Do strawberries irritate your stomach/give you gas?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lvjesus, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    I had some stomach "issues" last week and thought I might be getting IBS. I have been eating a lot of fruit and thought it might be that but then remembered that the real trouble started when I added strawberries. I also had trouble with the chocolate milk and popcorn. I did not have diarreah, just gas, but I felt like I was blowing up like a balloon as I was drinking the milk.

    I hate the strawberries to go to waste, but I don't want to eat them if they are going to make me sick either.
  2. xphile

    xphile New Member

    Wow, this really sounds familiar to me. It sounds exactly like the symptoms of diverticulitis. Is most of your stomach pain located on your left side opposite the appendix? If so I might get that checked out. Diverticulitis is a bowel disorder where your intestine develops tiny pouches where things like popcorn hulls and strawberry seeds can lodge in them and cause irritation and sometimes also blood in your stools. As far as the milk goes I can't figure that out unless you have lactose intolerance. Anyway, maybe you can ask your doctor about this. I hope this helps!

    Your friend,
  3. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Strawberries have tiny seeds which can really aggravate diverticulous. Many times you don't even know you have diverticulous unless a doctor has examined you to diagnose it.

    These are tiny pouches in your colon where these seeds can land and cause inflammation

    I found a very information site on IBS - if you go to a site called "help for IBS" it is amazing how much information this person has provided.

    Below is info on IBS ----


    Irritable Bowel Syndrome ~ IBS symptoms & diagnosis

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome (also known as IBS, spastic colon, and sometimes improperly termed spastic colitis) is a devastating and incurable condition that afflicts up to 20% of the world's population. However, IBS symptoms can be successfully treated.

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome? IBS?

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the most common chronic health disorder in America, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand, affecting more people than asthma, diabetes, and depression combined. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a physical - not psychological - disorder that affects mainly the bowel, which is also called the large intestine.

    The bowel is the part of the digestive system that makes and stores stool. IBS is characterized by its symptoms: lower abdominal pain or discomfort, diarrhea, constipation (or alternating diarrhea/constipation), gas, bloating, and nausea. There is no cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but there are many very effective ways of controlling and even eliminating IBS symptoms.

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome is not a disease. It's a functional disorder, which means that the bowel simply does not work as it should. Irritable Bowel Syndrome is characterized as a brain-gut dysfunction.

    Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome - What Are IBS Symptoms?

    It's important to verify that your symptoms match those of IBS before you accept this diagnosis. As noted, Irritable Bowel Syndrome is characterized by its symptoms: continuous or recurrent lower abdominal pain or cramping (from mild to excruciating) in association with altered bowel motility (diarrhea, constipation, or both).

    Attacks may strike suddenly at any time of day or night, and may occasionally - though not typically - wake you from a sound sleep. Gas and bloating are common, but vomiting isn't, though it can occur due to nausea from the pain. Upper GI symptoms are not a typical part of the syndrome. For women, attacks are often associated with menstruation.

    Passing blood, running a fever, swollen extremities, and joint pain are not symptoms of IBS, and point to other disorders. IBS is diagnosed in part by the use of the official diagnostic criteria known as the Rome II Guidelines.

    What Symptoms and Diseases Need to Be Ruled Out For an IBS Diagnosis?

    In essence, the diagnosis of IBS is a process of exclusion. There is no medical test available that will be positive for IBS; instead, your doctor will test you for all other illnesses that can mimic IBS symptoms, and if those tests are negative, and if your symptoms fit the Rome II Guidelines for Diagnosis, you'll then be diagnosed with IBS. In particular, it's important that the following diseases are excluded before you accept a diagnosis of IBS:

    Colon and carcinoid cancer
    Inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis)
    Bowel obstructions
    Diverticulosis / Diverticulitis
    Food allergies
    Celiac (a genetic, autoimmune disorder resulting in gluten intolerance)
    Bacterial infections and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
    Intestinal parasites
    Ovarian cancer

    What Tests Does a Diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Require?

