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Understanding Poop – Constipation, IBS, and Other Digestive Disorders
31
AUG

Veggies are great for flare, flavor, and fermentation, but can be damaging in great quantities.

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 kind 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 hemorrhoids, diarrhea, hard stools, or undigested food, symptoms of ill health will also be present.

Due to my low fiber diet, lots of people have been asking me whether or not I go poo at all. Of course I do! But how you ask, since I don’t use a plunger (fiber) to push it out? Believe it or not, fiber should not be the moving force behind bowel movements.

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 cheese 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 mucus. Mucus in the stool is often seen in people with IBS and IBS is aggravated by things like fiber and vegetable oils.

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 just a bit larger if you eat a lot of fermented 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.

Click at your own risk!

When I was camping in Utah this last summer, I saw a poo in a campground toilet that was utterly surprising to me. I ran outside to tell my daughter and boyfriend to get in there and check it out, but then suddenly the bathroom was full of girls and Julian couldn’t come in. Intrigued, he practically ordered me to snap a picture. Much to my embarrassment, I did it and now I share my pain with all of you. You can thank the crazy Colombian boyfriend for this one and my daughter who went right along with it. Armed with your newfound 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. Disbacteriosis of the gut causes the type of constipation in type 1 and 2. Restoring intestinal flora is key to restoring regularity.

People who have been vegetarian, who have used fiber in excess for too long, who have taken drugs, who have used anti-biotics, 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 contipation. 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.
Long term use of laxatives. Eventually these 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 causes hemorrhoids, diverticulosis , IBS, and colon cancer. Likewise, the idea that all your nutrients come from vegetables is absolutely nonsense. Animal foods have just as many nutrients as do vegetables and they are much easier to digest.

Happening upon Konstantin Monastyrsky’s work finally released me from a lifetime of bad digestion. He and a few other figures pretty much saved my miserable life and I admire them beyond belief.

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COMMENTS
98 Comments
CATEGORIES
Digestion, Nutrition
AUTHOR
Peggy the Primal Parent
98 Responses to “Understanding Poop – Constipation, IBS, and Other Digestive Disorders”

Jennie (the gf-gf)
August 31, 2011 at 11:43 am #
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!

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Peggy the Primal Parent
August 31, 2011 at 11:51 am #
Thanks for adding your experience! That is exactly what I find keeps me regular as well.

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Kirstin
August 31, 2011 at 11:58 am #
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!

Kirstin

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Peggy the Primal Parent
August 31, 2011 at 2:17 pm #
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.

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Ernnmer2004
August 31, 2011 at 12:10 pm #
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.

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Peggy the Primal Parent
August 31, 2011 at 2:18 pm #
Most of us probably think about this topic pretty regularly! lol

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Chelo
August 31, 2011 at 12:14 pm #
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 : )

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Tony
August 31, 2011 at 12:46 pm #
“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.

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Peggy the Primal Parent
August 31, 2011 at 2:08 pm #
“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.

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Grainne
September 1, 2011 at 3:53 am #
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.

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Cassie
August 31, 2011 at 1:25 pm #
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.

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Peggy the Primal Parent
August 31, 2011 at 2:12 pm #
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.

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Cassie
August 31, 2011 at 2:20 pm #
It’s just interesting because most primal paleo people talk about eating lots of veg.

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Peggy the Primal Parent
August 31, 2011 at 2:44 pm #
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.

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ak
August 31, 2011 at 2:06 pm #
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?

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Peggy the Primal Parent
August 31, 2011 at 2:46 pm #
If your poos are like one or two, then yes, you should try to re-establish a healthy colony of bacteria.

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Crunchy Pickle
August 31, 2011 at 2:21 pm #
Oh man, that poop in the toiler is rough. I pity the one who “dropped that kid off at the pool”! 😉

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metalsporks
August 31, 2011 at 2:50 pm #
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!

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Peggy the Primal Parent
August 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm #
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.

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Lauren
August 31, 2011 at 5:58 pm #
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.

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Peggy the Primal Parent
August 31, 2011 at 8:30 pm #
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.

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julianne
August 31, 2011 at 8:45 pm #
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.

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Todd
August 31, 2011 at 3:52 pm #
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.

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Peggy the Primal Parent
August 31, 2011 at 5:18 pm #
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.

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Lisa C
August 31, 2011 at 5:22 pm #
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.

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Peggy the Primal Parent
August 31, 2011 at 5:34 pm #
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.

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Lisa C
August 31, 2011 at 5:41 pm #
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!

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LJRich
August 31, 2011 at 5:46 pm #
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.

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Peggy the Primal Parent
August 31, 2011 at 8:32 pm #
Click on the Carnivore’s Dilemma post over in the right sidebar to see a real week of my diet.

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theresa
August 31, 2011 at 8:07 pm #
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…

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Peggy the Primal Parent
August 31, 2011 at 8:34 pm #
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.

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Susie
September 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm #
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?

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Peggy the Primal Parent
September 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm #
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…

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Iris
September 1, 2011 at 12:54 am #
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!!

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Peggy the Primal Parent
September 1, 2011 at 8:31 am #
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.

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Lucia
September 1, 2011 at 8:11 am #
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!

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Peggy the Primal Parent
September 1, 2011 at 8:41 am #
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.

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Terry Fischer
September 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm #
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

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Peggy the Primal Parent
September 3, 2011 at 5:21 pm #
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.

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Deanna
September 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm #
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…

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homehandymum
September 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm #
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 🙂

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Susie
September 2, 2011 at 3:52 pm #
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.

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Peggy the Primal Parent
September 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm #
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!

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elise a. miller
September 3, 2011 at 4:09 am #
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.

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Peggy the Primal Parent
September 3, 2011 at 5:27 pm #
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.

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Lauren
September 4, 2011 at 5:53 am #
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.

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Primal Toad
September 3, 2011 at 12:28 pm #
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!

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Peggy the Primal Parent
September 3, 2011 at 5:31 pm #
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!

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Tina
September 3, 2011 at 2:33 pm #
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

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Peggy the Primal Parent
September 3, 2011 at 5:38 pm #
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.

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Tina
September 3, 2011 at 6:24 pm #
I thought I was eating enough fat (having the eggs wit…