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Is there a direct correlation bewteen protein and constipation?


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#1 Brian0003

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 03:19 PM

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I've noticed that something interesting has happened.....When you go to the GI doctor's for constipation related systems they say that you should drink more water, eat more vegetables and all the textbook definitions.I've noticed that not a single doctor I have talked to has ever talked to me about protein consumption.Last summer, I was trying to get into insanely good physical shape for no apparent reason so I would run 4-5 miles a day, take a shower, and then do weight lifting for like another 2 hours.I noticed that I was averaging 80 grams- 100 grams of protein a day because it is important when you are building muscles.Well, what happened was that my digestive system backfired and I was no longer able to efficiently push out my own stool.It made me go insane because I did not know what caused it, and the doctor's diagnosed me with pelvic floor dysfunction.What I am curious about- In the majority of people who have EXTREME constipation (Like Coloneric Inertia, Pelvic Floor Dysfunction, IBS-C to an extreme), are the majority of these athletes or were at one time athletes before all of the problems started to happen?Were Constipation problems as severe or as common 100 years ago?I think something with this has to do with protein consumption.I've been going to College about a month now and the last bowl movement I had took about 2 minutes to evacuate.I have barely even eaten any protein at all and the result is intense.They usually take me like 30-40 minutes to evacuate.I keep on asking myself what has changed- It doesn't seem like water/exercise would be the case because when my problems started a year ago I was getting extremes of both.It almost seems like overexercise and protein may be a direct link to the failure of my bowel system.....more to come as I ponder this.


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#2 Kathleen M.

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 04:32 PM

Usually the effect of protein on constipation is indirect. When people are on a very high protein diet they often can't eat all that and eat enough vegetables and whole grains to get 25-35 grams of fiber.I don't think the high protien diet would directly damage the pelvic floor (and I don't think it happens only to people who are intensely athletic).Depending on the weight training, you might have put pressure on the pelvic floors in ways that might not have been good for it. Running usually, if anything, makes people go more, not less.Constipation may have been less common when people couldn't afford highly processed foods and high protein diets and got more than 35 grams of fiber a day because they didn't have a choice. On the other hand, herbs to treat constipation are found in pretty much every folk tradition so it can't be something unknown to human kind prior to the modern diet.K.
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#3 Brian0003

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 07:04 PM

It doesn't make any sense to me that protein had no effect.Immediately after I stopped Protein I had fuller and more satisfying bowel movements.I kept eating the same things and drinking the same amount of water. I don't know exactly what happened, and I'm still a little bit confused how everything just went away.Keep in mind that I am very very slightly Autistic so its not like I am purposely trying to disagree with you, I will just have a different opinion about things that most people.

#4 Kathleen M.

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 07:36 PM

As far as I know there is nothing about protein that has ever been found to cause constipation or pelvic floor disfunction.Most people on high protein diets like Atkins do report constipation, but they also eat almost no fiber of any kind and the lack of any fiber seems to be the problem.The amount of fiber and water in the stool is what determines the consistency. The stuff you cannot digest and absorb rather than the stuff you absorb.But it wasn't just diet alone you were doing so maybe something else in the equation was the problem as well. Diet shouldn't cause permanent damage like you describe, it effects the stool consistency while it is in the stool, not cause problems that go on for months or years.K.
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#5 Brian0003

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Posted 30 September 2007 - 10:45 AM

Thank you Kathy,I'll have to look into what is causing the sudden change.It might just be that I am eating a giant salad every day whenever I go to the school(university) cafeteria.I'll have to look into the subject more. Its still rather strange.

#6 mikaylamay

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 04:20 PM

I'm a vegetarian so, for me, eating less protein doesn't help my constipation. It could be different things for different people though.

#7 RSB

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 06:31 AM

HiI have had a similar experience in realising the same thing you are getting Brian0003. I was going to the gym as well and doing lot of tummy exercises. One evening when I had an overdose of lamb (full of animal protein) the very next morning I was constipated. I am 40 yo male and until 35 years of my life I have never been constipated. For last 5 years my bowel movements are irregular and I am predominantly constipated. The pointer you have given to me is a good one and I will try reducing on my proteins and see if they have an effect. Sounds plausible though...CheersRSB

#8 RightSide

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 09:11 PM

I don't think it's the protein in the lamb that causes IBS symptoms such as constipation. It's more likely to be the saturated fat. All red meats have fat, though lamb probably has less than steak.The only meats I can eat are fish and chicken. (And those are baked, not broiled, with the skin and fat trimmed off the chicken.)

#9 ZenMonk

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 09:02 AM

i have the same problem when i take protein powder. it really seems to set me off, my lower intestine complains like crazy a few hours later and i tend to back up.

#10 davidH

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 01:35 PM

I have the same probelm. I know with me, I had to increase my protein intake as well and I was getting most of my protein in the form of dairy (casien, whey, regular milk, etc). I personally think that the high intake of dairy products is what set my stomach off. I have since cut all dairy products off (considering the fact that all IBS reccomendations say cut dairy). I feel somewhat better, but I am kind of depressed because It's not easy to get the high quality protein that is required as an athelete from vegetable sources (whey is the best). Furthermore, I don't like getting too much soy protein because it's an estrogen inducer and a testostrone inhibitor (not good for atheltes). I am therefore getting alot of eggs, rice protein, turkey and chicken.I will keep you posted on my progress as well.

#11 jman2008

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 01:43 PM

I just finally relized the same concept as well.With a bit of research I found out that protien slows motility.Also protien without good fatty oils hurts the Gi tract.I also find adding salba (for the omega-3) to meat and trying to stay with organic (higher omega3 content) seems to help greatly.I now cook most meat with cocnut oil and it helps a bit as well.I also make sure to have solable fiber with protien to help it out.

