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Dieting with IBS/Constipation

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Old 03-07-2005, 04:53 PM   #1
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Default Dieting with IBS/Constipation

I've been a life time member of WW for over five years. I have an 12 year old daughter that has a weight issue as well as IBS with constipation. We've spent years trying to figure out what was wrong and now have figured out how to keep her pretty much pain free. I've seriously researched IBS and have her under the guidance of a gastroenterologist. Using what I know about WW and how to lose weight, I set out to seriously help my daughter three years ago when she asked specifically to address her weight. She's about 40 pounds overweight. During those 3 years the pain just kept increasing and we finally got the IBS diagnosis. Turns out everything that helped me in WW seems to be a trigger food on her no list. I put weight issues aside for a while and with the Doctor's help and some medications got the pain under control. Now she is off all medications and uses Benefiber daily. During a sixth month period of learning what we needed to do diet wise to prevent an IBS attack she has pretty much maintained her weight and that is with the exercise component in there (We belong to a gym and have a large home trampoline she uses daily. Exercise is a key component to keeping her IBS in check). Here is the main problem. With IBS with constipation (rather than diarrhea) she needs to have an increase in soluable fiber and a decrease in insoluable fiber. I never knew there was a difference and I'm pretty nutritionally informed. Soluable fiber breaks down in liquid whereas insoluable fiber absorps liquid. White rice would be a soluable fiber because if left in liquid it begins to break down and get gummy, bran on the other hand is insoluable. Have you ever added milk to all bran and walked away from it, it becomes huge! Another example would be an apple, the peel is insoluable and the inside is soluable. Everything I know about losing weight uses an increase in insoluable fiber as it takes more energy to break it down. Most low point foods in WW are high in insoluable fiber. The real killer is that vegetables (which are tough to get kids to eat anyways) can not be raw, they have to be cooked (which is even tougher to get kids to eat) The worse thing for her diet would be a salad. Most soluable fiber is the simple carbohydrates. There are many other things on the no list as well. Many things go hand in hand with dieting - low fat, no chocolate, no dairy (switched to soy which helps IBS but alot of it is higher in fat and calories then its dairy counter part). When we track her points for a very planned out down as best as we can for the IBS and the weight, we are about 8-9 points over. I would be really interested in hearing from anyone else facing this same challenge of keeping IBS symptoms at bay but being successful at losing weight.
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Old 03-07-2005, 06:51 PM   #2
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Your daughter sound exactly like me. I also have IBS constipation and losing weight is not easy. The information out there is so conflicting that I am not sure what I am suppose to eat or not eat to lose wieght. Some say increase fiber others say no. Some say low carb others say no. Right now i am taking miralax and zelnorm. So what are some of your daughters triggers, my really big ones are popcorn and nuts ( though I still eat them occasionally).

Could you share with me what your daughter eats? So you are saying that you should have soluable fiber instead of insoluable. I wonder if there is a web site that tells you what is soluable fiber. Does your daughter still have a problem with her constipation?

