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Philadelphia

How Long Until Normalcy?

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Hi everyone. I've been lurking here for 6 weeks now, but wanted to come out of the woodwork and start to contribute as well. The people on this forum have been an incredible help to me. I thought I'd give a super quick recap of my story then see if anyone could help me by sharing their results.

I'm a 29 year-old male. I've had stomach problems for the last 12 years and am lactose intolerant. When tests came up negative, I got the standard IBS diagnosis. Doctors tried antacids like Aciphex, and antispasmodics like Pamine. Lately though, nothing had seemed to work. I'd experience awful IBS-A that has been fairly debilitating, making it difficult to go out with friends (travel is often out of the question), or sometimes even walk the 16 blocks to my job.

After a horrific experience in December where I went through 8-hours of mind-numbing pain during which I passed out several times - I didnt even think that could happen! - I was ready to try anything. Googling my symptoms for the 1000th time, I decided that perhaps I was NCGS and went off of my medications and all gluten in the beginning of January.

I've certainly been feeling better than I have in years. More energy, way less IBS-C and -D. In the last 6 weeks I've only experienced 3 random bouts of IBS-D, and happily none of them had the frightening urgency they did in the past. Currently, to get a baseline, I'm taking no probiotics, fibers (was taking Heather's for a bit but have stopped) or pills of any kind, no caffeine. Simply eating gluten and dairy free.

I still have one nagging issue - I find myself feeling gassy a heck of a lot. Lovely, I know. My poor girlfriend! I cannot seem to trace it to any one food. Sometimes I'm fine, other times it's just awful. I have a whole bunch of Heather's peppermint pills I ordered, which seem to have helped a lot of people, but I'm reluctant to start taking anything yet when I'm still trying to get a true baseline for myself.

Assuming I've correctly diagnosed myself as NCGS, does this much gas sound normal? I'm sure 12+ years of unknowingly damaging my stomach isn't going away in a month, but I wanted to ask you all about your experiences. How long did it take before true cessation of your symptoms? Any advice for other things I could try to attempt to stop this? Pepto seems to really do the trick, but I can't imagine taking that long-term is any good.

Thank you all in advance. Obviously none of you know me, but reading all of your posts have been beyond helpful in dealing with this.

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Ok. I have to get up close and personal.

Are you sure that you aren't just having a normal amount of gas?

Passing gas is a normal function of the digestive systems.

Could it be that you are more conscious of passing gas because in the past you didn't know if you were going to have a bout of D or just fart? (I've been there.)

All the men I've known in my lifetime have had gas. Healthy father, brothers, husbands, boyfriends. Some have been polite about it and some just let 'em whirl.

Could it be that you're not used to having gas and you're overly sensitive about passing gas? Have you asked your girlfriend if you pass gas more than any man she's known before, including her father?

Regardless of her answer, I think it's a good sign that you're passing gas vs. having IBS.

You might discover more food sensitivities on your road to better health. You said you've watched the forum for a few months, so I assume you've seen topics about that.

Good luck, it sounds like you are doing so much better than before! Regarding "How Long Until Normalcy? ... it varys. I'm at 10 months gluten-free now, doing better but still have setbacks. Some people get diagnosed earlier and have better recovery...hopefully that's you.

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whew! This is embarrassing. I am a female who had so much gas that about 15 years ago my daughter yelled at me "mom. You are sick. No normal person farts that much. You need to see a doctor!" Little did we know then how true that statement was! Since going gluten-free I have had very little gas although C is a major issue now. Go figure.

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Marilyn, you definitely raise some good points.

Maybe I'm just way more conscious of these things now, especially since, I think, I get freaked out by my stomach doing things like making noises, feeling certain ways, etc, simply because EVERYTHING used to be indicative of an IBS-D attack. I know the other day I heard my stomach making TONS of gurgling noises and was totally freaked out, but nothing ever happened. I'll have to feel things out over the next several months and reestablish what I think normal is, I suppose.

I definitely am also keeping my eyes out for additional food sensitivities. I've noticed many people here seem to find more than one once they start getting healthier. It wouldnt surprise me. I've certainly noticed that over the last few weeks just as I've been feeling better and better, the very few times I have accidentally eaten the wrong thing, I feel it almost immediately.

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Whew! This is embarrassing, too. I'm 44, male, look very healthy ... but ... before going gluten free last November 2010, my poop stunk like a dead animal or worse if you can imagine that. My relatives begged me to poop somewhere else. One time I went to a supermarket, to use their restroom. A bunch of teenagers walked in and cried, "Smell like poop here!" "What do you think people do here?" said one of the dudes.

Anyway, I can't say it now smells like perfume, but my 16 year old daughter recently remarked, "Dad's poop smells normal now."

I'm afraid to eat out at restaurants, not knowing what they might put in the food. When I accidentally eat something I'm not supposed to, I seem to get a rash. It's indeed a challenge but well worth it to go gluten free. I haven't been diagnosed but as long as undesirable symptoms disappear, it pays to avoid gluten.

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Only here are we able to freely talk about poop!

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Oh boy, are you guys in for some fun! :) Well, actually, everyone is different, or rather an individual, and our bodies do their own thing regardless of what I or anyone else says.

But for me, a bit over 3 years in, I am in pretty good shape. I have a lot more energy than before, and I can think and remember things better. I had to weed out a lot of other food intolerances that held me back tho. You can read em in my sig. Pain is a rare thing nowadays, but not before gluten-free.

You need time to learn how your body reacts to things. A good way to go is to simplify your diet as much as possible. Eat a whole foods diet, no processed foods. And consider an elimination diet. When you cut your diet down to 5 or so foods it is easier to tell what is causing a problem.

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