Controlled Carb Dieting For IBS?

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Norm1
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Date Joined Jul 2005
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   Posted 10/17/2005 10:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello,
I have researched the use of controlled carb dieting specifically to treat GERD. I have been sharing my thoughts on the GERD board and I noticed that some people who have tried the approach are reporting that it helped their IBS as well. I do not know a lot about IBS and would like to become educated on this condition.
 
Does anyone know the relative proportion of IBS sufferers who also suffer from acid reflux? I have been told that many do. I also understand that many IBS sufferers have intestinal gas. Is that a common symptom. The reason I ask is that my theory states that people who consume excess carbs suffer from intestinal gas produced by gut microorganisms - the microbes (mostly bacteria) that normally inhabit our intestinal tract. The gas, according to my theory, creates pressure in the intestines and stomach driving acid reflux in those with relatively weak lower esophageal sphincters. The reason controlled carb works is because the gas producing fuel (carbs) is removed. Proteins and fats are metabolized differently and, as a result, produce much less gas in the upper intestines and stomach. If gas pressure produced in the same way was the culprit in IBS, there may be a connection and controlled carb approach might be applicable for the treatment of IBS.
 
Does any of this ring true to people with IBS?
 
Just Curious
 
Norm

Post Edited By Moderator (7Lil) : 10/18/2005 9:22:41 AM (GMT-6)


Flopsie
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   Posted 10/18/2005 8:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Norm, I am very curious as well, about you. Would you please tell us what your profession is?
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   Posted 10/18/2005 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   
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dbab
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   Posted 10/18/2005 10:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Dr. Norm,
I'm curious what type of doctor you are... my gastrointerologist has told me that the best thing to do is to keep a food diary of my symptoms. I have asked him about carbs before and he informed me that people with IBS have different trigger foods and in fact some need carbs for binding so I'm a little confused. Do you have any research to support this? I'm all for people helping their symptoms and anyone will tell you that I preach food diaries here (just from my own experience). Can you provide data that supports this theory helps people with IBS?
Thank you
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Norm1
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   Posted 10/18/2005 10:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
My background is a Ph.D. in medical microbiology from the University of Mass, Amherst, Post Doctoral Training at Tufts University in Boston MA studying the genetics of intestinal microorgansims. My professor at Tufts, Michael Malamy is famous for his pioneering work on carbohydrate utilization genes in E. coli. I have published in several peer review journals and conducted research at both biotechnology and pharaceutical companies for over 20 years.

I am afraid I have no data on how well this approach may help people with IBS. My book is focused on heartburn (and may not be applicable to IBS). I am just starting to look into this. But I wonder if there is an intestinal gas driver for this condition, my theory may provide an explanation for symptoms since its all about intestinal gas, digestion and utilization of carbs, protiens and fats.

Norm

vanessa 418
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   Posted 10/19/2005 1:37 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi everyone on the IBS forum, I am usually on the GERD forum but I pop over here now and then because I also have IBS. Had it for at least 16 years. I have been on the carb controlled diet for almost 3 weeks and not only has it cured my GERD, (no meds for almost 2 weeks, was taking 45 mgs of prevacid daily), I have also had no problems with my IBS. I cannot believe the difference. I feel so much better in every way. Please don`t dismiss this approach. It is not one of the quack theories that we get from time to time. It works. It would do no harm for people to try it and if it doesn`t help, then at least you have given it a shot. I found personally that it was wheat products causing most of my problems, especially bread. I am very grateful to Dr. Norm for all his help.

Take care, Vanessa.  


dbab
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   Posted 10/19/2005 4:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Dr. Norm, Thanks for your input. I'm sure people will think about the carbs in their diet and hopefully pay attention to their symptoms. I'm very happy that it worked for you Vanessa. Please keep in mind that it may not work for everyone. There are two kinds of IBS that require different approaches. I would just suggest anyone talk to their doctor before making any diet changes.
Take Care


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Norm1
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   Posted 10/19/2005 7:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Vanessa,
I am so pleased that you are having such great success with the diet for both GERD and IBS. Truly amazing!

Norm

7Lil
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   Posted 10/19/2005 7:59 AM (GMT -7)   
FYI to everyone reading:
4. Use good judgement.  NEVER rely on information or opinions exchanged via the forums or chat rooms to replace necessary, personal consultation(s) with qualified health or medical professionals to meet your individual health or medical needs.  Remember that what's right or has worked for one person may not be what's right for you. 

