Gas and Diarrhea from Vegan Diet

by JJ
(Bozeman, MT)

Question:
I have been eating vegan for the past few weeks because of a few books that I read that convinced me to do so. I am ready to give up because of the gas, pain, bloating and diarrhea I am experiencing. My friend told me to wait a week until my body adjusts and its been a few- it seems to be getting worse. The diarrhea has gotten so bad that I am afraid to leave the house. I tried to stop eating beans and legumes and that has not helped and don't I need to keep those in my diet? Please help I am about to give up!

Answer:
Don't give up! First of all, your friend is probably right; it often takes a few weeks for your body to adjust to a new diet. It's hard for me to tell exactly what's going on without knowing what you used to eat and what you are eating now. For instance, if you have started eating fake meats and many processed soy-based foods, that could give you more intestinal upset than if you are eating a diet that is mostly whole grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits.

In many cases people who quickly go vegan are suddenly eating way more fiber than they ever ate as non-vegans, and that causes the body to pass more excrement than in the past. You mentioned that you cut back on the beans and legumes, but you might also try cutting back a bit on some of the other fiber-filled foods like vegetables until your body balances a bit. Sometimes it's better to slowly ease into a new diet than to jump right in.

I know gas and diarrhea are embarrassing and difficult to deal with, but it's actually really good for your body. You are most likely getting rid of things that have been stored up inside your body for a long time and that aren't contributing to your health. It's sort of a way of detoxification inside your body.

However, if this problem keeps going on for several weeks, I would recommend a few assessments. First of all, you might have a sensitivity to a particular vegetable or legume. Several of them are more likely to cause gas, such as:


  • asparagus
  • broccoli
  • Brussel's sprouts
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • onions


If you cut those out for a week and notice you feel better, you can assume that one (or several) are causing you problems. To figure out which one, add one back into your diet and see if you have issues. If not, keep it in your diet and add one more.

If you do not feel better, you might have a sensitivity to gluten or soy, both of which you can check out at the doctor. You can also try an elimination diet by cutting all gluten out of your diet for a week, seeing how you feel, then slowly adding it back in to see if it triggers a reaction. For me, processed soy products will always cause more gas than if I avoid soy or stick to only fermented soy like tempeh.

Also, you mentioned your diarrhea is so bad that you can't leave the house-- this is not normal and it sounds like something a doctor might need to check out. You should also be careful to drink plenty of water so as to avoid dehydration. If changing a few things in your diet does not clear it up and it's truly diarrhea and not just a looser stool than usual, please see a doctor.

You should also check out the page on our site dedicated to natural remedies for gas for a few products that might help ease that symptom. Please feel free to check back in and update us with what foods you are eating and how you're feeling so we can try to offer advice!

Comments for Gas and Diarrhea from Vegan Diet

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Be careful!
by: Dan

Hey guys,

Listen to your bodies. Veganism is a noble pursuit but think about the sum total of your life. If you are sick and uncomfortable all the time, what are you giving back to the world? Someone who eats humanely raised meat and puts tons of energy into humane treatment of animals is going to debatably do more good than someone who avoids meat but doesn't invest their energy in improving things.

It's natural to have looser bowel movements and more gas as you increase fiber content and fermentable starches. Some people feel fine like this while others get really unwell. Diet is a continuous process that can take a long time to figure out, and remember that your body is always changing. Look at all the people commenting who saw things change after years or steadiness.

With any big dietary transition - take your time. If you want to be vegan, OK, but take baby steps. Go vegan one day a week, for two months. Then go to two days a week. After a year you'll be where you want to be, but maybe you also find that you have a threshold for plant food. Experiment with new foods all the time, but not all at once, otherwise you can't observe the effects.

Don't kill yourself doing this - put your energy into a life well led where you make a positive difference in the world. Cultivating good health is really important - don't sacrifice your ability to live well and positively in the pursuit of principle. It's all a balancing act.

I hope you all find what you are looking for!!

Gas and Diarrhea solved!
by: Anonymous

I was so excited when I read this page. Everything here was a contribution so thank you everyone. I went to a plant based diet about 5 months ago and the gas and diarrhea started very soon afterward. It finally got so bad I started my google research. My doctor said I might have developed a gluten allergy.
After reading this entire page I decided I either needed to add something to my diet or take something away. Pretty profound I know. I am a 54 year old male and before going vegan I was a vegetarian and my diet consisted of a lot of soy, specifically Silk soy milk, consuming at least a half gallon per day. I ruled gluten because I wasn't consuming much gluten to begin with. I decided to take away all soy for a few days and see what happened. My results were almost immediate!! I bought some rice milk and I actually started making my own nut milk!! Apparently there was something in my vegetarian diet that was keeping the soy in check because I have been drinking Silk soy for many years!!
The first day the gas went away almost completely and my stool became firmer. This morning I had the best BM in the last 5 months.
Regarding a vegan diet....I will NEVER go back!! I lost 35 pounds and I feel amazing. 54 years old and I am on ZERO medication. No more SOY for me!! Thank you everyone!!

Takes longer than you think!
by: Anonymous

After almost 6 months as a vegan, I can say that I only now experience occasional bloating and gas. Diarrhea...well, I don't think I ever actually had that. I do have frequent, soft stools, but that is how your body is SUPPOSED to be eliminating waste!
Please be patient and realize that your intestinal walls are likely covered with the residue of animal protein, and it takes time to flush all of that out. Also, your body is adjusting to more fiber than you have likely ever eaten. My suggestion would be to add some items in like bananas and white rice, which help slow down the digestion a bit, and take out things like beans and cabbage for a while. It is ok to focus your diet on carbohydrates for a few weeks, then begin to ease off of those and add in more fruits and veggies. Try sticking to 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day, and fill in the rest of your calories with carbohydrates that are perhaps not as fibrous. Gradually move away from the heavy carbs while your body is adjusting. It took me 6 months to see relief from the gas and bloating, but it is much better now and it was worth it to hang in there! Find what works for you! Don't give up!

