Discovering New Foods which set off an Attack

I was out with my wife last Friday and feeling good with no sign of a Problem. We decided to have some lunch in an Inn. I had a large Chicken and ham sandwich with a salad. The sandwich contained mayonnaise and the salad had some coleslaw. It all tasted fine and it was accompanied by a soft drink. I would add that I have suspected Mayonnaise in the past but was not convinced it would cause a problem..

Drove home about 40 miles , around 45-60 minutes drive. I was only home about 30 minutes when attacks started -acute explosive Diarrhea etc. Around 4 dashes to the loo and quite painful stomach. I am wondering if it was some minor food poisoning , the Mayonnaise or the Coleslaw which was in a pink sauce of some sort. My wife had the same food and drink but had no problem.

Has anyone got any thoughts on mayonnaise and coleslaw as that is my suspicion on cause.


25 Replies

  • In my opinion if this happened only an hour later the food you ate is not the problem. In an hour that food would not even have all progressed out of your stomach into your small intestine by then.

    The food you ate would have triggered off peristalsis which is the action within your intenstines and colon which moves waste matter forward to the next level of digestion.

    Therefore you need to look to the food you ate around 24 hours ago to discover what has actually been upsetting your system.

    Have you tried Fodmaps to eliminate foods which don't agree with you? Have a read on the Monash University website. If you think it worth a try you can get an app which is very easy to follow to help you fathom it out.

    It is not however a quick fix but a change for life which I have certainly found worthwhile after having IBS for 30 years.

  • Hi sashapet,

    I have been thinking about what you said in reply to my post. Particularly the reference to food transit time . I have read many articles, saying things take X time to pass through your system .

    I note you say the food I ate would have started off peristalsis, which moves things on. I now wonder then , is this not IBS ? Something you eat and does not agree with you then starts this action, which is rapid in moving previous meals through your system. This older food though was lying somewhere in the digestive system quite happily until you eat the trigger food that starts the cramping and rapid peristalsis and a doze of D.

    It interests me because even after 50 years of IBS ,I can often predict almost immediately, that something I have eaten is not going to be liked, or maybe tolerated by my system and sure enough within a very short time, I am rushing to the Loo. I find this quick transit time fascinating but also frightening and it can cause anxiety because you wonder when and where this might occur. Hence some people won't even leave their house. I am not in any way medically trained but it does seem to me that the problem is caused by the more recent food eaten as that kicks things off.

    I note you regularly advocate Fodmaps but I was fairly sure that I already new what my trigger foods were after 50 years of IBS and I would class myself as a fairly mild sufferer compared to those with a massive daily problem, so to be honest , unless things get worse I would find Fodmap a lot of trouble to follow, in my normal lifestyle. Obviously after 50 years of IBS you adjust things to cope , however, if it deteriorated from present levels, I would consider Fodmaps.

    Hope your well.

    Will1234 .

  • I've had it 30 years and it's a bummer. I can obviously only speak from my own experience and the various things I have tried and researched.

    I'm a person who is never actually sick as in puking but it always goes downwards and either becomes diarrhoea or constipation. Don't get stomach pain or bloating since being on Fodmaps but get excrutiating pains when something is trying to pass through large colon and when it does it is often fast and explosive!

  • Hi ,

    Like you , I am almost never sick and it always goes south and yes either diarrhoea or constipated. I don't always get much pain but occasionally as you describe it. My great fear is sudden onset of symptoms when it is at an inconvenient time or in an unsuitable place. Like when travelling.

    I note that after a bad dose of acute D , I often feel a bit off colour ,sometimes a bit nauseous- could perhaps be anxiety, or worry but it seems few people post about this. They mostly just describe the acute symptoms of pain and D or C.

    Agree it is a total bummer ( literally ), it spoils so many things. I am having a bad spell just now and pulled out of a golf match to-day. I would have got round, with the aid of Immodium but I just did not feel great , so sitting here typing etc.


