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Gah (nutrition/digestion issues)
  #1  
Old 05-24-2011, 07:45 AM
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Default Gah (nutrition/digestion issues)

Long, involved, disruptive.
Possibly gross.
In a thread I can't be arsed to find right now (tired, it was a while ago) I discussed some problems I had with eating along the lines of hypoglycemia. Damn if I don't need the actual diagnosis. I plan on asking the nutritionist I'll see two weeks from now.
Anyway. My guts decided to hate me, and I narrowed it down to "gas making me nauseous." (Now I can spell the word right ) I felt sick like I was going to vom, but never did, and it happened/s when I go #2 as well (thankfully not today!) I went to the doctor and she said I has irritated bowels, which, yeah, makes sense. No pain, no strangeness in egress (hem) in any direction... just, nausea and some gas. Not even smelly gas! (geeze. the least it could do... ) anyway. Food journal, suggested dairy and gluten elimination diets (I'm working on getting rid of the milk I bought... and it doesn't seem to be the problem, you'll see in a bit), probiotics.
1. Probiotics: how do they work? I read stuff on the internet, but a friend of mine says the ones that get a gel coating in your stomach and are released in your intestines don't work. (I had had food poisoning and an abrupt nasty illness that was pretty much food poisoning but didn't involve the poisoned food in May last year and in February or March this year, so getting 'cleaned out' was a distinct possibility) I felt better today after taking about 2 pills-- do they work that fast?
2. The same old "don't want to eat, but when I remember to do so, everything gets angry at me and my sugar bounces all over the place and I get anxious and gassy and nauseous and the world ends" slippery slope, and summer, the season of appetite suppression, is coming up. Advice and/or strategies on how to deal with not wanting to cook, not wanting to eat-- but needing to do both to not break the budget, irritate my guts, and keep my body in ~15kKcal a day.
3. My diet for the last few days has consisted of: whole milk (mmmmm), Wasa crackers, strawberries (fresh! mmm!) and linguini noodles with spaghetti tomato sauce. Tuna with some mayo the first day as well, planning on eating more 'cuz it's solid stuff for my tummy needing protein (and does best with animal stuff). Oh, and water. 40-60 oz water; and one square of dark chocolate that amounts to about 25 calories (kCal). Does this seem pretty good to avoid ... uh diarrhea and/or constipation? (yes I am taking vitamins, Shackley multi's, D3, B12, and folate (b6?), once a day)
4. Time, and constantly having stuff in my stomach/system seems to make it a lot less angry. Eat slowly, pretty much. ... Comments? Concerns? >_> It's annoying, but it's not like I'm at a job where I can't eat at a desk or something, and in class I can eat as long as it's not disruptive.
Long post is long. :|
tl; dr: gas making me nauseous for no damn good reason(?) and would like thoughts, comments, concerns, and advice on how to proceed, what's worked for people in similar situations, and oh, probiotics, how do they work?
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2011, 08:35 AM
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Alright. This might get a bit technical, I'll try to keep it easy to understand. If not, I'm sure Panacea will chime in.

Your digestive system is your mouth, your esophagus, your stomach, and your intestines. (There's also your pancreas, your gall bladder, and a few other bits, but they're not as critical to this explanation.)

Your mouth's job is to dissolve what's soluble in saliva (like fairy floss, chocolate, some of those yummy vitamin C tablets with that fake-orange flavour...), and to break everything else up into little bits. Nom nom, toothy chewing action.

The esophagus is just a tube, getting the swallowed food past the lungs and heart.

Your stomach's main job is to dissolve what can be dissolved with stomach acids. IIRC some nutrients are absorbed through the stomach lining, but not most.

The intestines are where nutrients are really absorbed, and where everything else is broken down. There's lots of different sections of intestine, and I'm not going to try to explain them all (heck, I'd have to look them up), but they're the loading bay of the body. The mouth and the stomach just remove the packaging all those yummy nutrients are in.

Now... there's not much in the way of package-stripping resources as part of the intestines. No acids, no teeth. So how do they get nutrients out of anything that's made it past the stomach and isn't gel?

Symbiotic bacteria and flora.

Inside our guts live lots of bacteria, fungi, and other single-celled and few-celled organisms that love the environment. They get to break up food, eat some of the nutrients, and our intestines grab the rest.