Jimbo
by: Anonymous

This sounds serious but there are many variables here that are unanswered. I can try and help you.. by no means am I a nutritionist, dietician, or doctor.. and in fact in no way will I somehow even hint that you ignore or that you avoid seeking their help. As I said i would just like to help. find me on FB - TheMalteseVegan. Btw variables include weight, height, previous diet, detail of current diet, etc etc

perhaps you are gluten-intolerant?
by: Vegan+Gluten-free

Definitely check out an intolerance to gluten. I was vegan for two years before the gluten insensitivity kicked into high gear. It was terrible. For years I would experience bloating and feel exhausted after consuming gluten but never connected it to gluten problems. Then for two weeks I had terrible bouts of literally running to the bathroom after consuming gluten-prouducts. I too was afraid to leave the house. I google-searched my symptoms, cleaned out my kitchen of all gluten products and shopped for vegan + gluten-free the next day. My GI tract was perfectly fine after that!! A month went by and I thought I would do a test, so I consumed some wheat noodles. Uh oh, not a good idea at all! More running to the bathroom and barely making it. I have been gluten-free for one year now and have zero tummy troubles and am more awake and alert. I consume lots of chick peas, lentils (Indian Food yum!!), cooked millet for breakfast, during the day lots of nuts (walnuts, pine nuts, almonds), vegetables and avoid soy products...I am enjoying great health and hope you do too!!

So disappointing
by: Jimbo

So I've been Vegan for two months (and 1 day!) now. 1st Week I felt OK, 2nd I felt fantastic then BOOM! 3rd I felt exhaustion like nothing I've ever experienced which I then felt for three weeks then my tongue become inflamed as did my throat, my tongue and then my gums developed very large aggressive ulcers. My left eye then started bleeding into the sclera with no history of trauma. for the past 8 days I've had the feeling like someone put a wildcat into my stomach and its trying to tear its way out, coupled with this has been the worst diarrhoea I've had.. Then following a bout of it at a dinner on route to somewhere two days ago my vision went black and white my BP, and HR went through the floor and I collapsed which is something I never have done before. My GP says my blood results are fine, my B12 is great. I eat widely and ensure I have adequate calories, I also take Vegan multivits and Sunwarrior protein power as I work out (I make sure I allow for the added calorie expenditure and for the fact that we need around 1.8 times the plant based protein than animal protein). I'm now desperate, the smell of meat make me feel sick and I went from Omni to Vegan and don't want to eat meat but its beginning to look like my body can't eat solely plant based. Can anyone tell me if they had a similar experience? Suggestions? Help!!!

It's Not detox diarrhea, guys.
by: Anonymous

I've gotta say, there's no way that I have diarrhea right now as a symptom if detoxing. I just don't believe it. I just completed a 40 day master cleanse. I am all cleaned out! I came off of it wanting to go straight into a raw vegan diet, or raw til 4 if I needed to transition more slowly. My gut is do pissed at me right now. I ate an orange and lemon juice banana with a pinch of cayenne and cinnamon smoothie for breakfast. Plus I ate a mango and an orange. Lunch was a huge salad with raw dressing (no nuts) and dinner was a big bowl if veggie soup and a small mug of red lentil soup with a few crackers. This amount of fruits a veggies has me with such bad diarrhea I could barely sleep last night, I was up about 5 or 6 times. I'm trying my hardest to bit regain what I lost on the cleanse, but diarrhea is not the route I was aiming for. Not sure what I'm going to do.

GAS PROBLEMS
by: Anonymous

I found the best way to deal with gas problems is to just blame it on the dog, or cat, or whatever animal you happen to have nearby, squeaky floorboards etc. That works for me so far!

Brussels!!!
by: Anonymous

NOT Brussel's sprouts but Brussels

JUST STARTED A COUPLE DAYS AGO, NOT TOTALLY VEGAN...YET
by: Anonymous

I still take Natural dessicated thyroid (Armour) because i am hypothyroid, i used to take synthroid 9 years ago, took it for a year and it made me so sick i came close to ending up in the psych hospital, the armour is the only med that works for me and i've tried a couple of times going without it and i end up sick again. But overall i really feel guilty taking it (for those who don't know it's components are dehydrated pig's thyroid glands, it was developed in the early 20th century decades before synthroid), some folks told me not to worry.
Anyway, i just bought my fresh produce, tofu,etc. i always had this impression that a vegan lifestyle was only for the rich...my grocery bill was cut in half! i still have a long way to go so i don't want to say i will stick with this because it's still too soon to make that decision.
Yes, for the past 2 days i had the tummy bloat, gas, and very soft stools , but today i decided to start taking my raw apple cider vinegar again and had it with my lunch , and i cut back on the dehydrated seasoning that i use when sauteeing vegetables....so far only tummy bloat but NO gas and NO soft stool!!

Finally after almost 2 years!
by: Anonymous

I've been vegetarian for almost two years and vegan for about 5 months. Finally, I am seeing an improvement in my gas issue! As far as I can tell, the problem went away when I reduced the amount of processed foods. I am now eating mostly things that I make at home and seeing a great improvement. People say it may take a few weeks when changing your diet to get accustomed. I'm here to tell you it can take WAY longer! So hang in there. The benefits really do outweigh the problems.

