Eating Paleo But Still Constipated

Eating Paleo But Still Constipated | The Paleo Diet

I recognize that I feel much better on small amounts of grass produced or free ranging meats with lots of veggies and some fruit, but I become very constipated. How can I correct this and stay on the Paleo Diet?

Dr. Cordain’s Response:

It is unusual to suffer from constipation when eating a lot of veggies, as they are the biggest fiber source. However, you can help your gut health with some supplements until the constipation improves:

  • Probiotics: between 6-9 billion bacteria/day during one month, then cut down to 4-5 billion.
  • Prebiotics: 4-6 grams a day during one month (if you do not improve with 4 grams increase up to 6 grams). Then cut down to 2 grams a day.
  • Coconut oil (a good source of Medium Chain Fatty Acids): a tablespoon per day.

Also, we suggest drinking 1.5 liters of water per day.


Loren Cordain, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

About Loren Cordain, PhD, Professor Emeritus

Loren Cordain, PhD, Professor EmeritusDr. Loren Cordain is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. His research emphasis over the past 20 years has focused upon the evolutionary and anthropological basis for diet, health and well being in modern humans. Dr. Cordain’s scientific publications have examined the nutritional characteristics of worldwide hunter-gatherer diets as well as the nutrient composition of wild plant and animal foods consumed by foraging humans. He is the world’s leading expert on Paleolithic diets and has lectured extensively on the Paleolithic nutrition worldwide. Dr. Cordain is the author of six popular bestselling books including The Real Paleo Diet Cookbook, The Paleo Diet, The Paleo Answer, and The Paleo Diet Cookbook, summarizing his research findings.

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“3” Comments

  1. I’m a bit lost…

    I have been Paleo since march 2014. Stolls have been mostly conscicent with some diahreah at time, specially when eating sweater than usual, and now it’s been 2-3 weeks that I am constipated. I take fibers x2, eat about 5 cups of veggies dealy, supplements with probiotic and magnesium.. Drink at least 3 liters and more of water daily, usually have one or two coffee a day…

    I did eat a bit of non-paleo food(small piece of cake, tamales which is made of corn) a couple of weeks ago and around the same time i’ve had a very stressfull day which resulted in a night of insomnia… That happend all around the same time the constipation started….could it be that this combination of event can still have an impact 2-3 weeks later ?

    Also I should mention that I was taking fiber, and then run out so I didnt for about a week and then started again with a new brand about a week ago…i tought it might be because I was not taking the fibers that the constipation had started but a week later after starting again the problem hasn’t resolved itself !!

  2. Hi Dr Cordain, I am also struggling with constipation. I am new to the organic/paleo lifestyle (grass fed meat, no dairy, nothing boxed etc and local vegetables and fruit only). I joined nerd and found you there.
    I have been eating well (and introduced my large family) but still no change for me, except the weight is coming off. I know this may sound weird, but I am not interested in weight loss but what it is that goes into my body and my children’s bodies.
    I am 46 yrs young and female. I am non-smoker for 8weeks and intend to stay this way. I was 89kg and now 81kg’s in 3 weeks, no exercise at the moment, only tilling the new organic vege garden, food prep and kids. I make a lot of juices for us all, as I had to introduce the health into the children/teens somehow, while educating them with whatever they I can find out. They really like Steve Kamb now (from nerd fitness), as they can relate better to him than an old fuddy duddy like me haha. They actually ate their first full veggie and organic chicken last night with no other garbage and loved it! Thank God for Steve!
    Anyway, I was having a warm glass of water with a slice of lemon every morning and two glasses again with each meal, about 1.5L a day.
    I wake up at 5-6am every day and I have switched to 2lt with a lemon slice before I even eat and then its usually about 11.30am before I start the 2nd food prep for everyone.
    I’ll then have a mixed salad with loads of variety and a splash of apple cider. In the past two weeks, I have only taste tested the grass-fed beef (as we only have 1 in our whole state in Western Australia) hence, I have never tried it before and it was delicious! But I portioned it to the family and they never want corn-fed beef again!
    Anyway, I am not sure why I am still struggling with constipation and don’t want to go to my local dr. or nutritionist cause they will either give me medicine (which I take none) or take our money, which I could be spending on our healthy food and garden 🙂
    I have searched high and low for someone that get’s that health actually exists without medicine’s, supplements etc etc and I’m not saying don’t take medicine if you have to, its just there seems to be a better way than making the medical profession and pharmaceutical companies richer…no offense intended and being able to live drug free and have a healthy happier life!
    Thank you for your time and any advice would be greatly appreciated 🙂
    Carol, Western Australia.

  3. I am experiencing the same problem. I am actually experiencing quite a bit of discomfort. I have come to the realization that dairy was not really my friend before I started Paleo as I had the opposite problem and suffered from mild IBS. Now, I’m suffering from constipation and having to take laxatives to get any relief. Could the problem be I’m not eating enough veggies? How many serving should I be getting per day?

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