It's like a long, winding path in a garden. Each section of the path has different 'flowers' - different sets of bacteria, fungi, and other such. And right at the end is the water reclamation area (followed by the waste disposal unit).

Medical antibiotics (such as penicillin) which are taken by mouth have to be absorbed through the digestive system. This means that they inevitably kill some of the bacteria and flora that we rely on. It's like spreading weedkiller randomly through a garden, instead of precisely targetting just the weeds.

Probiotics - well, it depends on which type.
Some consist of a bunch of bacteria and flora of the types we rely on. Kind of like you're sowing seeds in a garden.
Others are more like fertiliser.

I hope this helps. And yes, it's an analogy and an oversimplification. Please feel free to ask for clarification.

I think that part of the problem with 'irritable bowel syndrome' is a failure of some of this 'garden' to grow correctly, leaving you with one or more sections of intestine which are poorly shielded against foods, and some foods which you simply cannot digest.
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  #3  
Old 05-24-2011, 10:54 AM
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Pretty excellent description =)

BRAT

Bananas, rice, applesauce, toast.

Sovereign diet for tummy collywobbles [generally] Ginger ale to drink. [no caffeine. Caffeine is an irritant and ginger is good for upset tummies too.]

You can add eggs cooked with no fat to the list [poached, soft boiled, hard boiled] for protein if you think your stomach can handle it. If you think you might feel up to a tiny bit of dairy, good live culture greek yoghurt with NO ingredients other than the bacteria and milk. You can sweeten it to taste with sugar and cinnamon, or some jelly/jam/preserves. You want to avoid all the strange additives. I have a friend who swears by banana lhassi.
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:51 PM
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In my own research forays, I discovered lots of stuff! Especially why my guts felt lumpy in a certain pattern (I could feel the gas moving 'strangely,' come to find out, it was the direction/flow of the intestines, which aren't just zig-zag down from your belly button like I thought, it goes around and zig-zags and such... :dizzy: ) Fun fact: the massive amount of gut bacteria (as well as other stuff in the body, but this is the main 'big thing') point to humans being a 'supercolony' organism, rather than being a discreet one. Not sure what scientists think of hermit crabs (or other smaller organisms)... but apparently people are just one big megacity!
As to the irritated bowels... I had thought it was more like how some people have smaller hands or something-- it was more the intestines rather than the bacteria that were at fault... but since I didn't have all the symptoms of IBS, I never looked into it. (I should!)
I've been avoiding applesauce because of circumstantial evidence that that was too much of a sugar-dump for my system (really easy access to the sugar for my guts, which made me nauseous, as opposed to the whole fruit) but that may not be the case now. I've been avoiding (actual) tea, go me! (I love the stuff, and it said on the diet-lists that 'favorite foods are often to blame for allergies'! I dislike bananas in general, but have been known to eat them anyway. I might try rice-- I usually don't cook it. I'd been avoiding eggs too... but it might be that I usually fry them that's the problem. (Hadn't thought of it like that...) I have to have protein, and animal protein works best-- so tuna which is low in fat... but I might try reserving the yolks for later/slower consumption. Additives have not been ruled out yet. I mean, I ate part of a hamburger which in no way was associated with peanuts and yet I still had 'peanut' burps! (That's what they tasted like, very odd)
as to the type my mom got me for probiotics, it's the 'give you some' type. o_O the entire pill is bacteria! So strange to think about...
*thinks back* y'know, I think I only got the 'overview' of the digestive system once in my forays, and it wasn't very good either... this one was!
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  #5  
Old 05-24-2011, 03:21 PM
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Besides ginger peppermint is great for nausea as well.
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:16 PM
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(I should have mentioned this earlier sorries )
The problem, and why I concluded 'gas,' is because no stomach remedies that I tried worked! Not peppermint, not ginger ale (Canada Dry), I was too chicken to try ginger tea (heats my stomach noticeably), and Tums didn't work. Thus, my intestines. The only thing that really did anything was Pepto Bismol (yaaay tablets!), and that only cut the problem about 30-50 percent. Significant, but the problem was still there.
(gas, also, because the problem was relieved when I passed some. Never ... uh... a lot, but usually some.)
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Quoth teh_blumchenkinder View Post
I've been avoiding applesauce because of circumstantial evidence that that was too much of a sugar-dump for my system (really easy access to the sugar for my guts, which made me nauseous, as opposed to the whole fruit) but that may not be the case now. I've been avoiding (actual) tea, go me! (I love the stuff, and it said on the diet-lists that 'favorite foods are often to blame for allergies'! I dislike bananas in general, but have been known to eat them anyway. I might try rice-- I usually don't cook it. I'd been avoiding eggs too... but it might be that I usually fry them that's the problem. (Hadn't thought of it like that...) I have to have protein, and animal protein works best-- so tuna which is low in fat... but I might try reserving the yolks for later/slower consumption. Additives have not been ruled out yet. I mean, I ate part of a hamburger which in no way was associated with peanuts and yet I still had 'peanut' burps! (That's what they tasted like, very odd)
as to the type my mom got me for probiotics, it's the 'give you some' type. o_O the entire pill is bacteria! So strange to think about...
*thinks back* y'know, I think I only got the 'overview' of the digestive system once in my forays, and it wasn't very good either... this one was!
Actually there is a reason for the banana, it is the minerals in it. They do make unsweetened applesauce that is quite lovely. When I can't make my own [which is actually pretty easy] I only buy unsweetened. The pectin found naturally in apples helps sooth the digestive tract. Rice provides a pretty neutral and hypoallergenic source of carbs, and brown rise is OK unless you are being restricted from fiber over a certain amount [which does happen.] Toast may end up eliminated if you have gluten issues and a substitution will be discussed with the doc.