Any positivity out there?
by: Anonymous

I was diagnosed coeliac around 8 years ago and have been vegetarian for about 6 years now noticing huge improvements to my digestion and overall health after both diet changes. I also cut out eggs (except for in prepared foods like gluten free bread and cakes) and replaced milk, yoghurt and butter (spread) for vegan alternatives so Quorn and cheese were essentially the only animal products I was eating. More recently, only 3 weeks ago, I decided to go completely vegan and also avoid refined sugars. But this has led to gas and lower abdominal pains just like in all the other posts and comments. Whilst these symptoms seem to be very common (good to hear Im not the only one) I am just wondering if there have been any improvements for those who have stuck to their new diet since writing those comments or if anybody else can give me any hope? I have no intention of ditching my vegan diet but I just want to know if it gets any better or if there are any remedies for these symptoms? I dont want to just read about how rubbish veganism is for you, I want to hear positive feedback and encouragement! Please! lol x

Almost a year Vegan now!
by: Angel Cullen

Still not eating living beings and their byproducts!
I still miss fish, steak, a big mac etc but would NEVER give in! I still am not the poster gal for veganism. I like my coke a cola, I smoke, sugar etc. BUT 100% cruelty free! Not in it for MY health but for the animals! I still eat more then likely GMO veggies and stuff from the shelf's at the grocery stores and canned veggies etc. BUT again 100% for the animals. Some of us can't afford to go organic! Stupid government allowing GMO into our food! Shame on them! END OF RANT! lol
I have a few issues that I could use some help with!
1. I have a non functioning thyroid. I'm 25-30 lbs over weight and don't know what I could do do loose the extra weight. (I drink 1-2 cokes a day and lots of sunflower seeds) But On a vegan diet
2 I've always been endemic and lately it's been kicking my ass! Tired all the time, bruising if I bump something, etc.
*I'm taking Iron and B~12 now but would love to know if anyone else has struggled with my issues and what fruits, veggies, etc helped?
THANK YOU! Angel

Lentils make me bloated
by: Anonymous

I'm on my first week as a vegan. My bowel movements are regular and soft, no problems there! However I was really bloated, uncomfortably bloated and realized it was because of the lentil soup I made. I've been eating beans and lots of fiber but only noticed very bad bloating after I ate this soup. Lucky for me it didn't take long to recognize. No more lentils for me! Unless maybe in small amounts mixed with other things. Hope this helps! I've eaten everything as far as beans and legumes and veggies and lentils are the only ones that made me react like this.

upset tum-tum
by: Vegan-Gluten-free

Greetings folks! I am 52 yr.old female and have been vegetarian for 15 years. I have been vegan for the past 1 1/2 years. I have never ever had stomach problems my entire life. The past two weeks my stomach is wreaking havoc on me....after eating pasta or bread I bloat like crazy and wild sounds emit from within. Then I'm running to the bathroom. Bread and pasta have been long-time staples in my diet but I may now be gluten sensitive for some reason, so as of just last night I have eliminated all gluten products. I have eaten way too much soy the past year and am cutting back to the point where I will soon eliminate it all together. This morning's breakfast was organic cooked millet with walnuts sprinkled on top. So far so good, no rumbling nor running! I have chosen to be vegan for a number of reasons and will remain vegan :-) I hope everyone on this post finds a way to make peace with their gastrointestinal tract!! :-)

Vegan experience
by: Anonymous

I hope you all don't mind if I share my experience after 5 months as a vegan. I became vegan all at once, and went gluten free at the same time, so I made major changes in one fell swoop. I'll address the major topics of conversation in this line of posts:

Gas: I have had IBS for years and take Digestive Advantage Gas Formula probiotic every day, which helps a lot. Since going vegan I've continued the probiotic and I don't have much of a gas problem; so my gas situation is about the same as before going vegan.

Gluten: I reintroduced gluten about a month ago, and there were no problems, so I eat gluten foods now and then, but avoid them if I can, because I think that gluten has caused bloating in the past.

Weight: I a guy and am quite thin by nature, and unfortunately I lost 12 lbs in 3 months after becoming vegan - not at all good. People ask me if I'm sick. Obviously, I wasn't getting enough calories and protein. I find getting adequate calories and protein to be very difficult on a vegan diet - it doesn't work well with a busy lifestyle - much preparation and frequent eating.

No one talks about becoming emaciated because of a vegan diet, but it happened due to basic lack of calories and protein. Add up your calories one day and see what you're getting - you have to eat (and buy and prepare) a ton of food to get to 2500 if you're eating strictly vegan and avoiding sugar and fat.

However, I have stuck with it and now use Vega protein powder and eat 2 vegan Larabars each day. I'm a busy person and to be honest, I have found a vegan diet to be pretty much incompatible with my lifestyle. I have gained 2 lbs back and am hanging in there.

Feeling crappy: On Forks Over Knives and other documentaries people act like their vegan diet makes them feel so wonderful and healthy. Nothing but happiness and smiles all around! Frankly, I feel no different after 5 months, except that I have been weak and hungry a lot, so actually I feel worse. As discussed above, I'm trying to increase my protein and caloric intake to address this problem.

It's important that we tell the honest truth about our experiences, and this is my 'vegan story' so far. I'm continuing, but it has been challenging. I know it is worth it for the welfare of animals, and I hope that I will get some health benefits. However, up to this point, it's possible that I have done more harm than good to my health.

Vegan not for everyone
by: Rational thinking

People need to remember that one size does not fit all. Listen to your body. If your blood tests look good and you feel good, stop trying to eat a diet unhealthy for you. Eat your vegetables and buy meat from a humane farmer and relax; enjoy life. The days r long but the years r short.

