4 Common Signs of Constipation

by Steven Wright

100-grand-constipation-issue

At some point, almost everyone has suffered from constipation. It’s likely that 50% of people over the age of 50 have some level of constipation. (1) The problem is that you might be suffering from IBS-C but think that it’s normal.

As humans, we are usually prone to accepting the way things are and how we are feeling. The reality, however, is that suffering from constipation greatly increases your chances of hemorrhoids, anal fissures, diverticulitis and megacolon. (2)(3)

You might be thinking, “Hemorrhoids?!  Not me!” Well, I’ve got news for you. Those painful little buggers are estimated to affect 75 % of Americans. (4)  Those are not good odds. Before I get into explaining how to tell if you’re suffering from constipation, I need to clear up a huge misconception.

Constipation is NOT From a Lack of Fiber (Not a Volume Issue)

If you’re constipated and taking fiber to become “more regular” it’s likely you are actually doing more harm to yourself than helping the problem. This is a huge misconception because clinical studies have shown that additional fiber does NOT help constipation. (5)

Constipation is an evacuation problem, not a bulk or amount of poop problem. 

In other words, the complications I mention below, are signs something is preventing you from properly passing your stools in a timely manner; there isn’t a lack of poop.

Those fiber ads you see on TV are trying to sell you more fiber based on studies that show when healthy people ingest fiber their stools increase in weight, which is true – fiber will add bulk and increase the size of your stool. However, if you have a colon full of poop, you don’t need more poop, you need to get rid of it faster. Taking more fiber can actually increase the chances of stretching out the colon and causing nerve damage. (6)

With that said, let’s talk about signs that you’re having an evacuation problem.

4 Clues Your Poop is Telling You About Constipation

As you may know, constipation is a broad term, so let’s break it down. On one end of the spectrum, we’ve got mild-intermittent constipation. On the other end, we’ve got chronic constipation. If you have one of the problems below, then you’re dealing with at least a moderate level of constipation. The more of these problems you show on a weekly basis the closer you are to dealing with chronic constipation. It becomes quite difficult to put into words where you are on this scale, which can cause a bit of confusion in the doctor’s office. To gain a better understanding, talk to your practitioner by describing your bowel habits using these clues:

1:  You’re Not Going #2 Every Day

The most common response I get when asking a constipated person how often they go starts with… “I’m normal for me. I go about 2-4 times a week.”

Houston we have a problem! Take another look at that phrase for me. If you can tell me how often you go per week, then there is definitely something wrong. Most people will forget how many bowel movements they had yesterday by the end of today. You should be thinking in terms of how often you go per day not per week.

If you’re not pooping at least once a day, then you have sluggish bowels and are considered to be dealing with some degree of constipation.

2:  Your Poop Looks Like a 100 Grand Bar or Coco Puffs

Yummy right? Let’s not get too serious here. Health problems already suck. As gross as that line may be, these mental pictures can be the clues you need to help remember what you don’t want your poop to look like.

If you haven’t heard yet, there’s a medical poop scale called the Bristol Stool Chart. This chart gives us a metric to figure out how we stack up. In case you’re wondering, it also shows what an ideal and healthy poop looks like. This is long, smooth and soft (#4 or #5 on the chart).

The pictures on the chart from #1 through #3 (lumpy, hard, or pellets) are all stools that are on the constipated side. Use the Bristol Stool Chart to help you gauge and keep track of what you see in the toilet.

3:  You Push, Strain and Take Too Long in the Bathroom

In the Western world, there’s a cultural joke about men and women going into the bathroom for 20, 30 or even 40 minutes just to poop. People read magazines, play games and check email on their phones and purposely use this time to catch up on a good book! I’m going to be blunt; if you do any of these things you’ve already spent too long on the toilet. While you may consider this to be normal, it’s not. At some point you’ll probably catch yourself pushing or straining to squeeze it, which is a perfect recipe for anal fissures and hemorrhoids.

I need to hammer home this reality:  in order to have healthy hemorrhoids, you want to have a NASCAR-like pit stop. We’re talking touch and go… in and out and back to life. If you get your “20-minute breaks” by heading to the restroom, then it’s time to reevaluate. This time could be spent doing many other things like going for a walk.

4:  Your Colon is Never “On Empty”

I’m not quite sure why I’m on a NASCAR theme today, but it seems to fit. If you’re constantly feeling full, bloated, heavy or not done, then you’re constipated.

What’s happening here is that you’re not fully evacuating the stool in the colon. And now your nerves are reminding you to go back to the toilet for another push and squeeze slugfest.

The best thing to do is ignore this urge. While I completely understand how nagging and annoying the feeling is, going back to the toilet to strain again is only going to lead to a risk of developing painful hemorrhoids, anal fissures or other problems. It’s best to wait and try to forget about that feeling until it turns into a full-blown, it’s time to go now, urge.

According to many doctors, there is no risk in holding your poop for short periods of time. The peristalsis waves that give you that initial slight urge will come back and likely be stronger than ever. Hopefully at this point you will be able to completely empty the tank.

The Next Step, if You’re Having Constipation is to…

Begin by tracking the signs I mentioned above more closely. Then, you’ll begin to understand if you are having a lifestyle problem, diet related issue, supplement/drug problem or altogether deeper issues. It might only take one small change to fix your constipation and reduce your chance of hemorrhoids and further digestive problems. Then again, you might have all four of the issues above and need to make some major changes in your life.

