Gluten free diet = worsened stools, now total D!

Hi all, facts first:

I am 33, male, major vegan diet, but do eat chicken once/twice a month, eggs 2-3 times/week.

Daily staple would be: whole wheat flat breads, veggies, milk, eggs, tea, some fruits. Whey protein on gym days, 3/week. No alcohol, no smoking, no stressful job.

1) Got a blood test, but yet to confirm Celiac, but since my loose fatty stools have been going on for 8-9 months, thought of going gluten-free for a month to see if the bowels firm up at least a little. (note: The blood test was done BEFORE starting gluten-free, coz I know it can come false during a gluten-free diet.)

2) Before going gluten-free, my stools were loose where the initial part would be slightly better, but it would be all loose bits towards the end. Also, I wouldn't go many times, just 1 or 2 times, very rarely 3 times.

3) I had NO other symptoms: no pain, bloating, excess gas, weakness, weight loss, rashes, or anything else.

4) But the steatorrhea was concerning so had the blood test done.

History:

1) Have battled with hard stools all my life, it suddenly changed to soft/loose 8-9 months ago.

2) Got a stool report done while on gluten. No parasite, mucus, bloo, occult blood, ova, cysts. Occasional pus cells. YES fecal fat present. Acidic reaction.

3) Lifestyle - No smoking/drinking ever. I've always been slightly underweight, but do workout 3 times/week with weights, so I am good strength-wise.

Now my 2 questions to all you experienced folk:

1) It's been 4 days going gluten-free free, but why would my stools worsen, from soft to total D? (And the color is off too, from light yellow/brown to palish brown today.)

Yes, I am eating other non-gluten grains like sorghum/amaranth to compliment any nutritional loss from going gluten-free. Yes, I am eating a couple extra fruit/veggie/fiber servings to make up. So why would going gluten-free make it worse?

2) Should I also stop all dairy for a while? But then, would have to seriously think about protein sources then.

My apologies if this has been too long, but I hope you guys understand the pain we all go through, since no one really seems to give too much da** about it at home as long as you don't display "severe symptoms". :(

22 Replies

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  • Oh, my blood test results just came back... NEGATIVE for both, tTG IgG and tTG IgA.

    So what now?

    Even if the tests are false negatives, shouldn't a GF diet improve my loosies?

  • Better to discuss it with a health professional markjohnson, not least because your post seems full of contradictions. A vegan avoids all animal derived products, not just meat, so even accepting your infrequent chicken eating, having eggs and milk as staples rules you out as a vegan. Some people can have an intolerance to gluten/gliadin without showing on the coeliac test. Is the whey protein vegan? Do you still eat the whole wheat flat breads? You could try not having the processed foods for a while phcuk.org/wp-content/upload...

  • Hi Concerned,

    Ok so I got the wording wrong, so I DO eat occasional chicken, and DO eat eggs 3-4 times weekly.

    They whey protein is not vegan.

    No, I am not eating whole wheat flat breads for the last 5 days now, eating ones made up of amaranth flour + sorghum flour + corn flour.

  • I hope you don't think I was being too critical; I just wanted to clarify things. A health professional is still the best course of action. This may help amazon.co.uk/IBS-Starch-Fre...

    One thing that comes to mind is are you having too much lean protein/insufficient natural fat? This would lead to depleting your liver of vitamin A, and diarrhoea could be a serious symptom?

    Or, too much fibre?

  • Hi,

    No of course I didn't think it was too critical, forget it.

    Ok, so for protein, nope, actually eating less now as wheat was one of my significant protein+fiber source. Other than that, I am just getting natural protein from couple of eggs every day, milk, and maybe a scoop of whey.

    I am also supplementing with a vitamin supplement which has decent A in it.

    Finally, it's NOT diarrhea per se. It's just, what can I say, cow plop, formless. :(

  • Could be any number of reasons. Have you had vitamin and mineral deficiencies ruled out?

  • Have given blood for a full CBC report...

  • Do you supplement with B12 to make up for the lack of it In your diet? If not, have the level in your blood tested. Low B12 leads to nerve damage, including the vagus nerve which runs the stomach and some of the gut.

    I would try giving up milk too along with the whey protein. The casein protein in dairy is very similar to gluten.

    Dairy was my first issue and it took a while for me to also stop gluten.

    Extra fruit might contribute to diarrhea.

    Any symptoms of excessive sleepiness? For me sleepiness occurs before I run to the toilet and stops after the visit to the toilet.

