Health & Support
Moderators: autopilotfrank193, bierorama, ksylvan, nycgirl, peaches0405


vegetarian and constipation problems.


Quote  |  Reply
hi I've been having terrble constipation problems. i only go number two maybe once a week. and today it was so painful to even get a little bit out that i almost cried. I always eat fresh vegetables whole grain and drink lots of water. what could be the problem? any help?
19 Replies (last)
#1  
Quote  |  Reply

Are you eating enough fat?

Also, it's entirely possible you aren't drinking enough water. How much do you drink on an average day? 

too much iron can also cause constipation.  You may consider a teaspoon of mineral oil (make sure it is the kind for ingestion) a couple of times a day (could also use cod liver oil) to help soften it -- it only gets worse as more water is absorbed back into the body.
#3  
Quote  |  Reply
It's highly unlikely that a vegetarian female is taking in too much iron.
Do you like prunes? I love 'EM. Or you could try that new prune juice stuff.
I drink lots of water each day. because my body is so bloated all the time. I feel like i cant digest food at all. Today i was hungry and i ate some baby carrots. after 6 of them i was stuffed, like my stomach stoped working or something. I do have very little fat in my diet. could that be the reason?
Calcium supplements without vitamin D are very binding. Also, bananas and applesauce are constipating for some people who are prone to slow bowels.
#7  
Quote  |  Reply
Original Post by lollipopdrops:

I drink lots of water each day. because my body is so bloated all the time. I feel like i cant digest food at all. Today i was hungry and i ate some baby carrots. after 6 of them i was stuffed, like my stomach stoped working or something. I do have very little fat in my diet. could that be the reason?

 It sounds like you're using water to keep yourself full, and therefore aren't eating enough (I used to do the same thing). If you start eating a normal amount of calories, this situation will correct itself.

Can you give us an example of your daily diet? Perhaps we can help with more information! Drinking water and making sure you are eating enough fiber but not too much (between 25-40g a day) should make you more "regular".
I am a vegetarian too, and here's my thoughts on the subject.  I eat 1 cup of Fiber One every day.  It has 14 grams of fiber in each 1/2 cup serving.  it has completely made me regular.  I use the bathroom each morning 20 minutes after I wake up, like clock work.  I told a friend about Fiber One and she isn't a vegetarian and could not go regularly either so she tried it and it works for her too.  She doesn't eat any other cereal now.  It isn't the most tasty stuff, but it works.  You could add some blueberries or strawberries or bananas if you want to.

My guess is your problem is not anything related to vegetarianism, but rather the quantities of food your are ingesting.  Certainly if you are eating a very low quantity of food (I don't know that you are, but it really sounds like it if you are seriously full after 6 baby carrots) then you will not be able to have a BM with any regularity.

And, like others have said, fat is crucial for your diet for any number of reasons.  If you are on an extremely low fat diet you will most likely have many adverse effects from it, this being one possibility.

Would you be comfortable sharing with us your daily calorie intake, and how many grams of fiber you are currently eating?  That way we can help out a bit more.  :)

I completely agree with all of the other posts because I am living proof.

I am (still) a vegetarian and used to eat very few calories (knowingly - I'm in recovery for my ED) and no fat, other than the very small traces naturally found in the vegetables I ate. I got plenty of liquid during the day, and the recommended 25-30g of fiber a day; however, I ate very small amounts of food.

So I'll speak bluntly here. What is crap made out of? Food. If you don't have much food going in, don't expect much to come out.

When I decided to go into recovery for my ED just a couple weeks ago, with an increased intake of calories came - shockingly - an increased intake of food. I had bowel movements nearly every day because my amounts of food were larger, and I introduced healthy fats into my diet, like peanut butter. I'm currently at 1800 calories a day, and I usually get from 55-65g of fiber a day.

If you are consuming a reasonable amount of calories (atleast 1200) then, if you wouldn't mind, please post an example of a day of your food log - maybe we can find the problem! :)
Lollipopdrops-

The same thing happened to me when I used to starve myself. Now I eat lots of fruits and veggies (along with other healthy food) and i'm going about twice a day.