Stress can really constipate some people. For instance, you might find after weeks of tracking your symptoms that every Thursday you get constipated, which also happens to be the same day as your big staff meeting. In that case, you’ll know stress is the first thing to focus on.

Some of you will want to change your diet and adopt some real food constipation relievers.

Prescription drugs used to treat anxiety, depression and pain often cause constipation. Until those issues are properly dealt with and you’re off the meds, you’ll need to pay special attention to the tips in the article above.

Then, there are those with several issues like underlying hormone dysregulation, gut infections and liver toxicity issues. Despite making all of the right diet and lifestyle choices, these people will often remain constipated. Many of the people I work 1-On-1 with fall into this category.

In any case, the solution starts with tracking the problem.

Changes to Relieve The Constipation

After you understand the baseline of your bowels, the next step is to start making short-term and long-term changes to get rid of the constipation once and for all. The best place to get these strategies is our Unlocking Constipation training worksheets and action plans.

There are 3 hours of everything you need to learn to be smarter than your doctor about constipation, including next steps to start pooping regularly next week (short-term) and what tests are needed to get to the root causes of constipation (long-term).  I dive into topics like: why fiber is a really bad idea (despite what you’ve been told), the underlying root causes of constipation, tests, supplements and protocols you could use with your doctor once you get your test results back.

It’s a pretty small investment to be completely educated on a health problem that is seriously affecting your life. And it includes things like an emergency “I need to poop now” protocol if you don’t want to take laxatives.  

Pick up a copy here.

After you do, let me know in the comments below about how you are overcoming constipation.

-Steve

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About the author

Steven Wright Steve Wright is a health engineer and author. In 2009, he reached a breaking point when IBS took over his life and the doctors didn't know how to help. Since then, he has transformed his health and started SCDLifestyle.com to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

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{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin October 21, 2013 at 2:14 am

Hi guys, I don’t have any of the top 3 but how many times and how often per day should your colon feel on empty? Sometimes just doesn’t feel like I get all of it.

Thanks

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Steven Wright October 21, 2013 at 10:33 pm

I think it’s a bit foolish for us to think everyday we’ll have a perfect poop. If there’s nothing going on in the top 3 I wouldn’t worry too much about occasional non-empty feeling.

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Jayden October 21, 2013 at 2:21 am

Nice article Steve. I have a dealt with constipation for a while and for me it was more a mental issue than physical. I never got pain from constipation but wondering if your gonna go each day was the most depressing bit.

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jennifer October 21, 2013 at 8:14 am

What about water? It seems to be one of the simplest and most effective remedies.

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Steven Wright October 21, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Yes of course being dehydrated could contribute.

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Leesa Renee Hall October 22, 2013 at 11:17 am

This was probably THE BEST and FUNNIEST article I’ve ever read on #2. Thanks for the chuckle this morning, Steven. A serious topic, but one delivered with the right type of humour. Loved it!

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Jamie January 31, 2014 at 11:07 am

When I eat dairy (raw cows milk kefir) my stools change to a green color, sometimes become balls with mucus attached and I get a drippy nose and a bit of a stuffy head. Is this an inflammatory reaction to dairy? Must I give up dairy for life or would a GAPS type diet for a length of time do the trick?

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dawn wiltshire April 11, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Jamie what can I do I suffer with really bad constipation and My stools I like to peanut and they really hurt when they come out

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kori February 22, 2014 at 1:27 pm

I have bad issues with constipation till the point I have integral issues. Very painful but I started drinking more water and taking scrupulous 2 times a day and it really works..

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Stressed pooper May 22, 2014 at 11:20 pm

Hi, I’m 29 yo femail and have struggled with this forever.. I’m a heathy eater and I walk daily, I eat an apple and pair with my All-Bram every day for breakfast and drink around 2+ leathers of water a day. I find it hard to go even once to twice a week. I’m at my wits end and don’t know what to do about this. I’ve been to my gp and she said to eat more fibre and I can’t tell you how over hearing that I am.. Where do I go from hear??

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vary stressed pooper November 9, 2014 at 10:02 pm

hi the same thing has happend to me. i have been constipated ever since I can remember (im 17 btw). the doctors have always said to eat healthier and to have more fibres, i eat alot of fibres already but why eat more fibres if im already full and cant empty.

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jessica December 14, 2014 at 1:44 pm

I have had constipation problems since I can remember even when I was a baby my mom and dad had to push my knees into my tummy to get me to poop and now I go 3-4 sometimes 5 days without pooping the most regular I have ever been is every two days and that only happens if I have the flu or something so what can I do to change this cuz I have stomach pains every week due to this and its very annoying

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Lori Jo Berg December 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Hi Jessica, thank you for reaching out! We suggest attacking this problem with diet changes and supplements, as often times this will is very effective for most people. You can start by looking at our quick start guide here: http://scdlifestyle.com/scd-quick-start-guide/

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Marie August 27, 2016 at 8:15 am

How does mild constipation cause shortness breath

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Mariel Heiss August 29, 2016 at 6:47 pm

Hi Marie – if you’re experiencing shortness of breath we suggest talking to your doctor ASAP

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sandra December 31, 2014 at 5:43 pm

i am on morphine 60mgs twice a day and so guess what? i pretty much have a problem. i am taking 1 senna lax i every evening, and 2 to 3 stool softeners at night also. all of a sudden for the last week i have severe pain when i get up and walk around. it feels like in insides are falling out and so much pressure at the rectum and vagina. 4 days ago i took 2 exlax,then the next night did the same, i have had a small movement every day. i also switched to mira lax for 2 days and finally seems like it is loosening up but still have the heavy pressure. i thought by now i should be flooding but nope.the pain is also there while lying down. any suggestions?

