low-carb diets

PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb

H asks:

Dear Motherload,

My girlfriend wants the two of us to go on the South Beach Diet...not to lose weight, because neither of us needs to, but because it promotes general good health.

I feel that I can live without the carbs, but I'm quite concerned about my fecal evacuation. My worry is that if I can't have my oatmeal, my bran muffins and my Metamucil, I will become consitpated. I have found numerous comments online from those following this diet which mention that they have, indeed, become constipated.

I've been taking Metamucil as a fiber supplement for a few years now, and I feel so good from the effects; I have huge and regular bowel movements, and my bloodwork shows extremely low amounts of "bad" cholesterol and higher than average amounts of "good" cholesterol (I've read that my "Meta-Therapy" does have the added benefit of retarding the absorbtion of cholesterol into the blood). The problem is that my good ol' Meta-mucous is chock full of sugar. I can't use the sugar-free variety because asparteme makes me feel extremely ill.

Sugar aside, is psyllium husk acceptable for a no carb/low carb diet, or are there hidden carbs there? If I use pure psyllium husk with no sugar added, will I compromise the effects of the diet?

Any information you might have on this subject would be most appreciated.

Thanks a heap,


Dear H,

Psyllium husk can be purchased without any flavorings, sweeteners or other additives. It will not compromise the effects of a low-carb diet. The high fat, low fiber nature of the low-carb diet does in fact cause constipation which can be reduced by adding fiber supplements such as psyllium husk to your diet.

The more important thing that you need to consider is whether making such a dramatic change in diet just because your girlfriend wants you to is really going to be in your best interest health-wise.

You are not overweight. You have excellent blood cholesterol levels. You eat oatmeal, bran muffins and take a fiber supplement. You have stated that you feel great and have healthy poop.

Any sudden change in diet will affect your poop. The type of diet that you are considering will affect it in a way that is probably not going to be pleasing to you. Constipation is a very common side-effect of low-carb diets. This usually sets in after the initial case of diarrhea that is caused by the body trying to rid itself of all the excess glucose once a state of ketosis is achieved in the beginning stage of the diet.

You apparently already eat healthy, exercise regularly and have routine checkups with good results. Why mess with that? If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Thanks for asking Motherload!

Motherload is a Certified Nurse Assistant as well as an IBS sufferer, which means she knows a lot about poop. Got a question for her? Ask it here.

16 Comments on "low-carb diets"

Fecal Follies's picture
l 100+ points

Thumbs up on another great piece of advice, Motherload.

The things people do just because someone else wants them to never cease to amaze me.

And it burns, burns, burns -
The ring of fire.

And it burns, burns, burns -
The ring of fire.

The Big Wiper's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

The marketing ploy of most dietary programs or gimmicky regimens seems to be to hire celebrities who need to lose a few pounds and pay them to talk about how great they feel and how much weight they lost.

Kirsti Alley's career now seems to consist entirely of talking about how fat she was before Jenny Craig came along. And ex-NFL Dan Marino has gotten into the act for the men for Nutri-System, I believe.

But consider this: these celebs are being paid handsomely for trying these programs. Doesn't mean they've truly modified their eating habits. If they go back to their old ways and gain the weight back, they'll at least have all that money to console them.

The average Joe or Jill will have paid lots of money to lose a few pounds, perhaps, but if they have not learned good eating habits and practical dietary guidelines, they'll just gain the weight back and be out the money besides.

I think South Beach is a masterpiece of marketing and not much else.

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Average Joe, Or Jill's picture

I ate a psyllium husk and almost died. Thank God for mutual of Ohahaha insurance, you see the whole thing was nothing more than a prank by some teen kids repasting billboards that normally would have had an advert for psychiatry services but they had shortened it to psyllium hence my attempt at digesting this TOXIC substance. Thank the lord and pray to Jesus that PoopReport has saved yet another soul! Psyllium =Satan (the "P" IS "psilent".)

healthy 1's picture
j 1000+ points

mutual of Ohahaha huh???? Sounds like you laughed all the way to the insurance company O'hahahahaha.

H' my advice is: If you feel good now, why are you going on this "fad diet"?

Anyone who believes that these fad diets promote good health, I have ocean front property in North Dakota to sell to you. The key to continued good health is in good nutrition, minimal processed foods, minimal refined sugar, and adequate hydration.

If you are looking to stay healthy, you might be better off taking some sort of a mineral supplement.
"-55F, a new record low? Nope, thermometer went bad. Looks like -50F still stands"

"Two percent of the population think; three percent of the population think they think, and 95 percent of the population would rather die than think."

Bunga Din's picture
j 1000+ points

North Dakota eh? I'm just hoping the beaches are as nice as Montana.

Toots N. McCrack's picture
l 100+ points

I'm with Motherload here-- don't fix it if it ain't broke. You are healthy and have a great diet. It never ceases to amaze me that people disregard the thousands of years evolution of our guts in favor of some strange new eating fads.

