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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is another question I have: It seems that since I went fully on the LCHF diet that my bowel movements are less frequent. Before, on the standard american diet (SAD) I went every day. Then, starting on March 1st (2 months since starting the Metformin and starting the full blown LCHF), I had a 4 day period of being constipated, and I started to track that in Excel (I am a computer geek, so I love any chance I get to create an Excel spread sheet and track things:D).

Now, in the last 6 weeks, I find that I only get about 2-3 days regular, then it will be 1-2 days constipated, then back again. My best friend tells me she was always an "every other day" person, regardless of what she ate. And to be clear I am not in pain or worried about "how things will come out". In fact I just had a 3 day "nothing" streak and didn't feel bloated, or backed up, or even as though I needed to do anything at all.

So, my question to the forum is: is this a common experience of those who shift to LCHF?

Thanks, Tom.
 

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If by 'constipated' you mean only that the movements have become less frequent, then that is because there's less waste to eliminate since we're eating a more 'pure' diet which is being used up in nourishing our bodies. The volume of waste is much less so fewer movements.

But it you mean the movements are dry & hard . . . hard to pass, that would be true constipation.

I think the advertising industry has endoctrinated us to think we must go every day or start buying their products, but I have never been an every day sort, and am even less so on LCHF.
 

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Haven't had the problem, but from what I've read, everything from twice a day to twice a week is normal.
 

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Could be metformin. Switching to the ER form might be worth a try, since it has less GI side effects, even in larger doses. Some get it with LCHF as well, so you could try upping the fiber a bit with leafy greens, oils, nuts and seeds, pushing water, eliminating processed foods and increasing movement. Failing that, the non-stimulate version of docusate sodium is economical and effective.
 

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I'm normally once a day, usually get hit with the urge to go between first and second cup of coffee. After first night of graveyard shift timing usually resets 12 hours, with the urge hitting between the first and second cup of coffee when I get up in the afternoon.

When I get really hot and sweaty on a bike ride, I seem to need to go after I'm through riding and rehydrate. May be the same signaling a horse has, you can watch them poop, and then you load them in the trailer and they got to go again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Good to hear

If by 'constipated' you mean only that the movements have become less frequent, then that is because there's less waste to eliminate since we're eating a more 'pure' diet which is being used up in nourishing our bodies. The volume of waste is much less so fewer movements.

But it you mean the movements are dry & hard . . . hard to pass, that would be true constipation.

I think the advertising industry has endoctrinated us to think we must go every day or start buying their products, but I have never been an every day sort, and am even less so on LCHF.
Yeah, the first part of your post is exactly where I am at (less frequent) - and your answer is kinda what I am leaning toward thinking too - none of the of the carbo bomb foods (factory made) are in my diet now (but used to be a staple of my "diet") - and I would not be surprised if much of what is added to those products is stuff my body is happy to no longer have to process!

And @smorgan: getting used to thinking twice a week as normal is going to feel a little weird for a while!

:plane:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Fiber, yes...

Could be metformin. Switching to the ER form might be worth a try, since it has less GI side effects, even in larger doses. Some get it with LCHF as well, so you could try upping the fiber a bit with leafy greens, oils, nuts and seeds, pushing water, eliminating processed foods and increasing movement. Failing that, the non-stimulate version of docusate sodium is economical and effective.
Whenever my spreadsheet makes it clear to me that I have not moved in 2 days I go totally super fiber commando, eating Romaine, Spinach, celery, zucchini. And if I make it to 4 days, I will get out one of those smaller cans of corn they have in the stores here, and drench the stuff in butter to help buffer the corn's sugaryness carbs load (my numbers are low enough that I can tolerate that as an emergency source of insoluble fiber..)

Now nuts are a different story - it turns out I felt I should stop nuts completely. Was eating them in what I thought was moderation, but then one day shot out about 2 dozen little brownish kidney stones! Doc had me take several tests, Urinary, Renal, CBC, and everything was still fine - but I have read that there are some people who turn the oxalates in nuts to stones far easier than others do... so for me I decided 2 doz. (fortunately very painless) stones was a good thing to be sure to avoid.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I should point out that when "I go totally super fiber commando, eating Romaine, Spinach, celery, zucchini." that I tend to always put plenty of butter or mayonnaise on my veggies, which maybe could make the fiber less effective?? Hope that doesn't matter, because eating veggies without the fun butter or mayo covering is not something I think I am ready to do quite yet.....
 