Interesting what happened.
by: Anonymous

Interesting. I just came back from China (living off of fresh fruit in the a.m., white rice and noodles - all vegan (for 3 weeks). I had terrific normal b.m.'s I took a few vitamins but eliminated my green powder foods the whole time. Came back to the U.S. started back on my normal eating and added my "green supplements" back in my smoothies and I am back to green too soft b.m. So.......with that I am stopping one of my green super foods and see if that is the culprit. I am going to stay with the green pro biotic though. The only other thing I did not eat while I was away was avocados, which at home I eat one a day. I will keep you posted to see if the Super Food Green Powder is it. I did however, take a Super Food Bar, which has all the same things in it but in a bar form.
Oh well, nice to air my frustrations......any ideas or help would be appreciated.

tummy problems
by: Anonymous

I have been eating plant based for over a year, no oil, no dairy, no animal products, no flour or sugar. I eat lots of veggies, quinoa, millet and oats, sweet potatoes, greens, beans, fruits and very small amounts of nuts and seeds( 1 tbls). I finished my courses in plant based nutrition at Cornell University and now... I am embarrassed to say I am abandoning ship. I can't deal with the chronic flatulence, and excessive bowel movements. I have tried to keep a diary and so far notice broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, garlic, all beans and nuts and seeds wreck havoc with my tummy. I am tired of feeling this way as I never did on my fish, egg, chicken and veggie diet I used to eat with no beans or grains. I am very disappointed I didn't feel great. Another thing is how my weight distribution changed where before I had no tummy and now lots of belly fat even though I haven't gained weight. A plant based diet is probably the healthiest way to eat but it is not suitable for everyone, especially if you have a sensitive tummy. I never adjusted to it . Good luck to you all and hope it works for you.

Same problem here.
by: Mr Jones

I read all the comments in this page and I have the same doubts and problems as many of you. Sometimes i have a normal bowl movement but on other gas and diarrhea come back to haunt me. I am not vegan and i am still making my way towards vegetarianism. I have started thus proccess two months ago. In my readings on the internet i have learned that many vegetables have a weak nutrient density to total mass proportion and also that most of the whole grains do not possess the necessary aminoacid protein quality. The exceptions seem to be cheackpeas and soy grains. So if you use other as a protein source it is better to try to complement them with foods with a different aminoacid profile. As for vegetables and legumes with a good nutritional profile spinach ant tomatoes are amidst the best choices tough i don't know if it is them wich are causing alk this discomfort.

I think its the sudden cut out of dairy
by: Anonymous

I've tried a few things and I have pinned it down to dairy. Literally within hours of stopping morning lattes, cheese on toast, pizza, cheesy pasta, cheese sandwiches, chocolate, hot cocoa before bed etc, I get the smelly farts and diarrhea, start eating them again and it goes away no matter what else I eat. I am no expert but I would say that my body is tuned to a constant barrage of dairy, probably certain enzimes and bacteria are deliberately maintained to cope with it. When I take the dairy away then these enzimes are still there and are over compensating on whatever else I eat. I have decided a better approach would be to slowly reduce dairy consumption over a period of 3 or 4 months to let the body naturally adjust.

Green Loose B.M.
by: Anonymous

I have been a Vegan for at least 10 years. Once a year I do a meat product.(to celebrate my great cholesterol)
In the last few months my B.M. has become more loose and green. I read many articles and found that as a Vegan we miss out on Probiotics. I used to take Green Vibrance (a probiotic) about one year ago and then stopped. I started getting these loose green b.m. several months ago. I have started back on a probiotic one week ago and I have been seeing a slight improvement (green gone) and this a.m. a little more solid, so I am hoping this works.

As a Vegan I do take a number of supplements (vitamins) as well as a fantastic green food called "Super Food" by Dr. Schultze (got my brother thru cancer with flying colors)!!!
I have been reading the articles on gluten, as I do get slight bloating and gut pain on occasion, I am going to try and eliminate it for a while and see if there is an improvement. Other than that I feel terrific, lots of energy and out do all my meat friends. I would not go back to meat or dairy ever!!!

A cruelty Free Diet
by: Angel Cullen

I'm here reading this like most of you... wondering why I am having diarrhea and or gas from a vegan diet! Well The gas for me is more then likely the hummus I eat lots! Great protein/meat substitute! Anyway for me and most vegans (Should be all) I'll live with the diarrhea because I would never use my body as a graveyard for carcase of beautiful earthlings ever again! OK so my diet isn't "Raw" or "Better then...." I eat Rinsed canned veggies sometimes, substituted meat once or twice a month, I HATE Tofu! I barely can stand "Unflavored soy milk" But still like "Accidentally vegan" sugar cereal once in a while! And all in conjunction with whole grain rice, whole grain pastas, fruits and veggies! For me its about the animals not me! I know that to a popular concept but I'd starve OR become overweight rather then give up on my cruelty free diet! DON'T GIVE UP!!! REMEMBER WHY YOUR DOING IT!!! God Bless the Beast and us children!

Vegan 2+ years now
by: vegeblonde

I've never had any trouble - in fact - the first year of
going vegan - if I suddenly got a headache or felt gassy/bloated - I would think about what I ate - usually some sort of dairy or egg by mistake - I never get the diarrhea nor am I constipated - I also stay gluten free - and mostly soy free - soy does bother me sometimes and I don't think it's very good for you so I try to steer clear - I also have hypothyroidism - going vegan helped me drop the fifteen pounds I couldn't since my diagnosis four years ago - also feel fantastic - and love my animal friendly/earth friendly lifestyle.