You actually should eat the whole egg - just not cooked in fat =) that is why I tend to prefer poached or soft boiled [my husband does an amazingly perfect poached egg. Absolute perfect degree of runny for soaking into toast.] The body does actually need a tiny amount of fat to process oil soluble vitamins, and it has B complexes for myelin sheath health.

[I had a problem eating when I was on chemo and shortly after in 95, so for 5 months I lived on bananas, rice, apple sauce, poached eggs, watermelon, grapes, sliced apples, homemade wholemilk yoghurt and mint-ginger tea iced and hot. You know if you freeze bananas and whiz them up in a blender it is a passable fake ice cream? texture is spot on! I would have killed for a piece of toast though, but it kept giving me IBS so we stopped feeding it to me]
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  #8  
Old 05-24-2011, 04:25 PM
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I actually prefer unsweetened/natural applesauce. No cinnamon! Ick! (granted, I like cinnamon, just not in my applesauce)
I need to go shopping, so I'll troll for brown rice. I'll have to try the banana trick... my blender's as old as I am however... (got it from Mom)
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:33 AM
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Thank you for the compliment on my summary.

You MUST have a certain amount of fats/oils in your diet, it's essential for your brain to work. The cluster you need are called (surprise!) 'essential fatty acids'.

I know that they're in oily fish, olive oil and linseed oil. I'm not sure what else they're in.

If you're restricting your diet (and with IBS you probably need to), PLEASE see a nutritionist or dietician.
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4. Accept the consequences of your decisions.

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  #10  
Old 05-25-2011, 07:12 AM
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I was taking a fish oil supplement, pretty hi-qual too (lemon!), but I had problems with it-- gave me digestion issues... unless I literally stirred it in with my food! apparently taking it in by a teaspoon during eating won't do. Anyway, I had petered out then outright forgot to take my supplements for about a month(? three weeks?) due to finals/stress/strange sleep schedule-- I err on the side of caution when taking pills, and they won't all fit in the pill-by-the-day thing I have... and the oil certainly won't I'm not taking the oil now. I do have an appointment to see the nutritionist on the ... 19th? No, can't be, she's 'only in on Thursdays.' Hurm. I have an appointment.
I picked up some brown rice and used it in a lentil dish, tasty and simple.
Unfortunately, I had a hypoglycemic bomb-out, and am slowly recovering from it. Part of my problem is I need to eat more, but am reluctant to do so. Usually it just slips my notice, and then wham I don't want to eat, then I don't want to eat, then ...
I want to get off this crazy thing. The only way to do it is to remember to eat, and eat enough.
Gah.
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