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I should point out that when "I go totally super fiber commando, eating Romaine, Spinach, celery, zucchini." that I tend to always put plenty of butter or mayonnaise on my veggies, which maybe could make the fiber less effective?? Hope that doesn't matter, because eating veggies without the fun butter or mayo covering is not something I think I am ready to do quite yet.....
IMO...so feel free to take or leave it...fiber is pretty useless. "Eliminations" are based on what our body can't/doesn't use. If we use more of what we eat for fuel, repair, etc then there won't be as much waste.

Instead of eating more fiber, and thereby eating more carbs, try upping the amounts of fat, especially CO. It should help your insides "run like a well oiled machine" ;) Pun definitely intended.

Sent from my iPhone
 

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Maybe fiber helps with SAD diet. When I had my hemi's done, I was told to eat a salad and an apple a day. It kept me comfortable while healing. That was before I got the sugars though.

I have not noticed any changes since I dropped metformin back earlier this year.
 

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Mary,

MedlinePlus , RxList and the drug information sheet my pharmacy gives me with my own Rx list both diarrhea and constipation, along with other GI symptoms like cramping, gas, bloating, nausea, discomfort, etc., as side effects of metformin and glucophage. Also, a Google search of "metformin constipation side effect" turns up 1.25 million hits. The first couple of pages I reviewed linked to patients complaining of constipation associated with its use.

Maybe I should have read more, but I can only speak from my personal experience. My MD prescribed metformin ER when I was diagnosed because I already had a tendency toward constipation from other meds I take. Bowel habits never changed since I added it to my chronic meds regimen. Don't really know why anybody else switches from one to the other, just why my doctor declined to give me plain metformin. Just thought it might be worth a try. YMMV.
 

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Magnesium

Another thing you might want to think about is your magnesium status. It's a mineral that's vital to hundreds of enzymes functioning well and it is also very helpful with maintaining healthy bowel movement. I remember one time I bought a huge bag of spinach from Costco and began eating it in large quantities, mostly by steaming and/or sautéing. I soon had more bowel action than I wanted, since the chlorophyll in spinach contains a central molecule of magnesium. I was getting large amounts of the mineral along with the other healthy things in my greens. Since then I carry magnesium with me when I travel because travel often results in bowel problems. Phillips Milk of Magnesia tablets are a convenient way to go but you can also just use magnesium oxide caps.
 

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I have the same issues as you and since it's not my "norm", is kind of disturbing. I know it's not really a problem, but it's just not "normal". :p

I originally had the opposite problem, diarrhea, with generic metformin, but before realizing that, thought it was being caused by the coconut oil I was eating.
Anyway, I had given up coconut oil a while back because I thought that was causing me the issue. Now that I'm having the every few days issue, I started eating a spoonful of coconut oil after dinner and it seems to be helping. I eat it at night so that if it causing things to move too much or too quickly, it will hopefully be done by the time I have to leave for work in the morning. Haven't had a problem yet, though.
All of that to say "give coconut oil a try".;)
 

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When you first start eating CO, it can cause a major detox. But, after a few days it calms down. So, it may have been the CO cleaning you out.

There are two approaches to beginning to eat CO (if you suspect you need some cleaning out). (1) Start with small amounts and build up. (2) Plan to do no traveling for a few days. Put a good book - one you never had time to read - near the throne.
 
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If by 'constipated' you mean only that the movements have become less frequent, then that is because there's less waste to eliminate since we're eating a more 'pure' diet which is being used up in nourishing our bodies. The volume of waste is much less so fewer movements.
That's what I think, too, though the only thing I have to go on is that this is what happened with my cats :) I know I'm not a cat, but it could be true for humans: Less waste, smaller movements.

My problem, though, is that they're also hard and difficult to pass. Still working on that one. When I first started LCHF, though, things were good. Maybe I just need to add more fat back in.
 

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That's what I think, too, though the only thing I have to go on is that this is what happened with my cats :) I know I'm not a cat, but it could be true for humans: Less waste, smaller movements.

My problem, though, is that they're also hard and difficult to pass. Still working on that one. When I first started LCHF, though, things were good. Maybe I just need to add more fat back in.
I take stool softeners, 2 a day in the morn. My dr said you can always take them...they do no harm.....colace is the name, but I buy a generic one from Walmart. They don't make you go, just keep the stools soft enough to pass
 
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