Another one with gas & diarrhea
by: Anonymous

I thought I was the only one with the diarrhea problem. I became vegan and gluten-free 3 weeks ago. I have had IBS in the past, but hadn't had problems with diarrhea for over a year. I began the vegan and gluten free diet and the diarrhea returned almost immediately. After 2 weeks of diarrhea I think I was basically starving myself of nutrients, so I began taking an anti-diarrhea pill every day. It has slowed things down a lot, but these pills aren't supposed to be taken every day for long periods, although that is what I am doing.

I also got depressed shortly into the diet and have spoken harshly with family members who were stunned - not at all like myself normally. I also have little energy and feel hungry most of the time, despite eating a substantial plant-based diet with no processed foods and no processed sugar. I take omega-3, calcium, B-12, D3, and a daily multivitamin. I am still hanging in there on the diet but am contemplating quitting, as you might imagine. I welcome any suggestions.

drinking your veggies
by: Anonymous

My grandson is six. My daughter wants him to drink veggie amoothies to help his get all the nutrients he needs regarding vetables in his diet. He's not overweight or anything like that. She feels that he can drink his veggies and still get the maximum results without a supplement or actually 'eating' them. Would drinking the veggie juice cause stomach pains and/or diarheaa for a child his age. He does not weight much, in fact he is very tall and lanky.

:( Unhappy with my melon belly
by: Gi

I've been vegan for the past 6 months and I used to have a 6 pack but now I look like a pregnant woman.
:( My diet consist mainly of fruits,vegetables,legumes,nuts,seeds and Almond milk. I hope it's not fat, hope it's only water retention.

Problems after 8 years
by: Anonymous

Hey Confused,
It's possible to develop food allergies at any age. Common culprits are wheat based foods due to gluten, but there are plenty of others. I would suggest eliminating something for a week, then see how you do. If you add it back and experience problems, you can assume that is the cause. For instance, go off wheat for a week. If you are already off wheat, start with high fiber vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, or maybe beans. Higher fat content in foods can also cause problems, as well as caffeinated beverages like coffee.

I'm Confused
by: Anonymous

I've been a vegan for almost two years, never had any problems with bowels, and suddenly I'm having really loose stools with occasional bouts of diarrrhea for the last ten days. I don't get it. I've been eating the same thing as always. I'm really confused and don't want to give up my way of eating.

Vegan's worked for me!
by: Anonymous

Just thought I would comment as a word of encouragement to new vegans. Been vegan for about 8 years now (veg for 16!) I never had any problems eating vegan. I don't do to much of the fake meat type stuff (once in a while) and try to limit my soy intake to a couple of times a week (soy milk kills my stomach, I drink almond or coconut.)

However I switched to 99.9% raw a few weeks ago a my stomach's been a wreck??? Go figure?? The first week or so I think it was from the sprouted lentils, and quinoa. Now I think its from all the green juice I've been drinking. I don't know?? I hope it settles down soon.

Anyways stick with it new vegans, like I said i never had any problems with a cooked food vegan diet. I think any time you drastically change your diet there's going to be a "adjustment peiriod"

Very Helpful Stuff!
by: Vegan for 1month

This page has been so helpful, and I am already making connections as to what is causing my gas and bloating. I am missing out on some important vitamins, for one. I became a vegetarian 10 months ago after watching Forks Over Knives (literally gave up meat, chicken and fish that day) and gave up dairy and eggs a month ago. I am noticing that several people commented about gluten, so that is the next thing to go for me! Also, it is just good to know that this is a common problem for vegetarians and vegans. I've noticed so many wonderful health benefits and lost 20 pounds without trying. The gas is not a deal breaker for me, just kind of embarassing! And fortunately, my husband thinks it's funny. Thanks for all the great advice!

Me too
by: Cristy

I have gas and diarrhea all the time too. I say the hell with it. I give up. Maybe I'll skip meat a few days a week instead of all the time. Also I think when you become vegetarian you start eating a lot more sugar or glucose, unintentionally. All that glucose from fruits and grains causes an overgrowth of yeast in the gut.

Try kefir and see if that helps. But it's made from milk so FML!

Vegan Advice
by: 2Spaniels

I've been vegan for a year and a half, have read the stories on this page, and have some advice that will hopefully help many of you.

Another poster mentioned quitting gluten. I used to have terrible gas, bloating, and explosive diarrhea. Quitting gluten solved all these problems. It's worth a try.

For protein, lentils and quinoa are excellent options. If you get tired of cold, leafy salads, especially in the wintertime, you can make a fabulous mix of lentils, quinoa, onion, green peas, red bell pepper, beans and nuts, served hot or cold. Very filling, and a nice alternative to traditional salad.

Get a VitaMix - it's a vegan essential. It purées your food, so that in effect you're completing your body's pre-digestive process ahead of time, making it quicker and easier for your body to absorb nutrients. You'll feel better. This made a huge difference for me.

Next, I think the person who stated that the stomach upset was cured by taking vitamins hit the nail on the head. I had some trouble with diarrhea until I started consuming Vega, an all-natural plant-based vitamin/protein powder. You can get it at Whole Foods, or online at various websites. It's filling, and provides a ton of nurtrients. Made a huge difference.

I base my diet less on greens and rice, and more on fruit, nuts, ground flax seed stirred into flax milk, quinoa, broccoli and peas and Vega. This seems to be a non-gassy, non-diarrhea solution for me, but of course everyone is different.

Whatever you do, don't give-up! Vegan really is the smartest solution on several levels.

