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Old 01-25-2013, 07:46 AM   #1
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Hubby's GI distress - HELP!

My husband has joined me on my low carb adventure - but has been suffering with crippling diarrhea at night. I'm looking for any suggestions to give him which might help. I work in the medical field and someone here (not a doctor) suggested Magnesium and a 1/2 cup of yogurt per day to encourage healthy gut function.

The suggestion I was given specifically mentioned Activia or other 'probiotic' fat free yogurts. Would full fat greek yogurt have the same helpful benefit?


He is 36 years old, weighs 260.

Average Menu:

B: Egg muffins with cheese and bacon
L: Deli sandwich meat and cheese rollups with mayo
D: Protein of some kind, low carb vegetable with fat added and salad with full fat dressing.

He snacks on pork rinds and mayo, has the occasional cheesecake muffin or sugar free candy for dessert (never more than 2 or 3 pieces - we watch the sugar alcohols carefully)

Do any of you have other suggestions?
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:51 AM   #2
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Yes full fat would have the same effect.

However, I would use a probiotic pill rather than yogurt. It's hard to get the good stuff from yogurt to stay alive through the digestion process.

ETA I have IBS and probiotics and LC have helped a LOT

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Old 01-25-2013, 08:08 AM   #3
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I would also suggest trying to eliminate all sugar alcohols and other artificial sweeteners because many people are sensitive to them--with a result as your husband is experiencing.

And magnesium helps you to 'go,' so I'd stop that if he's going too much.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:54 AM   #4
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could it be the veggies?

if he isn't used to eating alot, a big influx of spinach, lettuce, and all those other veggies could nail his guts to the wall
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:07 AM   #5
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What is he eating alot of now that he wasn't before? Iceburg Lettuce is very hard on the gut. I have Colitis and avoid it. There is more nutrition in Kale or Spring mix.

I have to avoid all fake sugars. I take probiotics twice a day and don't have issues now.

I gave up dairy becasue it was so hard on my gut and sinuses.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:25 AM   #6
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Go gluten/wheat free. It is harder than it sounds because wheat is in a lot of stuff you'd never think of like, for example, most soy sauce.

One of the many benefits from adequate magnesium intake is regularity. But I cannot imagine endorsing suddenly beginning supplementing with it when he has these symptoms because it takes time for your body to adjust to magnesium supplementation. Generally, you need to start low and ramp up your dosage to avoid diarrhea and frequent bathroom trips.

Dehydration might be a problem if this goes on very long.

Maybe he should see a doc just to make sure there isn't some problem?
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:26 AM   #7
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And, wow, he is eating a LOT of protein.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:29 AM   #8
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Magnesium is a laxative. It's the opposite of what he needs, at the moment!
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:39 AM   #9
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Reddarin: I am concerned about his protein, but he struggles to get past the conventional 'wisdom' of fat makes you fat. He wants to accept what I'm telling him - but it's hard... so trying to get him to eat fat without it being a protein based fat is a struggle. What should we be looking for on labels to go gluten/wheat free - are they hidden words or does it just say "gluten" or "wheat" right out there?

Erin57: No iceberg lettuce - that has ALWAYS caused a problem for him. Our salads are made from green leaf, romaine or spring mix. In a salad for 3 people we use 2 oz of onion, 4 medium slices of bell pepper, one roma tomato and 2 oz of shredded cheese. It might be the cheese, but I'm more concerned that it might be the uncooked veggies.

Trigger828: That's what I'm afraid of. I don't know if he just needs to get adjusted to having them, or if we should just stick to cooked veggies (which he is used to)

Leo41: I made that suggestion, but he's not really willing to do that at this point. He is struggling to break away from the way he used to eat, and he 'needs' that to keep him from going off the rails. We've limited it far below the recommended serving, but I think that's going to be the best I can do for now. I think we may have to do an elimination diet to see if we can figure out if there is a food cause. If we are able to eliminate that anything else is the cause, then he might be willing to release his strangle hold on the candy. :-)

luvmybabyhead: Can you make a suggestion for a good probiotic pill?
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:50 AM   #10
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I think the combo of magnesium and sugar alcohols may be the culprit. Magnesium is powerful stuff all on its own and I wouldn't take it with diarrhea.

