The 5 Most Common Constipation Culprits

Constipation / IBS-C are real problems which can cause significant inconvenience, discomfort, and even disability for some individuals.  For most people, these are likely to be food sensitivity problems, as opposed to irreversible pathological diseases. Chronic constipation is not an inevitable consequence of aging; it can usually be alleviated by knowing which foods are gumming up the works.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is commonly divided into two main types:  “IBS-C” (IBS with constipation) and “IBS-D” (IBS with diarrhea). This article focuses on IBS-C.

GOLDEN RULE OF IBS-C:  IBS-C is primarily about indigestion.  If a food is hard to digest, it will slow things down.  It’s that simple.

When exploring the connection between your symptoms and these foods for yourself, keep in mind that poorly-digested foods can cause delayed or prolonged symptoms because they are processed so slowly.  Most of these foods can affect digestion for several days after you swallow them.  It is also important to recognize that sluggish digestion can cause all kinds of other problems north of the intestines, including heartburn, reflux (“GERD”), burping and hiccups.


  1. GLUTEN and GRAINSGluten is a sticky protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale.  This protein has a special globular structure that our enzymes can’t fully break down. Other grains can pose problems for our digestive tract, though, even those that don’t contain gluten, such as corn and oats. The grain that seems easiest on the innards may be rice, so some people may tolerate rice better than other grains.
  2. CASEINCasein is a sticky protein found in most dairy products. Baby cows come with a special enzyme in their stomachs called rennet, which is designed especially to break down casein.  Humans do not have rennet, so casein is very hard for us to digest.  Hard cheeses and high-protein yogurts (such as “Greek style” yogurts) are especially good at triggering IBS-C.
  3. CRUCIFEROUS VEGGIES.   Lots of veggies happen to be crucifers, including broccoli, kale, and cabbage.  This veggie family contains high amounts of an indigestible short-chain carbohydrate (or oligosaccharide) called raffinose.  Human enzymes cannot break down raffinose into sugar, but bacteria in the colon love to munch on raffinose and turn it into a lovely gas called methane.  This will not only make you unpopular at parties, but can slow digestion and cause significant bloating and discomfort, as well.
  4. LEGUMESLegumes are beans and pod vegetables, including soy, lentils, green beans, peas, and garbanzo beans.  There are two main reasons why these foods are hard to digest.  One is that they contain lots of raffinose (see #3), and the other is that they contain high amounts of soluble fiber.  Soluble fiber acts like a sponge in the digestive tract—it absorbs water and swells into a big sticky gel that can form a large, lovely CLOG.  Soluble fiber cannot be digested except by bacteria in the colon, so it also eventually forms delightful gases.
  5. NUTS and SEEDS.  Nuts are very closely related to legumes.  Nuts and legumes are both types of seeds, and therefore contain similar compounds, namely indigestible short-chain carbohydrates and soluble fiber.  All seeds also contain enzyme inhibitors which interfere with our ability to digest the proteins within these foods.  These inhibitors are damaged or destroyed by cooking, but we often do not cook nuts before eating them. This may be why some people find nuts even more difficult to digest than legumes, which are always thoroughly cooked before eating.

The above are just the most likely suspects in constipation, but keep in mind that everyone is different, and these are not the only foods that can cause problems for people. In my clinical experience I have had patients tell me that lots of other foods can be problematic, including raw vegetables of all kinds (especially the tough, fibrous vegetables like carrot), gelatin (especially if very concentrated, such as in gummi candies), and certainn fruits high in pectin and insoluble fiber, such as apples and bananas.

If you have the opposite problem, IBS-D, please read my post Is Fructose Malabsorption Causing Your IBS?

How about you?

If you have noticed any connection between the foods you eat and your symptoms, and you’d like to share your experience, please leave a comment below so that we can all learn from one another.

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  • TruthCkr

    Very helpful article! Thank you!

  • Des

    Hi Dr. Ede, what do you think about butter? Should I be concerned with the lactose and casein in it?

  • Butter contains no lactose and almost no casein. Ghee, which is clarified butter, is virtually casein-free.

    • Des

      Great, thank you

  • John

    Just read this page and realize I need to do some rethinking about what I am eating. Til now #2, #3 and #5 have formed a large part of my diet.

  • seashell

    This is very helpful and I’ve gone through a LOT (10 years) of trying to figure out what is going on. Trying gluten/dairy free for 30 days yet still having terrible conditions when eating beans & nuts. What I really, REALLY, need knowing this information is a guide on what I CAN eat. Any links to a good diet plan to follow?

    • Hi Seashell

      I’m so glad you’ve found this helpful. There is no one diet that works for everyone, because we each differ in how we respond to various foods. However, I can say that the easiest foods to digest are meats (all types–meat, poultry, fish), fats, and fruits, including fruits that we think of as vegetables (vegetables with seeds–cucumbers, tomatoes, squash). If you base your diet on these foods, you would probably feel much better.

      • Suzan

        I find it interesting that you say meat is easy to digest because the first thing I cut was meat and it helped a lot. I have also cut grains, hard cheese and nuts. I’m better than I was before but still not normal.

    • Joy

      I’d recommend Paleo or Specific Carb Diet!

  • Terri D

    In addition to above foods, eggs (particularly the whites) cause problems with constipation in myself. Took awhile to narrow this one down. Of interest, they also seem to make me feel dysthymic…but not immediately! Both effects seem to follow about 48-72 hours after ingestion. Who would have ever guessed!? Cruciferous veggies seem fine here. I’d like to try a nearly all meat diet to see if I could eliminate severe chronic constipation, but having to prepare food for my family puts the temptations firmly in my hand. So I settle for mostly meat, low fruit, and veggies I tolerate well. But at least my current diet allows magnesium to actually work, whereas it didn’t a year ago! I still am stunned that diet plays this much of a role, and I’m still eliminating/reintroducing over and over again to keep proving to myself that I can produce a specified symptom just by eating a certain food/food group.

  • anjie

    I take daily magnesium tablets before I go to bed. They relax me and I never have constipation. I take these in addition to my regular vitamins and minerals.