  • I couldn't agree more, its that time when your out, and nowhere to run, I to have it like that, my old GP, and now my new one have put me on Ranitidine, I'm forgetting how to spell now, never mind, I take one in morn with rest, of med, and a second at 6pm, it used to be bedtime. But it stoped the stomach cramps, but tell the hospital that, they don't understand why I'm on codeine phosphate, as its a painkiller but once I tell them its not only for pain, its stops the runs with ibs they look at you, are some alien, its high time the hospitals stopped treating as an everyday symptom, its not. Its caused through stress, and the colon has small hairs running along its inside, after many years, those hairs start to lay flat, and that is what causes you and I to have excruciating pain, known as stomach ache and it can be crippling. At times. The worst thing is anything can set it off. And you the poor victim, has not a say as to when it's just going to strike. Am I right I ask you?as my heart goes out to all of you youngsters who are just starting with it, its cruel, and its time they found something to cure it .

  • Yes you are right MAYO IS A KILLER if I have it I feel like i will pop- my- clogs

    Hope you are soon feeling fine

  • I must admit i dont touch mayonnaise, but then raw cabbage (as in coleslaw), could definitely be a cause of the problem. It can give u stomach cramps

  • I'm not a doctor, but I think you would have been sick first if it had been food poisoning.

    Do you generally react well to soft drinks? Is the drink one you usually consume?

    They contain all sorts of additives/ preservatives than can set you off. And ready-to-use mayonnaise can too.

    This article can give you some pointers:


  • Could easily have been the mayo. I had sea salt and balsamic vinegar crisps and within the hour i was bad!

  • Hi Will

    Coleslaw is a killer !

    Maybe Mayo as well if not fresh.

    Good you made it home before attack...and not on the golf course !!!

  • Hi Calista,

    Yes glad I was not on the course. We have just returned from a longish spell in Tenerife . My golf has gone ,swing has gone missing and a new driver has not helped.

    Anyway seems like coleslaw can now be added to the avoid list -it produced one of the worst attacks for a very long time . Not sure what the pink sauce like stuff was and it tasted good . Thereafter not good !


  • Maybe Teneriffe food didnt help.

    I can remember when we used to take hols abroad which I loved,nights of in and out to loo while husband slept soundly ,quite unaware !

    It is the one think I do not miss about hols.

    Hope your swing returns and ibs does not !

  • Hi calista,

    I was expecting some food issues when away but other than a few minor off times , generally it was fine. Things have now returned more or less to my norm.

    Golf swing still not found though. practice sessions on Sunday and a whole afternoon yesterday have helped a bit but still not right. I think old age is taking it's toll with distance issues --trying to hit it to hard to compensate and it is going all over the park !! A new taylormade driver is not helping and needs to go on ebay !! -- A costly mistake as my old Titleist is back in the bag.

    Aynway as long is IBS in control I will cope. As we all know, when it flares up little else matters , it just affects everything we do.

    How are you doing and how is your husband ?


  • Ah yes.

    Its not always the club but the user !

    Good that you hadnt issues on hols .

    I.m doing ok with help of immodium for trips and golf plus odd tranq as I get very anxious re havong a flare in public

    Husband worsening somewhat but at the mo at golf with a very kind friend as not easy.

    And thank you for asking.

    Best Wishes.


  • That's good , that you are still getting to golf and trips. Iimmodium is a wonderful thing --used quite a few on holiday, often just for piece of mind. As you say anxiety of flare ups at inconvenient times in public are double bad. Travelling a particular worry for me.

    Not so good that your husband getting worse but good someone taking him out and keeping a watch on things.

    I have a friend, who used to be a colleague at work and same age as myself and he started with problems about a year ago. I played golf with him early last summer and wondered what was going on. He seemed to be fiddling about a lot ,not decisive, forgetting where he put things etc., and I wondered what was going on. Not long after, he told us all he had problem -early onset dementia I think. He also has three close friends and they look after him at the golf and he gets his game.

    He was always an alert and sharp person and it is such a shame to see him declining. The other day I said hello to him but I am honestly not really sure if he even recognised me. A cruel illness.