Having same issues!
by: Deb

I have been vegetarian for 20 yrs but just came to the realization as to what happens in the dairy industry and now want to be vegan. I have been mostly vegan for past few days and the diarrhea, gas and bloating has been horrible!! I suffer from IBS and have had diarrhea and gas most of past 20 yrs I've been vegetarian-I ate a lot of Amy's and Morningstar farms. 5 mos ago I switched to more whole foods diet while I went to weight watchers and lost 40 lbs-living on mostly greek yogurt, farm fresh egg whites, tabouleh, hummus, nuts, fruit, salmon, and salads and all of my IBS symptoms went away!!! I felt better than I ever have-energy was great and also hypoglycemia which I have also suffered from my entire life.

Now I'm trying vegan and all these health problems are back. I'm so disappointed. I do not want to hurt animals-I watched Earthlings and I'm haunted by the images. I never realized dairy was so horrible. I have been buying all organic dairy but now I realize that isn't even enough, but I'm not sure my body can handle all the fiber and carbs and not enough non-soy protein.
I just ate salmon and already feel better but guilty. No idea where to go from here.

Another "Forks Over Knives" Convert!
by: Mommish

I was so inspired by Forks Over Knives that when the film was over I LITERALLY ran to the farmer's market and stocked up on fresh veggies and fruits. It's been 3 weeks now. The first two were a breeze; now I'm having some bloating/gas/diarrhea. HOWEVER . . . I've been eating poorly for my whole 51 years. I can't expect to get all better after 3 weeks! It will take months - maybe years - until my colon is squeaky clean. There will be gassy days, and days when I have a really happy colon. ☺ It's a process!

Pain from Gluten, try GF
by: Anonymous

I have read most of the comments here for people who have gas and bloating from starting the vegan diet. ONE THING I HAVE NOT READ is anyone suggesting to go Gluten Free. With all the extra grains, and breads, it just could be that some of you could be gluten intolerant, chrones, colitis, etc many symptoms COULD be.

My husband and I decided to go Gluten Free first.
It's easy, just don't eat wheat, spelt, barley and watch the things that have that in them, even soy sauce has wheat, but Tamari does not.

With the Forks over Knives, one could do all the grains except the ones mentioned, and buy Udi GF bread, or Canyon Bakehouse 7 grain GF, or so far our favorite is Rudi's multi grain.

IF a person is Gluten intolerant it causes inflammation is various and many different parts of the body. Some diarhhea after each meal, some crippling pain in the gut, do a google search symptoms of Gluten. Hope this is helpful.

I agree with the pro-biotics, always helpful.
www.HealyourBodywithWater.com many uses of alkaline or acidic water, cleaning veggies #1.

Ps one could always try a enema or colonic, will quickly rid the excess gas, and diahhrea is only EXCESS constipation sometimes, so much stuff in there only water can get out! UNLESS it is parasites, be sure to always WASH all fruits and veggies very well. CUT off any bad spots deeply.
Lettuce is HARD for some body types to digest, so we only eat cooked greens, kale, spinach, etc that helps to not have diahhrea, if some greens, esp lettuce get slicky in the colon one will have constipation or diahhrea.

Still learning
by: Anonymous

Just a thought! Maybe wean yourself into the vegan lifestyle like we ween our babies and introduce new foods (Introduce one new food a week) I am also going vegan but I am doing my research first because I like to know everything before jumping in! All of your comments are so helpful! I hope you stuck it out cause i agree with a plant based way of eating! Good luck!

explosive diarrhea
by: Anonymous

if you suffer as I did from explosive diarrhea or acute gas, you probably wiped out all of the friendly bacteria in your gut that was being replenished by dairy or meat products, or both, when you switched to a vegan diet.. no need to return to your bestial wyas though!..

If you have the perseverence and you wish to continue just get yourself to your local health food store and ask for a vegan-friendly probiotic supplement.. you will be back to balance in no time.. it is probably best to continue supplying your body for up to six months.... though I was good within two... also, there is a great home-made fermented cabbage recipe here if you're interested in making your own; http://www.healingnaturallybybee.com/articles/pre1.php

Be careful!.. If you let this problem continue for too long you can exhaust your spleen and in this case, if you are suffering from the above problems, a raw-food diet is a big no no until you're back to balance...
I hope this helps someone!!

Love and light!
**************************************************

Cure found!
by: Anonymous

I've been a vegan for about 10 months now and ever since I cut out the dairy/eggs, I experienced a ton of gas almost right away. Including stomach discomfort & loose stools. I tried cutting out certain "gassy" foods but that didn't help. I even when to the doctor where she recommended the over-the-counter Beano and fiber tablets (she thought me having this issue was due to lack of fiber haha). I tried taking them at the same time and experienced the worst gas of my life. Then, it hit me. I realized I wasn't taking the necessary vitamins. So I went out and bought the supplements I was neglecting: Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc, Iron, Vitamin D, B-12, and Flax seed Oil (an Omega). After only a couple days of taking the vitamins, I WAS CURED. My stool was back to normal and no more excessive uncomfortable gas!! Not to mention my nails are growing stronger and longer than ever! I'm so glad to have discovered a cure and had to post about it to help others with the same problem I had. There is hope to a healthy, happy vegan diet, just take the necessary supplements!! :)

Ignored the question.
by: unitacx

The answer described "it often takes a few weeks for your body to adjust to a new diet", but the original post already stated "I have been eating vegan for the past few weeks." In other words, xe already waited a few weeks and I have no reason to believe the person was lying.

There may be an explanation, but just telling someone to do something xe already did is dismissive of the person's concern.


