I’m hoping that you all can help me figure out an issue I’ve dealt with for years now; sorry for the insane amount of detail and likely some TMI to follow.
Starting when I was about 10, I’ve had a sensitive stomach. Initially it was fairly easy to pinpoint causes - pizza, apple juice, and sometimes milk. I had been very lactose intolerant as a baby so I went back to drinking lactose free milk and avoided pizza and apple juice and things seemed to settle down.
I had a flare up around 14 and the doctor only suggested a fecal test to check for parasites (I was volunteering at an animal shelter) – nothing was found and the flare seemed to go away on its own after eliminating a supplement containing iron.
Until I started college. Suddenly my sensitivity seemed to become more unpredictable – I still stayed away from pizza and apple juice but now I would react about 50% of the time when I ate out anywhere except for fast food places. I even reacted to hamburgers at a cookout! I stopped eating out much, took probiotics, and things settled again.
I seemed to be pretty successful with those imitations, and I started to expand my food choices gradually after about 3 years on the restricted diet. Things seemed to go a bit better until about a year ago – now I’m back to reacting to random commercial foods and I cannot figure out what is causing these reactions. That’s where I hope the collective knowledge here might be able to help!
I recently found an osteopath who is interested in figuring this issue out (yay!). She did blood testing for food allergies and everything came back aok! Good and bad; good that I don’t have allergies to common foods, bad in that I still have no idea what’s causing the issues.
Other things I’ve “tested” myself:
- was allergic to red dye 40 but have grown out of that thankfully (got hives, not digestive stuff)
- only sensitive to milk (mild digestive distress), not ice cream, yogurt, butter, sour cream, cream cheese, etc.
- not sensitive to MSG – I looove Chinese and thai food and rarely have issues with these types of foods
- upset stomach from supplements with more than about 9%DV of iron
The issue: Within 15 to 60 minutes of eating something problematic I will get cramping and gas, with diarrhea within 15 mins of the start of other symptoms. Stomach upset will last for between 20 and 90 minutes.
I’ve not noticed any correlation between my intake of gluten and now oddly enough I can eat commercial pizza, but still have issues with random foods. There might be some correlation between the about of fat in the food and my reactions, but only if I’m eating out, never at home.
I do have periodic bouts of mild stomach discomfort with no known cause and no side effects other than feeling mildly icky. It often goes away if I can focus on something else, so that may just be a mental side effect of always wondering what’s going to set me off next. :\
Sooooooo any ideas?! Please tell me I’m not the only one with a weird stomach like this!
Every hour of the light and dark is a miracle. Every cubic inch of space is a miracle. (Whitman)
Have you tried a food diary that tracks down to ingredients? That may help. And have you ruled out gallbladder problems?
I haven't done an official food diary because this is so unpredictable - I know I should but keeping a detailed diary for weeks (sometimes months) between issues is daunting. :\ I can't do ingredients for places that I eat out and have issues at, so that also makes it difficult.
How would one rule out gallbladder issues?
I would say try a really good probiotic, like primal defense. It sounds alot to me like the story of the guy who owns the company that makes them, Garden of life. Look up Jordan Rubin if your interested. They are supposed to work really well, I have tried them in the past, but not long term. And not for the same reason.
My stomach goes through these same cycles of flare ups! It's so miserable and there seems to be no connection between specific ingredients and what sets it off. I eliminated dairy and gluten for 8 months and it was fine for a few months but then I had another flare up out of the blue.
One thing that I know upset it is allergies--I have allergies to pollen and grass and trees. When I have a lot of drainage then I get a belly ache and my poop has a lot of mucus. (Yeah gross, I know.) It seems like either nothing is coming out for days and my belly hurts, or waaaay too much is coming out.
I feel better when I drink smoothies with kefir for breakfast, but it doesn't always help.
I'm going to look into that probiotic recommended! I know when I was a kid I took a ton of antibiotics. My mom told me that I got so many ear infections as a toddler and preschooler that the doctor gave me a constant dose of antibiotics through the entire winter season for several years in a row. I was formula fed, and my parents started solids really early too. I also had to take a lot of very strong antibiotics in elementary school for about six months for a strain of resistant strep in my throat. So I have a theory that something in my gut flora is very, very screwed up. I got a parasite in Mexico, which made everything a thousand times worse...that's gone now, thankfully. I saw an herbalist for that. Recently I got horrific food poisoning ending in a hospital visit, and I've been stuck in fare up mode ever since.
It can be so debilitating!
Momma to Sweet Rosie 7/06, Lost Baby J 1/09 at 12 weeks pregnant, Spitfire Ada born 4/21/10, and Baby Boy due July/August 2013!
Aspiring urban homesteader, photographer, homeschooling momma! Blog link in my profile.
Long shot- but do you eat much popcorn? I have a friend who was cured of years of debilitating stomach issues by not eating any more popcorn. It can really irritate the digestive tract for some people. Her symptoms did not always occur right after eating the popcorn, but she did eat a lot of the stuff. YMMV!
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