  • Casey

    Hi Dr. Ede,
    I have had major gut issues for the past 18 months and need help from someone. They have changed my world – not in a good way – and I have become obsessed with finding an answer/solution to feel whole again. I have been diagnosed with IBS and was doing well for a few months, but new symptoms are presenting themselves. I do not know who to turn to. I find that I have become depressed and lethargic in the midst of this. In fact, I cry as I write this. My husband and I want to have children and even my hormones are affected. I don’t know if this is all due to an underlying cause, but I need help. Most recently, I have found I wake during the night feeling nauseous and my arms and legs will get a flushed sensation. Then I have to use the restroom. I am not sure what type of diet to eat at this point. I am scared and tired. Thank you very much, in advance, for your

    • Hello, Casey
      I am sorry to hear that you are feeling so unwell. Unfortunately I cannot provide personal medical advice on this site, however, in addition to the information in this IBS article, you might also find my blog article about histamine intolerance useful, as fermented foods can cause a variety of very frustrating symptoms including flushing. If you have not already done so, you may want to start keeping a food&symptom diary in hopes of noticing connections between what you eat and when you get symptoms. Sounds like you were doing well there for a while and then something changed, so you might be able to figure it out if you keep a journal. You may also want to consider meeting with an allergy specialist or at least consider trying a low-allergen diet for a couple of weeks (no nuts, dairy, gluten, seafood, soy, corn, or eggs). Best of luck~

  • Thankful

    Bingo! After years – make that decades – of bloating, burping, and constipation, I think I found my answer on this board. Casein is the problem. After consulting friends, doctors, and anyone who would listen….they all had similar responses. MORE FIBER. But that never made sense to me, as I was eating enough fiber for an army. And I got plenty of exercise. I’m 5′ 2″ and 105 pounds.

    I tried playing with my diet, i tried gluten-free, prunes, miralax, and all the usual suspects. Nothing worked. The only constant in my died was yogurt and fruit. There should be nothing wrong with that, right? After all, I tested negative for an allergy to lactose and I never have the runs. There was no immediate reaction after I ate yogurt. I was just in a constant state of bloat and constipation. Keep in mind, I was eat yogurt almost every day.

    Fast forward – I have not eaten yogurt for 2 months and I feel great, no bloating, burping, or constipation. I’ve finally found the cause – casein. Wow!

    • Hello, Thankful
      I am so happy that you have found your culprit!

    • Monica

      Thanks So Much!!!..I am similiar to your story and will try this…

    • ridewithstyle

      OMG! I am nearly in tears! (And I am normally not a drama Queen!) I have not been able to figure out what is wrong with me! I have increased water, more exercise, tried fiber pills, stool softeners, even laxatives. I live alone with my dog so I don’t always make full balanced meals and sit at a table, but I do “occasionally” put a chicken breast on the grill and eat a salad, but my main diet is 1/2 & 1/2 in my coffee, EGGS and YOGURT! I have found some local Greek yogurts that the high-end grocery stores nearby stock. There is another brand that is more commercial that I like too, but I have become HOOKED on both. So I sit at my computer, drink coffee with CREAM and EGGS and TOAST for breakfast and unless I grill something, I sit and eat YOGURT all day long and then sit at my computer and have it for a midnight snack. (Then I think I am doing something healthy by adding a sliced banana and strawberries to the YOGURT). I swear this brand is addicting and like thick whipping cream. Well, not only has it caused me to gain weight like crazy (I’m really depressed about that), but the bloat and lethargy is getting so bad I feel like I am going to explode! I feel like I hit the lottery with this new information! Thank you so much! I am going off ALL dairy products starting NOW!

    • bonny

      Thanks for this post. It is the reason I started zcarb last week. My problem sounds similar to you. Except I added the culperts along with the yogurt (home made too) all saurkraut, broccili etc. I just quit all those things too. Let you know when I find my culpert. I think about a month I will add back sauerkraut fist and see what happens. Do not want to vistit Dr. just for tests that may or may not really work. bonny

  • PatriotEngineerAnalystUSA

    A year ago, I discovered Greek yogurt, and I love it! High in protein and calcium, low in fat and calories. I eat a lot of it, daily.

    But, it appears I have to give it up. Recently, I’ve had terrible “C,” like never before. Since I exercise frequently, and drink lots of water, it’s likely the culprit.

    Thanks for the info!

  • Jolly

    I have felt cursed for years (I’m now 85) because of my extreme sensitivity to all the culprits you describe so visually in your explanation of trouble-causing foods. Gluten, dairy, cruciferous vegetables, beans, and more (including hard cheese which my holistic doctor says is OK). I can’t even look at eggs in the morning! I’m attracted to grains like bread, cereal, rice, pasta, and try to eat gluten-free grains but it’s not fun and I feel deprived of the things I like best! I have also lost some taste and smell, which is fairly uncommon, but enjoy salty, sweet, and sour foods. I think your diagnosis of foods is right on, though after years of work and research on diet and nutrition, I also believe there’s no “quick fix,” no “one size fits all.”

  • A

    After years and years on a gluten free, casein free diet that was mostly vegetables with lean meats and limited grains/starches….and having chronic constipation the entire time… I accidentally discovered that if I ate virtually no vegetables, I had no digestive problems at all. In fact, on a diet of hot cereal, egg whites, and chicken, I am completely regular, every day, free of all issues. No gas, no stomach pain, constipation, no nothing. If I have 1 salad, or a couple pieces of raw fruit, I have stomach pain and can’t poop for days. I do ok with cooked and pureed veggies in a soup, like baby food, but it is getting old. I don’t know what to do, exactly – clearly this is not a long term plan, but it is so wonderful being free from these problems I’ve had for so many years I can’t help but sticking to my chicken tender diet.

  • Finally it makes sense!

    I am sad that I must now give up my beloved Greek yogurt but it seems as though this is probably the likely culprit of my problems. Thanks for this post and to all the commentors which have helped me realize that the thing things I have been eating and thinking were good for me are probably not so good for my digestion.

  • Jenny

    If a person has problem with the veggies on the list…would Juicing it actually help as in less raffinose be there ? Also does cooking it a very long time as in a soup help destroy the raffinose?

  • Claire

    THANK YOU DR. EDE. I have had multiple horrible digestive issues for 30 years. I’ve read about FODMAPS and SCD diet and experimented and tested and listened to gastro doctors who say things like “Prunes are good for you!” (8 prunes made me so bloated I felt my stomach would literally burst open), and “white flour won’t hurt you,” (white flour gives me a hellish headache and makes my whole body feel ill), and “You’re not lactose intolerant so drink all the milk you want,” (dairy plugs me up even worse). After reading your very short article, I feel like I’ve been told the secret to the universe. IT MAKES SO MUCH SENSE.

  • Makes sense to me

    At last, what I feel may be the answer to the gooey clog that has caused me fecal impaction twice now. I am encouraged and grateful to you. Who would have guessed Greek Yogurt and Nuts.

  • terre

    Hi, after years of constipation, bloating, abdominal discomfort and IBS, witch induced neurologic problems (depression, irritability, anxiety) and allergies. I have tried many depression drugs without effect. I have tried gluten and caseine free diet for three years with many vegetables (letuce, cumcumber,…) and fruits without any result, also specific carbohydrate diet without any effect. but when I tried keto diet (very limited carbohydrates and sugar) I fell great (especialy with neurologic symptoms) and constipation was not gone but reduced. and when I eat foods witch contain sugar (fructose, glucose,,…), the abdominal discomfort, allergies, constipation and neurological symptoms rises.
    any advice please?

  • Tracy

    I never thought yougurt would be the culprit for constipation until today. I Googled it and found this article. Thanks — no more Greek style yogurt for me!

