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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When reading the problems that many of you have, I just have to tell about the great help I've got by changing my diet.I'm a 34 year old male who've had IBS as long as I can remember but wasn't diagnosed until a couple of years ago.I had continuous problems with bloating/gas and irregular stools. Sometimes totally constipated and after some days all would come out as diarrhea. I also had problems with a stiff back (between the shoulder blades). Many times I wouldn't fall asleep until many hours after I went to bed. I was always tired and many times depressed and apathetic.Since I started eating macrobiotic food a year ago I've got a life. Although I'm still very sensitive to sweet stuff and some other parts of the diet it has actually changed my life.Some improvements I've noticed:- 19 out of 20 days I defacate in the morning and it looks and smells pretty normal!- I fall asleep when I put away the book at night!- I'm almost fine in my back (it gets immediately worse when I'm eating something bad)- I don't need to pee all the time- My self estimation has increased a lot.- I've found a woman to marry- I'm very seldom bloated and if I happen to eat something bad, an "umeboshi plum" helps a lot
 

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Macrobiotic diet is a diet that has been around for awhile. That is the word the original poster used to describe it. I think it has been around for several decade.Many people who follow this diet say they feel great on it. How well it will work for any given IBSer may vary depending on what sets you off. I think it is high in fiber so those that fiber helps may find it beneficial.Here are some links to the Macrobiotic diet.http://www.diet-i.com/macrobiotic-diet.htmhttp://altmedicine.about.com/od/popularhea...Macrobiotic.htmhttp://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=diet&dbid=9There are plenty of books about this diet as well. Like I said it has been around for awhile so there is quite a bit of info about it. If you have a organic food store near you they probably have all you need to eat this way and also be able to get you info about it.K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There is a lot of fibres in the macrobiotic diet, yes, and that what was my great fear when I went to a 15 days boarding school to learn it. My stomach simply couldn't stand fibres.However it appeared to be a question of how to prepare the fibres. Like my teacher said "we are not horses". We need to cook e.g. the cereal in the appropriate way.
 

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I have been recently been gathering info on diets. I have to try something to stop the constant pain. Meds don't seem to work. I feel like my insides are always being put through a wringer. Sore mostly on my left but painful all over. Fiber just makes me bloat so bad I feel worse. I have constipation as well but I can still go every few days. The pain is my main concern.Not to be a curmudgeon but, is there any kind of real science to this diet? All the ying yang garbage may be enough for some. But that just makes it sound like fung shue for your gut. Which is silly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't know if there is any kind of "real science" to the diet. But compared to the western medicine, the Asian yin & yang medicine has about 10 times longer history. And to me it does seem like they have somthing to offer. Don't worry about the weird sound of the words yin & yang. They're just one of the models or descriptions of how things works.For my part, I know for sure that the diet makes my life worth living. I was sceptical to begin with, but as you can imagine from the improvements I've experienced, I don't need any additional proof. Read also my story "On the way to get cured?".
 

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Enought people eat this diet so that there are a number of studies on it, but I don't know of any specific to IBS.Overall what I know of this diet is that it fits a lot of the kinds of diets that should be more generally healthy vs generally unhealthy data. There are certain nutrients that are harder to get on the diet, but nothing unusual for vegetarian diets.I don't know how well this diet really follows ancient chinese medicine theories or not. I don't know them well enough to judge if this falls in the "uses it to sound good" or "really is based on" category. There are a fair amount of things that use Eastern philosophy words but don't really hit the concepts quite right.I view the Chinese version of health stuff this way. They look at functions a lot in how they set things up and focus a lot historically on the observational end of things. Some things do actually work pretty well becuase they did enough trial and error to find the things that do work. Most of the Yin Yang, 5 elements, which meridian etc kind of thing is more of a framework to keep all the observational stuff straight, IMO. It is a way to organize the information so it is easier to transmit and deal with. The constructs are based on real data and have some predictive ability, even if they are based on philosophical ideas that seem strange to Western ears, or don't line up perfectly with organs of the body. Like the "Triple Heater" has no physical body part you can point to and say that is the thing. But it has to do with the functions of thermoregulation and homeostatis which are prefectly legit things to deal with in a body. So the yin vs yang food may not have a what Western eyes would see as a legit reality. But the foods grouped together are grouped that way based on their effects on people who eat them (most of the time...there are some "magical" reasons for something things like the whole like effects like thing, but lots of early western medicine was rooted in that sort of thing as well).Just trying to say that even if the philosophical constructs used to explain why this group is this or that group is that are funky to someone, there is something in physical reality that the groupings are based on (the observations over time of the Chinese healers), and some of that does seem to fit with modern western understandings of nutrition and healthy diets.K.
 

