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What is going on with my gut?

(11 Posts)
Pleasemrstweedie Tue 07-Jun-16 16:06:11

Background - hypothyroid, optimally treated, no antibodies, otherwise fit and healthy.

About two years ago, I started getting sudden episodes of uncontrollable diarrhoea. I thought the first couple of times that I had picked up a bug, although that would be unusual for me, but then I realised (a) it was happening too often and (b) these episodes did not actually make me feel ill apart from the sharp abdominal pain that is the only warning (c) these episodes always last less than an hour.

I’ve gradually narrowed it down so that if I eat no wheat and no rye, and drink no beer, I have no problems at all. However, it’s not that simple, because I can eat some bread and drink some beer. For example, I can eat sourdough bread, but not white sliced and I sh@t myself in a traffic jam (in DH’s car) after eating a chocolate muffin from a well known supermarket. This weekend I was drinking Stella quite happily on Saturday, but I had one pint of Heineken on Sunday and sh@t myself almost without warning on the way home. Luckily, on both those occasions I was on my own.

The fact that I don’t react to all bread, or all beer, suggest to me that the villain of the piece is some sort of chemical additive, perhaps a preservative, but how on earth do I find out what it is?

I have tested negative for coeliac twice, the last time in March this year, despite forcing myself to eat enough gluten. As the blood test was negative, I won’t be offered a biopsy. My GP has not been hugely helpful, but has now referred me to a gastroenterologist. I don’t know how interested he will be in what is clearly, to me at least, an allergy/intolerance issue.

Does anybody have any ideas?


bewilderedfish Tue 07-Jun-16 16:51:21

Watching with interest. I try and avoid bread, cereals and pasta etc as my stomach does not seem to like them. I can be fine for ages eating pretty much whatever I like but occasionally and out of the blue I will also have a sharp pain then diarrhoea immediately, no warning and nothing I can do about it - it just pours out.

Sometimes it's because I've eaten bread or a cake on an empty stomach, Sunday it happened to me after eating my Sunday lunch, I had eaten carbs and drink wine the night before though. IBS runs through my family on the female side and this happens to my nan and aunts. None of us can pinpoint what it is that we are obviously intolerant to. My nan has to be careful with eggs and rich food, my aunts bread, grains etc like me. Quite often it will just happen out of the blue for no reason. My stomach then feels upset and dodgy for the rest of the day with loads of burping and bubbling. My nan has been diagnosed with diverticulitis too.

MiniMum97 Tue 07-Jun-16 17:50:30

Could be fodmaps. Some people struggle to digest fodmaps in food and it would make sense in terms of what you describe above (or that some wheat is ok and not other forms. Fodmaps stands for fermentable ogoli saccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and poloyls. They are types of sugar that can be difficult to digest. There are 5 groups of them and you could have a problem with fructans which include wheat and rye.
This isn't a fad diet. A low fodmap diet is clinically proven to reduce symptoms of IBS (and it sounds as if you have IBS-D) in 75% of cases.
The reason you may be able to eat some wheat and nut others is because quantity and processing affects whether a food is high or low fodmap. So, 1 slice of normal bread is low fodmap, but more than this is high. Sourdough bread is low however. Spelt sourdough is also low.
It's quite a complicated diet so it is recommended that you follow it with the help of a dietician. If you just want more info have a look at the following websites:

If you decide to give it a go the Monash app is an essential and the Fodmaps UK Facebook group is also a valuable source of info, recipes and support.

MiniMum97 Tue 07-Jun-16 17:52:42

Also bear in mind that on top of fodmaps, if you have IBS, alcohol and stress often set it off too regardless of what you have eaten! IBS is a tricky customer to pin down.

Pleasemrstweedie Tue 07-Jun-16 19:18:28

Thanks, that's helpful, although I had an IBS diagnosis nearly forty years ago, with completely different symptoms, which gradually disappeared over the years.

I'll have a look at fodmaps, but don't have any props with onion, garlic, chilli etc.

MiniMum97 Tue 07-Jun-16 19:24:18

Mine has gone through periods of being ok and then has recently worsened. I am ok with chilli (it's not high fodmap). But onions and garlic are a common trigger for most people. Although some people can tolerate them in certain amounts. Good luck with finding the answer!

Mypoorbelly Wed 08-Jun-16 15:18:23

Chronic diarrhoea can be a symptom of chronic constipation. Might be best to get checked out

P1nkP0ppy Wed 08-Jun-16 15:25:44

I totally commiserate op.
I have IBS and have been investigated for Coeliac etc.
Mine's sporadic and utterly unpredictable so diet-wise little seems to make much difference, I can go months trouble-free then have weeks of problems. At one time I would have said onions, yeasts and spicy food now I'm just confused.
Mine is stress related and certainly gets worse with eating too much fruit......

Collymollypuff Wed 08-Jun-16 15:30:16

I have similar and have been told I should have blood tests to rule out some problems. Does anyone know what they would test for by taking blood, please?

P1nkP0ppy Wed 08-Jun-16 15:36:57

Fodmaps look interesting, confirmed some of my suspicions......
Will definitely consider trying eliminating fruit and discuss with my GP.

Simmi1 Fri 10-Jun-16 02:53:41

Pink poppy- the worst fodmap offenders are apples, pears, onion, garlic and wheat. Maybe try cutting out those foods to see if that helps? Also try going low on lactose too.

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