What's up with my digestive system?
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An_257435 posted:
I don't expect to find a solid answer on here--just some guidance maybe, and possibly someone with the same issues.

For several years now, I have had issues with my digestive system. I have extremely bad and embarrassing gas constantly, I have loose stools or diarrhea at least once a day, and indigestion about every other day. The worst is the gas...it's terrible. Any ideas as to what could be going on in there? I haven't seen a doctor yet because I really don't know where to begin.
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atti_editor responded:
Hello,

There are a number of things that could be the cause of your symptoms. Two things that come to mind are Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn's Disease . This article about gas also talks about some additional things that could be the cause. I would start by seeing your general physician to see if he/she has some idea about what could be causing your symptoms. If your doctor can not determine what is happening, seeing a gastroenterologist is probably your best option -- they specialize in the digestive system and its disorders and will be able to delve deeper into your symptoms.

Do you notice your symptoms worsen when you eat a particular food or food group? Your symptoms could also indicate some sort of food allergy or sensitivity. Please let us know how you are doing!

Best wishes,
Atti
 
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georgiagail responded:
Have you considered keeping a food diary to see if any food/foods worsen these symptoms? It may surprise you what can cause intestinal gas:
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gas-and-gas-pains/in-depth/gas-and-gas-pains/art-20044739


I once had a patient who reported a round of severe diarrhea every morning about the same time, shortly after she ate breakfast. It was so bad she could not leave the house to run errands with the fear of soiling herself if she could not find a restroom fast enough.


We sat down to discuss what her breakfast consisted of....dry cereal and milk. Shoot...this was too easy for this dietitian. I asked her to avoid the milk for one week. Bingo! Gas and diarrhea gone. She was, of course, lactose intolerant. Later she learned to substitute lactose free milk (since she liked her cereal) for the regular stuff and was able to enjoy her regular breakfast without this diarrhea.


At any rate, write down what you eat for a week or so, take a look and try to pinpoint those foods that worsen your GI symptoms.


Even benign foods such as apples and melons can cause intestinal gas. If you're using items such as sugar free gums, the sweetening agent typically used in these products (sorbitol) is an excellent laxative!

Gail