    As a rule, all possible physical, structural, and infectious abnormalities of the GI tract need to be unquestionably eliminated before you agree to an IBS diagnosis. This requires a physical examination, preferably by a board-certified gastroenterologist, and may include the following studies:

    Complete blood count, sedimentation rate, and chemistries
    Stool for ova, parasites, and blood
    Liver function tests
    Rectal exam
    Abdominal x-rays
    For women, a gynecological exam including CA-125 blood test for ovarian cancer

    Other diagnostic studies should be minimal and will depend on the symptom subtype. For example, in patients with diarrhea-predominant symptoms, a small bowel radiograph or lactose/dextrose H2 breath test.

    For patients with pain as the predominant symptom, a plain abdominal radiograph during an acute episode to exclude bowel obstruction and other abdominal pathology. For patients with indigestion, nausea, and bloating, an abdominal ultrasound to rule out gallstones.

    For patients with any numbness in association with constipation, Multiple Sclerosis should be excluded. For older patients (age 50 and above), pancreatic cancer may need to be excluded.

    In general, the specific medical tests needed to rule out disorders other than IBS will depend upon your age, health history, family health background, and specific symptoms.

    Points to remember about Irritable Bowel Syndrome and its symptoms
    * IBS is a functional disorder in which the bowel doesn't work as it should.

    * IBS can cause cramping, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation.

    * IBS does not damage the bowel.

    * IBS cannot be self-diagnosed.

    * A doctor should diagnose IBS based on your symptoms and the elimination of other possible diseases through various medical tests.

    * Stress and foods (particularly fats, insoluble fibers, and GI irritants) can trigger symptoms, but the underlying pathology of IBS is caused by a brain-gut dysfunction.

    Once you have a firm IBS diagnosis, take heart. While there is no cure yet, there are many ways to successfully manage - and prevent - all IBS symptoms. You can control your IBS, not vice versa.

    What IBS Patients Need - But Don't Get - From Their Physicians

    "Am I all alone in feeling like I'm not getting the IBS help I need from my doctor?"

    No, you're definitely not. The first studies ever to assess Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients' knowledge regarding their disorder (conducted by researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in New Hampshire and recently presented at the 70th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology) have found significant patient misconceptions about the causes of their condition and unawareness of how to manage symptoms.

    However, IBS patient feedback from Help For, the largest IBS community on the internet, has found that many of the most common IBS patient misconceptions, as well as the lack of knowledge about symptom-management, stem directly from misinformation provided by these patients' own doctors.

    Our findings highlight the top areas of concern for Irritable Bowel Syndrome patients - areas where their physicians provided either no information, or misinformation that in many cases actually worsened these patients' IBS symptoms.

    1. Diet. Though it is well-established that fats and insoluble fiber foods (particularly wheat bran) can exacerbate Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms, while soluble fiber foods and supplements can help, IBS patients continue to be told that "diet doesn't matter".

    They are also often advised to "eat more fiber" without being told of the distinction between insoluble and soluble fiber foods. Lack of proper dietary information is by far the number one frustration for most IBS patients, and they report anger and disillusionment with their doctors for not providing accurate diet guidelines and additional dietary resources such as books or websites.

    2. Hormonal issues. Three-quarters of IBS sufferers are female, and hormones have been shown to play a role in both the exacerbation and mitigation of IBS symptoms. IBS patients report a real need for understanding how pregnancy, hormonal birth control methods, and menopause can affect their IBS.

    3. Alternative medicine. Over 50% of IBS patients turn to alternative medicine for help, and studies have shown successful results from gut-directed hypnotherapy, acupuncture, and yoga. IBS patients report a great deal of curiosity about trying alternative medicine for their symptoms and they would like to discuss these options with their doctors. However, they also note that their physicians rarely address these topics unless prompted and even then are rarely able to provide detailed information.

    4. Medications. IBS patients repeatedly report being given inappropriate or ineffective medications for their IBS symptoms. Men and women with diarrhea-predominant IBS have been given prescriptions for Zelnorm, which is strictly for women with constipation-IBS and contraindicated for diarrhea.

    Many patients have questions about anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications, but find that their doctors are unaware of how best to use these drugs for IBS. Patients commonly report that their doctors don't key medications to their specific IBS symptoms, and that their doctors seem surprised by the frequency of side effects or lack of good results.

