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i am an 18 year old male who's been on a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet for over 5 months. i made the switch overnight, gradually moving from an anorexic diet (around 1000 very restrictive kcals daily for almost two years- but that's a whole nother story) to a fiber-rich and abundant one- i now consume around 2500 kcals a day.

i've been experiencing remarkably loose stools, frequent bowel movements, gas & bloating ever since i made the switch. i underwent a biopsy to check for celiac disease/IBS and it came out negative.

my question is, could this be due to my restrictive eating? like a shock to my digestive system? is it going to adjust? i appreciate all the help!
 

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I will be the first to admit that I don't have any formal medical experience, but through my own research online I can tell you that the symptoms you're experiencing do seem attributable to your abrupt dietary change. When fiber intake is dramatically increased in a short period of time, the body will often react by bloating up, since fiber absorbs a lot of water within the digestive tract. This fiber can also "ferment" and cause gas, since plant cellulose is indigestible by our bodies. Bodies that are well adjusted to this type of diet react less to high levels of fiber/gas causing foods because their guts have likely cultured a healthy population of the microflora which are able to aid in these foods' digestion. Also, regular consumption of certain plant foods would, I imagine, exercise the enzyme pathways that are utilized in their digestion, which will make them more efficient over time.
I truly commend you on making the decision to try and eat healthier and more abundantly. I think your body will be able to adapt to your new diet over time, though there will likely be a bit of an adjustment period where you are a bit uncomfortable. Almost everyone transitioning to a veg'an diet experience this. But because you were eating so little, I'll bet that your metabolism had slowed quite a bit. Now your digestive system is racing to catch up with all the food you're fueling it with. This is not at all a bad thing, but, again, it may take a couple of weeks or more to get everything back in prime working condition.
I would suggest that you make sure you're drinking lots of water (especially if you have diarrhea), and maybe try to choose some foods that are easier on your stomach for the first few weeks: bananas, white rice, tofu...You can also try supplementing with some digestive enzymes to help your body along.

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If your tests were negative, you don't need to worry.

You can keep the water in which you cook your rice, let it cool down and drink it like plain water. It usualy makes my guts feel better after abusing summer fruits.

I had the same kind of reaction as you when I turned vegetarian (though I never had anorexy). My body seems to have adapted to the diet. Good point is that I never experienced constipation anymore after the switch ;)
 

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You've saved your own life. Yours is an incredible success story already.


If you were only eating 1000 kcals per day for 2 years, then you were essentially starving during that time. It's likely that your body was injured as a result of that starvation. I strongly recommend that you start keeping regular appointments with a physician who understands the physical effects of eating disorders. You can ask your existing doctor to refer you to such a physician.
 
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