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Thread: ahem... a question about bowel movements

  1. #1
    flying plum's Avatar
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    Default ahem... a question about bowel movements

    that was as polite as i could put it.

    for a while now, i've been having bowel movements that are very soft, yellowy and a feeling of almost butterflies in my stomach. i can only attribute it to my diet - i'm working some odd hours and not really eating as well as i could be.

    i get a free meal at work, but as they don't really cater for vegans, i usually end up with houmous and a salad. i've been trying to eat at home to boost my nutritional intake, but i've ended up relying on soya milk for things like calcium and copious amounts of marmite for b12 (of which i have a slightly unnatural paranoia about getting a deficiency in) and dried apricots and nuts and seeds as snacks (although possibly not enough).

    i can't possibly be getting everything i need, and from today, have decided i must start making a proper effort again. however, what i wanted to ask the knowledgable people on here is whether they think the state of my bowels might be in response to a specific deficiency and so whether i need to eat more os something specific to remedy this.

    i recently had a massive argument with my mother who has just discovered my veganism (had a job telling her and had hidden it...not good) who was worried about my health, and after reassuring her that i was fine, now i'm starting to wonder whether i'm not.

    amanda

  2. #2

    Default Re: ahem...a question about bowel movements

    Too many dried apricots?
    ..but what would they do with all the cows?..

  3. #3
    frugivorous aubergine's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem...a question about bowel movements

    Can you detail everything you eat in a typical day?

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    flying plum's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem...a question about bowel movements

    generally, not enough good food, which is why i suspect i'm just generally suffering from a bad diet.

    i work nights, so usually i end up not getting up till about lunch time. i usually make myself something - depends on what food i have in the house. often it's just a rice-based thing, with a whole bunch of nuts and seeds thrown in for good measure, with spinach, or something else green.

    for dinner at work, like i said, it's often houmous, which i wonder if is partly responsible - perhaps too much oil in the houmous, thus my diet?

    i don't think the apricots are responsible - i don't eat a superfluous amount, and not always everday. although in the past i've had two or three apricots on my porridge in the morning without ill effect.

    i know excess alcohol can affect your system, but i don't drink overmuch. i'm entitled to a free drink after work, but i don't always take it, and if i do, i usually have a spritzer (our house white is horrible on its own). but perhaps i'm having trouble processing this small amount of alcohol?

    amanda

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    muxu bero bat! gogs67's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem...a question about bowel movements

    It actually sounds like you have some kind of gastrointestinal problem,i'd see a doctor and nutritionist if i were you,i cant see the amount of hummous you eat being any problem or the other things you eat.Maybe more carbohydrate's like potatoes and pasta would help!
    Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty!

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    Knolishing Pob's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem...a question about bowel movements

    Just try and eat more and more balanced for a bit.

    Big bowl of cereal and dried fruit with soya milk for breakfast. Or toast with yeast extract and peanut butter.

    Salad, hummous and bread for lunch + fresh fruit

    Stir fry loads of veggies and beans with curry or italian or chinese sauce with rice/noodles/wedges/pasta for dinner.

    Munch on nuts, carrots, sugarsnap peas, raw broccoli, etc whenever you fancy. Take a vitamin supplement. Juice greens and mix whiz up with fruit to make a disgusting smoothie.
    "Danger" could be my middle name but it's "John"

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    flying plum's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem...a question about bowel movements

    Quote gogs67 View Post
    It actually sounds like you have some kind of gastrointestinal problem,i'd see a doctor and nutritionist if i were you,i cant see the amount of hummous you eat being any problem or the other things you eat.Maybe more carbohydrate's like potatoes and pasta would help!
    that's what i thought, but i thought maybe my diet might be contributing to it.

    pob - you just described kind of what i'm eating though.... i do eat toast with marmite (just not every day), and i generally do get my veg etc....

    amanda

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    Knolishing Pob's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem...a question about bowel movements

    Sorry it just sounded like you weren't eating as much as that
    "Danger" could be my middle name but it's "John"

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    Willowherb's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem...a question about bowel movements

    Quote flying plum View Post
    i've been trying to eat at home to boost my nutritional intake, but i've ended up relying on soya milk for things like calcium and copious amounts of marmite for b12 (of which i have a slightly unnatural paranoia about getting a deficiency in)
    Possibly too much Marmite? If you're that concerned about B12 it might be an idea to take a suppliment and ease off the Marmite. If it continues better to get checked out at the doctors as it might not be diet related at all.

