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  #1   ^
Old Thu, Feb-01-18, 16:05
mc29 mc29 is offline
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Posts: 1
Plan: ?
Stats: 115/115/115 Female 168cm
Default Advice for newbie with chronic gut problems


I am one week into a new low carb lifestyle after suffering for ~4 years from severe and painful bloating/distension (daily) and recurrent fecal impaction... I decided to heed the advice of a few people Iíve spoken to and try a low carb, low fibre, high fat diet for the first time.

I have always eaten LOTS of vegetables, grains, fruit and lean protein- I am coming from a diet of around 250-300g carbs, 70-90g fat and 100-150g protein per day = 2000-2500ish calories per day to maintain my weight of 52kg (168cm tall, female). I would also eat like 40g or more of fibre per day. I work out 4-5 times per week for 45 mins, mostly cardio and a bit of strength training.

Anyway I have a few questions if anyone is able to help:

1. given my fast metabolism and minimally healthy weight for my height, is it unhealthy to drop my carbs too low too quickly...? I am reading so many different definitions of ďlow carbĒ, some saying 20g per day, some saying 50-70g, others saying anything less than 150g. This week I have been sticking to <100g but I really have no idea if this is a good number to aim for.

2. I have taken daily osmotic laxatives (recommended by numerous gastroenterologists) for over two years just to be able to have regular bowel movements. I havenít stopped these or changed the dose since changing my diet, yet Iím finding the OPPOSITE problem to normal. Im having 2-4 bouts of diarrhea per day. Is this normal when first dropping carbs and upping fats?

Thank you in advance
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  #2   ^
Old Thu, Feb-01-18, 17:55
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Kristine Kristine is offline
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Posts: 19,013
Plan: Primal
Stats: 171/155/155 Female 5'7"
Progress: 100%
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada

Hi and welcome.

1. No, it's not unsafe as long as you eat enough. There are plenty of people, including children, who use a ketogenic (LCHF) diet to treat seizure disorders and other brain disorders. I haven't heard of dangerously-low body weight being an issue. Same as folks in maintenance who've eaten this way to lose weight, and continue eating fewer than 20 g carbs per day in maintenance. You won't lose too much weight unless you ignore your appetite.

2. Seeing as the opposite problem is occurring here, shouldn't you try stopping the laxative?

Other than that, some people say they get diarrhea or constipation initially, but I'd say that would be true for a lot of people any time there's a drastic change in diet. It takes time for the body to adapt to new foods in different quantities.

If you were getting 70-90 g fat before, it shouldn't be a huge increase now that you're eating LCHF. To me, the "high" in high fat is mostly as a comparison of percentage of calories. When you slash the carbs, the fat percentage goes way up even if you didn't actually increase the quantity of fat.

Did you suddenly increase your intake of a particular food such as cheese, nuts or coconut oil? I'd still be looking at the laxatives as an obvious cause of the diarrhea here, though. Wouldn't it be nice if you could cut down or stop because your gut is healing?

I'd suggest going to the doctor on this if it continues, but be careful how you describe your new diet. I'd avoid calling it low-carb and/or high-fat. Say you've cut sugar, junk food and processed foods, or something like that.

Best of luck in finding a solution.
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