Digestive Issues (a little gross, be warned)

So I've been eating a mostly raw diet for about a year now. I've never had any issues with it really until recently and I can't figure out what's going on. No matter WHAT I eat, if it's raw, I can't seem to truly digest it. Here's where it gets a little gross, but everything ends up coming out looking much like it did going into my body, and the process of elimination tends to be a pretty uncomfortable experience altogether...

I get really really cramped up in my tummy after eating, and when I finally go to the bathroom it hurts a lot in my belly, and is always almost entirely water (really bad diarrhea). I can't figure out what's going on because I've tried taking out some foods and trying to eat different ones and I've played around with that a bit. Nothing significant has changed in my diet, and I make sure that I don't overdo eating one thing too much, as well. I make sure I'm eating lots of fruits, greens, with some fats and protein... I mean... it's really basic and it's what has always worked for me until maybe a month ago.

The only thing that is different now is, well a few things...some related to diet, and others not so much.

First of all, I get all organic produce from the farm I work at. Which shouldn't make a difference at all, except maybe a positive one... but it's just about the only thing about my diet that has changed.

I did get my tubes tied a couple months ago...and I'd say it might have something to do with that, BUT, the issues seem to be okay if I eat cooked food unfortunately. I ate some falafel the other day and I was fine from that--had no tummy issues, and had good digestion...but I can't seem to eat ANYTHING raw without it going right through me and being a painful experience. WTF???

Does anyone have any idea what could be going on and what I could do to get it under control? I really don't want to incorporate more cooked foods into my diet if I have any other option because I don't see that being any healthier, either, even if it solves the tummy issues.


Like I said... it's fine when I eat cooked foods, so I don't think it's something that's wrong with my body or anything...but maybe I am wrong.


  • powerliferpowerlifer Raw Newbie

    Your symptoms sound like low stomach acid, ie the food coming out as it went in and possible bile flow insufficiency.

    the best tool overall is to use bitter herbs on the back of the tongue pre meal, make sure they really come in contact with the back of the tongue where the bitter receptors are located this will stimulate the vagus nerve to stimulate stomach acid, bile flow, pancreatic enzymes and cleanse the liver in the process. This is the best tool to cleanse the liver you will need to up your water intially though as it does cleanse the liver very effectively.


  • Hey Tweedle, I had the same problem minus the discomfort - I just had stools that looked undigested. Per Powerlifer, I started doing the bitters. Unfortunately, they didn't help me that much, so I started taking Betaine HCL which has helped a lot with the veggies. Nuts, seeds still don't break down as well so I do two caps for those meals...But the bitters may work for you, they are nice...

    Hi Powerlifer, I hope you are well :) Regarding the bitters, as noted above, I wasn't having a lot of success. Any ideas - I hate to rely so much on Betaine HCL, but need to do something. Major detox started once I started taking it. Also, I was wondering, do I need to take a blend of bitters or could I just do dandelion root/milk thistle? A lot of blends have ginger and turmeric which I have food sensitivites with.

  • powerliferpowerlifer Raw Newbie

    Hey Beaglelove i wrote i big response then it deleted ahhh. Id suspect your bitter formula isnt bitter enough. Singular bitter herbs are just as effective id recommend something abit more bitter such as andrographis or picrorhiza(very bitter), id try find the latter if possible even though andrographis is known as the king of bitters.

    If betaine hcl is working partially then i suspect low stomach acid and a better choice is apple cider vinegar pre meal. I know betaine isnt helping you fully such as the nuts/fat which indicates poor bile flow, bitters are recommended for this not sure why your formula isnt helping have you tried grape bitters by planetary herbals, there a decent choice.

    ginger and tumeric the former is a very powerful ant-acid which is something you want to avoid.


  • powerliferpowerlifer Raw Newbie

    Actually what i missed due to the reply that i pressed back by mistake. B vitamins from natural sources if you have low stomach acid is key. Id recommend zinc 50mg preferably an acidified source such as zinc citrate with the largest meal of the day. TMG can also be supplemented:).

    this will all help low stomach acid long term rather than just using betaine HCL which has a pH of 1. Where as normal stomach acid has a ph of 2 to 3:).


  • powerliferpowerlifer Raw Newbie

    Again sorry for the third post i think i remember you saying you suspected you had candida overgrowth of the intestines.