As for the candies, you could make some chocolate fat bombs for him. Some of the recipes are very delicious and they are made with splenda, stevia or other other allowed sweeteners that don't wreak havoc on the digestion. He also might like the cream cheese muffins if he's a cheesecake fan or the chocolate avocado pudding. They are easy and taste fabulous.

Last edited by Rhubarb; 01-25-2013 at 09:51 AM..
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Britt1975 View Post
Reddarin: I am concerned about his protein, but he struggles to get past the conventional 'wisdom' of fat makes you fat. He wants to accept what I'm telling him - but it's hard... so trying to get him to eat fat without it being a protein based fat is a struggle. What should we be looking for on labels to go gluten/wheat free - are they hidden words or does it just say "gluten" or "wheat" right out there?
Can you buy or get from the library Why We Get Fat by Taubes? It reads like a novel so even if your husband is not much of a reading person this book is very easy to read and digest. Lots of compelling stories.

That won't do anything about the protein issue but it will fix the fat attitude issue.

How tall is he?

Generally speaking, lots of LC'rs are very successful even though they eat way more protein than they should. If it ain't broke don't fix it is my firm belief for almost everything. But he is broke and he is eating a whole lot of protein and maybe they are connected. The pork rinds are high fat and high protein. A 6oz bag is probably enough protein for him for the full day and it is very easy to munch through a bag.

Not all sugar alcohols are the same so you might be able to fix the entire thing by finding candy sweetened with a different SF chemical.

Google for 'Celiac Disease foods' and you'll get a ton of sites with great information on gluten-free wheat-free products and what to look for. Usually if it has wheat in it it will say 'wheat' somewhere on the ingredient list (in America).

How long has he been LC? This could be a very short term problem for him. I mean, his body may just be adjusting to the change over from carbs to fat for fuel.

And, finally, the most likely suspect is the SF sweeteners. Most of them can produce that problem.

What I'd point out to your husband is that while the amount he is eating of them is small he has made big big changes to his body by going LC. So, smack him upside the head, make him give them up for 3 days to see if that clears it up. Then start adding them back slowly to see if his body can adjust to them.

If all else fails, burst into tears over the sf candy.
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:23 AM   #12
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Have him read this article that Al was kind enough to post on another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by PianoAl View Post
You can read the article here:

Nice quote from the article:

"What we tell people to do to lose weight—eat less and exercise—is exactly what you’d do if you wanted to make yourself hungry."
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:34 AM   #13
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luvmybabyhead: Can you make a suggestion for a good probiotic pill?
I bought a Schiff (sp?) brand gummy chewable probiotic for me and DD. It got decent reviews and was reasonable priced at my pharmacy. It does wonders for regularity. I won't stop taking a probiotic ever!

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Old 01-25-2013, 11:11 AM   #14
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Literate Griffin- I double checked with her to clarify and she corrected that she meant for long term regularity he should be taking magnesium - not to correct the diarrhea.

Rhubarb: He's not currently taking the Magnesium - it was just suggested to me today - sorry that I wasn't clear about that. And my source corrected herself to say that he should be taking it for sustained regularity, but not to correct the current problem. That's what she was suggesting the probiotic yogurt for. He does eat the mini cheese cake muffins and loves them. I haven't tried a fat bomb or chocolate avocado pudding, but I'll give them a try! Thanks for the suggestions.

