Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:39 AM
Zara, here's my experience with baking powder you might find interesting, but hang in there...it's kind-of a long story...About 11 years ago, I was trying to get help from a local M.D. who believed in all sorts of natural techniques and tests. One of the tests he gave me was a food allergy test which I now believe to be totally bogus. However, I did learn something valuable about my symptoms as a result of this test. The test told me I would be allergic to wheat and wheat gluten. I spent around $75 on books to learn how to wipe wheat and gluten from my diet. The more I followed this diet, though, the worse I got. After about three weeks, my family said "enough." I looked (and felt) as though I was going to die. I had lost weight (and I didn't have much to lose), my color was bad, and my energy was gone as a result of worsening bowel symptoms. With the last bit of energy I had, I asked my wife to take me to see this doctor. I assumed he would follow the "do no harm" rule and try a different plan. Instead, he accused me of not following the diet strictly enough. I found enough energy to call him a quack and leave. I found it interesting that the receptionist smiled and winked at me on the way out of telling this guy off.Anyway, I immediately went back to my normal eating and immediately felt better, but still not great...and yes, bloating was among the worst of the remaining symptoms. When my head started to clear from all of this, I asked myself what made me worse about the gluten/wheat-free diet? Either I really needed the wheat or I was replacing it with something that was making me worse. Then it hit me...just about everything I had replaced in my diet was corn-based...corn tortillas, corn bread, etc. I started a trial run of removing as much corn as I could from my diet. I got better than I had ever been since being diagnosed with IBS. NOT perfect, but much better. Eventually, I had wiped out all corn from my diet (and man that's not easy here in the U.S. let me tell you). One day, I felt just like I had before I eliminated corn and I got discouraged. I thought I had found at least a part of the answer, but here I was feeling bad again. Still, I was so sure that these symptoms were corn-related, I looked at anything relatively new to my diet in the past week very carefully. The only new thing was a batch of pumpkin bars my wife made. I knew that she knew how to make them "Steve-safe", but these had to be the culprit. So I looked at the ingredients and realized that I didn't know what baking powder was actually made from. It turns out that it is just corn starch. We replaced the corn starch-based baking powder with a kind made from potato starch. And I have been feeling better (overall) ever since. http://www.hainpuref...hp?prod_id=1842
I still don't know why corn is a problem or why I'm not 100% better, but I am 60-80% better than I was before eliminating corn. Anyway, you might try it too. But be warned, you have no idea how much corn dominates our food supply until you try this stunt. I might not be 100% because I simply can't get away from it. Still, I'm happy with the small victory. I have less cramping during the day, the bloating still happens, but is not as severe and my energy levels are much improved as a result. Usually I have no more than 1-2 trips to the bathroom each day whereas it was definitely a bit higher when I ate corn. And if you search my past postings, you'll see that I'm most afraid of high fructose corn syrup. Talk about bloating...yikes!