Anyone thought
by: Steve

Has anyone thought that the reason they feel terrible being vegan is maybe because it is bad for your body? I dont buy this "detoxing" crap. People are getting these symptoms because their body is telling them something is not right and it needs to be fixed. If you want to be truly healthy eliminate ALL forms of sugar and ALL processed foods. Eat whole raw foods and that includes eggs (natures wonderfood) all kinds of fish, healthy, lean cuts of grass fed, free roam beef, veggies (duh). Whole raw foods is the key. Not simply going vegan cuz its the trendy thing to do nowadays. It is not healthy.

same problem
by: Anonymous

I gave up after week 3. I was already a vegetarian, and had used milk alternatives for a long time, but I was still eating yogurt, cottage cheese, and some low fat cheeses like feta a few times a week. I had such horrible gas and diarrhea after going strickly vegan that I added back in the yogurt and cheese. I wonder if it is the lack of probiotics in the vegan diet...

Foods and their reactions
by: Christy

I also have occasional bouts of loose stool but what has helped me some is to keep a food diary do I can track certain foods and their combinations to look for a correlation. I have read that the body detoxes and "resets" itself for three months before settling into this wonderful way of eating.

I recommend exploring new foods. When you step back for a day and eat animal products, you reintroduce the toxins and my guess would be that the detox phase only gets longer. I'm not an expert either. I've been vegetarian for a year and a half and just kicked the dairy habit a couple of months ago. I recommend reading books written by doctors and researchers. It is important to explore the experiences of others who are novices, but we must base decisions in facts and research, not guesses or opinions.

Problems with Vegan
by: Anonymous

You really need to listen to your own body guys and gals. The vegan diet is the best diet out there but nothing's perfect, and the vegan diet is not an exception. HOWEVER, this diet's deficiencies can be taken care of by compensating for them.

Deficiencies:

Vitamin B12: Supplement, Mushrooms, Nutritional Yeast, B12 fortified food, brown rice

Omega-3: GROUND Flaxeeds (whole not oil)

Iodine: Sea vegetables (watch out not to over do it) - too much Iodine is also too much

Calcium: Supplement or calcium fortified food

It's mostly important you are not B12 deficient. And Calcium itself helps with diarrhea while Magnesium is the "opposing" mineral which helps with constipation.

Also do not forget the traditional food pyramid (less non-vegan food). Vegans do not just eat the recommended NINE fruit and veg a day (fyi: white potatoes and iceberg lettuce do not count as veg) which MAY be causing some diarrhea. Do not forget the all important grains - whole wheat bread, brown or red rice, quinoa, bulgur, pasta, whole grain cereal (all bran or similar, fruit N fibre or similar, oatmeal are the only decent ones). These keep stools more consistent. Then there's nuts - especially walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts (do not over do it however - a handful a day is more than enough).

You might also be having IBS symptoms. Ginger helps with digestion, digestive enzymes too. Remember that diarrhea is caused by the intestine not having enough time to absorb the water in your stool. By not favouring maximal digestion in your stomach, whole food moves along into the small intestine, and then to large intestine. The more indigested the food, the quicker it will go through you. This will result in more gas produced by your intestine bacteria feasting on this indigested food, and more liquid left in your stool.

So remember, chew very well (recommended 50 chews per morsel), do not drink liquids (water, juices, non-dairy milk, fruit..yes they are loaded with juice) during and until 45 mins after you eat.

Beware quantities of fibre should be increased in increments. And for diarrhea focus on soluble fibre.

Good luck!


I also have diarrhea and gas
by: Anonymous

I have been a "vegan" for almost three months now. I've kicked the dairy and meat(chicken and mammals) habit quickly but I've also enjoyed fish (mostly sushi)occasionally.Now when I have sushi I've opted for the vegetarian roll over the dragon roll.

I started my vegan quest after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives. My family has multiple diagnosis of diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure. Realizing the benefits of a vegan diet and seeing my own health at risk, I decided to make an instant commitment to myself.

Despite the pressure from my family mostly to convert to my omnivore life, I've been doing really well with the decision I made. I noticed after about a week of my diet change that I had constant bowel movements and contributed this to the detoxing. Eventually everything regulated and I was able to go outdoors again. Recently however, for about a week now, I've been eating rather poorly. Due to a shortage of brown rice, fresh vegetables, and tofu (while my family ate pork chops) I've been confined to eating white rice and beans (black beans and chick peas). I cook in a wok and use about a teaspoon of olive oil. I also use fresh garlic in most of my meals. I've also had salad prepared by my school's catering company and vegetable sushi. I've also taken quick fruits such as bananas and apples, and for breakfast I've had waffles or oatmeal with sundried cranberries, almonds and brown sugar.

Realizing my diet this week has significantly lacked in all of the fresh green leafy vegetables I would normally have with each meal (I have had some canned green beans etc), I've taken a one-a-day vitamin to try to supplement where I've been lacking. I'm happy to say that the vegan friendly food is back in the fridge =] .

HOWEVER.. the constant up and downs of being lightheaded and gas pain is quite uncomfortable. This week I've gone days without a bowel movement and then days of diarrhea and gas pain. I'm not sure that I'm doing my body a favor if I'm in constant pain. I've seen some of the pounds shed off, but quality of life has become an issue. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Things I frequently eat: Whole wheat pasta, peanut butter, strawberry preserves, rice (brown and white), black beans, chick peas, salads, oatmeal, tofu, broccoli, spinach, Swiss chard, garlic, onions, mushrooms, peppers , etc.

