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MSG, Lactose Intolerance, and Lactaid


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#1 SamK

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 07:04 PM

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I've had severe lactose intolerance for 20 years, and I was "diagnosed" with IBS early on. Through continual experimenting with food during that time, I've learned a lot about food triggers. Much of it is common sense to people who have lived with IBS for many years. But there are a few things that I haven't seen acknowledged by anyone else - doctors, friends, or on the web.One of those things is the link between MSG and lactose intolerance.My lactose intolerance is extreme. Even the smallest trace of milk product triggers a severe and distinctive diarrhea. It's distinctive in that it comprises burning, hot water coming out the wrong exit. A lot of it. It was pretty scary the first time it happened. I consume lactaid in large quantities (actually, the Costco version of it) with most meals now, and diarrhea is a relatively rare occurrence for me - maybe once every two months, when I forget or don't eat enough lactaid.I discovered long ago that MSG triggers exactly the same distinctive diarrhea. I've had diarrhea hundreds of times (definitely not an exaggeration), and every time, I go back to determine the ingredients of the foods I've eaten. So I know with complete certainty that MSG is a trigger of diarrhea, independent of milk or other ingredients.I also know that lactaid prevents MSG from causing diarrhea. This makes sense to no one, including doctors, but I know this with certainty.But I can't explain it. People have told me that MSG is not made from milk products. I figure that somehow chemically it behaves in the digestive system like lactose, and lactase helps the body digest it. But that's just speculation.I've gotten my mom to take lactaid pills to successfully prevent diarrhea when she eats food containing MSG. But it's frustrating to see that no one else seems to know about this. I've told this to several doctors over the years, but they'd never heard this before. I think the only reason I made the connection is that my symptoms were so severe that they were very recognizable as being caused by lactose intolerance. I use Kirkland Ultra Lactase (Costco brand), which is equivalent to Ultra Lactaid. I take two pills for a meal with a low amount of MSG or dairy. Most people would probably be fine with one pill, or even the regular strength Lactaid. Note that lactaid prevents MSG from causing diarrhea (for me). I'm not sure about any other effects of MSG like headaches and other reactions. (I used to get MSG headaches, but I haven't had them in a long time, and I can't say for sure that it's because of lactaid or because of something else.)Has anyone else tried lactaid when eating foods containing MSG?


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#2 flux

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 07:45 PM

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Even the smallest trace of milk product triggers a severe and distinctive diarrhea
First, you do not have lactose intolerance.Lactose intolerance requires a fair amount of milk to induce symptoms. That's just the way it works and it works that way in everyone.Because of that, adults who can't digest lactose do not ordinarily get symptoms from consuming lactose in dietary amounts.So whatever is causing your symptoms, it cannot be from lactose.
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I also know that lactaid prevents MSG from causing diarrhea. This makes sense to no one,
Most likely, MSG is not the cause of the diarrhea either. Could it be the case that there is no connection between any of this and your symptoms and you just are misattributing lactaid to doing something it isn't really doing? Another possibility is that the lactaid is acting as some sort of placebo and there a psychophysiological component present.
I am not a doctor, but utilize sources of information not readily available to the public. Some of this information may contradict what you think you know and some of it may sound harsh, but the information is what it is, and you got it here for free. I am just a messenger. Always consult a real doctor.

#3 Silent Sufferer Suffering

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 08:03 PM

I guess I do not understand.If someone is Lactose Intolerant, but they do not produce symptoms of LI from dietary amounts of lactose, why is there even such a word?Why do LI'ers avoid dairy if dairy isn't causing their symptoms?Why do LI'ers buy Lactose free products if dietary amounts of lactose don't cause their problems?These are questions I'm interested in, because I'm clueless.Flux, care to elaborate? I'm confused Posted ImageThanks bud.
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#4 Kathleen M.