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Norm1
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   Posted 10/25/2005 11:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello,
I am curious about how many people with IBS sufferer from intestinal gas. Because my theory states that consuming excess carbs results in a tremendous amount of intestinal gas. This gas may be responsible for the symptoms of IBS. Controlling carbs according to the approach I advocate for GERD may be the best thing one can do for IBS as well. I would be interested in hearing from people with IBS who suffer from gas pressure and those who don't as well.

Norm

dbab
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   Posted 10/25/2005 11:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Norm,
I am one of many that suffer from gas and bloating. You have an interesting theory and it does make sense. I would be interested to know also from members if they have been on any low carb diet and had any success with their symptoms.
Hugs, Des
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Norm1
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   Posted 10/26/2005 7:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Des,
Thansks for your comments. I have been doing some reading on pub med on IBS. I understand that most patients suffere from diarrhea as well (a minority have constipation). Is that your understanding? I also had this condition often before adopting a controlled carb life style. Now, for the last two years, I am completely regular. I really feel consuming all these excesses carbs, based on following the outdated USDA food pyramid, is the cause of most intestinal ailments.

Some have commented that this diet is "no" carb. That could not be further from the truth. The are plenty of good carbs in the low carb approach. True low carbers eat many vegetagles and salids daily and get plenty of fiber. I also cheat often, but realize that I just need to revert to my LC way of eating to head off the emergence of any symptoms. I continue to get encourging comments from people that try this approach. I think it will catch on eventually.

Take Care,
Norm

dbab
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   Posted 10/26/2005 7:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Many people are reported to have diarrhea however more studies are indicating its because until recently, people did not relate constipation as an IBS disorder. Until the marketing of Zelnorm came out, a lot of people just pulled out the prune juice or mineral oil and began the rollercoaster of alternating bowel habits not bringing forth their symptoms to doctors.

I don't think that a "no" carb diet is a healthy choice either. Its all about the good carbs vs. the bad carbs and making responsible choices (ie. whole wheat bread vs. white bread, whole wheat pasta (which is quite good by the way) vs. white pasta). Many people have indicated that they cannot do salads as most IBSers have trouble with any raw veggie. However hands down, fiber is really important in so many ways and if you can get a lot of it through diet rather than supplements, even better.

Have a wonderful day :)
Hugs, Des
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Norm1
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   Posted 10/28/2005 7:12 AM (GMT -7)   
Des,
Thanks for the information. I am very interested in understanding the root cause of IBS. Do you know of a good (and recent) review article?

Thanks,
Norm

dbab
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   Posted 10/28/2005 8:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Norm,
There are many theories out there as to what the root cause of IBS really is. I've seen article after article bringing forth some new discovery from different doctors and researchers however they all seem to contradict themselves. If you google it, you will find overwhelming overload of information. If you want my opinion (which by the way is the most unpopular with doctors), I have always believed that it is a hereditary disorder that comes from our mothers side (isn't that where we get most of everything? from our mothers? SORRY MOM).

A recent post I put on here is the gastroenterology 70th annual meeting where one of the topics for discussion is just that (and in that topic they are discussing if birth order effects this). You can see the summary of topics here: http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=55604

Unfortunately until there is a root cause found, we cannot hope for a cure. All we can do, is identify and avoid our triggers and find relief through medications and supplements.


Hugs, Des
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Norm1
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 10/28/2005 11:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Des,
I'll take a look.

Norm

Norm1
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 11/4/2005 2:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello,
I have been looking into IBS and found there is a significant connection to bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. That suggests to me that the mechanism is very similar or identical to reflux. In the case of IBS, the LES may be stronger to the gas pressure I mention in my previous posts likely exerts itself on the rest of the intestines rather than causing reflux. The bottom line is that controlling carbs will help both conditions.

I can provide refs in a subsequent post. Meanwhile try a couple of searches with IBS and bacterial overgrowth.

Norm
Opinions based on my experience and research into GERD and IBS.

pb4
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   Posted 11/4/2005 2:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hope you don't mind me jumping in here, but I've heard on many occassions and from all kinds of sources that sugar (raw table sugar) contributes to bacterial over-growth in the GI tract which exsaberates symptoms for IBD and possibly IBS...also that for those who have IBS, they should stay away from sugar substitues especially things like sugar alcohols (sorbitol, lactitol, mannitol, maltitol, xylitol) found in sugar free candy and low-fat products...also that any of those ingredients, for many, taking as little as one gram of sugar alcohol (half a stick of extra gum) can cause diarrhea, cramps, gas and bloating.