    I find kale can help solidify things. Although I tend to eat more rice too.

    Any issues with heartburn? Could it be too low acid instead of too much? Do antacids work? Have you tried more orange juice. For me, increasing the acidity also helps solidify things.

    However, I'm not a vegetarian and love the meat as well.

  • Yes, I have started supplementing with a complete B profile vitamin. Also, I am still eating eggs which are a good B source right...

    You say extra fruit might contribute to the D, but then, what do I eat?! Meat is not a every day food in our diets.

    Nope, no sleepiness or tiredness, although have lost 2 pounds though which I assume is expected when going cold turkey GF.

    Nope, no heartburn.

    Will try your kale + acidity suggestion, in fact just had a full sweet lime today. :)

  • Do you eat nuts, olives, avocados? It seems like your diet is lacking fat. Not sure if that would change your stools, but you do need fat :) I also think you need meat, lol, but to each their own. I was a pesco pollo vegetarian for over a decade and felt so much better once I dropped all grains and started eating meat.

  • Going gluten free can have an effect on the body, especially if you had been eating a lot of it, the effects are often mood related. If you have been eating any ready made gf you may have been affected by the additives some of them contain (xanthan gum is a laxative).

    Steatorrhea can be linked with several health problems (pancreas, gall bladder, malabsorption) so it would be a good idea to go back to your doctor to discuss the worsening of your condition. Unfortunately, problems with lactose/dairy are a common cause of diarrhoea.

  • Nope, I am not eating ready made GF foods, currently eating 100% at home.

  • Hey guys, an update:

    Today's BM was solid in the first half, after months! But of course it was the usual loosies at the end.

    Although a negative update: I am getting a constant BM feeling after the first one, not very 'urgent', but it's there. This was not much profound even when on G.

    But I guess the good 'initial' part is a ray of hope? And should I first see for a couple of days if the GF diet is showing improvements? Although yes, I did lose about 2lb in the last 5-6 days.

    Noon update: Had a BM again, not good, was mostly bits and loosies. But I guess this might be an improvement since earlier a BM within hours would be definitely all loosie.

  • My initial thoughts are that 4 days isn't long enough to come to a firm conclusion, pardon the pun! Your body's still adjusting to going gluten-free, after all. :)

  • Thanks for the positive feedback! :)

    Yeah, I am trying to calm myself thinking the same, that the gut and its flora should take its time to re-adjust to the new foods... maybe it is worse before it gets better.

  • Perhaps try some probiotics to help get your gut bacteria back on track?

  • The body always has to get use to a new diet or type of food before it can stablize the way a person wants it. Took a few days for me when I started eating GF a few years ago.

  • i would cut out the dairy a it only produces bad sugars, mucus and bacteria in your body which will lead to D, try that for a few days, stop fruit, caffeine, fried foods and spice or anything with fructose, lactose, sucrose, maltose in in for 5-7 days and see how your BM feel after that.

    coconutandwhat.com

  • This is true, but I have two issues.

    1) Meat is not our staple.

    2) So when you cut out gluten, milk, fruits (for sugar), what remains? I can then only eat veggies + rice + some other grains? What about a protein source? Or just keep loading on eggs? :(

    And btw, that was an honest question even though it sounds sarcastic! :)

  • Check out my recipes. High protien. But 99% vegan.

    Sub in beans.

    Vegan meat

    Gluten free grains. Nutritioanl yeast

    make creams and shakes from pine and cashew nuts.

    Eat raw sprouts. There are lots of options. :-)

  • Avoiding gluten probably isn't going to help you. On the other hand it is important to find out what the problem really is. It's easy to be so hung up on this idea that gluten is the root of all evil that you miss the bigger picture.

    Have you been tested for crohns?

    If your problem is lactose then you'll have smelly wind and belch a lot. For me the intolerance means any lactose acts as a powerful laxative!

    It might be that to survive a day you have to take a low dose of Loperamide (Imodium).

  • Hi Jacks,

    1) I am going GF right now (even though both the tests were negative) to rule out any non-celiac intolerence.

    2) Not tested for chrons because I have like absolutely no other symptoms.

    3) You are right, lactose should give 'some' other indication right? No wind, belching or any discomfort.

    Actually I AM surviving without any medications, it's not like I'm going 10 times/day, it's at most 2-3 times.

    So I guess, I am soon going to fall under the "IBS" category it seems! :(

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