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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.





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