots of probiotics and that has been working better as I’m finally pooping without castor oil. Thank goodness. Anyway, is our tummy supposed to hang out naturally a lot more if we relax it than if we pull it in? I can suck it in all day if I need to but I was wondering if it stuck out if that meant I was constipated or I had build up in my intestines. Or is it just not strong enough abs? I don’t really have a lot of extra weight so I’m sure it’s not that. If you have diarrhea does that mean you are cleared out or blocked? Anyway those are my questions. Since my fast I have been eating primal and so has my whole family. I really like it and I know it’s going to pay off a lot. Thanks for your blog!

    • I’m sure others will weigh in, but it sounds to me like you’re describing bloating. Bloating doesn’t have to be so severe that it hurts, but does the “sticking out” increase through the day (presuming you have a morning poop)? If you are strictly primal, try dropping all dairy for 10 days and see if you get a similar slimming effect. It can’t be a question of ab strength if you were flat during the cleanse – your poop doesn’t weigh THAT much!
      If you’ve been relying on castor oil you may have maxed out the muscles responsible for peristolsys – similar to relying on coffee when your adrenals are low. Still, relying on anything other than food, water, movement and probiotics says that something in the system isn’t working. You (and everyone, really!) should read Fibre Menace, it would answer a lot of your questions.
      Diarrhea can indicate any number of things, but none of them is ideal.

      • ! Eggs ARE a miracle!!!! !

        She’s right! Although, my only minor concern is that … I might be “egg intolerant” (as people are lactose intolerant)… But hey. as long as it moves!!! Because my personal GI is very slow moving,eggs do affect the stomach acid with sulphur burps sometimes. (popcorn affects my stomach acid). I’m very sensitive now. I have never relied on any OTC aids. Coffee is being discontinued. Yes, I have discovered I have 1. had impacted bowels long term with resulting damage (will it heal?) 2. slow motility 3. slow/no persil..itis… 4. Dropped pelvic muscles abnormal documented bulges you don’t want to know about. My mother is convinced it is episiotomy issues. Who else can relate to this? Is every one here a mother? with Episiotomy? Oh, and Oh my goodness, if I can stomach it, the cheap cans of salmon make me queasy all the way to the end. My body was vegetarian for about a million years, so my body is very confused. I’m sorry. I deeply love my veggies,fruits, legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grains that is why I was vegan. I don’t think I can be a pescatarian. It’s difficult for me. I am enjoying flax seed (chewing satisfaction) and bowel satisfaction. yes, My calorie needs are still significantly lower than the average population. I still believe I have thyroid/metabolism issues. Every time my GI is “Stuck,.,the thyroid further softens all muscles (including tummy muscles) which exacerbates bowel issues. Seeds are not for everyone but it seems to work for me. 1. I think I sustained damage from impacted bowels. Stretched the resting area just above the final holding chamber. I don’t know the scientific words for this, but it is stuck above the… um. never mind. Can’t reach it with manually. Oh well> at least I save money on my food budget.I get free eggs from the countryside. Seeds are inexpensive too. At least I found a balance. The probiotics were a bit much.Vegan for yrs, I don’t know if I can continue the egg diet. Thank you all, so very much! I bid you farewell. You can edit the crazy post from a few months ago. Sorry about that. Conclusion: Fish=GOOD EGGS= Miracle ,real Licroice from finland is still awesome.Anise.flax seed,yes, apple cidar vinegar (with dark at the bottom), Dandelion root, Kelp (for the thyroid) but it also coats the GI tract. I wonder if gelatin (like jell-o) would be good? It’s not exactly vegetarian… Grapeseed oil ! fruit pectin and apples bring goodness too. Salad with vinegar seems good for me. I would AVOID: Cheese,soy,wheat, avoid!!! Also, to a lesser extent, popcorn (aw?) and corn should be avoided.My own personal experience. Others may have different experiences. Thank you for your time!! !!! ! Oh, I think I found a new doctor friend from church who will listen to me in Dr. visits!Yeah!

  37. i know a good bit about poop also, but I poop that type 4, 3 times a day. I know you are supposed to poop after every meal because it’s 24 hours after the last. I have a very regimented eating/bathroom schedule. Is it normal however, to have a watery poop every once in a WHILE? I read somewhere that it is

  38. Your information about stools is great, although the vegetarian kicking isn’t well supported. It is true that you can still have a bowl movement eating animal foods, but to say they are just as healthy and fiber is useless isn’t supported. You used the examples of Inuits to name one, as good evidence of being totally healthy eating only meat. A good thorough look at the bodies of inuits mummies shows nothing of the sort. All of them had numerous cancers, heart disease, and signs of diabetes. It is rare to find an Inuit Eskimo who lives past the age of 50. It’s also not well supported that animal foods are more easily digested as opposed to plant foods. If you look at the human body compared to a true carnivorous animal, it is easy to see that our bodies were not originally wired to eat and digest the same foods. For example look at the dog. They are primarily carnivores. They have sharp teeth perfect for digesting raw flesh. Their saliva also contains something called lysozyme which helps to kill any bacteria that raw flesh may contain. Although humans and dogs both produce stomach acid to digest foods, their stomachs have a pH of 1(very acidic) where ours is a 4 or 5. This allows them to also digest and kill bacterias in the flesh of animals. Lastly their digestive tracks are short which makes it hard to digest grains and fiber but great for pushing out meat quickly to avoid bacterial growth and sickness. Humans on the other hand have flat teeth perfect for grinding. They have amylase in their saliva which helps them break down starches and they have long digestive tracks perfect for digesting whole grains. Now back to meat, depending on the strength of the persons track, it can take 1-3 days to digest red meats especially. Contrarily fruits and veggies will be in and out of you body anywhere between a 1/2 hr to 12hrs. Looking at the anatomy of the body it is very clear that contrary to what is being said, we were made to digest fiber (grains, fruits and veggies). If you have a diseased system already, then eating to much fiber can irritate the colon. But the body knows what it’s doing and how to do, when you treat it the right way.