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Lori Jo Berg January 2, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Hi Sandra, thank you for reaching out! We are truly grateful for the opportunity to connect with you.
The SCD diet has helped many people in your same shoes regain their health.
The best place to start is with our Free quick start guide here: http://scdlifestyle.com/scd-quick-start-guide/
From here, we highly recommend following the directions in the eBook for best results: http://scdlifestylebook.com/

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harry February 6, 2015 at 11:46 pm

hi i am harry i am suffering from constipation as well everything i ate will go out sooner and this morning my poo was green? why is that? am i ok?

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Lori Jo Berg February 10, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Hi Harry, thanks for reaching out! It sounds like you need to change your diet to address this issue for starter. The best place to start is here: http://scdlifestyle.com/scd-quick-start-guide/ Also, please see more information on constipation here: http://scdlifestyle.com/category/constipation/

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Ana March 9, 2015 at 9:17 pm

Hi, my name is Ana and I have been having this urge to go to the bathroom and poop, when I go it comes out like mushy and I feel like everything hasn’t came out. Then like 30 to 45 minutes later I have the urge to go again and I don’t know why. I hate to keep going to the bathroom every period at school, when I don’t go my lower stomach starts hurting and my stomach makes WERID like popinh noises, and it’s embarrassing cause other people can probably hear me. Before I was constipated and I couldn’t go but I had the urge to go but when I went nothing came out but I started eating stuff with fiber and drinking more water it helped but now I have this other problem 🙁 please help

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Lori Jo Berg March 11, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Hi Ana, thanks for reaching. What you have described in the beginning is a sign of constipation: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/10/4-common-signs-of-constipation/ We suggest starting on the SCD diet to heal the gut, as this is a great first step to achieving health and eliminating these symptoms: http://scdlifestyle.com/scd-quick-start-guide/

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erbin erfe March 17, 2015 at 2:47 pm

please help me. because this week i have a feeling that im constipate because last four days my pooping habit time change, before i feel constipate i poop 1 everyday and i feel empty and comfortable but now when i poop i still feel heavy and not empty and everytime i poop now its not the same amount of poop like before and not feeling empty , i already eat fruit have a lot of fiber and exercise 20min a day but nothing happen.. please help what i need to do to have a normal pooping again. and i want to know if this is serious constipation? thanks

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Lori Jo Berg March 19, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Hi Erbin, The SCD diet has helped many people not only with diarrhea, but with constipation as well. We suggest starting by addressing your diet with our free quick start guide here: http://scdlifestyle.com/scd-quick-start-guide/
Also, please read the following article on constipation, as it can be very helpful on your journey: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/
We also have an entire section of constipation related articles on our site, and these can be found here: http://scdlifestyle.com/category/constipation/

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Angie April 22, 2015 at 12:58 pm

I had my gallbladder removed a few years ago and it seems that since then my bowels have been completely off. I do take multiple meds muscle pain, antinflamatory, sinus, anxiety, depression, cholesterol, vitamins, and even 3 stool softeners a day. But still I’m lucky if I can go at most twice a day. My usual bathroom time is half hour to 45 minutes. Its a royal pain in the rear..pardon my pun. I drink my water, we eat very healthy. I’m so tired of always looking like I swallowed a basketball and just as solid to boot. Any suggestions.

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Lori Jo Berg April 23, 2015 at 4:54 pm

HI Angie,

Thank you for reaching out! We are truly grateful for the opportunity to connect with you.

The SCD diet has helped many people in your same shoes regain their health.

The best place to start is with our Free quick start guide here: http://scdlifestyle.com/scd-quick-start-guide/

From here, we highly recommend following the directions in the eBook for best results: http://scdlifestylebook.com/

On behalf of the entire SCD Lifestyle Team, I wish you the very best and hope you have a wonderful day!

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Vannesa May 2, 2015 at 9:55 am

I Keep on asking around to see if I have IBS or if I’m constipated, I can’t tell the difference. I poop but it comes out like diarrhea And I still have the urge to go after, even while I’m still in the stool, I sit there trying to get it out that even my legs start going mum. My anal hurts as if I have a rash and when I wipe i have like mucus looking stuff. It’s not painful to sit it just bothers because as soon as I sit I feel the urge to go poop but I don’t all it is that comes out is gas. Any idea what it might be?

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Lori Jo Berg May 4, 2015 at 10:37 am

HI Vanessa, The SCD diet has helped many people not only with diarrhea, but with constipation as well. We suggest starting by addressing your diet with our free quick start guide here: http://scdlifestyle.com/scd-quick-start-guide/
Also, please read the following article on constipation, as it can be very helpful on your journey: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/
We also have an entire section of constipation related articles on our site, and these can be found here: http://scdlifestyle.com/category/constipation/

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Nataliee May 21, 2015 at 12:04 am

Hi! So here’s my issue, I’m suffering from fissures and now a really bad flare up of hemmies and pea sized thrombosed hemmie. I’m pretty sure I have them internal and external. I normally go poop twice a day but when I only go once, to me that’s an indication I’m constipated. Is this true? If I normally go twice a day and some days I only go once, is that a sign? I drink lots of water, I’m on a strict diet of healthy foods and I’ve been taking stool softener and just started taking miralax yesterday to help me heal. Any answers? Thanks in advance!