    It must be very hard but all you can do is your best Calista. Nice to hear from you.

    Regards Will

  • Thank you Will for your kind words.

    We dont really go on trips but as it happens I am away for tonight with old friends from student days !

    My son is going to keep an eye here while I am gone.

    No golf ...only food drink and craic !

    Best wishes and thanks again.


  • Have A great time and keep in touch.

    Really glad you are getting out there.


  • Thanks Will

    I shall keep in touch.

    I hope you are enjoying the Masters!

    Sometimes more enjoyable than playing.!

    Hope you are doing ok.


  • Hi Calista,

    Yes just settling down to watch final round , with a glass of wine ,which I might well pay for to-morrow ! Would love Sergio to win as he has been so close so often .

    Played first competitive round of the season yesterday --It was terrible, six pars and a whole lot of total rubbish , I cannot contemplate playing so bad ever again. Swing still lost somewhere. I do have some eye problems, at present , which are a major issue. Having some Laser treatment at end of month ,so might improve things. Might need cataract op., too. Basically cannot see the ball against the sky ,unless very blue and that is not often up here !!

    Did your night away go okay without !BS problems ?

    Hope you had a good time, I am sure a wee break away would have been good.


  • Well . Your man is doing great !

    You had 6 pars...that sounds great to me ! Lucky to have one .

    Yes was ok on break as took immodium as precaution and it was only one night.

    Hope the wine is going down well !

    One glass should be ok ?

    Sorry about the eyes. Nothing good about getting older,is there ?

    We should set up a golf/health unlocked group 😃⛳

  • Nerve racking but he did it. Had to have more than one glass ,so maybe will pay later.

    Although I had six pars, they did not start till the 13t hole and I had already NR;d after having numerous shots trying to get of a bunker!

    A golf/health unlocked site sounds good , it gives us something else to speak about--probably complain about !!


  • 👍

  • Thanks for all the replies everyone. After 50 years of IBS I thought that I knew all my trigger foods.

    I have never quite understood the idea that foods take x time to pass through your system though. Over the many years I have found eating something that my system does not like causes fairly instant results, whatever the reason.


  • hi I would say the same as its not always what you eat while your away from home, but what you had the night before, I have had ibs for just over 20 years, and sadly I've gone through virtually everything I can think of to see what I ate, or had to drink. But in your case, it may have been something you ate the night before, and the sauce with your salad, the sauce may have had vinegar in, that's lethal, it could have been the salad full stop, lettuce is made up of mostly water, no harm in that, but its what you had with it, brown bread cob or white it makes a huge difference, and if there were tomato's, well they have acid in them, and it could have just tipped the scales, meaning your stomach sending you out of control, I have had to stop eating tomatoes because of that, even crips do something to me, maybe the fat they cook them in. But I would suffer terrible stomach pains after nearly every meal, Now I very rarely touch tomato's or vinegar, or any sauce that may have additives in, but it could also have been any fat on the meat, so you will learn as you go along. I have severe ibs, and sadly I used to suffer all day, every day. It got so bad I very nearly just could not eat, but my GP put me on 1or 2 codeine phosphate four times a day. But I found this gave me a blockage, so I tried to adjusted it myself so i started to miss two tablets out in the day. And instead i had 2 in the morn, & again at night.

    please note I started on 15ml of codeine phosphate, then as things got slowly worse, it was put up to 2x30 4 times a day. But it wasn't suiting me it gave me a serious blockage, now as stated I take just the four, two in the morn, & two in the evening. & if for any reason I do have a stoppage, all I do is stop my meds drink warm water, or water just off the tepid side, and bingo my bowels are clear, and i then start again with my mex. I also have Gaviscon for acid reflux which I get when in bed after around three hours, but I have Buscopan to aid my swallowing. As my food pipe closes up, and I'm Left struggling to swallow. So I to have ongoing problems with ibs. And another factor is Stress. Therefore take care on what you eat,

  • Thanks for your reply lilybad. Hope your well just now. IBS can be a real nightmare.


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