    5. Herbal medicine. More than half of all IBS patients try herbal medicines such as enteric coated peppermint oil capsules, fennel, or probiotics - all of which have clinical studies demonstrating their effectiveness for IBS symptoms. They would like their doctors to inform them of the best ways to use herbal medicines and if there are any safety concerns, but they commonly report that their doctors simply don't know anything about this subject.

    6. Understanding their diagnosis. IBS patients see an average of three physicians over three years before receiving a diagnosis, but they are rarely given a clear explanation of what, exactly, IBS is. Patients frequently report uncertainty about the test results (or lack thereof) used to obtain their diagnosis, and they are looking for assurance that their diagnosis is accurate.

    They want to understand exactly what causes their symptoms, and they need to hear that IBS will not lead to other illnesses such as colon cancer. Many patients express frustration with the lack of basic IBS anatomical information provided by their physicians, including the frequent omission of any discussion of the brain-gut disorder that underlies IBS symptoms. Patients feel at a loss to treat their IBS when they're not even told what IBS is.

    7. IBS is not taken seriously. IBS patients repeatedly report having their complaints diminished or outright dismissed by their own physicians. The most common refrain they hear is that IBS is "all in their heads", IBS is "not a serious problem", and that there is nothing that can be done for IBS so they should just "learn to live with it." Every one of these statements is false, and this type of denigration has catastrophic results.

    The severity of IBS can be measured by its direct costs (use of healthcare-related services such as physician visits and diagnostic tests), which have been estimated to range from $1.5 to $10 billion annually in America. The indirect costs of IBS (loss of hourly wages resulting from missed work or diminished work productivity resulting from absences for physician visits or incapacitating symptoms) are estimated to be much greater - approaching $20 billion annually.

    The costs of IBS can be measured not just in currency but in lives. In 2004 the American Gastroenterological Association reported that 38% of IBS patients in one study had contemplated suicide because of their symptoms. Hopelessness due to symptom severity, interference with life, and inadequacy of treatment were highlighted as crucial issues for all IBS patients. It's tragically clear that a significant number of IBS patients cannot "just live with it."

    In summary, while the recent AGA presentation rightly concluded the need for effective IBS patient educational programs, Help For patient feedback indicates that physician education clearly needs to come first. The AGA noted that physicians now have more scientific knowledge and an improved range of treatment options that can provide relief for IBS sufferers. However, as IBS patients themselves report, too many physicians continue to be completely unaware of this fact, and it is their patients who pay the price.

    [This Message was Edited on 06/16/2008]
  4. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    My step-father has diverticulitis, so I know about the seed/hull thing. My main symptom was gas and bloating. Gas-X helped that a lot, but it was a bit puzzling because of the things that were exacerbaing the problem.

    I thought it was all the fruit, but I also had a problem with some chocolate milk, almost like my stomach was inflating like a balloon while I was drinking it! But I have since had ice cream and milk, and nothing. The popcorn made my stomach hurt and has for some time.

    PVlady, thanks so much for the info on IBS. It was very thorough and I appreciate your taking the time to paste it here for me. I will read it more later. I knew some about it, but not that much. The nausea mention was interesting because I have been having that off and on for some time and HAVE been checked for ovarian cancer within the last month because of my symptoms. So maybe it is a touch of IBS. I am very thankful to God that I DO NOT have diarreah, or have to run to the bathroom after eating.

    I have long read about that here and been afraid of having something like that happen. Well, I must go to work now. Thanks again and I will check back in later today.

    God Bless,
  5. fifthofanickel

    fifthofanickel New Member

    a big part in colitis, ibs, & diverticulitis...I have all 3 w/mostly the big "D". I have to avoid all food w/seeds, raw veggies, & other foods I've found that trigger it. I buy hulless popcorn & that seems to work for me.

    I also started taking Calcium Carbonate chew tabs (more easily digested) 1 three times daily. That works as long as I watch my trigger foods. I also found I'm sensitive to magnesium & the cal carb has little in it, so I'm fine w/it. I buy the vitamin that has the lowest mag. in it.

    There is a protacol on how to start w/the cal.carb..If you should decide you are interested, let me know & I'll give you the info on it & or where to go to get it...

    I know many people take beano w/every bite of food, but that gets expensive. I tried it & it didn't work all that well for me anyway. Lots of trial & error...

    Good luck;