thanks for sharing

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Old 03-07-2005, 11:57 PM   #3
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Hello Bev,
A great website is www.helpforibs.com It really explains soluble versus insoluble fiber. The author of this website has a great cookbook for IBS called Eating for IBS by Heather Van Vorous. She has suffered for 20 years from IBS which started when she was a child. It has been the most informative thing I have found. But recipes are for IBS not losing weight. Most are naturally low fat because fat is an IBS trigger but sugar, real sugar is not, so calories are high at times. My daughter was on Miralax for 6 months, also Elavil (which didn't help at all) and several different perscription acid reducers. Now she is off it all and uses Benefiber to help with the constipation. She takes 2-3 tablespoons per day but could take up to 5. The gastro dr. suggested it because I was concerned that all this soluble fiber was so high in calories. They had me switch to white bread and white rice and everything refined. I was going nuts because I knew that was going to just pack on the pounds. But I did it to just get her pain free and with the miralax we got it under control. I followed advice from the dr., website and cookbook I mentioned above and have really gotten the IBS under control, gone from daily attacks to one in the last 2 months (which was due to a little bit of chocolate from Valentine's day). I eliminated all known trigger foods and then we slowly introduce something from the list to see if she can tolerate it. I've now gotten her back on some whole wheat items. The foods we stay away from are: all dairy, all artificial sweetners particularly malitol and sorbitol (splenda okay) egg yolks (whites okay - it is the protein in yolk that hurts IBSers), high fat foods, caffeine, carbonation, chocolate, high insoluble fiber foods, citrus, raw vegetables. If she has insoluble fiber (which the doctor wants her to be reintroduced to) we have to pair it with soluble food. So she will have applesauce or sliced peeled apples with a trigger food, it helps to basically coat the trigger food in the intestines. That is where the Benefiber comes in, it is a way to get soluble fiber into your diet without the calories. It is able 20 calories per tablespoon. We introduced soy to replace the dairy, but you must do this slowly since it is beans. We have found great substitutes that she is willing to use but as I said previously they tend to be high in calories and fat. We have found a perfect breakfast that runs about 5-6 points on ww that has no trigger foods. She has 2/3 cup egg beaters with 2 tablespoons Benefiber dissolved in it, doesn't affect the eggs or the taste, two slices of Louis Rich turkey bacon, 2 slices of WW toast with apple butter and a few slices of peeled apples, glass of water. I send her off to school with a good size breakfast. Snack time she has these soy chips that we found (2 points) for the entire bag and has no trigger food. Lunch is tougher because she's in middle school so she doesn't want to take a lunch pail or draw attention to herself with anything weird. Usually baked chips, turkey sandwich (half white bread, half whole wheat) apple sauce, 100 Calorie oreo graham cracker snacks, water. After school snack is tough because she is so hungry it seems. SHe often has a bowl of WW Vanilla puffed wheat cereal (1 point) with soy milk. Dinners are challenging because I feel like I'm making everyone their own dinner since rest of us don't have IBS. She's such a trooper though and is so glad to be pain free. She has worked now for a long time very hard with no real results on the weight. I suppose if we hadn't been working this hard it would be much more out of control. It's very frustrating as I'm sure you know. I try to take a WW recipe and convert it to eliminate triggers and then all the substitutions make it no longer a good WW food. We don't really do the low carb stuff because most of the foods have malitol in it. Dr. told us to stay away from anything that ended in tol. Those malitol, sorbitol, etc. tear up her stomach like you wouldn't believe. The valentine episode was due to five M&Ms. She loves chocolate but knows it hurts too much. I use cocoa alot for some substitutes and she likes chocolate soy which uses cocoa not chocolate. I also take yoga classes and my instructor taught me poses for her to get into when she has an attack. There is information on this on the website I gave you. Hope the website gives you some good information. It is well worth checking out. If you solve this IBS diet dilemma let me know. THat goes for anyone else out there struggling with the same issues. Thanks.
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Old 03-08-2005, 12:04 AM   #4
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Bev,
I forgot, yes popcorn and nuts are triggers for her also. She really misses peanut butter. She never has liked popcorn. I think she just instinctively knew it didn't feel good to eat popcorn. Now popcorn is something I use to control my weight. Nothing like a big bag of lite popcorn to tide me over.
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:20 AM   #5
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Default Just found out I have IBS with........

