Found the cause of my IBS after 3 years!

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I had IBS symptoms for three years, following a bad dose of flu. Before the flu I could eat anything and my bowel habits were like clockwork with no problems at all. I was certain that the flu made me sensitive to something but what was that something?

I had most of the classic symptoms - cramps and wind, urgency for the toilet, most of the time it being very loose, and most times only just making it there! Sometimes it would be all ribbony or just mucus. I never had any bloating or nausea but the cramps and toilet thing really got me down, sometimes I would go several times a day.

I am vegetarian and eat healthily, I'm 53 now and have been the same weight since I was a teenager (just over nine stones) so this was rather galling as well.

Last Spring (2006) I saw my doctor who sent me for a barium enema and the results came back negative, also several blood tests which also were perfectly OK, so I was told that in view of this 'it looks like IBS'. As my doctor didn't offer any 'cures' I decided to help myself and started a log of my toilet habits to see if there was any pattern - the only vague pattern I could see was that at weekends it was slightly better (Hmm, I never have lunch at weekends...). I racked my brains for an answer looking at all manner of causes, even down to the phases of the moon! Could it be stress at work as weekends seemed to be better? But I like my work and could not see how stress could be it - I wasn't stressed at work! Then June 2006 I amalgamated my lunch of cheese and tomato on toast with breakfast and cutting out some of the breakfast namely two slices of bread. Almost immediately my symptoms were a little better but by October they came back. Then at the end of January this year I stopped having lunch and felt better for it.

The breakthrough came at the start of February when I cut out bread altogether, the cramps went more or less immediately and my toilet habits started to get better. Since then the cramps have disappeared and I go to the toilet normally first thing in the morning and generally again at some point in the day normally too. (Before all this started I would go to the toilet two times a day normally). There is no urgency now and it being a normal consistency too.

So it seems in my case that bread is the culprit, or rather the yeast or maybe the consistency of bread. It cannot be a wheat intolerance as I have a large breakfast of Shredded Wheat, bran and muesli, and I also eat pasta, cake, biscuits etc.

The other week I had some mild cramping and thought 'oh no it's come back', but then discovered that the milkshake I had drunk an hour earlier contained yeast! The rest of that went into the bin.

I was always of the opinion that, in my case anyway, that it could not be caused by stress or some 'mind' thing, I was convinced it was a food related cause and I am keeping my fingers crossed that I am right in my thinking that the problem was yeast, especially in bread.

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  • Posted

    Just an update to this after five months without bread - and I am getting along OK. I also try to cut out products that contain yeast, which is quite difficult and also I am cutting down on sugary things as yeast feeds on sugar. I have had a handful of days where I have had very mild cramps and these have generally been traced to some yeast ingredient I didn't notice.

    I find that some products containing yeast I can eat without any upset, others give me slight discomfort, but the discomfort is nothing like that I experienced before giving bread up.

    Hope this helps someone. :D

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  • Posted

    Thanks for that smile
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  • Posted

    I read this with great interest as I have been having severe problems and after many blood tests which come back normal my doctor has given me Colofac tablets to take and referred me to the Gastrointestinal Consultant.

    I noticed that when ever I eat any Wheat products that I have the most problems but a Coeliac test was normal, i mentioned this to the doctor who said I may have a mild wheat intolerance but the symptoms are far from mild.

    I was thinking about avoiding this sort of product maybe it is the yeast and will certainly try this now. Thanks. :D

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  • Posted


    i find red wine, which is yeast-laden, moves my bowels the next day several times presumably for a similar reason. i don't have a problem with bread per se, but like most sensitivities there are degrees i guess. :lol:

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  • Posted

    I found this article so helpful, I have had various ibs symptoms since a really bad uti, following which I had awful cold/cough, both accompanied by ibs symptoms, I am now eating gluten free products as much as I can, but may try cutting out bread altogether.
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