#12 jman2008

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Posted 01 December 2007 - 01:55 PM

Im also a believer that ibs may lessen stomach acid which may slow the passage of meat in the gi tract.i take digestive enzymes sometimes and it helps a bit.

#13 Joan Mack

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 05:42 PM

I cook with olive oil (stir fry) veggies and a little meat. That seems to help. We need some regular oil. I also drink milk (I am not lactose intolerant) and eat 4 or 5 prunes at night. It all helps a bit. I eat the kashi cereal and use konstyl.

#14 Stephanie33

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 08:34 AM

I have come across more than one post over the Internet about people claiming to become more constipated when they have a higher intake of protein, regardless of fiber intake.

I am wondering, is it more protein in general worsening constipation or is it animal protein (as opposed to protein from grains like pasta or protein from vegetables, beans, etc.). Protein from grains can add up. I am limiting my meat to about 5 ounces a day. I still get more than enough protein from pasta, rice, etc. I know that meat is a main source of protein for a lot of people but I am wondering if anyone has noticed whether or not constipation due to too much protein has anything to do with the source of the protein. Just curious.

#15 tummyrumbles

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 04:02 PM

There is a direct correlation between protein and constipation.

 

There’s a strong link between opioid peptides from food and constipation. The worst foods seem to be wheat, meat and milk. I tried an Atkins type diet recently with mainly pork and veges and evacuation took 2 hours, when I had got it down to 1 hour. I don’t eat red meat but maybe all meat has a constipating property. The main point is that certain peptides in proteins have an antiperistaltic affect on the colon which slows down motility.

 

Yesterday evacuation took 15 minutes which is very fast. The previous day I had porridge for breakfast, some chips for lunch which caused a lot of gas as they’re very starchy and an omelette and a big bowl of cooked veges – potato, sweet potato, pumpkin & peas. I can’t say that evacuation was 100% complete as the gas started at midday but the quick evacuation was a nice surprise. I can’t find any studies on why certain foods cause constipation apart from this theory about opioid peptides. I’ve found that cooked low-FODMAP vegetables seem to be the best thing to eat and I try to fill up on these as much as possible. Out of the proteins, I think eggs and fish are the least constipating.

 

The opioid peptides include casomorphin from milk and gluten exorphin from wheat, rye and barley. I drink A2 milk which doesn’t have this. I only drink milk in tea and porridge.

 

I found other studies that suggested that all grains have opioid peptides. I know I have a particular problem with rice so don’t eat this anymore.

 

Dietary Proteins and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

http://www.nature.co...ajg201397a.html

 

Food derived peptides with biological activity

http://health120year...al-Activity.pdf

 

MU-OPIOID RECEPTORS AND DIETARY PROTEIN

STIMULATE A GUT-BRAIN CIRCUITRY

LIMITING FOOD INTAKE

http://hal-hcl.archi...ELL-text-R2.pdf

 

Food opioids – addiction to constipation

(I posted this and provided a lot of interesting links)

http://www.ibsgroup....o-constipation/


My long-term IBS symptom cure (over the last 10 years): complete evacuation 

IBS type: Leaky Gas. IBS strategy: No meds. A low flatulogenic diet.


#16 Dreamcatcher32

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 12:05 PM

Kathleen is right, there is no correlation between protein and constipation. There is 100% zero correlation between protein and pelvic floor dysfunction. In fact, protein is something that stimulates peristalsis. Now, if you're taking some sort of whey protein 'substitute' or getting your protein through processed foods, then it may cause constipation simply because your eating something processed. Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (at least speaking to tension - very common) comes from years years of tension and going to the bathroom in the 'wrong' way. One starts to poop in a tensed manner, which causes certain muscles to be used that should NOT be used. One may also have a habit of simply 'tensing' their pelvic floor frequently and causing the dysfunction. There are some studies that claim PFD is hereditary and you have to have muscles that are 'off' in order to develop it. Pelvic Floor problems are extremely common though. Most cases are quite mild, others are severe and debilitating.

 

If you're spending that much time on the toilet, I would wager your pelvic floor dysfunction is quite severe. Most that have problems with their pelvic floor want to 'overlook' this condition. They don't receive the proper biofeedback/balloon expulsion treatment and they don't keep up with the treatment, which is vital to releasing the pelvic floor. Even if your PFD comes from a problem with your colon, if you do not treat the PFD - you will simply always have trouble going to the bathroom or not be able to go at all. If your pelvic floor always has high tension, your bowels simply can not move. The muscle coordination can not be 'kicked off' and no urge will come. 

 

As for spending hours on the toilet, my guess is that your pelvic floor is so tight that you aren't able to go 'as much' as you would like. So it could be that once you get a slight urge, you're going prematurely to the toilet. You should have a VERY strong urge before heading to the restroom. I mean to the point of sweating and feel like you can't hold it. You should be getting an urge before going to the toilet. 



#17 Pinskers

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Posted 04 July 2014 - 08:05 AM

Chiming in here as a bodybuilder and open water swimmer who has had protein consumption as high as 175g (currently sitting at 150g—and I should mention about 75% of that protein comes from "processed sources" like protein powder, whey isolate breads, etc.  I think I only get about 44g from chicken because I find that more binding than anything else):

 

Protein didn't affect my digestive system at all other than making me feel incredibly, INCREDIBLY full, and I had one week at 175g of protein as my best digestive week ever—I went every day.  For me, it's more a) making sure I get AT LEAST 64 oz. of water in, and b ) keeping my fiber to 17-20g, and most of that being soluble.  So even though I haven't read the studies, I'd agree with the others saying there's no direct correlation other than fullness and people not eating what they need to to get their bowels moving.







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