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Thanks for the responses. My concern with the yin yang thing isn't the spiritual thing or that it does not sound like modern science. Modern science has not come up with anything to help me yet either. I just like to know why I should eat this as opposed to that. Why no meat and cheese. I would like a firmer explanation than there just "bad." Other things in the diet like the brown rice. I have been told to stay far away from rice as I have IBS-C. And dairy makes me feel better at least temporarily. This is why I want to know why certain foods are healthy and unhealthy. The other problem I have is I am not a cook, even a little bit. Before the IBS struck me down I lived on Mcdonalds and microwave dinners. Are their recipe books for this diet (that are easy to follow)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I see. I get really bad from dairy products and pretty bad from meat. However, good quality poultry should be okay now and then.The basic philosophy of macrobiotics is that your food should be balanced - about as much yin as yang. However extremes should normally be avoided, if not for medical purposes. Otherwise they stress the body. Red meat is extreme yang. I think milk is extreme yin (fat and sugar are).As I have understood from the Asian medicine, IBS is due to excess yin. A sign of this is also cold hands and feet - have you? If so, you are supposed to eat balanced, but with a little emphasis to the yang side, gradually becoming more balanced. However it seems to takes years. My stomach is still very sensitive after a year on the diet.There are a lot of recipe books, but I don't know of any really easy one. I started by going a course (highly recommended), and got some recipes there.
 

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Interesting you said something about the cold hands and feet. Ever since this hit I have had zero tolerance to the cold. I double up my blankets and keep the thermostat around 80 (my roommates hate me). I have always been a bit of cold body but since this it is out of control. I have found some books on amazon on macrobiotics I guess I'll order a few. Where might I find courses on this? Where did you hear about it?You also said it takes years. But do you notice results before that? When did you notice it helping?Honestly right now I'm willing eat brussel sprouts(yeach) for the rest of my life if it gets rid of the pain, bloating, and constipation.
 

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Brown rice (which has the rice bran) should be OK for constipation just like any whole grain is OK compared to the processed version of the grain.Unless you have a type of constipation that requires a very low fiber diet. (slow transit constipation which is separate from IBS).Anywho One should also with the cold thing and the constipation probably have your thyroid checked out as low thyroid can cause a range of things including being cold and constipation.K.
 

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I have had the usual battery of tests (colonoscopy, small bowel, blood tests). Just got the sitzmark. I'll be talking to the doctor in a few days about the results of that. My thyroid test came back normal(or whatever the range they use to determine normalcy). It was one of the first things they tested for becuase my mom had thyroid problems. The more I look at the diet I wonder if I can maintain this diet. I've never been much for veggies. But if it works I could care less.
 

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heres a list ive been given about some foods to avoid by one source, ive had other sources thell me i should eat them, though i wonder what other people think?: cabbage,inc bocolli and brussles sprouts onions, leeks etc.dried fruitgrains(some say just wheat but are others like rye sometimes a problem?)milk and dairy(and do most people find good quality yoghurts ok or even helpful?)
 