  • Hi Dr Ede, your information here is very in-depth but I see that you haven’t updated the site in a while, will there be any further updates? I haven’t seen anything else like it.

  • Zak

    I find that beautiful tasting FC yogurt and FCMilk are constipating, but due to my “unhealthy” digestive system and inability to eat most solid foods without vomiting, I’ve been told by the head dietitian of a large city hospital to try and eat as much protein as I can, regardless of the fat content. High nutrient drinks (Jevity, 2Cal, Forisip etc) are part of my diet and I LOVE everything I’ve mentioned but they’re IBS-C inducing. I find most fruits very tasty but not filling, except of course for even ripe bananas which constipate me terribly as well.
    It seems everything I adore or is good for me (that I won’t bring up) is an IBS-C trigger.
    The odd thing is that a few years ago I was constipated and I was eating 500g (1 lb) of full fat yogurt a day and it made no difference to my constipation at all in that when I stopped eating it, my bowel habits did not change.

  • daffodil

    Totally shocked that after years of constipation, pain and discomfort I have discovered that my so called healthy eating was causing the problem. I have stopped eating yoghurts, cheese, and other dairy products and my bowels have regained a natural rhythm. I thought by eating lots of yoghurt and dairy I was looking after myself how wrong I was! My only concern now is that as a 58 year old woman I am worried that by cutting out dairy I will lose out on vital calcium. What should I eat to compensate for eliminating dairy or should I take a supplement? Thanks for your help.

    • Lauren Kinlan

      Regularly eat sardines. That is one suggestion and also roasted Almonds have some.

  • Rebecca Henderson

    So after a year of battling major constipation. Multiple tests and doctors, this may be the answer to all my questions! I intake bread daily which contains gluten. My doctor said to eat greek yogurt so I do even though I am lactose intolerance. I also drink almond milk even though it isn’t soy it is still a nut. This could be the solution to all my problems! I take linzess and align daily and have myself on a super strict diet only drinking water and a glass of almond milk in the mornings and 100% all natural fruit smoothie with frozen fruit and I eat lots of fruit and veggies. Not knowing green beans shouldn’t be eaten I was only told broccoli. Thank you for this post! I see an allergen next week thinking I might be allergic to a food i’m eating thank you for all the good advice!!!!! 🙂

  • Russ 88

    I have struggled with C for about ten years; I’m 69 now. All that time refined grains and milk were, to a great degree, avoided. I eat a lot of the other things on the list. The one thing that has worked to relieve C, and still does, is 3 Tbsp of psylium husk in 10 oz of water, daily. Your mileage may vary. I’m going to post a link to a really enlightening video by IHMC on the microbiome, right now. I would include it here, but I suspect doing that would cause THIS post to be blocked. We’ll see. If it doesn’t show up, you’ll know what happened.

    • susan henderson

      Psylium husks would indeed cause constipation in me.

  • Russ 88

    Well, there is a message on the post which says: “Hold on, this is waiting to be approved by Diagnosis Diet.” I guess the policy is, at least for me, “No Links Allowed”. Thought all you readers might like to know. As of now, if you want to see the vid, search for the title on google.

    • Russ 88

      Just to see what would happen here, I looked up: “Larry Smarr – The Human Microbiome and the Revolution in Digital Health” on Ixquick, clicked the youtube link, and then copied the address. Here it is except for the (dot): .

      • Russ 88

        It worked! Yeehah!

  • Josie

    Hi I have recently become more aware that things were not quite right with my stomach as I had terrible rumblings and lots of wind and on some occasions when I felt I needed to go well I needed to go in a hurry and had explosive watery bowel movements ( sorry about the explicit details ) then I started to notice what looked like floating oversize corn niblets , as I hadn’t eaten corn or had capsules of any kind this was quite disturbing, so concern got the better of me and I pulled one out and after washing it well took a good look at it, it was about a 1/4 inch square with rounded edges and looked like it was a kind of soft gel capsule, I opened it up to find to my amazement what seemed like perfectly dry white compressed powder, very puzzling and concerning, what could it possibly be? I Googled it to find that quite a few other adults had found the very same thing varying sometimes in shape and size but with the same content. Many said that they had lots of tests that didn’t show any problems but still they had those terrible symptoms and more pods, it seems these pods could be found in infants but was not heard of in adults, so here we are and I believe what we are experiencing is Casein pods, an immune system problem to casein protein found in milk or dairy products and the body is attacking and encasing it and its being passed enveloped and undigested. Anyway I have kept these to show my doctor but I think I need to see an immunologist to be tested for Casein intolerance in dairy products. Hopefully I will be able to let you know how I go soon.I have had pain in my shoulders and neck for a long time and pains in my chest up to my throat and I’m thinking this could all be connected somehow, runny nose and watery eyes also with headache at times, sound familiar to anyone out there?. all the best with your journey to health, God bless.

    • Russ 88

      Hi Josie,
      That is quite a list! The first question that comes to mind is: are you eating any gluten (wheat, barley or rye)? That could be causing a lot of your symptoms, except for the white powder capsules.

    • SDkathy

      Josie, did you ever go to the doctor about these pods and if so, what did they tell you?

  • Thank you!!

    WOW this is incredible. I’ve never thought about greek yogurt being the cause of my almost constant bloating/constipation issues. I eat it every day and am willing to bet this is the cause of soo many tummy aches. Thank you for posting this article!

    • Graham Ansell

      Well humans aren’t designed to consume cows milk, common sense really

      • Imsocute

        And yet yogurt….Greek yogurt, especially….tastes so damn GOOD! Bummer. 🙁

        • MaryEllen Bormett

          There is commercially available coconut milk yogurt now!

          • Imsocute

            If my supermarkets even sell coconut milk yogurt, it’s probably high in sugar (even the plain) and loaded with additives — which I certainly don’t want. I’ll check into it, nevertheless. (Probably costs and arm and a leg too.)

      • Lauren Kinlan

        Just because you know something doesn’t make it common sense! Other people may not have learned about it. No need to have a belittling attitude.

        • caddy53

          Let me help out here, Lauren. The the teats hanging down under the cow; those are for calfs. The ones hanging on the front of your chest; those are for humans. Common sense really.

  • Lori

    In the last 7 months I have gone gluten free and dairy free. I rely heavily on Almond Milk and Almonds and other nuts for protein, maybe too much! I have had extreme constipation/sluggish bowels and couldn’t figure it out. Wondering if the amount of Almond I have in my diet is effecting this? Maybe exchanging Coconut Milk for the Almond Milk would be helpful.

    • Jac

      I eat lots of almonds, probably 4 ozs a day, and I don’t eat grains or dairy, but almonds don’t cause me any problems. Just cut them out for a week or two and see what happens.

    • Kat

      There are lots of different types of milk on the market now. In addition to the well known Soy, Almond, and Coconut, there’s Cashew, Hemp (made from the fiber of the stem so no THC), Flax, and Rice milks. My understanding is that Rice Milk is the least bothersome from an allergen standpoint, and Hemp and Flax milk can be quite expensive and not as easy to find.

