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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/31/2007 9:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had IBS with diarrhea for the past 11 years. I have tried going off of milk, eggs, wheat, etc. I have been on several medications to help control it, but nothing has taken it away completely. I didn't notice too many trigger foods except iceberg lettuce. So I have been avoiding lettuce for several years now. Then I went to my gi doctor and he told me that a lot of people have a similar problem iceberg lettuce--there is no scientific reason they can figure out, but he has tested it on a patient and found it to be true. So, I started eating salads with romaine lettuce instead as an experiment because I had heard lettuce is supposed to help you digest food more easily. I went for 3 weeks without an IBS epidsode!!!! That is crazy because I normally have diarrhea at least 2-3 days a week at a minimum. For some reason, romaine lettuce helps to stabalize my stomach regardless of stress or sleep. Has anyone else had a food that has helped them out or caused diarrhea?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 3/31/2007 10:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Romaine is better for you. I don't digest salad well so usually buy the butter lettuce as it is easier to chew with these old teeth but I still like the taste of iceberg best.

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Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7121
   Posted 3/31/2007 10:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I was immediately drawn to your thread by the subject line. I was told I had IBS, spastic colon, or was a head case for over 25 years. In reality, I had Crohn's disease. But once the Crohn's was in remission I made a HUGE discovery that likely made the Crohn's even worse during that time.

I cannot tolerate Romaine lettuce at all! It is the only food that always, and I mean always, causes diarrhea. I can eat "baby" lettuce - very young, newly picked lettuce. Sometimes I can do some iceberg if I watch how much I eat. My GI told me that even people with "normal" GI tracts usually have one or two foods that cause GI distress. He said lettuce, especially lettuce with very fibrous veins, causes many people problems.

The other thing about iceberg lettuce is that depending where you are purchasing it and how it was supplied to the store/restaurant - it might have sulfites on it. Sulfites can really cause problems is some people.

Whatever the cause, I am really happy that you have found some respite from your GI distress!
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, peripheral neuropathy, Sjogren's Syndrome ?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1629
   Posted 4/1/2007 4:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I had a lot of lettuce the other day and the next day I had bad cramps for a few hours. Wondered whether this was due to the lettuce or not!

Victoria x

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 4/1/2007 11:14 AM (GMT -7)   

I can't eat lettuce at all, terrible D after about half an hour of consumption. It may sound weird, but when it comes to salad food i ask myself if i would give it to my rabbits. Thay can not eat many green leafy foods due to the acid content, tho apparently (i have not tried them on it for fear of being wrong) rabbits can tolerate Romain lettuce. Iceberg lettuce, or "normal" lettuce is very acidic so no wonder it causes us problems when we already have a sensetive tummy. For the same reason i can not also eat any fruit. Shame as i love it so!

I am very glad that you have found something that works for you and i sincerely hope it continues to work for you!


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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3269
   Posted 4/1/2007 2:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi sprinkles,
Welcome to HealingWell! :-)
Lettuce can be tricky.... Sometimes it gives me D, but most of the time it doesn't. I have found the key to eating lettuce is to get the fresh stuff. Don't buy the bagged stuff that is already cut up and tossed. Those are doused with chemicals and preservatives that can cause gut trouble. Also, I have found that eating a small portion with other food is best. I don't do well if I eat only lettuce/salad as a meal.
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 4/2/2007 6:48 AM (GMT -7)   
I also have issues with iceberg. I'm not really crazy about Romaine. I usually will get the green leaf lettuce from the supermarket for my salads and sandwiches. Haven't had any problems with it so far.
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Xanax XR 2mg, Miralax 17g, Supplements

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 4/2/2007 10:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I can eat iceberg lettuce with immunity, provided I cut it off the head myself. Bagged lettuce and salad bar lettuce is an absolute no-no. My mother said the chemicals they put on the pre-cut stuff to keep it from browning can cause a lot of people to have D. I know my salad bar at college gave me D, and this was before I developed any other stomach problems. And my husband kept having unexplained, intermittent D, and finally he decided, based on my avoidance of his bagged lettuce, that maybe that was his problem. So he quit buying it Boom! No more problem. He now eats iceberg lettuce that he cuts up himself and he doesn't have any more problems. He never had stomach problems to begin with, so frequent use of the chemical-lettuce can mess anyone up.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/5/2007 7:45 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all of the tips! It is nice to hear (but unfortunate!) that I'm not the only one with lettuce issues : )

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 4/5/2007 8:09 PM (GMT -7)   
I know that salad bars used to put on sulphites as preservative. In CA (don't know about other states) they cannot use sulphites on salad bars anymore. I would think that if they put anything on the lettuce that it would have to be disclosed on package. It does make sense though that they put something on as it does stay forever till opened. I thought it was the packaging.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2015
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/31/2015 6:42 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had issues with digestion for a little over a year and it has not been fun. I've been reading a lot and trying to figure out how to deal with this because I have 5 kids and I need to keep up with them. Lettuce has given me lots of issues and I loved eating it when I could. I'm trying different kinds of lettuce. I have found one that I like to eat which I'm not sure its really a lettuce but it taste good and I don't have as much issue. Swiss chard is colorful and tasty. The other I have found that works is to add as many other veggies with it that I have or can find and use little amounts of lettuce. It doesn't mess with me as much. Also sprouts are a good way to eat a salad. They are not a fibrous so they digest easier.
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