I'm new here, but I have a story to tell that could be significant to a lot of folks out there.
about 2 years ago I had a routine colonoscopy because everyone should have one. Right? I followed all the directions and the procedure was uneventful. about 2 days after the test I began having diarrhea - kind of like the prep was on-going. Well, it continued and got worse and more painful as the days went by. I began noticing that dairy was affectng me, so I eliminated it and things began to get better. I switched to soy milk and goat's milk. The soy milk was worse than the milk. Horrible abdominal pain and diarrhea. Then I began to scrutinize the labels. Long story short and after reading comments on blogs online about the horrors of carrageenan and agar gum which, incidentally, is the same thing, I eliminated EVERYTHING from my diet that had any dairy,whey, casein, carrageenan and agar gum. I'm totally fine now as long as I read labels and cook allll my own food. I no longer go to restaurants or friends unless it's OK to bring my own food. I've had no problems in 18 months. I don't know whetehr it was a coincidence that this came after having a colonoscopy or if the salt solutuion that I had to drink in the colonoscopy prep was just too harsh for my gut. No doctor wants to go out on a limb and say so. They want to promote these colonoscopies, which I have to say have probabloy saved a lot of lives. But - - - I also think there could be the risk of ending up lactose intolerant and food additive intolerant. I have no scientific evidenc about it - - only my own experience. If a doctor ever tells me that I sholuld have another colonoscopy and I go through the prep I have to wonder if I'll end up gluten intolerant. Then what in the world will I eat?!?
The other thing I want to say here is that the carrageenan industry (derived from seaweed) has a very strong lobby on-going in DC. This seaweed industry is growing and expanding in places like South-east Asia and also in this country. If you read food labels you'll see that carrageenan and agar gum are added as thickeners to lots of our processed foods - especially dairy and sauces. I've called the FDA and told them my story, but they really couldn't care less. This agency is supposed to protect the consuming public. But, it seems they protect the food industries and their bottom lines. I've written to my Congrssmen and Senators. They tell me that these industries have so much money invested in their programs that there would be a major economic/financial loss to them and their employees - and, "After all the substances are deemed safe to consume." In other words, "You'll just have to live with your problems, folks."
I'm really wondering if the statistical increases in IBS, Crohn's disease and gut problems might have their beginnings in the food additives we consume. Then when the pain gets too bad we see a doctor who listens and then hands out medications, but the patients continue to eat the same foods that initiated the problem in the first place. You can google Joanne Tobacman, M.D. carrageenan and agar gum. Read what she says about it. Read about her appeals to the FDA and Congress.
I hope that my story helps someone who's in the midst of trying to sort out why he or she is having horrible pain after eating certain foods. Try eliminating foods that contain these additives and see if it helps.