Reddarin: Thanks again for all the suggestions. He's 6'1" - I have the Taubes book, and I read portions to him, but he's really not ever going to read a book that's not related to work. I've really tried. He's very stubborn! It's very frustrating. He and I are both recently back on Low Carb. We started 1/14/2013 - it's our third try, but the first time we were able to make it through the first two weeks cheat free (though, I still have two days to go) so we're feeling good... and he's feeling good - mostly. It's just this one problem. And he's almost certain that he's been through this before. But honestly - he's always had a certain amount of GI issues - it just seems worse now! Hopefully it will clear up with time. But we are going to start with probiotics today and then start making some tweaks. But really - thank you so much for all your help!

luvmybabyhead: Thank you! I'll see if we can find them!
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:15 AM   #15
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Probiotics are sort of hit or miss. You have to try a few sometimes in order to see what works for you. I was on the very expensive Ther-Biotics and the Align. I didn't see results till I switched to Digestive Pearls twice a day on an empty stomach. They are pretty cheap too.

I originally bought a small box first at the grocery store to try and now order in bulk pretty cheap from Amazon. Whichever you try, buy a small amount at first so you aren't out a ton of money if they don't work.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:19 AM   #16
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Sadly, it is probably the SF candies doing it. I can't come within a mile of those things, they upset my stomach so bad and give me horrible bathroom issues.

I know he doesn't want to seem to give them up, but maybe like others suggested you could try and make something for him.

I mean I would try cutting those out first, that is the easiest. See if he can stop eating them for like a week and see if it clears up. Why do all that other stuff first if you can eliminate the candies, which are well know for exactly causing those kinds of problems in people.

I know it is hard, you are doing a good job, it is hard when others dont want to let go of stuff.

Good luck.
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:11 PM   #17
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I had this problem last winter (I think I may have gotten giardia while camping). Align Probiotics (and the Walmart copycat version) fixed it, eventually. I also stuck to a very simple diet until it stopped: chicken breasts, butter, steamed greens. I love coconut products, but I couldn't eat them during that month.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:24 PM   #18
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Log what he eats each day and see which days he has the diarrhea...if it is happening every night and not during the day, maybe it is something in the evening meal or the candies...sugar free instant chocolate pudding made with HWC or HWC and water is delicious...like a mouse and you could top it with some whipped HWC made with vanilla and some sweetener...mixes up and sets in minutes...this is way better than the candies and a sneaky way to up his fats.
If the diarrhea continues he should see a doc and be honest about how he is eating...also to limit dehydration...broth or sugar free gatorade or sf powerade.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:27 PM   #19
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I would bet you money that it is the sugar free candy.

The other day I bought some for the first time and had one. Just one. I am not exaggerating when I say within 2 minutes I was rushing to the bathroom with terrible diarrhea.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:59 PM   #20
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And, wow, he is eating a LOT of protein.
How do you figure? It looks like an average/moderate amount to me. Protein requirements vary by individual according to weight. There are on-line calculators--one rough estimate is 1 gram for each pound of lean body weight. Body builders and people under various kinds of stress require more.
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Old 01-25-2013, 04:13 PM   #21
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How do you figure? It looks like an average/moderate amount to me. Protein requirements vary by individual according to weight. There are on-line calculators--one rough estimate is 1 gram for each pound of lean body weight. Body builders and people under various kinds of stress require more.
Because of this on the daily menu:

Egg cheese bacon Deli sandwich meat cheese Protein of some kind pork rinds .

It looks like a whole lot of protein.

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Old 01-25-2013, 05:33 PM   #22
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The best-tolerated sugar alcohol is Erythritol. It's not quite as sweet as sugar, and it has no unpleasant aftertaste. It does give your mouth a cooling sensation like mint. I can't even have the tiniest taste of malitol or sorbitol, but I'm fine with erythritol and zylitol.

Quote:
But honestly - he's always had a certain amount of GI issues
Sounds like someone with "leaky gut syndrome". Google it. He may need a healing diet for his GI system like GAPS or the specific carbohydrate diet. While I'm sure he wants to low carb for weight loss, treating the leaky gut may vastly improve his health, too. Two birds with one stone!
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Old 01-25-2013, 06:45 PM   #23
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I have shared my experiences here with my experiments with sugar acohols. I had a tendency towards IBS anyway. The month that I decided to try ChocoPerfection bars I got uncontrollable diarrhea that I could not get to stop.