  • Girl

    I’m glad to have found this article because I just talked with someone today about Greek Yogurt. I’m generally a VERY regular person. Often my stools are “textbook perfect.” However, I noticed the last few days (after buying Greek Yogurt that I haven’t purchased in weeks), that I’ve become more constipated. I decided to Google this and that’s how I found this article. I’m sad to hear about cruciferous vegetables, beans, and bananas being possible causes because I eat that stuff a lot. I haven’t noticed an issue with them as much, though. It’s mostly just the Greek Yogurt. Glad I’m not crazy!

    • dkaj

      Greek yogurt has more proteins in it than NON-Greek yogurt. If you want to try homemade yogurt, I would use goat milk as proteins are easier to digest for some and the fats are easier to break down. Most other countries do not drink cows milk – they do goats milk.

  • Mike Bell

    Green beans are not legumes.

  • Mel Tartaglia

    When I reached age 45, my digestive system went to hell. Suddenly my daily diet of yogurt, raw almonds, avocado and Ezekiel bread were making me terribly constipated. Adding more fiber made it even worse. Cutting out dairy, nuts, legumes and fiber made it better, but I had to take the RDA of magnesium in a supplement to make me regular. Basically, my diet consisted of animal products and white rice, and magnesium. Three months ago, I visited a friend who was battling cancer and who had taken up drinking a veggie smoothie every night which she whipped up in her VitaMix. Out of politeness, I drank one with her, thinking to myself that I’d no doubt be unable to poop the next morning. The smoothie contained kale, spinach, lime juice and water. I was surprised the next morning when I had no problems going. I was more surprised when I went again a few hours later. I didn’t pursue further experimentation right away. But when my daughter offered me a veggie-fruit smoothie from her Magic Bullet a few weeks later, I accepted. That night, I purposely didn’t take my magnesium supplement, to see how the smoothie would affect my digestion without magnesium. I was happy when I had no problems going the next morning. So, I decided to invest in a NutriBullet and explore smoothies a bit more. This is what I’ve discovered. I can put any combination of whole fresh veggies and fruits (except fruits containing pectin) in my smoothie as long as I let it whir for at least 60 seconds. As long as I have my daily smoothie, and don’t eat nuts, dairy or legumes, my magnesium supplement is no longer needed in order for me to poop. Crucifers do make me gassy but they don’t bind me up. I’m not saying these smoothies will work with everyone, or that cutting out dairy, nuts, etc. will cure your constipation. What I am saying is that everyone’s digestive system is unique. You may have to try an elimination diet to discover what your sensitivities are. I did, and that is when I found I could not eat dairy, nuts and legumes. It’s a slow, inconvenient process, but in about 6 weeks, you’ll learn the peculiarities of your own digestive system, and help it to function better. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Don’t take anyone’s word as gospel when it comes to your body. No one has the answer for everyone, there’s no room for loyalty to any professed dietary guru. It’s all about you and your health and happiness.

    • Dear Mel

      Thanks for your insights! I completely agree that we are each unique and need to experiment with foods to figure out what works best, and completely agree that adding fiber can make constipation worse for a lot of people. Rice is a grain that most people digest more easily than other grains, so it is unlikely that rice is one of your culprits, but my guess is you already tried removing that without success, and your diet was already so limited–it’s great that you found a strategy that works for you and allows you to eat a more varied diet!

  • viktoria

    when ever i eat any dairy products my belly grumbles an rumbles and sometimes i have really bad belly aches and diarrhea ? do you guys know what this might mean?

    • Hi Viktoria
      The two most likely possibilities are:

      1. Lactose intolerance. Many people can’t absorb lactose (milk sugar). If this is the case you may feel better if you tried lactose-free products or chose dairy foods which are naturally low in lactose such as hard cheeses, heavy cream, butter, etc. Check dairy food labels; if it has zero carbs, it’s lactose-free.

      2. Casein sensitivity. Many people can’t digest casein (a dairy protein). If this is the case, you may need to avoid almost all dairy foods in order to feel better. Some dairy foods are low in casein or virtually casein-free, such as heavy cream and butter. Check labels; if it has zero grams of protein, it’s casein-free.

      If neither of the above work, you may need to remove dairy completely from your diet in order to feel well (which is what I had to do).

      • viktoria

        thank you for replying, this helped me a lot

  • Leo

    Howdie Dr Ede,
    I have started my KETO way 1 week ago. After eating heavy Carbs, sweets and so on i have decided to put a stop to them all. I go to the Gym 4-5 times per week but still with a jelly belly around me :/
    Anyway.. I have been eating 4 full eggs in the morning, cooked in Butter (full fat) along with Bacon. Mainly fish all week, again fried in Butter, with green salad and lately Spinach (also cooked in butter).
    A few Espressos, Mature cheddar cheese, Smoked fat bacon also in as some kind of snacks.
    Tried double thick cream but changed my mind straight away… as I think there’s sugar in it.
    Full fat Mayo? My friend suggests there’s too much oil in it and can cause inflammation?
    Recently introduced Greek Fat Yoghurt too…
    Results: Using KETOSTIXS I see my ketosis levels being med-high (1-2-3 below the darkest) still have the belly (but I guess that takes time!) but been constipated since the beginning.
    I thinking of going to the Pharmacy for a lassative ? also (having read your articles) I shall eliminate Mature cheddar and Yougurt ?
    Any other suggestions?

    Many thanks and kid regards

    • Hi Leo

      Congratulations for getting started on this new path! Yes, the first potential culprit to explore is dairy, unfortunately. It only takes a few days or so to figure it out, but removing all dairy (including the butter, sadly) is the first experiment to try. If that doesn’t help, take a look at the raw vegetables in your salad. While too much of any raw vegetable can be problematic for some people, it’s most often the crucifers. [for a complete list of cruciferous veggies: The third, much less likely possibility is eggs. Most people tolerate eggs very well, but they are one of the top 9 foods that can cause food allergy and sensitivity, so if all else fails, take a look at the eggs.

      I’m hopeful that the dairy experiment will help you in two potential ways: 1) it is the food most likely causing your tummy troubles and 2) it is the most common roadblock to weight loss on LCHF and ketogenic diets, due to its ability to raise insulin levels [for more info:

      As for the mayo, most mayonnaise is made with refined seed oils such as canola oil, which are very high in omega-6 fatty acids. These can tilt the body in the direction of inflammation. However, you have to choose your battles. There are olive oil mayos out there if you’re interested. Check out Melissa Hartwig’s recipe on the (excellent) Whole 30 website:

      Hope this helps!

      • Leo

        Thank you very much for your prompt reply…
        I shall start today with no cheese and yogurt..
        If constipation doesn’t end in 2 days, I will cut the butter too. 🙁
        Shall I go for some lassative in the mean time? or best to wait?

