Any Vegetarians in the House?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 7/26/2006 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
 I spent about 60 hours last week researching the internet for the best and most effective diet for IBS sufferers. I learned that the best type of diet is that of a vegetarian. This is something I have practiced in the past and have decided to return to except for one night a week when hubby and I have our ribeye on the grill. Even then I only eat about 1/3 to 1/2 of the steak.
 I used to be a Lacto-Ovo vegetarian, one who includes both eggs and dairy product into their vegetarian diet. I was pregnant at the time and only gained 9 pounds and delivered a healthy 8 pound 6 oz baby boy.
 But now that I have researched the IBS to a greater extent I have decided to become a total vegetarian-one who eats only plant food. They do not eat any animal foods, including fish, eggs, dairy products and honey. Again, I have one exception. I do buy the Egg Beaters that are 99% egg whites. I read these are safe if eaten sparingly. I eat them incorporated into spinach, a good source of insoluble fiber. I was using Lactose free fat free milk for my cereal but will be switching over to soy milk this week.
This seems to be the perfect diet for IBSers who truly want to take care of this syndrome and keep it totally under control.
 So, I am just curious as to whether any of you here at the forum practice any type of vegetarianism and if so what type?  Also do you find that it keeps your IBS under control?

I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said, "That cannot be true. You haven't met everyone yet!"

Post Edited (PugandherPeeps) : 7/27/2006 6:15:51 PM (GMT-6)

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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 7/26/2006 11:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Isn't Vegan one who eats only plant food? Anyway, the diet seems super healthy and a great lifestyle change. But... I wonder how it will affect the system. Many of us have trouble digesting fruits and vegetables. I know that if I lived off of salad, nuts, carrots and broccoli I would have constant D.
I too am curious to see if there are any IBSers out there controling their symptoms with a veggie diet.
Sylvia, please keep us posted on how the diet works for you. Good luck! :-)
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 7/27/2006 11:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I know I couldn't survive as a vegan; I won't touch one bean or pea or lentil, so I have no way to get any protein unless I eat meat. I probably wouldn't even make it as a lacto ovo vegetarian either since I don't care a great deal for cheese and eggs don't set too well with me, especially in the mornings. I have toned down my meat consumption for general health and weight reasons, but I haven't noticed that it does anything for or against my bowel problems. I do know that right after I had my gall bladder out I could not eat red meat or pork without getting D. Apparently both are harder to digest than leaner chicken and fish and my bile--what I needed to break up the fat--was all out of whack because of my lack of a gall bladder. Luckily I have always been a chicken-dominant person and rarely have beef and almost never have pork.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 7/27/2006 7:30 PM (GMT -6)   

 Moderators, please note: The following post is not from copyrighted sources but are from combined sources I have learned over my period of time researching the best diet for the control of IBS.

 There are several different types of vegetarians. Lots of people, including myself, until I started learning about it, thought that the term "vegan" was just short for "vegetarian." But as you read the different types of vegetarians this will clear up any misconceptions.

  • Total Vegetarians eat only plant food. They do not eat any animal foods, including fish, eggs, dairy products, and honey.
  • Vegans not only omit all animal products from their diets, but they also eliminate them from the rest of their life. Vegans use nothing from animals, such as leather, wool, and silk.
  • Lacto-Vegetarians will include dairy products into their diet of plant food.
  • Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarians eat both eggs and dairy products.
  • Pesco-Vegetarians include fish into their diets.
  • Pollo-Vegetarians eat poultry, such as chicken, turkey, and duck.

 I realize that the first thoughts that some people have when introduced to a vegetarian lifestyle is that they believe to be a healthy person they must incorporate protein, fiber, calcium and other minerals and vitamins into their diet. And they are correct. The daily requirements for vitamins and minerals are in abundance in most high potency mutivitamin/multimineral supplements. And I will show you below how an IBS sufferer who follows a vegetarian diet can also incorporate all the protein , fiber and calcium they need.

 We just have to re-do a little of our thinking. For example: when we think of foods high in protein we typically think of foods such as: meats, egg yolks, fish, and dairy products.

 When we think of foods high in calcium we think of dairy products such as milk, most cheeses, yogurt, ice cream and calcium fortified foods such are orange juice. There are a few citrus fruits that IBS sufferers can eat such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes. But don’t be mistaken. Although these are rich in Vitamin C they contain no calcium.

 From what I have learned through my endless hours of research is that most all of these foods are typically " no-no" foods for most IBSers ( I understand we are each unique and know our own trigger foods). But keep in mind that meats contain no fiber and most are not low fat (please correct me if I am wrong here) and most all of the calcium rich foods that we consume are usually not the ones that agree with our IBS.

 A high fiber, low fat diet is the best diet to keep your IBS under control.That is why a vegetarian diet works so well.

 So if you are interested in a low fat, vegetarian diet but simply cannot live without your meats then the Pesco/Pollo vegetarian diet would be best for you. But remember—no red meats, dairy or egg yolks. Follow a lower fat eating plan eating turkey, chicken and fish instead of red meat. As a Pesco/Pollo vegetarian follow this simple rule:The leaner the better. If you cook your meat and cook it in a lean way and eat smaller portions, like a piece of meat the size of the palm of your hand, about 4 ounces, you might find it actually being better tolerated.