I could have been a coincidence that it turned into Colitis. It took me 17 months and alot of effort to get it into remission.

Several folks here kept telling me that these were safe sugar alcohols. Regardless of the proven safety DH needs to listen to his body. It is telling him that he is eating something that it does not like.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:32 PM   #24
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Just wanted to mention one other thing just in case it is relevant. Is he diabetic or borderline? Dh and I are type 2 and when we start a lc woe we both have to deal with diarrhea as our blood sugar and insulin are lowering to more normal levels. It usually takes about 1-2 weeks.
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Old 01-25-2013, 09:01 PM   #25
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I would DROP ALL SUGAR ALCOHOLs... all sugar free candy, etc. I bet that will correct the problem for him. They are known to cause bad stomach cramping, bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

If it does not, he should see a doctor. "Crippling" diarrhea sounds pretty severe. He could have any number of medical problems (Crohns, IBD, celiac disease, etc) or even something infectious (needing antibiotics) that probiotics are not going to fix. He would need a correct diagnosis.
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Old 01-25-2013, 11:01 PM   #26
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magnesium tends to cause diarrhea, be careful!

I had a GI specialist tell me, back when I had bad diarrhea every day from a med I had to take, that immodium is just FINE. I took four of them first thing every day for years. *sigh* he said they are not habit forming and don't cause other problems. that is the easiest solution!
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:02 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin57 View Post
I have shared my experiences here with my experiments with sugar acohols. I had a tendency towards IBS anyway. The month that I decided to try ChocoPerfection bars I got uncontrollable diarrhea that I could not get to stop.

I could have been a coincidence that it turned into Colitis. It took me 17 months and alot of effort to get it into remission.

Several folks here kept telling me that these were safe sugar alcohols. Regardless of the proven safety DH needs to listen to his body. It is telling him that he is eating something that it does not like.
I have read the sweetener in these is actually bad for your gut...it ferments and causes all kinds of problems...I think it is oligofructose and states it is a prebiotic fiber...but I have heard it is not a good pre biotic because of the fermentation in the gut. I can't remember where I read it but I can not tolerate this sweetener either.

And to the original poster...I think the mention above about the diarrhea being temporary while your body adjust is probably valid...but one again, see adoc if it doesn't get better.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:21 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janknitz View Post
The best-tolerated sugar alcohol is Erythritol. It's not quite as sweet as sugar, and it has no unpleasant aftertaste. It does give your mouth a cooling sensation like mint. I can't even have the tiniest taste of malitol or sorbitol, but I'm fine with erythritol and zylitol.



Sounds like someone with "leaky gut syndrome". Google it. He may need a healing diet for his GI system like GAPS or the specific carbohydrate diet. While I'm sure he wants to low carb for weight loss, treating the leaky gut may vastly improve his health, too. Two birds with one stone!
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:35 PM   #29
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Thank you again for all your help and suggestions. Hubby has been free of any symptoms for the last two days. I have done extensive reading on Leaky Gut Syndrome and both he and I have had a total lightbulb moment in regards to his long running GI issues.

He spoke with his doctor on Friday and they discussed that often times switching to a new diet, can cause your system to 'revolt' for a week or two and that it might just be an adjustment period. The doctor thinks that we are doing a great thing and he is fully in support. He mentioned leaky gut syndrome before I haven't had a change to mention it to DH - and said that a low carb diet would be a great help to that condition. He did recommend an addition of probiotics.

He wants to see DH back in a month to ascertain how things are going and see if there needs to be further intervention.

Thanks again to all of you, what a wonderful and supportive group!
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:53 PM   #30
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I happened to be talking about leaky gut on another thread earlier today.
Gelatin (unflavored can be bought in bulk, or homemade broth with bones & cartilage is a good source) and l-glutamine are supposed to be very good for healing the digestive tract.

Good luck & glad DH has been feeling better the last couple days!
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