        Thank you,

        P.S. Going to make my own mayo: Extra Virgin Olive oil, Eggs and lemon 😉

        • Howdie again Leo!

          I’ll leave that to your good judgment, but I see no reason to avoid taking one if you need one. Good luck with your dairy experiment and feel free to keep us posted if you’d like!

          • Leo

            I surely will !
            And here’s the first TIP if I may: Let’s call it KETO MAYO ?
            2 Eggs, 250 ml (circa) Extra Virgin olive oil, tick of salt (very little thick), half lemon squeezed.
            Need a hand blender and a blender glass…
            2 eggs and start blending, add Olive oil while blending and salt, and Lemon.. keep blending till consistence reached… more oil = more consistence…
            2 min max = healthy and great…

          • That mayo sounds fabulous and healthy; thank you for sharing this recipe with us here! I so wish I could eat eggs!

          • Imsocute

            A lot of people are allergic to the white of the egg but not to the yolk. Famous psychic Edgar Cayce always used to say to eat ONLY the yolk, and that the white is acid-producing or something. I also heard that eating the white of the egg is not good for the skin (you can google to find out why). Just tossing in my two bits. 🙂

  • utpal sinha

    Hello Dr. Ede, I want to know that whether nuts are okay to give to a 3 year old toddler daily in breakfast as it seems from your article that it would cause constipation. I am giving my child daily some walnuts, almonds, pistachois. He likes to eat those but ya from past few days he poops more and that whats make me concerned…

    • Dear Utpal

      Nuts are a common cause of constipation, but not for everyone. Some people seem to do just fine with them, and others find that they cause the opposite problem (diarrhea). We are each different in how we respond to plant foods. If your son likes nuts and they don’t bother him, they may be fine for him, but it sounds as if he may be having the opposite problem with them? The only way to know for sure is to take the nuts out of the diet to see if they are the culprit, then put them back in to see what happens. Also, some people have trouble with only certain kinds of nuts, so you may want to explore this possibility by testing only one kind of nut at a time. I hope the issue becomes clearer for you and your son with a bit of experimentation.

  • Hello, Ovennamedheats

    I wish I could tell you exactly what’s causing your symptoms but unfortunately there is no substitute for trial and error when it comes to things like this. It is true that meat, fat (and certain simple sugars like glucose) are easily absorbed compared to absolutely everything else, from dairy proteins to vegetable matter. If you have IBS-C something is interfering with your good digestion and there are many possible culprits. For IBS-C it can be helpful to reduce the diet to meats (by which I mean any animal–poultry, seafood, red meats, including their natural fats) and if you want to include plant foods and/or carbohydrates, than you could include fruits, which are typically rapidly digested and can actually cause IBS-D in some people. Fruits disguised as vegetables are probably ok to include as well, such as cucumbers, avocado, and squash. All of those have seeds, which makes them fruits. Then if you felt better you could add back other foods one at a time to see how things go.

    Some people (especially people with insulin resistance) feel sluggish if they overeat carbs or overeat protein, so we can’t rule out those potential issues, but grains, legumes, nuts, dairy, fermented foods, and artificial ingredients are very common culprits in fatigue syndromes. FODMAPS encourage fermentation in the gut, generating gases and other noxious by-products which can make some people feel awful.

  • cruzi5

    Medically speaking, constipation usually is defined as fewer than three bowel movements per week. Severe constipation is defined as less than one bowel movement per week. There is no medical reason to have a bowel movement every day.

    I used to have constipation issues, but i started taking a supplement that keeps me regular. I have a bowel movement EVERY DAY since I started taking the Lady Soma Fiber Cleanse. I take them for about 2-3 weeks out of the month. I do not always need it every day, but it has totally regulated my system.

  • Mary Rodriguez

    I have been doing it all wring it seems. Coming off a trainers diet and trying Keto, I was having difficulty getting my “allotted” 30g of fiber. I’ve been eating broccoli, peas, lots of almonds/walnuts, and cheese. Maybe now I won’t worry so much about getting the fiber and switching up the diet a little. This is a much different diet than I’m used to so it’s still a bit of a struggle finding the right foods to eat to get ALL that fat 🙂

    • Hi Mary

      Enjoy the search for delicious fats that don’t bother you! Some favorites among the keto crowd are: avocado, butter, egg yolks, and bacon fat. Fatty meats, fish and poultry (dark meat or meat with roasted skin) are excellent staple foods. I personally have trouble with heavy cream, coconut, and nuts, which many people on ketogenic diets enjoy and do fine with, but it’s important to figure out which ones your body likes best. Good luck!

  • Orion Antares

    Would coconut meat fall under the nuts issue or would that be safe to continue eating if you’re trying to eliminate these items to test for if any are related to constipation? Also, what would be a cheapeasy low carb vegetable alternative to broccoli and green beans?

    • rana

      Asparagus is very low carb and low calorie, and sugar snap peas differ from green beans, they are even lower carb. Also parsnips are great but they’re slightly higher in carbs. Bell peppers are awesome. Also collard greens and spinach are easier for me to digest than kale

    • Hi Orion

      You would have to experiment with coconut vs other nuts to see how you do with them. Coconut for me personally seems to affect me in similar ways to all other nuts, but everyone is different. I would recommend taking out all nuts for a little while and then adding back just coconut to see what happens.

      Great low-carb vegetables with low risk for constipation include:

      yellow squash
      green/red peppers and tomatoes (unless you are sensitive to nightshades)
      non-cruciferous lettuces (iceberg, romaine, escarole, red leaf, green leaf)
      beet greens
      spaghetti squash

      Hope that helps!

  • Hi again–sorry for the delay! I do not claim to be an IBS expert and encourage everyone to do their own dietary experiments to see what works best for them. There are lots of and lots of people on the internet offering solutions for IBS, and some of them are making a lot of money on supplements and other products that promise relief. I can’t tell you whether or not their approach would work for you, I can only tell you what the science says about digestion. My individual detailed pages on fruits, fiber, and meat, include numerous scientific references that support what I write. Unfortunately, what I have come to understand about nutrition flies in the face of what most conventionally trained dieticians will tell you. I have not yet written a book but hope to do so in the near future. I am sorry that I don’t currently offer phone consultations but I am in the process of considering that, and will let you know if I can make that happen.

  • Mariam

    After female surgery including directions for no straining! IBS-Constipation and gas.. History of not able to eat raw foods . Very difficult to get proteins in. Meat chicken bad. Canned green beans great since childhood especially after surgeries / 1 per year growing up probably trashed flora. Rarely able to eat salads. Certainly not while in Episode mode. Steamed carrots fine and baked yams. Graham crackers and Barbara’s spoonfuls cereal. Strawberries frozen black cherries in smoothies with brown rice protein powder ok. Not sure if fish is giving me trouble. Boring diet choices

  • kyle

    Oh, really? Casein should be the culprit for me. I take a class of milk everyday, that is the dessert I usually like and constipation has been the order of the day. Thank you for the information.

