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This surprised me as I wasn't aware that meat can ferment in the colon. For a few years now I've been on a successful low FODMAP low starch diet that basically restricts most highly fermentable food. In my case, the safest food of all low starch, low FODMAP vegetables, which I usually have with meat, fish or eggs. I don't adhere strictly to this as it's so hard to do. I eat what I like on week-ends or days that aren't important.

Anyway a few months back I found that I was getting Leaky Gas again, from my Paleo diet that had been working so well. I noticed that the worst days were when I was hungry, and ate more meat or fish. At the time I thought it was just constipation but this didn't explain the gas. I knew the gas wasn't from the salads and vegetables as this diet has worked very well for a long time.

Apparently meat isn't totally digested in the stomach at all. In some people, maybe up to 20% of meat and fish escapes digestion and ferments in the colon. Sulphur is a major component of protein. What happens is that bacteria metabolise the proteins in undigested meat, causing hydrogen sulphide, or rotten egg gas. I remembered reading about this before, but have never thought of meat as a problem food for IBS, apart from its constipating factor.

Hydrogen sulphide can also damage the intestinal wall. It's believed a high meat diet might be a factor in colitis and inflammatory bowel disease.

So meat can be highly fermentable, and inflammatory, for some people, particularly if you eat a lot of it. Meat can be just as bad as FODMAPs or starches if you have trouble completely breaking these down as well.

My biggest problem isn't so much the gas at home, which I don't care much about, it's the gas during the day when I'm at work or socialising. Somehow a diet high in fermentable foods (carbs & meat) causes a pseudo-blockage and incomplete evacuation. It's as though the gas blocks stool. I've never been able to find out how this works exactly. But a low-fermentable diet reduces the gas so that evacuation is complete, even if it still takes an hour or so, so it's worth doing.
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