    From a Dietetic/Nutrition major~

    • It’s always interesting to see how people who look at the same data can reach different conclusions. We are omnivores, neither perfect carnivorous or herbivore digestive systems. For those inclined, the “Does Meat Rot In Your Colon?” piece at gnolls.org would be a good place to start.

  39. So i don’t poop every day when I do poop it’s like every 5 / 7 days and even then come’s out like mucus and kinda hard but not really … Uhhh ..so I’ve been thinking maybe could it be a type of warm that’s making my stool that way ? or is it some thing els? it kinda scare’s me but I hope you reply to this and help me out a little.

  40. Thank you for this post. I’ve been reading up on this stuff and I keep running into eat meats but it’s the Fats that let you poo! Coming from a very lowfat diet I’m clueless how much fat (grams, table spoons …?)I should have daily? Please please share how much fat helps in this department? I have been having to resort to magnesium to have any sort of bathoom visit :-/

  41. Thank you so much for this post! I have been struggling to pinpoint what is causing my constipation for several years now. After reading your post, I’m realizing that my troubles began after traveling in South America, where I had to take several courses of antibiotics due to local bugs. I’ll be giving the probiotic supplements a try immediately. Thanks again!

  42. Yeah, that picture that says “Click at your own risk”? That’s me… regularly. Or not so regularly. That’s what I get when I don’t drink coffee but still eat my normal fill of fruits and veggies. I don’t poop for days, don’t even feel a remote desire, and then one day I’ll have coffee, I’ll feel like I must go NOW, and then a turd that big appears in the toilet. It’s sick. It probably comes from literally a lifetime of being paranoid about pooping in public restrooms. I remember being on a road trip and refusing to poop in a public restroom until I was crying in pain, and my parents had to stop at a hotel earlier than they wanted to just so I could poop. Oh, and when I went to boot camp, I stress ate raw veggies all the time because the portion of meat was about the size of the palm of my hand and lean, and sometimes I skipped the meat altogether because it was covered in breading and cheese, and I know I don’t tolerate dairy. I was so constipated that my stomach stuck out, kinda like Evelyn’s did in that picture you shared, and I ate nothing but meat for three days and had huge poos multiple times a day for those three days, until it seems like I lost two inches off my waist from poop. I think my digestion might be a little messed up. I wonder how much that has to do with my acne?

  43. I think this post, along with your Fructose Malabsorption and Why? posts, are finally giving me the kick I need to … well, kick the grain habit. At least give ‘er a try.

    I was raised on processed foods and antibiotics, and have been a 1 on the Bristol Scale my entire life. (I literally never saw anything besides rocks until I was in college and my roommate forgot to flush. And even then I thought she must have been ill.)

    Doctors tell me to drink more water and eat more fiber. This doesn’t work. This has never worked.

    I am now a whole foods person, only organic, as local as possible, nothing processed. Not too many veggies in winter, but loads in the summer. I take probiotics, I eat kimchi. I exercise semi-regularly. But I do eat grains. A lot of grains. I bake all. day. long. Sourdough is my vice.

    I wake up with my regular (not-so-flat) belly, but go to bed every night looking 5 months pregnant.

    I’ve been prone to depression for so long I can’t remember. And I feel exhausted for the majority of the day, every day (but rarely in the evening …).

    If there were ever a person to Give Grains The Boot, I’m thinking it’s probably me (and my son, who has some sort of leaky gut thing going on). After a year of thinking about it, I’m giving it a go. And thanking you.

    And am now off to figure out just *what* I’m going to feed my son. And me, too. (I’ll stick to the list on the Fructose Malabsorption page to begin, I think.)

    Thank you so much. And wish us luck!

    • Good luck to you, indeed! And please stay in touch.

      • So how is it that when I was younger and had a diet of mostly meat and fruit with a few vegetables I had GI issues. Now that I have met my vegetarian husband and have a mostly veggie diet loaded with fiber I am regular? I just recently started protein powder because I did not think I was getting enough due to vegetarian lifestyle but within one week of using it I am having GI problems again!

        • I can’t say why your body acts the way it does, not knowing anything about what you eat, ate, or anything about your history. If I had to guess, I’d say you have low stomach acid or you don’t produce enough bile. People should be able to digest protein. The fact that you can’t suggests there is something wrong.

  44. i find that russian dr. you quote for this fiber information very interesting. could you give me a example of your / your kids daily diet.

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