'Hey that sounds pretty nasty, how about a courtesy flush over there?' (AP1)

'Hey that sounds pretty nasty, how about a courtesy flush over there?' (AP1)

Chip Brown's picture

I'm pretty sure that Kirstie Alley and Dan Marino can afford their own nutritionists, dieticians, personal trainers, and chefs - So I doubt they actually use these over the counter fad diets.

PoopySmurf's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

I have been low-carbing for quite a while (I follow Protein Power, which is a very sensible plan), and I can assure you that constipation is not a problem. In fact, when you first start low-carbing it's more common to experience diarrhea. However, this usually adjusts itself in a couple of days once your body gets used to the diet. My poops are most excellent because I eat a lot of veggies and therefore get a lot of fiber. If you're in good health and don't need to lose weight then leave well enough alone. And South Beach is NOT a low-carb diet--the guy who made it up will tell you that in a heartbeat.

The Big Wiper's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

Chip's point reinforces mine. Celeb endorsements are all about paying celebs. You takes your chances when you believes 'em.

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

Pulling My Pants Down For Peace, Plop and Posterity!

shitwit's picture
k 500+ points

Oooh! Low carb diet poop is some of the stinkiest shit out there! I tried doing the Atkins diet shortly before becoming prego w/lil' shitwit #1 and let me tell you, my shit stunk so bad it peeled the paint in our old bathroom! The plumbing rusted, the shower faucet sprung a leak and the tub clogged all in the same day! Seriously! It unleashed the wrath of God on that bathroom! I was eating all kinds of meats and cheeses and some veggies. My favorite dinner was stuffed flank steak with asparagus and blue cheese! Talk about stinkin' poo! The cats wouldn't even use their litter box (which was in the bathroom) for a few hours after I dropped a stink bomb in there! The constipation part also plays a role in how stinky your brown is. I gave up the diet after losing 20 pounds and quickly gained 15 back, then I started drinking lots of Coronas and Margaritas and eating lots of Mexican food to get my guts back to normal. It was on one of those nights that we conceived our little man - and the rest, they say, is history!

Leave well enough alone.

Rock-n-roll! Poopy-poo!

Rock-n-roll! Poopy-poo!

the log of hazzard's picture
l 100+ points

Sounds like your a really healthy guy. Tell your girlfriend about how healthy you are on now and convince her not to force you onto the diet. May not be so easy though....

Some are born crappy, some achieve crappiness, and some have crapiness thrusted upon them. (Do NOT be the last one)

Some are born crappy, some achieve crappiness, and some have crapiness thrusted upon them. (Do NOT be the last one)

Duke of URL's picture

As far as counting carbohydrates goes, you need not worry about fiber as it is not considered an "impact" carb. In fact, the reason fiber is so useful for maintaining regularity is because the body does not digest it.

Having done a low carb regimen in the past, I can tell you I pooped MUCH less than I did when eating a carb heavy diet. I feared constipation at first, but after a few weeks just accepted the fact that I didn't need to poop as often as I was used to. Less crap in, less crap out.

Anonymous Coward's picture

anyone considering going on a low carb diet should definetely read the china study. or anyone who cares at all about their health really. the findings in that book are fascinating.

Robynhood's picture

As a type II diabetic and having a huge fear of hidden carbs,I was cheered when Google led me to your answer. Unlike this man ,I am attempting to follow a low carb diet to lose weight. I have a lot to lose. Thanks for the detailed answers. Constipation is no fun so psyllium will be on my menu.

You can call me Al's picture

After reading most of the comments on this site, two things are pretty certain. One is that there are many different causes for AL. The other is that most of us are on our own in terms of experimenting to figure out what is triggering the AL. Yes, it is always a good idea to see a doctor, and things like fissures or polyps or whatever are going to be the culpret for a few of you. But for most of us, it's going to take lots of experimentation. But from reading these posts, I figured out one thing that I think is important - at least it was for me. In conjunction with your experimentation, do an enema so you can start off with a "clean slate". Otherwise the problem can be some residue up in there that doesn't disappear just because you stopped consuming dairy products or caffeine or whatever. And if nothing else, the enema might give you a few days of welcome relief. So here's what I'd suggest - eliminate caffeine, dairy, and wheat products for a day or two. Then do an enema. Keep avoiding those three things for a few more days and you might find that the problem seems to be gone. Then add back the three items one at a time, and see if you can tell if one of them brings the problem back.

Good luck. And my heart goes out to you ladies. For guys, it's bad enough. But hell, we're guys, for god's sake. It's acceptable for us to be gross from time to time. For you ladies, though, it must be a nightmare.

Hugh G. Pile's picture

Went low carb recently, started taking metamucil. Remarkable dumpage, clean as a whistle, no longer need to use paper..terrific!!

Post new comment

  • Allowed HTML tags: s:62:"<em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <br>";
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.