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Lori Jo Berg May 22, 2015 at 12:07 pm
Anthony May 22, 2015 at 7:57 pm

So my constipation? Started today. Needed a poop at work and all was fine, got home and felt like I needed a poop again but not a lot come out. Went to a friends and needed another poop but nothing come out. Went to a restaurant and again another two times! Got home and again two times more but nothing comes out!

Is this constipation, needing a poop but nothing comes out? And this needing a poop feeling is constant and I have a small belly ache too.

Thank you

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Lori Jo Berg May 25, 2015 at 11:55 pm

HI Anthony, The SCD diet has helped many people not only with diarrhea, but with constipation as well. We suggest starting by addressing your diet with our free quick start guide here: http://scdlifestyle.com/scd-quick-start-guide/

Also, please read the following article on constipation, as it can be very helpful on your journey: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

We also have an entire section of constipation related articles on our site, and these can be found here: http://scdlifestyle.com/category/constipation/

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Angela June 11, 2015 at 1:15 am

I’ve had a problem for the past 2 days. I haven’t had a bowel movement for a week due to pain meds for a dental surgery I had. Last night I had the urge to go and I couldn’t get it out. I couldn’t sleep last night because of the pain I was feeling, and because I kept feeling the urge. My husband gave me a liquid bowel cleanser today and I finally went. But it was huge and very hard. I now have hemorrhoids and I had one burst and it was a lot of blood. What can I do? I exercise, eat healthy foods and I drink a lot of water. I need help

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Demi June 24, 2015 at 5:19 am

I’ve had chronic constipation since I was 18, when I had to start sharing a bathroom. At 24 now, and have had my own bathroom this past two weeks and I finally have regular, healthy bowel movements again. There haven’t been any other lifestyle changes, nor diet changes for the last few months. Is it possible I was just stressed into my constipation over sharing a bathroom?

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Brent Kovacs June 24, 2015 at 3:50 pm

Hi Demi, this could definitely be the case. Good job on being aware of your body and pay attention to see if it ever happens again.

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Courtney June 28, 2015 at 10:01 am

Hi! So since five days ago I have only pooped like little droplets everyday. But the day before this all started happening I had very bad diairia. I feel like I have to poop more but only a little comes out. What’s wrong with me and what should I do!

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Mariel Heiss June 30, 2015 at 8:49 pm

Approve Hi Courtney, I recommend you follow the tips in this article for your constipation: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

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jeff banks July 19, 2015 at 4:10 pm

Total BS. Increased fiber is absolutely the way to help constipation, as most our foods naturally consist of high levels of fiber,but through processing, we eradicate most of it from our modern diet.

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Mariel Heiss July 21, 2015 at 12:44 pm

Hi Jeff, Jordan and Steve don’t recommend adding fiber supplements or processed food with fiber added. They recommend a whole food diet like SCD to treat constipation. Learn more here: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

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HT July 24, 2015 at 9:52 am

I been having problems going normally and it just started abruptly a week and a half ago. I thought it was constipation so i tried laxatives for 4 days but now i dont know. I’m still finding it hard to go. I sit on the bowl for 20-30 minutes some times with nothing happening. What could it be ? This is getting to be a bit annoying.

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Mariel Heiss July 24, 2015 at 6:21 pm

Hi HT, we recommend you consult your doctor regarding these symptoms, since they came on abruptly. We wish you the best and hope you’re feeling better really soon 🙂

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Hailee July 25, 2015 at 8:36 pm

Hi, I dunno if anyone can help me. I woke up this morning with a strong urge to poo. I got up and went and not much came out. What did come out was soft and thin stools. I have been to the toilet with the constant urge the go number 2 for the past 4 hours or more and I am at the point my body is making me push but nothing is coming out only mucus. As you can probably tell I’m feeling absolutely awful. Is there something to help make the constant urge or pushing feeling stop? Thanks

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Mariel Heiss July 27, 2015 at 12:13 pm

Hi Hailee, I’m sorry you’re not feeling well right now. We recommend you consult your doctor about your symptoms if you haven’t yet.

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Sunshine July 28, 2015 at 1:20 pm

Hi there… Good article.
I work from home mostly and I become constipated when I’m out for meetings or errands and miss my “morning window”. When I work from home, I go once satisfyingly per day and that’s pretty great for me. But inevitably I have to go out but that messes my system! Any advice?

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anthony navarro August 31, 2015 at 12:15 pm

So I haven’t really been able to poop. When I do its diarrhea but a small amount and last time I checked it was all black and on toilet paper it seem dark black with slime. I been having cramp like pains on my abdominal only been able to pee while I try to use the restroom to poop. My pee looks dark Yello but I been drinking lots of water since the beginning of my constipation. I’m not able to pass Gas as well. My symptoms are head aches back of my head, cramps, pressure build up in stomach, appetite comes and goes. Small fever at first. Tiredness lack of sence as far of some confusion. Dizziness. When should I go get checked out or should I go NOW?