  • Cyndi

    I do eat 4 of these foods everyday. I gave up meat and dairy about 40
    years ago and eat a 98% plant based/raw diet. My IBSC symptoms just about
    disappeared! I have had IBSC
    since my 20’s. Because I see my hubbies frozen yogurt each time
    I open the freezer, I gave in and started eating it about 4
    months ago. About that time I became so clogged up that my family Dr
    finally prescribed a whole bottle of magnesium citrate, which
    worked. The problem returned since I didn’t want to believe the
    yogurt was causing it, since I have eaten regular refrigerated yogurt
    occasionally through the years for a week at a time with no apparent problem, I
    am wondering if the frozen yogurt is really causing this
    problem. I am going to give it up for a month and see what
    happens. Thanks for the heads up!

    • Hi Cyndi

      Interesting history–thanks for sharing! Dairy in general and yogurt in particular are major culprits in digestive problems, so I’m hopeful that you will notice a big difference over the next month. Please feel free to keep us posted!

      • Cyndi

        Thank you, I will. I am hoping it will be a good update!

  • disqus_nocmkvBMwY

    Can you refer us to the studies on which these claims are based? I need to read them. Thanks.

  • Mark van der Enden

    Dear Dr. Ede,

    I have read the information on your site with great interest. I have been suffering from chronic constipation for over 10 years now and are at loss what to do. All checks with my doctor and at the hospital turned out negative. I have been experimenting during this time with my diet going from a meat based diet to a vegetarian and finally vegan dieet. I have noticed, however, no difference whatsoever in my constipation issues.
    I was wondering if you could advice me regarding the most appropriate diet for somebody with chronic constipation who wants to follow a vegetarian/vegan diet. What should be the basic staples. I now primarily eat legumes, lost of vegetables rice/pasta’s.
    The strange regarding my constipation is that every year when I go on fieldwork (I am on archaeologist) to Greece , (but only in the summer and not during winter) but constipation magically disappears almost immediately and I have a normal bowel movement everyday. As soon as I am back home, same problem again. Could this be related to what I eat, I have tried to replicate this at home but no positive results.
    I very much appreciate your advice.

    • Hi Mark

      Unfortunately it is nearly impossible to avoid the grains/beans/nuts/seeds when eating a vegan diet, because those are staple protein sources of the vegan diet. Since you can’t safely remove those from a vegan diet without risking malnutrition, you are left with a few half-measures that may or may not help, including:

      increasing fat intake (fat lubricates the gut and improves digestibility of food
      minimizing raw fibrous vegetables
      avoiding cruciferous vegetables
      removing all grains that contain gluten
      eating more fruit and choosing vegetables that contain seeds (fruits in disguise) over vegetables without seeds

      Hope it helps!

      • Mark van der Enden

        Dear Dr. Ede,

        Many thanks for your reply and advice, much appreciated. Would tofu be a good source of protein to eat instead of beans and nuts? And are avocado’s good for increasing fat intake. I usually only have a lot of olive oil with my meals.
        Would it be possible to avoid the potential problems you mention on a vegetarian diet?
        I am certainly going to take your advice and see if things improve.
        Best wishes,

        • Hi Mark

          Unfortunately tofu is a refined legume (bean) product, so it does contribute to constipation in some people.

          Avocado is a great way to increase healthy fats in the diet!

          A vegetarian diet is superior to a vegan diet because you can eat eggs as one of your protein sources (unless you have an egg sensitivity). You can also eat dairy on a vegetarian diet, but dairy is a gastrointestinal culprit for quite a few people. You’d have to experiment with eggs and dairy to see what’s true for you…

          • Mark van der Enden

            Dear Dr. Ede,

            Many thanks again for all the information. Much appreciated. Sorry for my late reply is was on holiday.
            Would gluten free pasta and rice be ok to eat?

            Best wishes,


          • dannyR

            As an archeologist, your fieldwork in Greece may involve a certain amount of physical exertion in the trunk that moves your guts around a lot. Make sure of your exercise regime when you get home. And don’t think you can fix constipation by shoving down even more fiber, veggies, etc. If you have a few days of overeating that stuff, especially if you’re not getting enough exercise, you may get a distended colon, which even for a few hours, can lead to a months-long problem that seems bafflingly insoluble.

            As for pasta and rice, geez, gluten or not, that stuff can turn into construction-concrete in the gut if it doesn’t get properly broken down in the stomach. If you’ve got constipation, don’t even look at that stuff.

          • Mark van der Enden

            Many thank for your reply. Have been eating for a few weeks now, primarily eggs, eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini and bell peppers. My constipation issues have improved tremendously. But the diet is of course fairly restricted and as soon as I deviate from it I have my constipation issues again.

          • Imsocute

            Am sure you already know the importance of drinking enough water every day. True, we can get liquid via fruits and veggies, but nevertheless…..

          • Tracy Minton

            This has certainly been my experience. Chronic on and off constipation while on a vegan diet, and thru much of my life. Just began a VLCHF ketogenic diet, and still experiencing constipation, but I will continue to eliminate foods, like the raw marinated carrot & beet salad I’ve been eating lately as one of my few main vegetables, other than spinach, onions, and mushrooms.

            I spent way too many years stuffing down bowls of high fiber foods, incl. grains, beans, flax and chia seeds, nuts, kale, and other cruciferous veg, whole grain pastas and breads, etc. I know my colon is stretched out, and hope I find relief from this soon! I will try as Mark van der Enden has to eat more tomatoes and zucchini instead of the carrot beet salad I’ve been eating lately.

    • Lilly

      You could look into the paleo diet. Also if you live outside the US multiflor helps to remove the bacteria contributing to constipation.

  • JBKayak

    I think nutrition like medicine is always being refined by new scientific break through. Unfortunately, not everyone is one the newest revision, including educators, so you will here different advice. Use time on your side by isolating variables and try to find what works for you and search out people that align with what you are experiencing. Then it’s easier to trust their knowledge and gain from their experiences

  • melissa spiegler

    Okay, That makes sense with what causes it. Now can there be some discussion of natural alternatives for promoting a productive digestive system with no stress bowel movements. I seem to have problems with yogurt, cheeses, nuts, apples any candy,soy, any things “high in fiber” which are my major difficulty with pain and lack of bowel movements. What bugs me is that I think I need to “go” and then when it’s time to sit down my system has no intention of releasing anything. If I take “Metamucil” it takes two to three days to work at all. I’m not a complainer…I go with the flow LOL!!! I do know however how important healthy daily bowel movements are to our overall system and health and I am always stressing that to other people.

    • dannyR

      Sometimes people pig out on high hard-fiber foods like wheat bran, or just too much fiber altogether. The colon winds up a distended balloon in which natural peristalsis… uh… stalls. The concentric muscles do their thing but it’s useless. They require a small-bore tube than can section off the material in packets.