constipation and diarrhea. I had a baby last July, right afterwards I noticed after i would eat, i would bloat really big, but couldn't pin point one food. It just seemed that everything i ate, would eventually bloat me. I went to the doctor they did a ct scan. Found out I was a little constipated, and that my uterus was abnormally lumpy. Sent me to my ob/gyn, this was finally nov/dec.
I had a fibroid tumor. I then on February 22 had a hysterectomy. The day before I went to surgery we went to red lobster. I barely made it home and having to go to the bathroom. I figured it was just the melted butter. We than 2 weeks after surgery went back to red lobster. This time, I had the coconut shrimp. I had it before and it didn't seem to bother me. I also had steamed veggies. I barely made it home again, this time, I was bleeding. So bad we were in the ER Friday night (all night) and Saturday most of the day. After doing a edge test (upper scope) I have GERD, than yesterday, they did the colonoscopy. Found ischemic colitis, they tell me it's the same as IBS. I too was doing the ww point system. Now Iím just confused on what to eat and what not to eat. I've read your information, which was great thanks. And I've been to the web site, and from what I can understand it's just gonna be trial and error. I know caffeine, pop, and others are trigger foods. I was so far backed up, I lost 10.25 pounds on Monday, and haven't put any of it back on. I was also having night sweats, and I thought that was from pre-menopause, but since Iíve gotta all that out, I haven't had that problem. My stomach is really tender. I really believe that I've had this all my life. I was told that I was lactose intolerant years ago, and when i was younger real hot dogs would kill me. Must of been the fat. So i guess I just wanted to say thanks for writing what you both did, and I will reread over again and again, to get this to sink in. Thanks
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:03 PM   #6
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I was diagnosed with IBS a couple of years ago. High fat meals trigger an attack of really bad diahhrea and then most of the rest of the time I'm constipated (NICE). I've found a breakfast of porridge (oatmeal) really sorts me out for the day ahead cos it's full of soluble fibre and I try and eat fruit when I remember

I know high caffine (Red Bull) can make me feel all funny inside and generally large quantities of anything... It used to happen most often with Pizza Hut or take out pizza which is swimming in grease! I was also told that IBS is mainly caused by stress (although your daughter's condition sounds more health caused since it sounds quite severe), so I try to chill out as much as possible and have really cut down my portion sizes. Then when I want pizza or red bull, cos the rest of the day has been good it doesn't affect me quite like it did. I haven't really had a bad attack for at least 6 months, if not a year! I've also started Kickboxing classes so that might've helped, both with the stress and the exercise benefit!

Hope everything works out ok!
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Old 03-10-2005, 01:33 PM   #7
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Hi everyone,

alot of things we eat to lose weight are things I can't eat with IBS. Things that tear me apart are popcorn, nuts, anthing with beans in it, and anything high in fat. Sometimes I do have them and regreat it later. Also with me I might eat something and have no problem but try it again at a later date and it tears me apart.