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Mariel Heiss August 31, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Hi Anthony, thanks for reaching out.

Please go see your doctor right away. You should always consult with your doctor first!

We hope you’re feeling better really soon.

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Christy September 3, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Well I’ve been having problems with pooping every since I caught an anxiety disorder..at first I was hurting only not popping regularly but not I get this very bad stabbing pain right about my vagina(tmi) like I stop right in my track and like a couple of seconds then it goes away and I have to poop but some days it’s in the same place but very dull and I poo but it’s still dull isk what to do about it it kinda worries me

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Mariel Heiss September 4, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Hi Christy, thanks for reaching out to us.

We recommend you go see your doctor right away if you haven’t yet. It’s always good to get these kind of symptoms checked out by a doctor first.

If your doctor clears you of other causes for your constipation and pain, you might want to try these tips for overcoming constipation: http://scdlifestyle.com/category/constipation/

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Julie September 5, 2015 at 8:35 pm

I’ve been constipated since I had surgery and now it is getting bad. I have abdominal pain and am very bloated. Is that caused by the constipation? I’ve gone maybe 4-6 times in the last 3 weeks.

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Mariel Heiss September 6, 2015 at 2:01 pm

Hi Julie – thanks so much for reaching out to us. I’m really sorry ou haven’t been feeling like yourself lately. Constipation after surgery is really common – it can be brought on by the painkillers.

If you’re experiencing a lot of pain, you should always have that checked out by your doctor – they can let you know if it’s just constipation or something more. If it is constipation, I recommend you start with the tips in this article and consider a diet like SCD: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

I hope you’re feeling a lot better soon. Being constipated can be so uncomfortable 🙁 Luckily, the tips in that article work really fast!

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C clarke June 12, 2016 at 12:42 pm

I’m constipated from Percocet.

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Mariel Heiss June 13, 2016 at 6:37 pm
Wendy September 8, 2015 at 6:43 pm

Not to be gross but I’m always constipated. Right now I’ve been having bad stomach pains n I’m debating on if I should go to the doctors….

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Mariel Heiss September 8, 2015 at 8:25 pm

Hi Wendy, thanks for reaching out.

We do recommend you go see your doc first.

After that, we recommend these methods rather than laxatives or enemas: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

I hope this helps and you’re feeling much better very soon!

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Brynx September 14, 2015 at 8:02 pm

Its 2am I can’t sleep! I’m having pains from pushing a hard poop. Have had this problem since forever. Have tried seeking medical help, all I’m told is the regular things, eating a lot of fiber and drinking more water!

I’m tired now I don’t know what to do because this is too much! It disturbs my everyday activities and its very annoying! Is there any help for me or are there any softening stool pills?

I’m supposed to be studying now but I can’t the pain is just too unbearable 🙁

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Mariel Heiss September 15, 2015 at 8:52 pm

Hi Brynx – I’m so sorry you’re going through this!

Changing your diet is the first place to start and we can help.

Please see this article: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

We also have an entire section of constipation related articles on our site, and these can be found here: http://scdlifestyle.com/category/constipation/

I hope this information helps!

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Jeremy October 3, 2015 at 1:59 pm

My abdominal area is really hurting. I am bloated and I feel like I constantly need to go deficate. When I am ably to go only a little bit comes out and I still feel like I need to go. My stool is very soft and mostly liquid. On my day off from work I drank some citric nitrate to empty my system but all that came out was a little liquid poop and mostly the citric nitrate. This has been going on for 5 days now. I am reluctant to go to Dr., but do I need to go? Will this pass? I am getting a little scared now!!! I hope there is someone whom will respond to this message and maybe be able to tell me about it. What can it be?

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Mariel Heiss October 6, 2015 at 11:33 am

Hi Jeremy – please seek out medical advice from your doctor right away!

If your doctor clears you as just being constipated, give these tips a try: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

Hope you’re feeling better really soon 🙂

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Samantha October 26, 2015 at 10:04 pm

I’ve been having a problem taking bms. Since last year, I would only feel like I need to go once maybe twice a week. Always on the same day it like it got a routine. But as of recently I would bm every couple of days but instead of wiping out poop it’s this clear slime. It’s making me worry.

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Mariel Heiss October 27, 2015 at 4:39 pm

Hi Samantha –

Having mucous in your stool can be a symptom of some digestive diseases like IBS or IBD. We encourage you to make an appointment with your doctor or practitioner to go over your symptoms.

No matter the cause, the SCD diet can help with constipation.

We have a lot of resources here: http://scdlifestyle.com/category/constipation/

We recommend you follow our eBook and get started on the SCD diet right away. The best place to start is with our Free quick start guide here: http://scdlifestyle.com/scd-quick-start-guide/

Then, you’ll want to advance to our full book for directions on exactly what to do to feel better: http://scdlifestylebook.com/

I hope this helps dn you’re feeling much better soon following SCD!

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Rhonda November 15, 2015 at 11:20 am

I have had problems going to the bathroom since I was little. I am 22 now and still only go maybe once a week usually longer. When I was in school I had to be put in hospital once because of severe stomach pain which turned out I was completely full from not going and had to be cleaned out. I was described aderol about year and half ago for other reasons and while on that was going daily. Was taken off aderol 3 months ago and am back to not going at all again. What should I do.?

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Mariel Heiss November 16, 2015 at 4:32 pm

Hi Rhonda – thanks for commenting!