      I advise anyone who “eating all the ‘right’ stuff” who has such paradoxical blockage to think about a very slow gentle enema procedure over several days. It can’t do any harm, even if the above isn’t the problem, and it may clear out a huge dam.

      Once this problematic condition settles in, laxatives, and more of the ‘right’ foods, just cause that much more material to pile up on the dam. You have to get that obstruction out, if rather artificially at first, and let the colon contract to a more natural diameter.

      Having done that… are you ready… Don’t chug down the ‘right’ foods again! Start off with fiber foods that tend to pass easily: thin oatmeal gruel, tropical fruits, etc. You mentioned dairy. You might want to leave that until later, because dairy can be a sort of weird switch-hitter, sometimes constipating, sometimes runny.

      Bananas. Contrary to medical urban legend, unripe bananas retain a mildling irritating fiber that is converted to digestible starches and sugars in the fully ripe fruit. This irritating fiber promotes peristalsis better than completely ripened bananas. That said, stay away from bananas altogether for a while. Until the intestines re-establish their natural cross-section and peristaltic action, you want to focus on less fiber and what fiber there is should be of the runny kind. You may have to put up with a stool that’s a bit runnier than you would like.

      Watch whatever meds you take for side-effects, of course. Opiates tend to be constipatey for example.

  • Dippy

    Well what about when u eat too much sugar and then end up getting constipated? I am guessing that if I completely stay away from sugar for a couple days the problem will resolve? Also is it common for laxities to work like once then stop working?

  • Dippy

    I usually poop everyday but yesterday was hard and today not much at all. I feel like I should poop but cant

  • dannyR

    Raffinose doesn’t cause or contribute to constipation. The fermentation gas produced in the lower gut, assuming enough water intake, actually breaks up stool into a somewhat loose, porous, spongy mass, easily eliminated. Sometimes tooeasily.

    • Carroll H Hoagland III

      However, the average person farts 14 times a day if your “Gut Microbiome” is healthy … so gas is good indicator.


    all healthy things are listed here…so what should i eat? to lose fat and gain muscle

  • Jac

    For 65 years , that is from babyhood, I have been constipated. Not just a little, but a lot – I could go up to 6 weeks without ‘going’. I also suffered from acid reflux from around the age of 17, and asthma from age 14. At the age of 60, I managed to make the connection between my acid reflux and eating wheat, so gave up all grains. I have, through testing them out, have been able to introduce rye crispbread and porridge oats without flaring the symptoms. At this time, my asthma improved somewhat, and I was able to cut down on my medication. Last year, desperate for a solution to a 6 week span of not ‘going’, I came across an medical article that had surprised doctor’s, in that a casein sensitivity in babies could cause intractable constipation, and to test it out, they just stopped the child being fed casein-containing food/drink, and within 4 or 5 days, the constipation problem vanished, and normal service was resumed. They also wondered how many of the adult population that complained of constipation, were also casein-intolerant. My diet has always included lots of cheese, yoghurt, milk to drink, etc. So overnight, I just stopped eating/drinking it. In 4 days, service was resumed and has continued, 2 or 3 times a day, ever since. On top of that, as a bonus, my asthma lessened even more, and now I take no steroid and only use my rescue inhaler perhaps once every 3 weeks or so (more if I have a cold). I cannot re-find that article I read, but I’m sure it must still be out there, but I swear I was meant to find it.

    • Carroll H Hoagland III

      Right – some lost studies by the WHO from the 1950’s showed that 54% of the world’s population is allergic to dairy. Many lack the genes to produce the enzymes. It usually is the sugar, but milk proteins can be an issue. Also 25% of the world population is allergic to tomatoes and wheat.

    • bonny

      Thank you so much for this info. People that don’t have C.just do not understand how hard we try to Fix this problem without drugs . They say just take miralax or some other drug. I also have the nazal problem congestion in my head and ears. I cannot wait for this to work. your post helps make me stick to the 0 carb until I find what is causing this

  • Carroll H Hoagland III

    Hi Dr. Ede … I am sure some of this page might change with the world wide movement to “Ketogenic Diets, i.e. LCHF”. A big issue is the hybridizing of modern fruits, vegetables and grains. Dr. Peeke calls it Hyper-Palatables = Sugar = Cocaine = Dopamine and drugs addiction. We have hybridized in favor of Palatability and “Less Bitter”.

    I do not recommend the use of socially correct/incorrect … “Beano”, “Mouth wash”, “Anti-acids” … etc. as the use of these usually indicates something else is wrong … besides “Digestion” starts in the mouth and gas is an indicator of a “Working Intestinal Microbiome”.

    But I am using this page as a reference on my site … 70 Going On 100.

  • KMA

    How come I have never seen in any chat on constipation issues the use of Vitamin C? If I have a problem I just take any where from 1 up to 4 grams of Vitamin C first thing in the morning, with a glass of water. Problem solved!

    For years I had problems, went to all the docs, tried everything: miralax, laxatives, fiber supplements, nothing was ideal, somethings caused more problems.

    (I tried using Vitamin C AND Magnesium at first, but the magnesium caused my hemorrhoids to get worse. But this might work for some people.)

  • bonny

    Wow , who know all the “good thing” I have been eating insted of grains for fiber would just make matters worse if we eat too much broccoli,kale etc. Plus I gave up pasturized milk about 15 years ago at least and found Raw milk began making my own yogurt. I knew milk was a problem but thought it was only pasturized milk. not yogurt. I have been constiped for at least 20 years off and on. It is worse now. I started Zero CArb lastr week, I feel my congestion in nazal is clearing up . I am in process of cutting out all carbs now. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this life saving infromation.
    I am 78 female, never would take any RX meds of any kind. wiegh 124 , 5’4″ and otherwise in very good health.

  • Mary

    A million thanks for highlighting what could be gumming up the works. After 2 years of self-monitoring, PCP and specialist visits, blood tests, colonoscopy and OTC meds … finally a summary that makes sense (as one other commenter described). Searching for foods without my triggers flour and sugar led me to foods with seeds which I enjoyed but experienced the same troubles. Now I know! This summary is tremendously helpful.

  • M M Ahmed

    The culprit is elusive in my case!