Not quite related
by: Anonymous

I can't really offer much advice. I myself have just turned vegan 2 weeks ago - so i am far from an expert. I also came to this page in search for a solution to the same problem you are experiencing and also suffer from IBS. They are therefore possibly related - as you say - something with the fibre. This is not to say fibre is not good for you, but IBS people are very sensitive to the quantity and type of fibre. Insoluble fibre tends to result in loose stools, while soluble fibre results in the opposite. I can suggest minimising insoluble fibre and add it slowly till your diet till you reach the optimum balance.

What got me to answer is mainly the comment someone made on kombucha tea which I am sure was made with good intention. However please check out this nutritional video. I hope it's the right part, and sorry i dont remember at which point kombucha is discussed, however beware - kombucha is NOT good for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IVit5K3hgsM&feature=BFa&list=PL53AA35449C7DD652&lf=g-all-a

Have to give up
by: pat

I have been a vegan for over a month now and the gas, bloating and runs have just gotten worse instead of better. I can't tell if it's the increase in fruits and vegetables or the whole grains, but life like this is terrible. I'm afraid to go anywhere because I might not find a restroom available. I tried an experiment and ate some fast food and for that day, the diarrhea stopped. I am 71 years old and a diabetic and I can't stand this any longer. I am convinced it is a healthier way of eating for most, but the cost to me is too steep. I don't like the idea of going back to meat but I am very tired of this. I have to find some kind of compromise.

RN Vegan
by: Anonymous

Hey guys, while it is a common response to have diarrhea at this stage, please be careful and know when to go to your doctor. If you start to feel fatigue, weakness, or exhaustion, please go see your doc asap because you're probably dehydrated, which is horrible for your body. It's no big deal, you can ease into this way of eating a gentler way, but don't put your body through too much believing that the suffering is your bodies way of detoxifying. It might be your bodies way of saying it's going through too much.
Be vegan, and be careful :)

ME TOO
by: Anonymous

I have been a vegan for two months now and am still getting diarrhea but it feels like it's detoxifying and I feel great otherwise. I eat lots of soups and raw veggies. Chips are my bad food. I have so much energy and feel good in my body. But the diarrhea is a little concerning since it's been happening for so long.

Previous to my change of diet I felt like 'resting' all the time. It's a bit confusing that I feel great now but my body is acting sick. Could this really be just cleansing? After so long?

long term vegan suddenly has diarrhea
by: Joe

I've been vegan for about 8 months and suddenly just this past month I've been having bad gas and this past week or two diarrhea every time I poop! I don't eat wheat. Though I eat whole grains. I eat legumes, veggies, enriched soy/rice milk, nuts, seeds, fruit. I take a weekly calcium and B12 supplement and daily a drop of iodine. Usually my means consist a day of salad, stirfry, whole fruite or smoothie and morning porridge.

The only recent change I've done to my diet is changing the rice part of my porridge for quinoa.

Is diarrhea always a sign of detoxifying or could I be sick?

Thank you! <3

Reason
by: Marc

Well I would go Vegan today if I had an answer to this problem, Same as others I know. If I give up the Vegan Diet just 2 days and go back to my steak and egg breakfast an other meat or fish for dinner it will go away within about 16 hours. I have tried every combination of vegetables and Vegan frozen fake foods and fake meats. They all hit me the same way. My freinds have the same problem, some not as bad.

same here!
by: AnonymousMom

Thank you for your inputs, JJ. I have recently began to become a vegan, and now on my 2nd week. It's only now that I realized that I had been having bad diarrhea when I reached my 2nd week! Now it's been a week that I'm suffering daily from gas and diarrhea...I do really hope it goes away coz I can't eat meat anymore!

Gas and Diarrhea on Vegan Diet
by: Anonymous

I'm sorry to hear about your issue. But if you have been having diarrhea for over a week, you should go straight to the doctor no matter what the cause. You could be dehydrated or have a serious allergy. Sometimes when trying new foods or eating ones that we have not in a long time they could disagree with our immune systems or digestions. I have never had digestive issues from changing my diet but, I am allergic to certain preservatives put in some packaged foods. Medications I have taken have damaged my stomach lining and I have mistaken it for vegetables. I did not find out the real culprit until I went to a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor who gave me herbal supplements to cure it. Maybe you should try to eat one type of food at a time to see if you can pinpoint exactly where the problem is. Remember that a lot of people are allergic to a lot of common foods today than they were before the modern method of food production came into existence. Try to eat mostly local or organic while your trying things. Good Luck!

PS
I get stomach acid when I drink or eat certain things but, I don't get stomach acid from those things when I have had raw Kombucha tea. Kombucha really helps with digestion and maybe you can try it, just make sure that it's raw. You can get it at Whole Foods Market or a health food store.

Not giving up!
by: JJ

Thank you for the answer- I don't know anyone vegan except for a friend in another state. I haven't given up- there is no way I will be able to go back to eating meat after everything I have learned and am learning. Its just frustrating to hear how this is the best eating plan, how it gives you energy and makes you feel great and I haven't felt this horrible in a long time. I did some research and I think I am having bouts of IBS. I used to have it in college (from alcohol consumption and lactose intolerance) but since I stopped eating and drinking those things over 10 years ago I forgot I had it. I think the IBS is aggravated by the amount of fiber- particularly the insoluable fiber. Today I took immodium and I am feeling better. I am laying off the legumes and beans and also wheat which doesn't leave me with too many options which is frustrating. I don't know how I will get the protein without it. My stomach is in constant distress but like I said I will not go back. I still cook meat for my family- it would be easy for me to eat it- but no way! I am hoping one they will follow my lead. It is really hard because everyone in my immediate and other family think I am crazy and don't understand any of it. They would truly be happy if I didn't continue. How do I email you?

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