Constipation is frustrating and dangerous to your health (as you know!) The best way to start is to address your diet – I recommend this article as a jumping off point: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

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badette February 3, 2016 at 10:09 am

I can’t get poop for 4 days but i haven’t feel pain? what is this?

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Mariel Heiss February 3, 2016 at 1:48 pm

Hi Badette – try thee tips to get your bowels moving again: http://scdlifestyle.com/2011/10/ibs-c-naturally-heal-constipation/

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Jessica February 16, 2016 at 10:57 pm

I have been sick for 1 day and I was vomiting and having diarrhea. It has been 2 days and I feel amazing… I’ve been eating full meal and still going to practice. I had a game today and around the end of the 3rd quarter my stomach started to hurt. Once I got home I tried to take a number 2 but nothing is coming out. I haven pooped in all day so what do I do.

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Mariel Heiss February 17, 2016 at 2:19 pm

Hi Jessica – you can try some of these tips: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

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Jessica February 16, 2016 at 10:58 pm

I haven’t pooped all day*

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Jeff mckenzie March 8, 2016 at 11:36 am

I have being struggling to make a bowlment right for months I would think it’s a good week if I go more then one time in three days and after reading this article I think I have signs of the first three symptoms what should I do

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uggh March 15, 2016 at 1:37 pm

i have this feeling constantly with the difference i poo 2-4 times… per day. i’m aware that i spend too much time in the toilet (20-up to 35 min…) but it’s frustrating, i can’t ever fully empty my colon… like never. if i don’t poo early in the morning or i dont poo too much i have this crazy urge to go to the toliet when im in school (hell, even if i sit 40min and get diarrhea i still experience that… huge bloatedness and if i get home and shit then theres only small diluted poo) and doing it there is very embarrasing, the state of the toilets there is bad too with people constantly smoking there. even if i sit 40 minutes i have bloatedness later on and its painfull. it all started in middle school, i was afraid to fart even quitely and held it… terrible memory. my metabolism is quick i suppose but not so quick that i should take the number 2 few times per day. is there some sort of way to manage my metabolism so i can like fully poop in the morning and endure happily 8 hours in school? (tried it myself eating light food at 19 nothing more later and some other stuff, nothing works) when im staying home and can do it whenever i like it’s fine it doesnt take so much time and i dont have bloatedness however i really do it at random times, living in a society is quite a bother unfortunately.

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Mariel Heiss March 15, 2016 at 4:56 pm

Any of these suggestions (or a combination of them) might help: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

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Julie March 17, 2016 at 5:07 pm

I poop once a week and it takes me about an hour I’ve tried everything I do have hypothyroidism and am on zoloft

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Mariel Heiss March 18, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Hi Julie – I recommend these tips (especially number 6!!)

http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

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Ethan May 16, 2016 at 6:14 am

Hey. I suffer from anxiety, and I’m about 99% sure I’m also suffering from IBS. My bowel movements have been changing lately, and its most likely because of the fact that I’ve been stressed lately, and the symptoms seem to arise when I’m stressed. I feel queasy in the stomach a fair bit, and even though I do go to bathroom, and evacuate normal amounts and mostly normal sizes, it’s as if I can’t properly push it out, because something is in the way. Like, I get the stomach rush to let me know I need to go, but it’s just a bit harder to get it out lately. My diet is not the best, however, I don’t drink alcohol, or anything but water and I’m constantly hydrated. I’ve had some haemorrhoids in the last year, and I had a colonoscopy about 4 years ago, but nothing serious was found, only some very minor ulcers. I’ve started taking a probiotic as of last week, and I’ve also started taking Ethical Nutrients IBS Support, and after a couple of days, my symptoms were gone, and I wasn’t stressing. That was until a couple of nights ago, when my boss called me, and I got anxious, and the symptoms have started up again. I suffer from real bad social anxiety. Before the IBS tablets, my stools were inconsistent. My diet is a lot of chocolate, lollies and a bit of ice cream, but also over the last 4 months, I’ve worked healthy lunch and breakfast options into my diet. However, I am slightly intolerant to grains, because I just can’t properly digest cereal. I can’t be celiac, because the symptoms have only started appearing again when I started eating cereal and yoghurt again for breakfast. I’ve always had an issue with it, but it’s usually been tolerable. The symptoms, again, are only present when I’m eating cereal and yoghurt, and I’ve once again cut it from my diet, and it has helped, but symptoms are lingering. The side effects of the cereal and yoghurt, are mainly stomach cramps as well as loose stools and often times discolouration. I was frequently passing mucus through my stools, but not a worrying amount, and since I’ve been taking the IBS support, it doesn’t seem to be happening anymore. My only issue now, is just abdominal aches and constantly feeling like I need to pass gas, and also, feeling the need to go to the bathroom, but as soon as I sit down, I find it difficult to go. I do pass normal stools, but it takes a bit of pushing, and I use my hands to gently but firmly push my abdominal area, and that helps me go.
I’ve seen a doctor last week and he checked my anus, and there were no lumps or anything sinister. He told me that it couldn’t be anything serious, but I’ve had blood tests. I need to book an appointment to see the results. But my IBS symptoms are most prominent when I’m stressed or worrying about things. When I’m working, I’m fine, because I’m not focusing on it, but the minute I’ve got time to myself on my days off, I notice something gurgling, and then I start feeling the abdominal aches. I do get some cramping, but I think it’s because I’m a bit backed up. Any suggestions or ideas on what it might be or what I could do?