    I’m 58 and 4 years ago I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis the meds have taken care of the symptoms, I since had flair ups also corrected by meds,
    With careful diet I managed to stay without flair ups for 2.5 years.
    Then suddenly bang peace shattering upset to my digestive system .
    In less than hours I experienced gumming up,loosen up rectal pain mussel ache
    Couldn’t find a comfortable position to sit or lied down,
    I mention that I also have slightly elevated cholesterol.
    I made a list of all the food that I have consumed in the 5 days prior to the flair up,
    And attributed to potatoes chips with olive oil in the oven as my wife is Irish needless to say I overdosed 😩😩😩😩
    The other culprit was pectin as it’s summer it’s plentiful
    I also harvested the black cherry Tree in the garden and wait for it l made some delicious jam with sugar added pectin now I say that 173 cm tall and weiy 11.2 stone so that you know.
    Normally I prefer set honey with high suger inversion.
    Previously I stopped eating jams and any thing that came in a jar.
    It was my belief that sulfite was the trigger but l had only 2 bottles in the last 4 month, I do however drink Gin and slim.
    Part of me thinks I went of rail and my body wanted nothing to do with it
    I don’t smoke, I go to pellets class and walk the pooch twice daily so that you know I stumbled across this site as I was searching for deadly nightshade and solanine. Needless to say I increased my daily asacol together with enamma and feel a bit better thank god.
    So for now lm steering away from potatoes and jams
    Please can you tell me your views on sulfite and fructose, pectin.
    And a combination of all three.
    Many thanks in advance

  • Georgee

    It’s funny but for years I have had IBS-C. I’m just learning nuts, oatmeal, beans and Greek yogurt the foods I ate on a regular was the problem. This is crazy to me. In the pasted I’ve done Paleo challenges with my box and I’m thinking it helped. I can’t really remember but I’m currently adjusting my diet to all Whole Foods that don’t have a shelf life of eternity, basically small portions of lean meats and lots of fruit and veggies. So far so good I feel better. I do allow treats on occasions.

  • Hanok Sunuwar

    Corn are also bad for constipation ??

  • Philipa Stewart

    Dr Ede
    I’m so glad I found this page & after so many years I’m glad it’s still here. Thank you so much for this information.

  • S Deane

    Dr. Ede – Can you recommend a daily or weekly approach to test sensitivity to the 5 common culprits? Should you eliminate everything or only one at a time? In what order & frequency should you progress?

  • Wilemutt

    I am in agony. Two days ago, I thought I was fine, had a nice visit with my brother whom I hardly see except on Christmas. We visited our folks’ graves then went to lunch in the town where we grew up. I had a garden burger with cheese (I knew I shouldn’t have had the cheese). It also had a lot of onions and two tomato slices on a gooey white bun and potato salad loaded with mayo. I am a pescatarian but would like to be a vegan. In the evening when I got home I steamed 1/2 of a small spaghetti squash and put together an awesome peanut sauce with too much stuff to list here, but I did put chopped red bell pepper, red onion, tofu, and mushrooms. It tasted fantastic on the way in. I also had a small salad and some cooked broccoli. Yesterday I thought I was going to die! Trying to “go” in the a.m. was excruciating with a lot of blood. It always feels like everything is caught in a huge, solid brick at the very bottom. I slept all day. Two days later, I am still in agony. I have been to doctors, both primary care and a GI specialist who does my colonoscopy. All they do is prescribe MiraLax and stool softeners. Occasionally, I take a huge glass of water with psyllium seed mixed in. I have to be careful because that can glue things together worse! I also drink Smooth Move tea at night. I believe my gut cannot tolerate tomatoes, peppers, onions, or peanut butter. I am OK with quinoa and cooked greens like chard or spinach. I actually think the yogurt helped me, but most of these probiotics are a big joke. My primary care doctor recommended the Fodmap diet which indicates that I shouldn’t eat artichokes, avocados, or asparagus, all the things I love! I am so bewildered and depressed! Where in the heck does one start without starving. I exercise regularly and use the pool as well, but one cannot workout without energy. I eat a lot of nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios and I use almond milk (switched from soy). I eat tofu, eggs, and occasional garden burgers. It is difficult to leave bread and pastas alone, but I realize these are not doing me any favors unless it is whole grain bread and I always read all labels on any processed foods. Crackers are a death sentence. I was recently diagnosed with Candida Albicans and took the prescribed Nystatin, but I’m not sure it did any good. My stomach is always puffed out and bloated. After I am able to painfully squeeze out the morning bomb, then I usually have the runs for the rest of the day! The GI doctor told me that I have an unusually long colon, so that makes things even worse. (EDIT: I also wonder if I could have an allergy to the nightshade family–peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant. No problem leaving out eggplant)!

  • V008

    Hi Dr. Ede,

    I’ve been trying hard to cure my constipation and am currently trying the low FODMAP diet (with reasonable results), but haven’t yet completely figured out trigger foods.

    1) Can lactose intolerance cause constipation? Most articles indicate lactose intolerance causes diarrhea.
    2) Besides casein which can cause constipation, can a combination of both lactose and casein intolerance cause constipation?
    3) Is full fat cows milk powder more constipating than liquid cows milk?

  • Briggs Terrie

    I have hope! What is hurting my head is trying to figure out what fruits and vegetables can have given the information that you have given 🙁

  • Shubham Shekhar

    Thanks for this information! Now I have recognised the culprit. Whenever I eat nut (Almond) and Corn, I face this problem of constipation. Bread made of wheat is our staple diet, so what can I eat please suggest. Can I eat Walnut in place of Almond because I want to eat something brainy food?

  • Andreia Franco

    I believe the main problem with bananas are their high tannin content. Tannins are known to cause constipation. The japanese have high rates of intestinal obstruction because of ingestion of unripe persimmons.

  • a1a1a1a1a12

    This advice was totally counterproductive for me. I am on LCHF diet and aiming at less than 50 g carbs a day because I have no weight to lose and my body tolerates carbs well enough.
    My husband had the same problem with what you advise or even worse.
    What really helps me is cabbage or broccoli + legumes such as green beans or fried peanuts. Fat content of course should be also high but it helped only in the beginning until I became capable of digesting any amount of fat.
    Fruits such as tomatoes and cucumbers have no laxative effecowt at all on us.
    Going below 500 g of vegetable matter causes constipation immediately.
    Nuts other than peanuts and seeds cause it too.
    Dairy has no influence although I am lactose intolerant but not my husband.

    So generally I’d say there is no universal soluton although the same things work for me and my husband no matter how different we are. It probably depends on something else which is less obvious. Gut flora maybe?

    • Kat

      That’s exactly why an elimination diet is a good idea for a lot of people. No one is saying that any advice here is good for everyone. In fact, they’re saying everyone has to figure it out for themselves based on information gleaned from this and other similar sites. Start by eliminating any foods that COULD be causing problems for a few weeks, then slowly add things back into the diet one at a time, watching for symptoms, to see what the culprit is.

  • Terri E

    Ten years CIC or chronic idiopathic constipation, they didn’t call it IBSC because lack of bloating issues. I was totally dependent on miralax. Finally after trying everything else, I gave #1 and #2 on your list, no grains or dairy at all for a year. It actually tremendously improved my sinus and skin issues, but did not help the constipation. So I kept looking. It wasn’t until I dropped fiber, which would include items #3,4,and 5 on your list, that the constipation finally went away enough that I could give up the miralax and be a normal person. I use supplements like vitamin c and magnesium to help, I’m not sure if I still need them though. I get so mad at people constantly saying fiber is the answer, when for me it was the culprit.

  • Susan

    I just found this site. You have given me more information than any doctor I’ve seen. Thank you so much.