Norm1
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 11/5/2005 8:28 AM (GMT -7)   
pb4,
Great point. The sugar alcohols are terrible on the intestines. Not so much for acid reflux but I would agree not good for IBS. I would expect splenda to be inert as I have not found any evidence that this sweetener is metabolized by gut microbes.

Norm

pb4
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Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 11/5/2005 1:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Splenda (sucralose) found in low-carb products, diet soft drinks, gelatin, light fruit beverages and low-cal baked goods...

...it is regular sugar (sucrose) bonded to chlorine and is considered "safe" (except for the fact that I don't feel processed sugar in general is safe, but that's just my opinon)...for 15 yrs it was subjected to a battery of short and long-term animal feeding studies, the re****s were conclusive, sucralose is considered safe.

Take care!

flybullseye
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   Posted 11/5/2005 4:21 PM (GMT -7)   
I have also heard that about the sugar-free (sugar alcohols). Well, I know for a fact if I drink Diet soda over regular soda, I will feel 10 X worse!! I will get immediate cramps, bloating, gas, etc....nausea...Anyway, I tried the low carb diet and it didn't work for me. I still have bloating attacks with nausea, gas, cramps and all I eat is veggies, mostly and jello! Can't forget Jello! I do love my jello. So, I have went back to my high fiber (soluble fiber) diet including oatmeal, crackers, pretzels, chicken and rice, and so forth and I don't feel any different than when I was on the low carb besides less D. I'm IBS-D and eating nothing except veggies made my D worse. Eating all the soluble fiber has bulked up my stool quite a bit. But, I still get the IBS attacks regardless.
Hope this helps!
Michelle

Norm1
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 11/7/2005 9:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks Michelle,
Its possible that controlled carb is not for you. I am curious though about what you consider controlled carb. If you are eating only veggies, that sounds, on the surface, relatively high carb. Controlled carb replaces a significant amount of carbs with protien and healthy fats. Meats, cheese, olive oil, eggs, fish etc. It's important to really watch your carbs in the initial phase of the diet that I call decompression. It that the type of diet you tried? Crackers and pretzels will contribute to a significant amount of intestinal gas.

Norm

Keriamon
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Date Joined Jun 2005
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   Posted 11/8/2005 9:05 AM (GMT -7)   
Something your study needs to factor in is the fact that there's IBS caused by whatever (multiple possibilities) and IBS caused by lack of gall bladder (several of us on here). People without gall bladders cannot process fats very well, so I would not recommend a low carb diet for them. Meat is very hard to digest, especially for people without enough bile (I couldn't eat any meat but chicken for over a month after I got my gall bladder out). Of course, since bile regulation is the root of their IBS problem most of the time, carbs and microbes don't really factor into a cure for them anyways. While on a very low fat diet, I had no intestinal problems at all. Unfortunately, no one can live on a severely low fat diet forever. Still, even though I was only on my diet for 4 months, the benefits lasted for about a year. The more fat I eat, the more medicine I have to take to keep my liver from freaking out and over-producing bile. I also have to take calcium in case it doesn't produce enough bile and the undigested fat causes too much water in my intestines. When it comes to being post-gall bladder, all roads lead to diarrhea. :-(

There's also some evidence that people without gall bladders cannot regulate their appetites very well, and since carbs make you fill fuller than protiens, that too may make a low-carb diet not a good option for people without gall bladders. Me, I stay hungry most all of the time. I have a hard time some days feeling full, no matter how much I eat. I was subjected to a low carb diet when my fiance was on it and I felt like I was starving all of the time. I couldn't get my mind off food; I was consumed by the thought of it! I was in the pantry all day long, trying to find something to fill me up. I finally started importing potatoes, bread and the like when I went to visit him just so I could feel normal. When I ate a more balanced diet, I didn't feel hungry so often. I was more hungry while on his high-protein diet than I was when I was on my low-fat diet.

Pb4, I hear you on the sugar alcohols! I am one of those people! I chewed two pieces of sugar free gum for a total of 1 gram of Xylitol and I was horribly sick for two days. My intestines rumbled so much, I thought they were trying to relocate themselves. To say nothing of being in the bathroom all of the time. And nothing I take helps the horrible cramping; I just have to wait for it to pass. If I had had a job at the time, I would have had to have missed work, I was so sick.

Here's a warning for you folks: sorbitol is in a lot of things, including my ACT mouthwash (and other mouthwashes, I'll wager). Obviously people don't routinely swallow their mouthwash, but it's something to be aware of; be extra careful you don't swallow any. It doesn't say on the bottle how much of it is in there. Oh, and I also found it in shaving gel. Makes you wonder at it being a food ingredient if it's good at helping you shave your legs/face....
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