Digestion is a complex subject, but self-experimentation can often prove very effective when the medical community is handing you drugs and not solutions. Yes, many people just want a drug that will resolve all their digestive issues, with 100% effectiveness and no nasty side effects. The problem is… that drug hasn’t been invented!
But here’s a thought… try going “paleo”!
Since carbohydrates in grains, legumes (beans & lentils), nuts, fibrous vegetables and fruits cause gas and bloating, and milk products cause gas and bloating, too, try cutting them ALL out and see what happens. You won’t die or get sick eating only meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, organ meats, eggs, animal fats, butter/ghee, coconut oil, coconut milk, and maybe dark chocolate (85%), avocados and some berries for a few days or even a few weeks, as an experiment. After all, that’s the kind of diet our ancestors ate every day of their lives.
By the way, apparently rice does not cause gas and bloating, so you could try adding rice back after a couple of weeks. Some people are allergic or sensitive to rice, so do eliminate it at first. It’s not paleo or primal, though.
If you don’t see any results in a day or two, stick with it; it took years of incorrect eating to make you sick. It will take time to set things right!
If constipation (or diarrhea) becomes an issue on a paleo/primal diet that includes plenty of good fat, likely your digestive system is seriously compromised. Fat promotes normal bowel movements. Low-fat, high-fibre diets are a very recent addition to our lifestyles and have wreaked havoc on our colons! Do you really think our ancestors had so much trouble with their stomachs and their bowels? That doesn’t even make sense. It has to be a problem with our Standard American Diet (SAD).
You may or may not be able to reverse the effects of years on a high-carb/high-fibre diet and the over-use of laxatives, bulking agents, etc., but you can give it a very good try. Here’s a book to help you with that: Fiber Menace. He even shows you what your poo should look like… and it’s not the way you think!
You can order a product from the Fiber Menace author called Hydro-C, which uses Vitamin C, among other nutrients, to hydrate your stools. You may have to take this for the rest of your life, but it’s not a drug and it has no side effects. He also has some products that will replace your gut’s flora and restore your colon to health, if that’s possible for your situation (some people have done too much damage to their colon).
Some paleo people also swear by Super Enzymes from NOW. Take 1 capsule (preferably in the middle of your largest meal of the day), then 2 capsules at the same meal the next day, then 3 capsules and so on, until you feel a warm sensation, then cut back one capsule at the next meal. This is your dosage for that size meal. You can adjust it now for smaller meals. Do NOT exceed 7 capsules or 1400 mg. of HCL at one meal!
Nobody says you have to suffer when a simple nutritional supplement can make your life so much better.
And here’s some more advice from the forum at RobbWolf.com: “80 grams of glutamine per day should help heal the gut, too (10 gm. 8 times per day). Start with the HCL (Super Enzymes), then do the glutamine.”
To get things moving in the morning, drink a glass of warm water on an empty stomach. Add a slice of lemon, if you wish.
Try taking magnesium at bedtime (it’s a muscle relaxant so don’t take it during the day). Magnesium Oxide is fine as you don’t want to absorb it, you want as much as possible to go through you!
If you have serious IBS or other gastrointestinal problems, you may need serious intervention like the GAPS diet and/or the FODMAPS diet. Do a search on Google for these.
Always be skeptical of Conventional Wisdom (CW). Just because a doctor is telling you something, doesn’t make it true! In my own life, I have had the most significant health improvements after listening to Alternative Medicine practitioners, Naturopathic Doctors, Doctors of Chinese Medicine, Chiropractors, etc.
It also pays to research a topic to death on the Internet and at the library. Be your own advocate with the medical system. If you have IBS, read everything you can get your hands on… research, research, research. What if there was no “quick fix,” but there was a fix? Maybe it will take weeks, maybe even months. Sometimes a lot of patience is required. Is getting your life back worth some experimentation, some trial and error, some patience? Of course!
And, for your own sake, try a paleo diet! After all, who doesn’t love a rare steak? Well, maybe that’s just me! lol