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 09:21 PM

The problem is if you take a bunch of people and test them for lactose intolerance you get two groups.Those that produce way more than normal gas and those that do not.Only SOME people that produce excess gas from lactose have symtpoms. This doesn't mean NO ONE has symptoms, only that SOME people do not even when they test positive for lactose intolerance. It depends on how much gas your GI tract can handle symptom free. It may be that only people with IBS actually have problems with the lactose they eat. Normal people may or may not digest it, but it doesn't matter as they can't tell the difference between when they ate it and when they didn't.On the other hand some people have tons of symptoms if they know they had lactose. If you test them for lactose intolerance they have no increase in gas and if you hide the lactose in their food so they don't know which meal had lactose in it they have no symptoms. This is more of a conditioned response. They somewhere along the way associated milk with symptoms (even though it wasn't to blame) and the body/brain causes the symptoms when the lactose really doesn't.I had this with raisens. I ate them I barfed. I think I remember I had stomach flu once and ate raisen bran before I knew I was sick and it wasn't something I usually ate. Well after that if I ate raisens they made me sick and the association kept going.By not eating raisens for about a decade I finally broke that and can eat them again (I could eat all other dried fruit with the same preservatives in it and all grapes, just not raisens).And like flux said if you take people you KNOW are lactose intolerant and test them, a couple of drops of milk in something will not have enough lactose to cause symptoms. The amount of lactose you have to put in their food to cause symptoms when they do not know they are eating lactose is fairly substantial.The your brain knows lactose makes you sick will work no matter how little lactose you know you ate, and may be why the drops don't work for some people.K.
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#5 Kathleen M.

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 09:25 PM

Allergies to milk protiens may work with vary small amounts of dairy, but they can test for that, and it may be worth checking that out.K.
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#6 SamK

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 11:05 PM

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First, you do not have lactose intolerance.Lactose intolerance requires a fair amount of milk to induce symptoms. That's just the way it works and it works that way in everyone.Because of that, adults who can't digest lactose do not ordinarily get symptoms from consuming lactose in dietary amounts.So whatever is causing your symptoms, it cannot be from lactose.
Five sentences, and every single one is flat out wrong.1. I've been tested specifically for lactose intolerance.2. There are different degrees of lactose intolerance. Just do a Google search on "lactose intolerance degree" and you'll find thousands of people, including many doctors, who agree that there are varying degrees of lactose intolerance. Just add "Dr" to the search to get info from doctors.http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=en&...rance+degree+dr3. Even people with a moderate amount of lactose intolerance can get gas from "dietary amounts" of lactose, such as that contained in a scoop of ice cream.4. I was in denial about lactose intolerance for years. I ignored the ingredients of foods until the frequency and severity of diarrhea increased so much that it was unbearable and I had to figure out what was causing it. There have been countless times when someone told me that there's no dairy in a food, but then I get diarrhea, and I go back to find that there really was dairy. As I said before, I checked ingredients after the fact. Same thing happened at least twice when doctors told me that a drug contained no lactose. (One of them was levbid about 15 years ago. After I had diarrhea, I found out the doctor was wrong. I switched to levsin sl, with different inactive ingredients, and the diarrhea went away.) 5. Lactaid prevents dairy from giving me diarrhea.
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Most likely, MSG is not the cause of the diarrhea either. Could it be the case that there is no connection between any of this and your symptoms and you just are misattributing lactaid to doing something it isn't really doing? Another possibility is that the lactaid is acting as some sort of placebo and there a psychophysiological component present.
Another possibility is that I actually know what I'm talking about. Why do you find it so hard to believe that MSG gives me diarrhea? Because you don't have a problem with MSG? Because you haven't met anyone with a problem with MSG?As I said, I know this with certainty. And the reason I described the nature of the diarrhea was to make it obvious that it can't be a psychosomatic illness.Your response is disappointing. You say you're not a doctor, but you seem to be sure that you understand how everyone's bodies work. Even most doctors admit that they don't understand IBS very well.

#7 andrew6

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 11:22 PM

Hey sam,I also get diarreah when I consume msg, so you are not alone. Thanks for sharing your advice on the lactose intolerance. Also Kathleen, thank you for the very specific respose regarding facts and evidence, it is much appreciated and your advice is always very positive.Sam,I was curious, do you eat lactaid with every meal? Currently I am trying to eliminate all lactose from my diet as I have never done this before and was wondering if I should take the lactaid as a preventitive measure?