The worst thing that happen with me with IBS was that I had an outbreak while flying on a plane. It turned into diarrhea and I was so embarrest.
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Old 03-10-2005, 03:42 PM   #8
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Hello 2frustrated and shortstack. Well, we seem to share something in common. How to lose weight when you have IBS? It really is trial and error. What is a trigger one day may not be a trigger the next day. My daughter has been so successfull following the guidelines in Heather Van Vorous' website and book that I'm afraid to reintroduce things. This week we really looked over her daily diet and I let her pick what she wanted to streamline. She chose to eliminate the soy cream cheese and soy drink at meals and has just gone to water and apple butter on her bread that cut about 16 grams of fat for the day. When we find something that works good, I'll post it. Maybe you all can do the same or anyone reading this. I'm looking for point friendly recipes (if your doing WW) that are IBS friendly, which of course is different for each person. Good luck ladies, we have quite a mission ahead of us. In response to the stress induced IBS, yes it plays a big factor. I use stress relaxation CDs with my daughter. She often goes to bed at night listening to them. They seem to help. This summer will be the most challenging when we take a break from the school routine and vacation time comes. Thanks for responding to my thread. Keep it going.
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Old 03-24-2005, 09:07 AM   #9
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hey just checking in. "GREASE" seems to be my major problem, and caffine. So I'm basically trying to eat "low fat", and increase fiber and increase water to at least 8 glasses a day. I'm drinking more milk, and eating breakfast. I found a great cereal. Not sure if you all will like the taste. Was eating "Raisin Bran" but since found "Fiber One" with Honey Clusters. It has 14 grams of Fiber. This cereal works for me, and getting in at least an hour and a half of exercise is working too. I bought some fruit. Not usually a big fruit eater. Trying some of that. Eating salads that don't have a lot of the Iceburg lettuce in it. Seems to be working. I've actually had a couple pieces of chocolate and seem to be doing ok. I also just recently bought some 94% fat free popcorn, kettle. That will be the next test. But I've also cut out eating past 6-6:30. Which helps the acid reflux. I've been reading a couple of books that are helping too. "I.B.S. Relief"-by Dawn Burstall R.D.& others. "Tell me What to Eat, If I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome" by Elaine Magee M.P.H.,R.D.
Both are good books. Hope all is going well with everyone.
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Old 03-24-2005, 03:26 PM   #10
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Shortstack,
Watch the cereal fiber, it is insoluble fiber, which expands with liquid, this is great if your IBS symptom is diarrhea but not good if the IBS comes with constipation. It can really back you up if you don't get enough fluids. Because of weight watchers I was really giving my daughter high fiber foods to keep the points low, high fiber muffins, cereals, etc. and found out from gastroentorologist that for her condition (IBS with constipation) that it was the wrong kind of fiber. Now that her symptoms are under control with diet (off medication) we are introducing the soluble fiber, cereals, etc but she has to drink a lot of water with anything like that. Still would love any recipe ideas anyone can come up with for low cal low IBS triggers
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Old 03-24-2005, 03:28 PM   #11
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Whoops, I meant "insoluble fibers" in my above post when I said we were slowly introducing fiber like cereals etc.
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Old 04-06-2005, 11:36 AM   #12
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I have IBS-D and I swear by the peppermint tea....it is so soothing and has replaced my morning coffee and any warm drink I've tried. Lipton's brand seems to be the best for me.
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:18 PM   #13
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Hi, I'm just dragging this post up again.

I've found a really great solution to my constipation problems that I had. I've started drinking a few litres of water a day (2 or 3) and seems it has a great effect on my bathroom problems!

I guess I'm just posting also for a bit of a moan! I've been free from symptoms for a while (apart from bad gas when I eat takeout!) and this evening I've had a bit of a session of gripes and urgent bathroom visit (NICE I know you all want to know!). But I know I'm under quite a lot of stress at the moment. I've 2 and a half more days before I hand in my year long project for my final year at Uni, I've 2 exams and a job interview next week. And to top it all, I get an e mail from an ex who I loved like crazy to say he's been married since September and how am I? AAARGH! So maybe I'm a bit stressed yes? I've been good eating wise and not had too much fatty stodge this past couple of days.

Thanks for reading!
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Old 05-12-2005, 06:24 AM   #14
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Wow-so glad I came across this thread-I usually post on the fibromyalgia page. I am having a terrible time with IBS-no diarrhea but pain, constipation and frequent urges. And bloating. I also have severe diverticulosis and wheat and milk and soy allergies. So what do I eat? So I never eat popcorn or nuts or anything with seeds. Someone I know tried Zelnorm and it gave her diarrhea. I drink water but it had added minerals so it gave me gas, Going to buy some today that is only water. Right now, I am off to the website. Thanks guys. Mima
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Old 05-13-2005, 04:20 PM   #15
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2frustrated,
Thanks for pulling the thread up, I haven't figured that one out again. I'd like to keep this one going so we can all figure out how to Diet with IBS. I started this thread due to my daughter and I must say she's doing good. We definitely know her triggers. We've kept the symptoms at bay and she's exercising alot. We have a trampoline and she invites friends over and of course 12 year olds can stay on a trampoline all day. I find that when she is 24 hours or more outside of my care, she has IBS symptoms for the next 2 to 3 days. No matter how much I prepare or the things I send with her. The key seems to really be a balancing act between soluable and insoluable fiber while keeping the fat low. Would love to have us post recipes that any of you come up with. I teach so this is a busy time of year for me but in June I may be able to post some things that are working for my daughter for weight loss and IBS.
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