    All the above will help increase acidity which is what keeps candida in its harmless yeast form, as soon as the PH alters to an alkaline PH this is when candida mutates from its harmless yeast form(which everyone has) to fungal overgrowth. The good bacteria secrete many acids which keep candida and other microbes in check.

    You might want to try fermented foods such as water kefir, cultured veggies etc to try re-establish your good flora. Which will help digestion 10 fold. You also need to feed the good flora via prebiotic fibres such as rice bran, oat bran, seaweeds, FOS and inulin. Which are present in many fruits and vegetables.


  • Maybe I'll try the fermented foods first. I'm not really into taking supplements of any kind and don't really have the money to, either. I'll keep you posted on what happens and what I all experiment with.

    Thanks for the replies!! :)

  • powerliferpowerlifer Raw Newbie

    A bitter herb isnt expensive and try to not think of it as a supplement but as a food but fairs fair.

    Fermented foods are a great tool and will help alot by repopulating the good flora, if low stomach acid is the cause they will help reduce symptoms. But they might not totally help.

    Let us know how you get on via this thread if possible please as im very interested in this stuff:)



  • Excellent - thank you Powerlifer for the thorough response! I will try the suggested bitters. And yes, once I started taking the HCL, I noticed additional candida die-off - wow! Thanks again!

  • Hey Powerlifer - one more question - what do you know about parasites? I had developed a very itchy skin rash / bumps on my chest neck about a week or two after I started the new enzymes/HCL. My holistic doctor thinks its parasites moving through my body....I had thought maybe it was food allergy. They suggested herbs for the parasites...ugh...

  • powerliferpowerlifer Raw Newbie

    Hey beaglelove, watch if your taking digestive enzymes long term as they can shut the bodies own supply down, thus weakening digestion further.

    Parasite arent all that common as most alternative docs like to believe, but if you have low stomach acid and low levels of good flora then it is a possibility.

    Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is a good choice, i like DE as it also supplies silica which is a very important mineral. Good for hair, skin, nails, connective tissue, bone health most importantly. Its hard when you dont know the specific type of parasite if this is the issue as certain herbs are better for certain parasites.


  • powerliferpowerlifer Raw Newbie

    Beaglelove, i just got some andrographis powder in which is a brilliant herb anti-viral, anti-tumor, liver protection the same as milk thistle. It is known as the "king of bitters" and i can see why it is the most bitter tasting herb ive tried to date.

    If that doesnt get your bile moving im not sure what will, other than using herbs such as artichoke, tumeric at therapeutic doses. The andrographis isnt on the site yet it will be as of tonight incase you were looking for it, same applies to the artichoke.


  • Thanks Powerlifer, I will check out your site - I'm due to order the Adaptogens also. I was waiting to use up the ones I have. And yes I've been concerned about the enzyme use but I need something in the mean time... Hopefully the bitters will help me get off of them?

    Yeah, I always wondered about D. Earth...I currently take high quality organic sulphur which I had hoped would help also.....

  • powerliferpowerlifer Raw Newbie

    I forgot how bitter andrographis really was until i tested some again today, puts any bitter formula ive tried to shame so much so that i couldn't get rid of the bitter taste for abit even got some mild die-off type symptoms which i don't usually get these days.

    Enzymes are ok short term, but i prefer bitters as they stimulate the release of pancreatic enzymes rather than substituting them.


  • Ooh wow nice. Can't wait to try it! I just want to get better :0) What kind of die-off symptoms do you get?

  • Hey powerlifter, great comments! You seem very knowledgeable in this area. Do you think it's wise to be taking bitters and enzymes at the same time? My naturopath has me on several very strong digestive enzymes short term, which has helped me slightly, but my abdomen is still extremely distended. I've been having really bad digestive problems for a year now, which I think stemmed from the fact that I ate excessive soy when I first went vegan a few years ago, as well as an undiagnosed gluten intolerance. Do you think taking bitters in addition to the enzymes would help? Much thanks!

  • powerliferpowerlifer Raw Newbie

    Beaglelove, just some mild cold type symptoms, such as cold body etc, i find it abit hard to explain but its the same die-off symptoms i always get via liver cleansing/bitters. Nothing an extra bottle of water didnt get rid of rapidly though. Digestion is a very complex process if your missing any of the co-factors some of which are acid dependent for absorption then it takes again abit of playing around to get it right. Im sure you said you use fermented foods before? Repopulating your good flora if you have poor digestion is always a good start. Then any of the other areas such as bitters, zinc, b vitamins, TMG and so on. You will get well dont worry it often takes abit of time but your in the right direction with what your trying. The adrenals glands as well can slow the release of stomach acid and i know you've been working on strengthening them.