  10. #10
    flying plum's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem...a question about bowel movements

    Quote Pob View Post
    Sorry it just sounded like you weren't eating as much as that
    no, you're probably right. it's just hard to say what a 'typical' day is, because it all depends. some days i'm pretty good, others i'm horrendous.

    for instance, today i have eaten:

    a strawberry flapjack and soya latte from beatroot on-the-go for breakfast

    aubergine and tomato curry with green lentils and rice

    and not sure what i'll have for dinner at work...probably make some cous cous to take with me and get some roasted veg to go with it.

    however, i can also just end up waking up at two in the afternoon if i finish work really late, and so end up eating toast and marmite and houmous and salad all day.

    i wouldn't say i have a terrible diet, from teh point of view of junk food or anything, but i was concerned that maybe i was missing something vital, because of being vegan. everyone has days where they eat badly, but i guess it's more important when you're vegan not to do that....

    i think part of this is that my mother's recent concern over my health has started to really make me question my own ability to eat healthily as a vegan.

    amanda

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    msquared creativegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem... a question about bowel movements

    How about more whole grains? Fiber usually helps with this type of issue.
    wings are for flying not frying

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    muxu bero bat! gogs67's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem... a question about bowel movements

    Quote creativegan View Post
    How about more whole grains? Fiber usually helps with this type of issue.
    More fiber is usually the advice for the opposite symptoms!
    I actually think it sounds like a mild bowel infection because the diet seems ok,maybe lacking in amount consumed a little,but that's about it!

    One thing i would say is your protein intake could be slightly higher!Holland and Barret do a good soy protein powder,a fruit smoothie every morning with 30 grammes of powder mixed through is a good start to the day!
    Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty!

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    msquared creativegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem... a question about bowel movements

    Quote gogs67 View Post
    More fiber is usually the advice for the opposite symptoms!
    I actually think it sounds like a mild bowel infection because the diet seems ok,maybe lacking in amount consumed a little,but that's about it!
    You might be right. But i guess anytime I'm a little "off" balance, I eat more fiber and things get back to normal.
    wings are for flying not frying

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    frugivorous aubergine's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem...a question about bowel movements

    Quote gogs67 View Post
    I'd see a doctor and nutritionist if i were you
    This is good advice. I've been seeing a gastrointestinal specialist at my local hospital and they have been very helpful.

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    Default Re: ahem... a question about bowel movements

    Yes, professional advice is certainly a good idea, just to rule out any infections etc.

    In the meantime, my amateur opinion is that you may be digesting your food a bit faster than normal, which AIUI can be a sign that you're eating something that disagrees with you, or that you are getting more fibre than you can handle (or possibly too much fat).

    My innards tend to get upset if I don't eat fairly regularly or if I leave too long between meals so you might want to see if you can get into more of a routine, although I can see it's difficult with your schedule.

  16. #16
    steven1222
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    Default Re: ahem... a question about bowel movements

    Cut back on the hummus and avoid nuts. That kind of difficult-to-digest food has occasionally given me similar problems.

  17. #17

    Default Re: ahem... a question about bowel movements

    Don't discount the strange hours you've been working.