#8 SamK

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 11:22 PM

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Originally posted by Kathleen M, Ph.D.:The problem is if you take a bunch of people and test them for lactose intolerance you get two groups.Those that produce way more than normal gas and those that do not.Only SOME people that produce excess gas from lactose have symtpoms. This doesn't mean NO ONE has symptoms, only that SOME people do not even when they test positive for lactose intolerance. It depends on how much gas your GI tract can handle symptom free. It may be that only people with IBS actually have problems with the lactose they eat. Normal people may or may not digest it, but it doesn't matter as they can't tell the difference between when they ate it and when they didn't.On the other hand some people have tons of symptoms if they know they had lactose. If you test them for lactose intolerance they have no increase in gas and if you hide the lactose in their food so they don't know which meal had lactose in it they have no symptoms.
My symptoms arise even when I don't know the ingredients of foods. It's actually usually when I don't know the ingredients that I neglect to take lactaid pills and get diarrhea. But as I said, I've been tested for lactose intolerance. It was around 15 years ago.
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And like flux said if you take people you KNOW are lactose intolerant and test them, a couple of drops of milk in something will not have enough lactose to cause symptoms. The amount of lactose you have to put in their food to cause symptoms when they do not know they are eating lactose is fairly substantial.
You both seem to believe that it's impossible for a person to have very low tolerance for lactose. Can you cite your source?

#9 SamK

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 11:24 PM

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Originally posted by Kathleen M, Ph.D.:Allergies to milk protiens may work with vary small amounts of dairy, but they can test for that, and it may be worth checking that out.K.
There's no reason to think I have any allergic reaction to dairy, but thanks.

#10 SamK

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 11:53 PM

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Originally posted by andrew6:Hey sam,I also get diarreah when I consume msg, so you are not alone. Thanks for sharing your advice on the lactose intolerance. Also Kathleen, thank you for the very specific respose regarding facts and evidence, it is much appreciated and your advice is always very positive.Sam,I was curious, do you eat lactaid with every meal? Currently I am trying to eliminate all lactose from my diet as I have never done this before and was wondering if I should take the lactaid as a preventitive measure?
Andrew,Thanks for the confirmation. Please, if you're daring enough to trust my advice, have some lactaid the next several times you eat MSG and let me know if you notice a benefit.I eat lactaid with most meals because my body is so sensitive to lactose. The only exceptions are when I am 100% sure about the ingredients. I used to avoid dairy when I could, but now more than 90% of my meals would cause me diarrhea if not for the lactaid. If I have diarrhea, I feel miserable for two days, so I'd rather eat too much lactaid than too little. To me, the 30 cents per meal is a small price to pay for my health and peace of mind.My mom is also lactose intolerant, but she's in denial, and takes lactaid sparingly. And she has diarrhea very often. I went through that stage long ago.Good luck with eliminating lactose. Extremely difficult. I tried long time ago and gave up after realizing that milk is everywhere. It helps to look for kosher labels. They have no dairy or MSG (except of course for foods labeled dairy).Sam

#11 flux

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 12:20 AM

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f someone is Lactose Intolerant, but they do not produce symptoms of LI from dietary amounts of lactose, why is there even such a word?
Largely, it has to do with the fact that at one point the medical community believed that lactose in ordinary dietary amount did cause symptoms.Today, this belief is still around because it takes time for recent research to change people's minds, even the minds of doctors.A better terminology is to use lactose maldigestion to describe the inability digest lactose and lactose intolerance to describe symptoms a person who has lactose maldigestion gets when consuming too much lactose at any one time.
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Why do LI'ers avoid dairy if dairy isn't causing their symptoms?
Mostly because they mistakenly believe their symptoms are due to lactose. This mistaken belief is the result of normal pyschology. We look for patterns and find them even when none exist. Symptoms actually can come and go randomly.
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Why do LI'ers buy Lactose free products if dietary amounts of lactose don't cause their problems?
The above answer plus marketing by the diary industry. Yes, the dairy industry actually wants you to think there is lactose intolerance.
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Five sentences, and every single one is flat out wrong.
Of course, they are 100% correct.
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1. I've been tested specifically for lactose intolerance.
No, you haven't because the test would have killed you.
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2. There are different degrees of lactose intolerance. Just do a Google search on "lactose intolerance degree" and you'll find thousands of people, including many doctors, who agree that there are varying degrees of lactose intolerance. Just add "Dr" to the search to get info from doctors.http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=en&...rance+degree+dr
It's irrelevant because they are mild to moderate. Beyond that, chemistry is a limiting factor.
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3. Even people with a moderate amount of lactose intolerance can get gas from "dietary amounts" of lactose, such as that contained in a scoop of ice cream.
No, they don't.
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4. I was in denial about lactose intolerance for years.
I admit a bummer because you had been right all along.
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5. Lactaid prevents dairy from giving me diarrhea.
Didn't I mention that most likely does not do this?
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Another possibility is that I actually know what I'm talking about.
No, it's not because your observations make it impossible.
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Why do you find it so hard to believe that MSG gives me diarrhea?
Because you claimed that tiny amounts of lactose do and they can't do that. Because it's so difficult to objectively assert cause and effect. That's why everyone who believe they have lactose intolerance, but none of them actually do.
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My symptoms arise even when I don't know the ingredients of foods.
How could not know the ingredients? Is every food novel?
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But as I said, I've been tested for lactose intolerance. It was around 15 years ago.
They don't even have a test for that now, only for lactose maldigestion.
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Can you cite your source?
Chemistry 101. Symtpoms are produced through osmotic effect. Osmotic effect requires osmotic pressure and that requires mass. So you need a significant mass of lactose to produce symptoms.
I am not a doctor, but utilize sources of information not readily available to the public. Some of this information may contradict what you think you know and some of it may sound harsh, but the information is what it is, and you got it here for free. I am just a messenger. Always consult a real doctor.