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Mariel Heiss May 16, 2016 at 3:38 pm

Hi Ethan! I’m so sorry you’re dealing with these IBS symptoms right now. It sounds like you’ve really been able to pinpoint stress and anxiety as a big trigger of your IBS symptoms. In the meantime, getting your doctors opinion isn’t a bad idea.

I recommend checking out this podcast and our section on Psychology and the SCD diet: http://scdlifestyle.com/2015/07/the-unspoken-forces-of-food/

http://scdlifestyle.com/category/psychology-of-the-specific-carbohydrate-diet/

I hope these resources help you!

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Loz June 10, 2016 at 5:04 am

So my problem is kind of weird… It usually takes me about 3 days to poo but then I’ll poo about 3 times in that day. It’s so annoying because day 1 and especially day two im so bloated and heavy. About a year ago I had the opposite problem and I had diarrhoea all day everyday, I had loads of tests but they said medically I was healthy. Is there anything I can do?

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Mariel Heiss June 10, 2016 at 1:20 pm

Hi Loz – that isn’t weird – constipation is a really common and annoying problem. Luckily you can likely make some changes to your diet to help – here are our first tips: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

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jared simms July 28, 2016 at 7:37 pm

How do you know when the constipation is over like i had it this morning and it stopped and now its the afternoon and my stomach feels funny

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Mariel Heiss July 29, 2016 at 1:57 pm

Hey Jared – good question. Constipation doesn’t always have a distinct “end” and “beginning” – but a feeling that you didn’t “get it all out” right after going to the bathroom is a sign of constipation. Try giving these tips a try and see if you don’t get some relief: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

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John August 10, 2016 at 11:27 pm

So I have a fever currently and I feel like I gotta go but only farts comes out, and when I do the feeling goes away, but when i get up and leave i get the same feeling again and then after farting for 5 minutes the poop finally comes out, for me i poop twice a week and from my understadings that is horrible, im only 26 and im already having very bad problems, what can I do, should I see a physician?

Note: other problems i feel is a weird sensation like a gurggly sound and feel around my lower stomach what is that ?

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Mariel Heiss August 12, 2016 at 1:47 pm

Hey john – we’re really sorry you’re going through these symptoms. We suggest by going to see your doctor, especially as you have a fever.

From there, these tips might help: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

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Noel September 3, 2016 at 6:04 pm

Hi, i’m having this problem more than a year,
everytime i bathed and go out, i always feel like i needed to poop, but when i go to the bathroom , nothings comes out. i don’t feel comportable when im sitting, it’s irritating, please help.

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Mariel Heiss September 6, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Hi Noel – that is so frustrating! These tips could help: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

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Susan Woodward September 7, 2016 at 6:35 pm

I am always constipated. I’m lucky if I have a be 1 time every month. Dr. Has given me laxatives and suppositories all to no avail. Ii am feeling kinda empty and have not got in about 2 weeks so what is going on. I wonder if I have cancer and it is eating it up and that is why I feel empty but have a huge stomach.

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Mariel Heiss September 8, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Hi Susan – I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through.

First, we recommend you talk to your doctor about your concerns regarding cancer.

These tips can help with constipation: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

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Christian McPherson September 29, 2016 at 11:43 am

Hi I’m 23 for the past week iv started to feel pains in my stomach Iv been able to go to the bathroom but it’s small and black after my stomach hurt and it goes away but I feel a scared if you say in my stomach and it feels like I’m bloated all day I have hemroids already and I got medicine for that but I can’t seem to get my stomach in order I tried prum juice it helped but the symptoms come back and I can still eat this is been going on for almost 2 weeks I feel like stress is the main reason I’m feeling this way help

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Mariel Heiss September 29, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Hi Christian- we advise you go see your doctor and talk to them about these symptoms. Dark stool can happen for a lot of reasons (something you’re eating, medications, or it can be a sign of bleeding) – but no matter what the cause is, talking to your doctor will give you some peace of mind!

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Tori September 30, 2016 at 10:07 pm

I have never suffered from constipation my entire life until this June, and I am very worried. I have always stayed very healthy! I workout on a daily basis, well was…. I eat clean 70% of the time and eat whatever else 30% of the time, I drink water like crazy. I always carry a 16oz or bigger water bottle with me and when it’s empty I refill! ….. I have no idea why this is happening but I am miserable. My stomach has always been flat and lately I have been looking like I have been about 4 -5 month pregnant if I can’t poop. When I finally do my stomach goes down a little, but I never entirely feel empty. I am use to going 2-4 sometimes 5 x a day!!! I just would always have a bowel movement after any time I would eat, whether it was a meal or a snack. And always about an hr after waking up. Now I can barely go once a day and my stomach gets bigger the more I eat. I am extremely frustrated have been trying everything and don’t know what to do. The frustration is just more as more bc I work very hard to stay wealthy and keep a good physique and now all of a sudden after 24 years I am dealing with it! What should I do??!!!!

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Mariel Heiss October 4, 2016 at 11:39 am

Hi Tori – I’m so sorry you’re suffering with constipation! I know how uncomfortable and frustrating that can be.