    I know that my GI tract feels it when I've been sleeping weirdly or off my routine; regardless of what I eat. Make sure you get enough sleep and calories, and then start making changes to your diet. You could be eating the healthiest food in the world but without enough calories or sleep, what you find in your toilet will always be a bit "off".
    context is everything

  18. #18
    fortified twinkle's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem... a question about bowel movements

    Quote xrodolfox View Post
    Don't discount the strange hours you've been working.
    ....
    I was going to say the same thing. I have definitely found shift work has adversely affected my eating patterns (unfortunately it was making me eat far more than I should have been because I was so scared of going hungry on the night shift I'd pack far too much food and then feel like I had to eat it all )

    What makes your mum think you're unhealthy? Are you experiencing anything untoward apart from the butterflies feeling?
    "If you don't have a song to sing you're okay, you know how to get along humming" Waltz (better than fine) - Fiona Apple

  19. #19
    flying plum's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem... a question about bowel movements

    with regards to my mum, she just is very wary of veganism, so she finds the lifestyle itself unhealthy. long story...

    with regards to my diet, i have been considering seeing my doctor for a while, but because in my experience, doctors are anti-veggie much less vegan, i wanted to see if i could put things back on balance myself.

    lack of protein had indeed occurred to me, and that's what i was concerned about. am currently revamping my cupboards and making more of an effort of eat more easily digestable protiens like lentils. anyone got other suggestions? cos am going to giv it a week then see how it is...

    amanda

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    frugivorous aubergine's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem... a question about bowel movements

    Quote flying plum View Post
    ...in my experience, doctors are anti-veggie much less vegan...
    That is my experience too, but I have found recently that gastro intestinal specialists don't necessarily suffer from the same levels of ignorance as GPs.

  21. #21
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem... a question about bowel movements

    Quote flying plum View Post
    am currently revamping my cupboards and making more of an effort of eat more easily digestable protiens like lentils. anyone got other suggestions?
    Have you tried quinoa? That's another one that cooks fast, and is quite easy to digest IME.

    My GP (the main one, not the useless whatsit who misdiagnosed my skin problem recently ) seemed to think being vegan was quite a good idea, so it might be worth trying out more than one if you go to a group practice.

  22. #22
    steven1222
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    Default Re: ahem... a question about bowel movements

    Quote aubergine View Post
    That is my experience too, but I have found recently that gastro intestinal specialists don't necessarily suffer from the same levels of ignorance as GPs.
    From my experience, gastrointestinal specialists are very ignorant. They do not recommend eliminating or even reducing dairy intake, even though dairy products are the cause of many complaints. In fact, my father is a gastrointestinal specialist and he is not even willing to admit that soy is a good source of protein, let alone any other plant foods.

  23. #23
    flying plum's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem... a question about bowel movements

    Quote harpy View Post
    Have you tried quinoa? That's another one that cooks fast, and is quite easy to digest IME.
    in fact, i had it for lunch yesterday i've decided i'm going to pay a lot of attention to my diet for the next week or so (and obviously onwards) and if there is no improvement, i'll go and speak to someone.

    amanda

  24. #24
    cobweb
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    Default Re: ahem... a question about bowel movements

    are you sure it's not stress, plum, what with the fluttery feelings, the overbearing mother and the B12 paranoia?

  25. #25
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    Default Re: ahem... a question about bowel movements

    No-one seems to have mentioned salt. Marmite is extremely high in salt, so a high intake of Marmite would act as a laxative!

  26. #26
    Karma Junkie vava's Avatar
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    Default Re: ahem... a question about bowel movements

    salt dehydrates so you would be more likely to be constipated on a high salt diet. Eating more fiber sounds like a good option as the butterflies feeling that you are describing sounds like your bowels are moving their contents along too quickly.

    If you are worried about the nutrients you are getting (or not getting) I highly recommend this site. www.fitday.com it is free to use and very interesting also. It was recommended elsewhere on this forum and I am finding it really helpful for losing weight and keeping an eye on the nutrients I eat on a daily and weekly basis. i find making batches of food and freezing for another day really helpful when I can't be bothered to cook. Hope you get sorted soon!

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