#12 Silent Sufferer Suffering

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 02:47 AM

Thanks Flux, that makes more sense now.Here's another question.Is it still possible though that someone who eats dairy/lactose "can" get sick? Meaning, pizza gives them diarrhea. Since LI really isn't a good term, could they just be sensitive to the excess fat that pizza usually brings? The fat could stimulate the bowel movement and cause diarrhea? Is it possible some people just can't tolerate certain foods? Or would that be the psychology as well? Thanks for your help. This is interesting stuff.
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#13 legbuh

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 10:02 AM

I'm still putting 10k on the table now for 2 things...1. I can pass food in 3 hours or less.2. I can do this by drinking a glass of milk.I didn't diagnose my lactose problems, my wife did... She noticed every time I drank milk (or consumed dairy products, like soups with dairy, etc) I got sick an hour or 2 later.Challenge for Flux... here we go.Explain your IBS symptoms, how you can relate to our issues, etc.

#14 SamK

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 12:08 PM

I posted here to see if I could help some people. I've done a lot of research on my health problems, and I've consulted many doctors. As I said before, I've spent many years experimenting with food to determine cause and effect of symptoms.You say that I'm wrong, that doctors are wrong, and that millions of people who claim to be lactose intolerant are wrong.You say that the lactose intolerance test that I took doesn't exist.http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&rls...ntolerance+testYou switch back and forth between terms like "most likely" and "impossible" as if there's no difference.You say, "it's so difficult to objectively assert cause and effect," which is true, but then interpret "difficult" to mean "impossible."You say: "...That's why everyone who believe they have lactose intolerance, but none of them actually do."NONE??? To claim that no one has lactose intolerance is beyond ridiculous.
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My symptoms arise even when I don't know the ingredients of foods.
How could not know the ingredients? Is every food novel?
If someone serves you a plate of spaghetti, can you tell what brand spaghetti sauce was used? And then can you list all the ingredients in that sauce? For most of my life, I didn't cook my own meals, and most of my meals were not made from scratch. The fact that you can't conceive of this is very revealing.
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Why do LI'ers buy Lactose free products if dietary amounts of lactose don't cause their problems?
The above answer plus marketing by the diary industry. Yes, the dairy industry actually wants you to think there is lactose intolerance.[/QUOTE]Your conspiracy theory is hilarious. Why would the dairy industry want people to stop drinking milk?And please cite a source.Your entire argument rests on your claims that lactose intolerance works the same in everyone and that it's "impossible" for someone to have a very low tolerance for lactose. When I cite thousands of sources that contradict your claim that lactose intolerance works the same in everyone, you dismiss it as irrelevant.When I ask you to cite a source for your claim that it's impossible for someone to have a very low tolerance for lactose, you say:
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Chemistry 101. Symtpoms are produced through osmotic effect. Osmotic effect requires osmotic pressure and that requires mass. So you need a significant mass of lactose to produce symptoms.
You have no source. Science is based on experiment and research, but you prefer to go with what sounds good in your head. You ignore biology when describing the digestive system. In your "model" of diarrhea, I wonder how many cups of e coli a person has to consume in order to have enough mass to produce this "osmotic effect."

#15 Kathleen M.

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 12:20 PM

There are actually a couple of studies out there which show exactly how many grams of lactose it takes to cause a response in people who test positive in scientifically validated lactose intolerance tests. After all that is why the "at home" tests from one of your links above requires people to drink a large amount of milk rather than a few drops.And I do think a lot of the lactose-free thing is about marketing. If you can get people to pay 2-3X as much for milk, why not? K.
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#16 Kathleen M.

