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Atkins Diet as a troubleshooting tool to find the cause of IBS Symptoms

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Posted 14 November 2001 - 03:04 PM

Here's a unique solution. Take a look at it and see what you think....I was diagnosed with IBS D last year after finally seeing a doctor. All tests and Doctors visits revealed nothing. I was prescribed Levsin and Levsinex which has proved helpful in reducing the symptoms, however, I still had no idea what was the cause of the symptoms. As an IT professional I decided to use basic troubleshooting techniques to try to solve the problem myself. STEP 1 in any troubleshooting scenario is to "ISOLATE THE PROBLEM".Through this BB and talking to family members with IBS, I suspected that sugars and/or carbohydrates may be causing my IBS symptoms.Years ago, like many others, I went on the Atkins diet after reading the book. I remember experiencing reduced IBS symptoms during that time. I decided to experiment and use the Atkins initial two week diet as a type of "elimination diet". The initial two week diet allows only 15 grams of carbohydates per day. What happened was that my IBS symptoms were gone by the 2nd day. I stayed on the diet an entire week with absolutely no IBS.As a troubleshooter I now had a known list of good foods that do not produce IBS, and a general idea of what were the bad foods. I was on my way to isolating the problem.Next I began to individually put back the foods I eliminated in the Atkins diet to determine which ones cause my IBS. I found that sugars and pasta were the worst for me. Breads and potatoes could sometimes cause problems. Rice and rice noodles caused no problems. Fruits were hit and miss. Junk food (Candy, Chips etc.) was prety bad too.Using the knowledged gained from this troubleshooting exercise, I formed a plan to limit the effects of my IBS.1. ELIMINATE THE SUGAR as much as possible. This is very difficult, but it makes a difference. 2. LIMIT ALL JUNK FOOD. These are always high in sugar and/or starch. This is a good idea anyway.2. EAT MEAT AND VEGETABLE MEALS WITHOUT THE STARCHES. No breads, no pasta, no potatoes. This is very difficult for me, as I am Italian, so I just use moderation. I used to have pasta as the main entree. Now I sometimes have a small portion as a side dish. Same with bread and potatoes. Small amounts only.3. Use the Levsin and Levsinex when I do eat these starches to reduce the IBS symptoms.This plan has positive effects besides reducing IBS.1. I enjoy eating again!!! The meat and vegetable combination has no limts. I can have steak, chicken, pork or seafood and combine that with salad , green beans, corn, peas, brocolli, cauliflower etc. with no IBS symptoms. 2. This is not a low-fat diet, yet I am losing weight!!! It just goes to prove how effective reducing starches and junk food is. Now I know a lot of you out there have a religious hatred of the Atkins diet. I am not on that diet, although there are some similarities. I did however use the the initial two week Atkins diet as a troubleshooting tool find the cause of my IBS. You may be able to use it the same way, and isolate the foods which cause your IBS symptoms.Good Luck.


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