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If you try to combine all the dietary guidelines you will find all foods are totally forbidden and all foods are recommended.A lot depends on what particular thing the diet is supposed to help and the reasoning behind the diet.Why some of these could be a problem for some people (any food that works well for someone will be a bother for someone else) and if there is a why you should eat it I will include that.
quote: cabbage,inc bocolli and brussles sprouts onions, leeks etc.
These can have compounds that may increase gas/or smell of gas for some people. The cabbage family veggies have raffinose (like beans do) and no one digests that sugar but colonic bacteria do.They also contain lots of chemicals that may be good for you in terms of normalizing bloood pressure or preventing cancer.
quote:dried fruit
Why bad....may have sorbitol in them which is a laxative (prunes and apricots especiallyWhy good...may have sorbitol in them which loosens stools up (one of those are you too loose or too hard and dry in the stool consistancy department).Sorbitol may also cause gas for some people.Have lots of dense calories so may be bad for weight control, but also are nutrient dense so may be good for overall nutrition.
quote:grains(some say just wheat but are others like rye sometimes a problem?)
Celiacs MUST avoid wheat and rye and barley as they have gluten. Some people have problems with the resistant starches causing gas even if they do not have celiac Especially when whole grains some people do really well with eating them because when you do whole wheat, etc that adds fiber to the diet (but some people are worse when they have fiber).
quote:milk and dairy(and do most people find good quality yoghurts ok or even helpful?)
Lactose may be a problem for some people if you get enough of it in one sitting. Taking dairy with food can help. If you do not digest the lactose the bacteria in the colon will. Some people who do not digest lactose on tests have no symptoms when they get lactose, so how much you may need to avoid it can vary even if you have the tests for this. Most people who test lactose intolerant can tolerate small amounts with meals (so a small glass) Aged cheeses tend to have very little lactose, so even the amount across dairy products varies a lot. (just because it is dairy doesn't mean it has lots of lactose...it is what part of the dairy you are using)Some people find yogurt with live cultures helpful as the probitoic bacteria in them do not produce gas from the digestion of carbs (and some people take pills with bacteria instead).Why to eat them...good source of calcium and other nutrients. Some people feel the bad outweighs the good so avoid dairy for various assorted reasons.K.
 

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The problem with an IBS diet is that most people who have IBS have D predominant. This gets the most attention for obvious reasons. A smaller number have C predominant(like me) and some have A(not sure of percentage). Mostly women (70%) have it over men. So I am a minority of a minority.Certain things are bad for one but good for the other. If you have C, milk should be good to get things going because most people are at least a little lactose intolerant. And this makes the body move it along faster, at least as I understand it. Others will tell you something different.This is the problem with finding a diet that works especially when it involves IBS-C and the fact that I'm a guy (I don't know that gender has anything to do with the effect of a diet though). When people talk about IBS 9 times out of 10 they are refering to IBS D. As such I have to question heavily any diet that does not specifically mention chronic constipation as its target. Most of these diets are all about slowing things down or "hardening" up things. Not what I need.This makes finding a diet frustrating to the extreme. So far nothing I eat helps. To be honest I can't even tell what hurts. Everything seems to hurt. Sometimes I feel like I have gravel or glass moving through my intestines. Other times they feel sore and bruised. Sometimes just a mild bloat and a dull ache. I never feel "normal." I look at my food diary and can't see any patterns. It seems fiber(at least the supplement kind like citrucel/konsyl) is a bad idea because it bloats me up so bad any other benefit is lost. Natural fiber in food may be bad too, I'm currently trying to find out that by increasing fiber rich foods. That was why I was curious about the macrobiotic diet.When my friend developed this a few years back I never thought I would envy his health. But for him most meds work and he can maintain a fairly normal diet. Now when I get IBS nothing helps. I seem to be ranting. Sorry. It's just that I had a good life before this. I want it back.
 

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One thing to remember is that pain with IBS may or may not be related to what in particular you ate.Some people get pain when the colon becomes more active after a meal regardless of which food they ate.Some people have pain from all sorts of what should be normal sensations in the gut.I do not know how much diet helps with straight pain issues. A fair number of drugs and the herb peppermint can be useful for this I believe more than dietary modification.It can be hard to find the right level of fiber in the diet for a lot of people.K.
 

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sweet, thanks for your help mate. Reckon im gonna hafta go teh drastic one and try going onto fluids only to suss out what i can and cant eat soon. seems to sort most people out whove tried it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
PainboiI have IBS type C/D, and can just tell what works for me. However, I think macrobiotics would help even you.I got better at once when starting with the diet (and after my last meal from before the diet was out of my body).I would suggest you to go for a macrobiotic consultation and then to a course. Skim through my story at http://ibsgroup.org/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/51510173/m/424104151 and find a link to more information about macrobiotics. (I live in Europe, and attended a course in Spain).Fibres was a big problem to me until I learnt the macrobiotic way to prepare them. Now I eat a lot of fibres and also onion, cabbage, whole grains and much more that I used to exclude!!mikeyt333Dairy products is normally not good according to this diet. Dried fruit are sweet and may be eaten occasionally, especially in the summertime.
 

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Are you supposed to cook bran? I never thought of that. It gives me B-A-D gas. Would cooking get rid of the gassiness?
 
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