I also have been getting the bloated feeling lately near the end of the school day because I get really hungry. Once I get home and eat my stomach "unbloats" though.
I'm scared to post my diet of these days (for the past few weeks) because i'm afraid of critisim. Because i Was bloated all the time i didn't eat as much as I used to.

breakfast: cereal with soy milk (about 200 cals i think)

that gives me a VERY bloated stomach already

then lunch i would have a veggie tofu sandwich which i assume is about 200 cals (never really count) and some sord of fruit that is about 100 cals less. (usually i'm stuffed after the sandwich, so i would eat the fruits after school)

then i get home and sometimes i'll eat another fruit(another 100cals??) but most of the time i'm already stuffed from the left over snack i had from lunch.

then i would go work out for 10 min just to move around a bit.

then dinner i usually have a bowl of rice(300 cals more or less) and stir fry vegetables or tofu.(depends on my mom)(usually 150-250 cals).

please don't blame me for my bad diet, i feel like a thanks giving turkey all the time. and part of me is still that fat little girl who wants to not get laughed at in school.
and today i only had oat meal with an apple for dinner. bloating stomach had caused me MAJOR appitite drop. I feel like i'm just fading away  sometimes.
#15  
Quote  |  Reply
Original Post by lollipopdrops:

and today i only had oat meal with an apple for dinner. bloating stomach had caused me MAJOR appitite drop. I feel like i'm just fading away  sometimes.

 You MUST see a doctor ASAP.

I can see you've been posting in the ED recovery club, lollipopdrops. Good for you!

Are you having a.. oh, I forget what it's called.. but an episode? Do you need support to move past this? I'm guessing you know what you need to do to be healthy?

Why don't you let us know how we can help you (Though keep in mind we can not offer support to help you hurt yourself, we can only offer support to help you recover)

{{{{Lollipopdrops}}}} you are eating healthy things but you are definitely eating too little calories. But I think you must know that ... 

Like PandaJenn mentioned above, undereating is likely the root of your irregularity problems, not the vegetarian diet in and of itself.

Will you please increase your calories to minimum of 1200? How tall are you?? Do you mind me asking how old you are? Can you use the Tools on Calorie Count to calculate how many calories you should be consuming to maintain or better yet even increase your weight a bit (I assume with your diet you must be very very slim)? 

Have you ever been treated for an eating disorder or body image disorder?

Please believe me, after eating an apple or oatmeal you are not fat or bloated. Your stomach may stick out a tiny bit after eating but that is literally temporary as the food you have taken in is now in your stomach being digested, it does not indicate any weight gain and is absolutely normal and natural. To think otherwise indicates a disordered thinking about food. Being that you are likely very slim this might appear as if the stomach sticks out a bit but it's not real. Also, you may feel extra bloated if you are consuming too much soluble fiber and not enough other foods (google soluble vs insoluble) as soluble fibers can cause intestinal bloating (again nothing to do with weight gain).

By changing your diet to a healthful one with the appropriate number of calories needed for your age, weight and height you will become more regular and will increase your healthfulness on a whole.

Perhaps you can learn more about healthy nutrition by checking out Mary's page, Calorie Count's expert nutritionist information page.

The minimal number of calories ANY female should eat is 1200 calories - merely to keep the body functioning properly. Your body needs at least 1200 calories per day to survive. Here is a very rough scientific break down provided by a dietician for a  5' 2", 19 year old female weighing approximately 100 pounds, sitting around all day and doing nothing):

-The heart needs 12% of the calories (144 cals)
-The kidney needs 12% of the calories (144 cals)
-The Liver needs 23% of the calories (276 cals)
-The brain needs 23% of the calories (276 cals)
-The skeletal muscle needs 30% of the calories (360 cals)

Reference

By undereating for a long time you can wreak havoc on your metabolism and will eventually enter "starvation mode". Here is a page describing this and how detrimental it can be to healthy weight management:

Dieting and Metabolism

Also here is a link on what can happen when you continue to undereat for a long time (it might seem harsh but it's a deadly approach to eating!):

The Body Neglected

Please take care of yourself and let us know what we can do to help you get back to a healthy lifestyle.

I've been seriously trying to up my caloric intake these days. 50 by 50 each second day. its slow but i guess its the best way. However, i don't think i have an eating disorder anymore. when I eat too little, i feel terrible. but I know i cannot stuff my self. which lead to my low caloric intake of several weeks.

i've been swiching to whole grain breads with omega-3s in it. like those dempster 12 grain big breads. and they are pretty high in calories too. I bought a tub of cottage cheese (OMG they taste amazing in sandwiches!). and i'm eating more protein than before.

However, before i reach the 1200 cal, should i still exercise? I can't really stuff anything else because i don't want to develop the idea of eating when i'm full. should I stop exercising to get better? or just do it to stay an active life style?

Thanks alot for the helps and kind words, I'll be checking in again.
#19  
Quote  |  Reply
this might be annoyingbut.. BUMP!
19 Replies
Advertisement
Advertisement