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hey guys, i'm lactose intollerant so i don't eat any dairy, but was wondering about gluten? would it make a difference if i removed gluten from my diet if i'm not coeliacs? is gluten in general a bad movie for the bowel? is it like say, greasy foods, which are bad for the bowel in the general population and for those without IBS?thanks all
 

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It seems more likely that IBSers that remove gluten from the diet that feel better likely aren't reacting to gluten (it isn't damaging on it's own, only if you have an immune reaction to it) but may be feeling better because they are eliminating starchy foods. It seems to be the starch as IBSers usually feel better faster (the time it takes for gas volume to go down) and don't have to be all that strict about gluten free to get results (when it works and it doesn't work for everyone)Wheat is high in resistant starch and that can cause gas, etc.IBS-D people have been shown in a small study to have fewer symptoms on a low carb (so usually low in fructose containing and starchy foods).Some people, however, do better on resistant starch and it is not generally a problem for people with healthy bowels (it actually has some benefits for them). And some IBSers do better on diets high in resistant starch which often counts as a soluble fiber on diets promoting that to help with IBS.IBSers tend to be much more sensitive to gas volume than other people so reducing the gas often eases the symptoms.
 

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Thanks Kathleen, always good responses :)I tried a strict gluten free diet for 2 months and I personally did not see any improvement and was dairy and soy free for a total of a year when I was nursing and my kids were intolerant. It is hard to find the balance for me sometimes between just living with this horrible IBS that takes over my life to actively keep trying to find something to better manage it (ie, trying different diets, supplements..etc). I know I won't "cure" it, but at least managing it would be nice. How long would it be good to try a low-starch diet?
 

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If a low starch diet isn't doing you any good after 2 weeks I'd give it up. After all the starch you ate two weeks ago is long gone so can't be making you have gas long distance from the sewage treatment plant. :)How many starchy foods were you eating when gluten free (were you adding in potatoes, etc for the bread and pasta you weren't eating)?If you were eating nothing but meat and veggies version of gluten free (as some people do not replace the wheat things with other starchy foods) then you may have already done that experiment.Would you consider medications, or are you only open to diet and supplements. Are you open to mind-body approaches like self-hypnosis or not?A lot of people can't do it with just diet or just supplements and need to add something else. Stressing out a lot that diet by itself didn't cure you can make things worse as well and some people may cause more problems trying to find some magic diet that may not exist. But it depends on what approaches you are willing to try. If you only will do diet you may have to accept you will still have symptoms as it isn't that common that just diet (no matter how strict) fixes everything with IBS. A lot of people can get some improvement, but may need other things to get it under good control and the more severe your IBS is, the less likely just a few diet changes will make everything all better, so it it really rules your life (and not just anxiety about the IBS rules your life) you may need more than just diet to get it under control, unfortunately.
 

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Thanks Kathleen! When I was gluten-free I did have some potatoes, seems like quite a bit of brown rice..etc. I am still nursing our little guy so I have been trying to avoid meds and I am currently on Lexapro for anxiety but I go through periods (well most of the time really) where I am afraid to eat. If I have somewhere to go in the evening or during the day, I will go the whole day without eating cause I am afraid it will trigger it. Sometimes my stomach gets triggered simply from eating and then I am constantly thinking, what did I eat that caused this and then I am afraid to eat anything really cause I just need my stomach to be calm. I am at the point though that I think I need to try my Elavil again or some meds. Is Elavil one of the better ones to try?
 

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Eating always for all people activates the gut. It is supposed to get more active after meals to make way for the new food.Avoiding food all day then finally giving in and eating will make your gut a lot more active when you finally do eat than if you ate 300 calories or so every 3-4 hours.Elavil tends to be a pretty typical med for IBS and does work well for some people.
 

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Of all the meds I was on (and there were plenty) Elavil was one of the better ones, and its effects lasted the longest - though after a while, it no longer worked for me either. As for diet, at one time I was on crackers and water, and even then, I had attacks, so diet wasnt the issue. Many IBS sufferers are on various diets, and they are all different and some work, and some don't - what works for one person, may not for another.Should you consider a mind-body approach as I did, feel free to take a peek at the links below. After having IBS attacks lasting hours a day for several days a week, I did this - the IBS Audio Program 100 - as a last resort after all else failed - not a cure - but helps most who try it.Let me know if you have any questions - read my journey - it's a long one, but there IS hope!
All the best.
 
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