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 12:29 PM

Here is a couple of links for you.One to the actual study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...l=pubmed_docsumhttp://allergies.about.com/cs/lactose/a/blificlactose.htm is a lay person's description of the study.Really that data is out there, I didn't just make it up for no reason at all other than to upset you, honest.K.
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#17 flux

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 12:31 PM

quote:
Is it still possible though that someone who eats dairy/lactose "can" get sick? Meaning, pizza gives them diarrhea. Since LI really isn't a good term, could they just be sensitive to the excess fat that pizza usually brings? The fat could stimulate the bowel movement and cause diarrhea? Is it possible some people just can't tolerate certain foods?
Possibly, but it is difficult to test this in a controlled study because negating psychological factors requires the subject to be blind to the food item being consumed. It just so happens that adding Nutrasweet to lactose-loaded milk makes it taste like milk that has the lactose pre-digested. That’s how the lactose intolerance could be done objectively.
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I'm still putting 10k on the table now for 2 things...1. I can pass food in 3 hours or less.2. I can do this by drinking a glass of milk.
With the evidence you gave so far, you’ve already lost the money. Posted Image
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You say that I'm wrong, that doctors are wrong, and that millions of people who claim to be lactose intolerant are wrong.You say that the lactose intolerance test that I took doesn't exist.
Doctors are the ones telling us that it doesn’t exist.
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To claim that no one has lactose intolerance is beyond ridiculous
It’s true though.
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If someone serves you a plate of spaghetti, can you tell what brand spaghetti sauce was used? And then can you list all the ingredients in that sauce?
Sounds like your symptoms are more random than anything else.
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Your conspiracy theory is hilarious.
Marketing is a conspiracy?
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Why would the dairy industry want people to stop drinking milk?
They want people to drink more; that’s why there is Lactaid.
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Your entire argument rests on your claims that lactose intolerance works the same in everyone and that it's "impossible" for someone to have a very low tolerance for lactose.
Exactly.
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When I cite thousands of sources that contradict your claim
You haven’t cited any sources.
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You have no source.
The bulk of our new knowlegdge on LI comes from three major papers:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entrez/quer...1&dopt=Abstracthttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entrez/quer...3&dopt=Abstracthttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entrez/quer...7&dopt=Abstract
I am not a doctor, but utilize sources of information not readily available to the public. Some of this information may contradict what you think you know and some of it may sound harsh, but the information is what it is, and you got it here for free. I am just a messenger. Always consult a real doctor.

#18 SamK

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 12:52 PM

quote:
Originally posted by Kathleen M, Ph.D.:Here is a couple of links for you.One to the actual study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...l=pubmed_docsumhttp://allergies.about.com/cs/lactose/a/blificlactose.htm is a lay person's description of the study.Really that data is out there, I didn't just make it up for no reason at all other than to upset you, honest.K.
Kathleen,The study says that many people who report lactose intolerance are mistaken and can actually tolerate some quantities of milk. It DOES NOT support the view that everyone who claims to be lactose intolerant is mistaken, or that it's impossible to be very sensitive to lactose.

#19 SamK

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 01:11 PM

quote:
If these are the sources for your claims, you're seriously misinterpreting the studies, and you've proven everything you said to be invalid.Again, these studies say that many people who report lactose intolerance are mistaken and can actually tolerate some quantities of milk. They DO NOT support your view that EVERYONE who claims to be lactose intolerant is mistaken, or that it's IMPOSSIBLE to be very sensitive to lactose.

#20 Kathleen M.

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 01:16 PM

Well to date NONE of the people who get severe symptoms from one drop of milk have ever been seen in any place doing clinical trials. Flux found the rest of them for me, I didn't take the time to look them all up for you.You'd think after the number of people who have been tested in labs and had lactose challenge tests (add in the ones flux posted) SOMEONE would have HUGE symptoms to 0.01 grams of milk they didn't know they consumed.K.PS. I'm not saying people can't be lactose intolerant, I SAID some people are, some who are have symptoms. But most people make claims of what happens to them that indicate that something OTHER than lactose is causing the symptoms (I'm not denying the symptom. REALLY AND FOR TRUE I AM NOT, but what some people claim is the problem cannot be lactose because of what they report, as what they report defies all known science from biology, chemistry and physics, it makes more sense to assume they are mis-attributing the symptoms and focusing the blame on the wrong thing than EVERY scientific study is completely and totally wrong IMHO)
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