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Help me troubleshoot dh's digestive issue (warning: poop talk)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

For as long as I can remember, dh has had pasty stools. They are dark brown, but not formed and they stick to the toilet bowl. Sometimes, there are noticeable food particles. He has a bowel movement 3 times a day, and they aren't small.


He has a very healthy diet and very little processed food.  The bm's are always pasty, but it's worse when he eats beans (about 3-4 times a week).  It's better when he eats more salads (spinach and lettuce).  He said it's "almost normal" when he eats pasta (not whole wheat), which isn't very often, maybe once a week. He eats quite a bit of fruit. Yesterday he had a big bunch of grapes, a banana, an apple, and some strawberries. Often, he'll have a salad in there, too. In fact, his lunches at work are either beans and rice or a big salad. He has gone through periods of being meat-free and periods where he ate meat, but it never made a big difference in his bms.  He has the occasional cheese, but otherwise, doesn't do much dairy


He hasn't had any excessive weight gain or loss. He needs to lose about 20 lbs.  He has no pain, no bloating, no other digestive symptoms. He doesn't feel sick to his stomach, doesn't vomit. He's had a few streaks of blood over the years (3 or 4x in 10 years probably) which he chalked up to straining or hemmorroids. The last time was a year and a half ago. He has no skin problems. Oh, he does seem to pass a lot of gas, but I just chalked that up to his diet.


What could be going on?  To me, pooping 3x a day is a lot, but the consistency is the most concerning thing. And the volume.  If he had malabsorption, wouldn't he have other symptoms?  Any thoughts?

post #2 of 6

It sounds like his diet is really pretty healthy, just a bit heavy on the fruit. Fructose can do what you are describing. I think he would do well adding some digestive enzymes to his diet; it sounds like his body can't fully digest and absorb all the nutrients because the fructose and greens are speeding things along. Gas would be another symptom of that (particularly if its smelly gas. Non-smelly gas is usually caused by things like swallowing air or eating too fast - smelly gas points more to not fully digesting).


 I am currently using Tyler Similase which my naturopath originally prescribed but now I just order on Amazon.com. It works good for me. He could also try substituting some pineapple for some of the fruit, particularly, if he can, eating some of the harder center part.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the enzyme recommendation. After I posted this and did some more reading online, I concluded the same as you, that's a it's a fructose intolerance/malabsorption.  Dh thinks so, too. I really think all the excess sugar is why he hasn't been able to drop these 20 lbs. He's going low-fructose/sucrose this week so we'll see what happens! Thanks again.

post #4 of 6

I'm coming to the conclusion that my six-year old son may have fructose malabsorption, too. How is your DH doing on the diet?

post #5 of 6

Do you eat much meat now?  Getting enough good fats in the diet (not talking about trans fats from vegetable oils), especially when eating fruits or vegetables, is important for nutrient absorption.  I also suspect the amount of fruit he's eating, but you also mention frequent beans.  Do you soak your grains and legumes in water with whey/kefir/buttermilk/vinegar before cooking it and do you eat sprouted or sourdough breads?  If he's eating canned beans or beans that haven't been properly prepared to reduce phytic acid, this can cause problems too.  I recommend Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon for great information.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Quelindo, dh is doing great with limiting fruit. It's been quite the turn around! I read that a "normal" person can only absorb 25ish grams of fructose at a time. That's roughly one piece of fruit at a sitting.  If a person has a fructose intolerance, even that much fruit may be too much.  Most of those with that problem, also can't absorb sucrose.  So that's another place to look in your ds's diet.


tavamom, we do soak beans, eat sourdough, good fats, and so forth.  Pretty close to NT, except very little dairy.  He has been trying to limit meat (was actually doing Eat to Live of a while, which made his problem worse, as you can imagine), but he normally eats plenty of ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds.  We do need to soak grains though. We haven't been good about doing that at all.  Thanks!

Edited by homemademom - 10/19/11 at 6:13pm
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