    Erbalspice it wont hurt to use both, but if you have been using enzymes for a while id recommend weaning yourself off them and giving bitters + any of the additions ive said above such as the zinc citrate and apple cider vinegar if needed a shot. Distended abdomen can have numerous causes so it takes abit of trial and error unless you have a willing doctor to prescribe some tests in most cases they'd rather hand out ant-acids/proton pump inhibitors which is something you dont want as they'll fuel the cause in most cases by lowering stomach acid.

    On a different note i received some fresh amla berries today which i can see why they use it as powder or in other recipes such as Chyavanprash which is a tonic jam. The taste is super sour and tart.


  • Thanks Powerlifer : ) By the way, what is TMG?

  • powerliferpowerlifer Raw Newbie

    TMG is Trimethylglycine which is also known as betaine but not to be confused with betaine HCL both are completely different and don't have the same function. Here is an article on TMG


    TMG converts into SAM-E which is good for the liver, TMG provides methyl donors which help a variety of functions such as lowering homo-cysteine. It has so many benefits such as increasing neurotransmitters, stomach acid, liver health, lowering heart disease etc.


  • Ok wonderful - thanks again :)

  • powerliferpowerlifer Raw Newbie

    Not a problem beaglelove, if there's anything i can help with then dont hesitate to ask me ill try my best. Im more than willing to try help. I spent years ill sifting though crap after crap in fact i spent a crazy amount of money trying everything until i met my current guy who really educated me on natural health and the funny bit is most of the herbal powders he recommends are quite cheap for a months use rather than expensive gimmiky formulas that i bought into in the past.

    take care


  • Thank you so much, Powerlifer - I really appreciate it. I feel like I have been going around in circles for the past 2-3 years doing the same thing you had. I am finally starting to understand more about what is going on. Learning about the adrenals through you was a major breakthrough for me. Hopefully, I can piece this all together and get it cleared up soon. I think my whole body is broken sometimes! Anyway, I saw the bitters on your website - looking forward to ordering them along with the adrenal support :)

  • powerliferpowerlifer Raw Newbie

    Hey Stacy, thanks for the order appreciate it, ive been trying to email you but it keeps bouncing back for some reason. Did you mean to purchase the blended adrenal support formula, or the individual adrenal support pack herbs(not blended), if you meant the former i can add 2 in and a little extra to make up the

  • Hi Powerlifer (Chris :) ) Glad you got my order. I think I meant to order the blended. I was having computer issues so I wasn't sure what I ended up with :) Sorry the email bounced back - which did you use? My email is secina@hotmail.com. When I registered, I had to put in my sister's email because your website said mine 'was already in use' which was strange. When I did paypal it let me use my own (secina@hotmail.com).

    Anway, I really appreciate your help!

  • powerliferpowerlifer Raw Newbie

    Hey Stacy, thanks for the reply ive gave you an email at your address:).

    Ive just had a check on my shopping cart system, it shows you signed up before under your own email so thats why it prob didnt let you use it twice. I can forward the login details for that account if you need or delete.

    Thanks again:)


  • Ah I thought perhaps I signed in before ;) Could you delete my old login from earlier but update my email address to the hotmail? Thanks!

  • Sorry to hear you're having tummy issues. I've experienced problems before too, esp after first going raw. I read that organic wheat grass juice is actually a raw food (not just a vitamin supplement type thing) that can help aid digestion so I gave it a shot. It's can be pricy if you try to grow your own and buy a juicer abut I found that Sweet Wheat is awesome. Not too expensive and doesn't taste bad either. http://www.sweetwheat.com Good luck, maybe it will help?

  • Thanks powerlifter! Yeah, it's been a lot of trial and error over the past year. There's just so much information out there, it's nice to find people with real suggestions! :)

  • I had this EXACT problem about two months ago now i think. anything raw i ate i was instantly sick or major pain but if i ate cooked i was fine.

    i think it may have been a gastric condition but the only thing that helped me was taking nature's biotics or some kind of probiotic would do. i literally od'd on these for a month and i'm back to 'normal' now...

    hope this helps!

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