Here are some diet tweaks which can make a big difference: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

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ZAUB October 9, 2016 at 7:07 am

From 1 month i m sufering from constipation doctor given me kolac syrup but it didnt work on my constipation whenever i go washroom feeling to pass stool gas comes out thts it but now for 6 days i m suffering from loose stoools now why this is happening i pass 3 loose stools in 6 days olease try to diagnose my illness

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Mariel Heiss October 10, 2016 at 3:02 pm

Hi Zaub – sorry to hear what you’re going through. Fluctuating from constipation to diarrhea isn’t uncommon, but it is frustrating! You can help manage both by healing your gut. We hope you’ll join us for a free webinar on Tuesday night for more info on what we suggest: http://solvingleakygut.com/webinar/live-qva/

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Caleb October 11, 2016 at 10:55 pm

Heyo! So um, for about a week now, I have found it pretty hard to poop. It started off extremely hard to do, with small soft stool coming out, but as the time has gone by its become easier and the stool has become bigger, however I do it much less frequently than I used to. Are these signs of it clearing up? Do I just have to wait it out a bit longer? Thanks in advanced!

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Caleb October 11, 2016 at 10:58 pm

Oh um, I’ve also been relatively bloated as well, if that means anything.

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Mariel Heiss October 12, 2016 at 1:48 pm

Hi Caleb – here are some tips to help alleviate your constipation through diet: http://scdlifestyle.com/2013/07/real-food-tips-constipation/

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Tim October 14, 2016 at 4:09 pm

I had bright red blood in my last BM on Saturday evening (6 days ago) I keep feeling light headed and like I’m going to pass out anytime I eat anything with carbs and I can’t have a BM at all. I’ve been to my ER twice and my MD twice and they don’t seem concerned, should I be worried? They tested me for diabetes and I was negative, I’m at a loss and worried. Thanks in advance

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Mariel Heiss October 17, 2016 at 11:00 am

Hi Tim – we recommend you go back to your doctor right away if you’re experiencing blood in your stool.

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Liam October 20, 2016 at 8:08 pm

Hi, I don’t know if this site is still active but or butt lol I was hoping for some guidance or advice. My names Liam I am 24, in good shape, and have a semi decent diet. I cook for myself which is good and bad ha. The reason for my irregularity is hard to talk about but I am a recovering drug addict, to be more specific pain meds. From sports (hockey,football)mostly I had 12 surgeries starting senior year hs ending the year I graduated college and ended up hooked. But this isn’t a drug forum so moving on. I’ve been clean for over 3 years now but I am still prescribed Suboxone. Which is an opiate given to addicts likes myself to stop any cravings and helps keep me off the streets and living a normal life. It’s a powerful opiate without giving a high due to the naloxone(blocks the receptors that get you high)If it helps I’m prescribed 16mgs which is a moderate to large dose. So there is the back story, I go threw periods of regularity and irregularity. Can’t pin point why it is in flux. Here’s my question, apologies for the novel, is there anything that could help me stay regular being diet changes, meds etc. any suggestions would be appreciated. Exercise probably doesn’t have to be addressed. I work out almost every day, it was one of the things that helped me stay clean. Again thank you in advance.

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Mariel Heiss October 21, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Hi Liam -thanks for reaching out. There is a lot you can do with diet tweaks and natural supplements to help ease constipation. I really suggest checking out our constipation help program here: http://constipationhelp.scdlifestyle.com

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Sue October 26, 2016 at 2:10 pm

Hi I have been having difficulty passing stools for about 2-3 weeks and straining and only producing pellets. Then last night I woke with bad stomach pain and had explosive diarreah. Today I have had slight stomach ache which disappeared once I emptied by bowls but the stools were very soft but I’m one piece. Is this normal after having constipation?

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Mariel Heiss October 27, 2016 at 3:10 pm

Hi Sue – alternating constipation and diarrhea can happen, but it isn’t fun 🙁 Fortunately, the SCD diet can help you deal with both and get your gut flora balanced so you have perfect poop every day. You can learn more here: http://scdlifestyle.com/scd-quick-start-guide/

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Holly November 11, 2016 at 1:58 pm

Hello,
My mom has been dealing with gut issues for years from diverticulitis to diarrhea to constipation to sigmoid colon removal. I’ve always assumed the language she has used to describe her symptoms has been accurate. A few months ago, I learned that she calls having to go to the bathroom a lot with fairly normal stools is diarrhea. She says she is constipated because she has severe LUQ pain, but then explains she’s been going to the bathroom often with solid stools. Can you be constipated and go to the bathroom a lot with normal seeking stools? Is her pain constipation or something else? She has had a ridiculous amount of CT-scans showing nothing. Of course, all of this is compounded by her depression, anxiety, and continued apathy to get out of bed. Complex? Yes. Frustrating? Yes. We’ve been working together on all of this for over for years. Most of the medical community has given up on is. We’re not far behind them. Many thanks.

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Lori Jo Berg November 14, 2016 at 2:00 pm

Hi Holly, I’m sorry to hear you guys are struggling. Constipation can range from not going to the bathroom at all for days to going to the bathroom daily but 1)not feeling all he way finished when done and/or 2) having hard, painful stools. We’d recommend starting teh SCD diet or something similar as soon as possible and also incorporating some more fats (like coconut oil) and enzymes to help with the constipation. You can start with the Free quick start guide here: http://scdlifestyle.com/scd-quick-start-guide/

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