Here is a list I compiled of foods that are rich in sources of protein for vegetarians and safe for those who suffer IBS. When I say "safe" I mean typically safe but once again you know your own trigger food and would need to delete them from this list. These also provide concentrated sources of not only protein but also essential calories, vitamins and minerals. Some of these overlap with foods high in calcium but I am not going to take the time to sort them out:

pulses (legumes within a pod)

soya products (tofu, soya milk,,texturized soya protein such as soya mince)

cereals ( wheat, oat, rice)

cooked legumes

whole grain breads

nuts and nut spreads (such as peanut, cashew almonds and almond butter).

Kale, cooked

Soybeans, cooked

Broccoli, cooked

*The daily requirements for protein range by age. For males the range is 45-63 grams and for females the range is 46-50. Vegetarians get plenty of protein so that is no issue to be concerned about.

Sources of well-absorbed calcium for vegetarians who suffer IBS include:

soybeans and soynuts

bok choy


Chinese cabbage



beans (mashed or pureed are safer)

Tofu, processed with calcium sulfate

Collard greens, cooked

Soy or rice milk, commercial, calcium-fortified, plain

Commercial soy yogurt, plain

Turnip greens, cooked

So once again, there is no concern for vegetarians not getting enough calcium in their diet.

*The recommended level of calcium for adults age 19 through 50 years is 1000 mg per day. I get 450 mg per day in my multivitamin alone. An intake of 1200 mg of calcium is recommended for those age 51 years and older.

 After all this hard work I might throw in that there is another very important advantage of being a vegetarian/IBS sufferer and that is that a vegetarian lifestyle highly encourages getting regular exercise. This is great, I would almost say a "must" for IBS because exercise improves the bowel. Even gentle exercise works the muscles of the bowel and helps them to return to a pattern of normal contractions. Exercise is especially beneficial for relieving constipation. And it doesn't have to be rigorous, aerobic types of excercise. Even gentle exercise such as walking at your own pace, stretching or gentle yoga movements will work.

 If you are interested in knowing more just reply to this post or shoot me an email.

 My best to you all on your way to good health,





I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said, "That cannot be true. You haven't met everyone yet!"

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 7/30/2006 12:04 PM (GMT -6)   

I can only speak for myself, and I understand diet, just like everything else with this darn disease, affects people differently.

I tried the vegetarian thing and not only did it not work for me, I believe it made my situation worse. I can still remember what it was that first started it and then after going into remission I can tell you what I ate that made me start flaring again. There is no way I'll ever eat raw brocolli, carrots, cauliflower or pears again.

My understanding through talking with nutritionists and my doctor is that our bodies have a hard time breaking down foods and anything with hard or rigid edges can set us off. All most vegetables are is hard rigid edges. I can't imagine eating them in bulk unless they were boiled so that they could be crushed with a fork.

Good luck with it and I hope it works for you, but there is no way I'll ever go back to that. For me it's a lot of fish and rice products with vegetables boiled to mush.


I hope we all feel better soon...

Diagnosed about five years ago with UC -- wasn't too extensive.
Lost insurance and had a bad flare for a couple of months without any treatment -- couldn't afford them.
Took Prednisone for about two months to go into a remission, with minor flares, that lasted for two years.
While in remission I started on Rowasa enemas and then switched to Asacol.
Back on both Rowasa -- 1 night -- and Asacol 3 pills 3xday

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 7/31/2006 5:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Try almond milk if you give up dairy. It is so good. much better than soy or rice milk. I couldn't do the veggies either. Most of them but spinach bloat me up so bad I can't breathe. At least fresh ones. I know I don't get enough fruit and veggies but don't know how else to do without side effects. My parents were not into fruits and veggies and they lived very healthy into their 90's so guess it can be done though maybe not recommended

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20552
   Posted 8/1/2006 1:11 AM (GMT -6)   
I know for a fact that fibre is highly recommended for IBSers C or D or A (alternating)...I use a fibre supplement (prodiem, similar to metamucil) under the recommendation of my GI for my CD and for my suspected sister has IBS and I told her about fibre being a huge benefit for IBSers, if she misses a day of eating fibre she's in a terrible place, when she eats it regularly she does much better.

For me, taking the fibre supplements makes it easy to eat fibreous foods too...keeping in mind, it took 3 months for my body to adjust to the supplement, it gave me extra gas and bloating but I already had a ton of it before taking the prodiem and after 3 months once I adjusted, no more bloating ever, and very little gas (what I had before I got sick 15 yrs ago with crohns).

This fibre supplement helps with C and/or D and is safe to take daily indefinitely according to my GI....I've been taking it every single day now for 3 yrs with no problems. I drink alot of water which is recommended on the bottle, I use the tabs, much easier then anything eles.

BTW, even for healthy peeps, adding fibre/fibre supplements their systems take some time to adjust as well.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/1/2006 9:38 AM (GMT -6)   
That just goes to show you that not everything works for everyone: fiber supplements make my constipation worse AND make my diarrhea worse.  I stay well away from "fake" fiber (i.e. fiber that's not in a food).  I seem to be able to tolerate fiber in food, but then I don't eat excessive amounts either.   

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20552
   Posted 8/1/2006 1:25 PM (GMT -6)   
By making it worse that could be part of the adjustment period...but so long as you're getting fibre daily via food, that's the main thing...getting daily fibre intake. And some is always better then none, it's better for your system to make sure you eat it daily because your system has to adjust to it all over again if you go days without any fibre...they always say, go slow when adding fibre into your diet because the body needs to adjust to it.

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