A question about food intolerances: My latest... - IBS Network

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A question about food intolerances


My latest flare-up was triggered by a bug 4 months ago. The doctor says the reason the symptoms have continued is due to my chronic anxiety. She says its not food related.

I have been too scared to eat because of the pain eating causes. Also because of the anxiety caused by the symptoms I have no appetite.

If the symptoms arent related to food then why does my stomach react more to certain foods ie gluten, dairy or a larger meal than normal?

Is it because I haven't been eating much for 4 months? Or have I now developed food intolerances?

If I have a bad day I try to look at what I've eaten to see what the cause is. But I dont want to keep eliminating foodsj because that seems to be part of the readon I cant eat them again. Am I right that I'm causing these intolerances by avoiding certain food and eating very little?

Im getting really confused, having seen 3 doctors and been told; its anxiety, it's food intolerances, it's a combination.

Constantly obsessing about what I should or shouldn't eat, do I fast on a bad day, do I force myself to eat? is causing me more anxiety.

The doctors dont help much, I find I get more help and good advice on this forum.

So thank you to everyone who replies to my posts.

10 Replies

Hi Becky I don’t really have any experience or knowledge in this area. If the dr thinks it is related to anxiety have you been referred or given help for this? Xxx

This is similar to me had food poisoning and though I’d often had dodgy tum since chemo years ago, was much much worse All tests showed was diverticulitis no intolerance

So I had a big diary and tried to.narrow it down which didn’t work that well

But I have now been dairy and gluton free for about 14 months and have had much less time in bed and off work, I would say I am 80% better so it’s worked for me and I shall stick to it

Hi - have you tried keeping a food diary for 14 days to see if you can identify any food triggers? I know that food intolerance can develop if you follow a restricted diet. Even with the Low FODMAP diet people are encouraged to slowly reintroduce foods back into their diet to help stop intolerances developing. You can ask to see a Dietitian experienced with IBS free on the NHS (although I have been waiting over 6 months for an appointment so going private will be quicker with many Nutritional Therapists out there). Have you tried anything for anxiety? - amitriptyline is the general go-to medication for IBS related to anxiety.

I sympathize with you. I believe this is what the doc will say to me too but I have been keeping record of the foods which affect me and it is much more than anxiety.

Dairy is a no (gas, bloating, diarrhea)

Artificial sugars -no

Gluten-the jury is still out on this

but high fibre foods bran, whole wheat creates lots of gas for me, white bread I tolerate better

Fried foods-cramping, tummy upset

Tap water makes my IBS symptoms worse

I believe a parasite or bacteria overgrowth is the culprit (in my case, except for dairy, I tolerated most foods before) and yes being anxiety can exacerbate the problem but I won't say it is the cause. Know it is usually long term as symptoms can come and go without warning.

But as all suggested here you have to take note of what you eat and how it affects you. Know some foods produce

more gas, limit frying food and fatty meats, processed foods

Then gradually reintroduce foods note IBS sufferers may have a sensitivity to gluten which is in everything soups, cereals, ice cream, etc.

Are there any medication you are taking to deal with the symptoms?

Thank you.

It just concerned me that before this flare-up that has been going on for 4 months I could eat pretty much anything except gluten that caused acid reflux.

Now it seems I cant tolerate dairy either. I wonder if its because I cut it out during the flare-up.

My diet is very bland and boring. Rice, chicken, veggies, bananas, not much else. Im wondering if following such a limited diet is now causing my stomach to react to other foods when I try to reintroduce them.

I have been treated for parasites and am on 2 strong probiotics.

I take Ativan (Lorazepam) for anxiety and Librax at night which is to calm my colon.

Because I'm so anxious, any symptom now causes me to panic, so I'm very hesitant to introduce new foods for fear of a reaction. On the other hand I cant live forever on this limited diet.

I do keep a food diary now.

Thanks for all the advice. Better than seeing the Doctor who isnt much help.

I would ask to see a dietician. I have a very restricted diet too, saw a dietician a couple of weeks ago, and am now following the fodmap diet under her supervision. She said there are lots of things I have cut out for fear of having problems, that I can eat, so I should end up eating more varieties of food, instead of rice, chicken etc. It’s only two weeks in, and so far not much improvement, but I’m living in hope! It’s not easy, hate the gluten free bread, but I’m keeping going. Due to see dietician again in 5 weeks so 🤞🏼

My problem with food is nothing is pure these days. Even the brands that say it is gluten free has some ingredient which will upset my stomach

For example ginger is quite good for ibs..I love it. But sometimes I can’t get the raw ginger so I thought I will buy the sweetened ginger crystals..at the back of the packet there was maltodextrin this is derived from corn but still gassy stomach

Again sensitivity doesn’t mean intolerance ...those who have ibs and celiac will know this...

This ibs makes shopping at the grocery challenging especially when food companies are not forthcoming about what they are putting in their products.


I feel EXACTLY the same as you, exactly. Horrible isn't it!!!! By the way I have had no help from Psychology - they don't want to know unless you have a gun against your head ready to pull the trigger - shame on them.

Hi Becky, oh my we are doing the same crazy things. I cut foods out because I’m so nervous of a flare up. I eat very little although what I do eat is all good food I never eat anything man has had a hand in I.e ham, sausage, ping meals. I did cut all gluten and dairy out but then I saw a program about GF foods and the additional stuff they put in was frightening. So now I bake simple bread at home. I don’t know I go round and round in a never ending circles. It is depressing and lonely. I’ve lost so much weight because I eat nothing that contains sugar, no desserts cake or biscuits. I’m just don’t know what else to do I’ve stopped going out with friends because they always want to lunch or dine. Fed up with the whole situation. I feel your pain.

Hi Becky. I feel like me and you are going through very similar things. Mine also started out of the blue 4 months ago, which I’m assuming was a bug or food poisoning. Since then I haven’t had a regular bowel movement and everything I eat irritates me. I constantly feel sick as I’m always worrying, so I feel my anxiety is also playing a major part in the recovering of coping. I have never really suffered with IBS but I’m thinking the infection has left with me it? Doctors doesn’t seem to be too concerned and keep telling me to deal with it, but i feel like I’m running out of options.

It would be great to chat with you more and we could discuss the “ibs” and anxiety.

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