My IBS Story…

A little too much information.

Here is the short version of my IBS story, and how I helped myself get better.  Be warned. there are some “gross” or indelicate details below.  I’m telling it like it was, because my IBS story may help you with yours.  If you’re squeamish, TURN BACK NOW! :)

When I first got IBS I had no idea what it was, or what might be causing it.  I had more and more trouble with my bowels, such as major cramping, abdominal pain and diarrhea.

I’d had the stomach flu over the years but this was different.  Diarrhea and cramping kept coming back every few days!

Any of this sounding familiar yet?

Then there was the really strong smell when I used the toilet.  Why was that happening?  And why was I tired all the time?  Why was I sometimes brutally constipated only to have diarrhea a few days later?

All of this was terribly embarrassing for a newly married man in his late twenties!

Because my IBS symptoms came on slowly, (and because I’m a typical guy when it comes to doctors ;), it took me years of suffering before I started looking for help.

Looking for help, FINALLY!

I visited some doctors, and a gastroenterologist, and had all the tests.  But the doctors couldn’t find anything.

The gastroenterologist diagnosed me with irritable bowel syndrome, but said that was just a catch all for problems that don’t seem to have a cause.

As my IBS kept getting worse, I got desperate.  I decided that if there was nothing physically wrong with me (like the doctors said), it must be something I was eating.

Eliminating my IBS… With an elimination diet.

I decided to try an elimination diet to see if I could find out what was causing my IBS symptoms.  I built a list from books and Internet resources and put together a food elimination diet.

I stopped eating all the foods that are most likely to cause either food allergies or food sensitivities.

Junk food’s revenge!

At first I felt terrible due to withdrawal from things like caffeine, sugar and junk food. I admit I was miserable, but I’m stubborn so I kept at it.

The withdrawal passed after about a week, and in two or three weeks my bowels got much better.  The cramping and diarrhea subsided, and I had more energy than I’d had in a long time.

I still “fall off the wagon” and eat things I know I shouldn’t, but I get sick pretty quickly, and realize it’s not worth it.

Problems I didn’t know I had…

Something unexpected happened during my recovery.  When I stopped eating foods that I was sensitive to, I noticed that other strange symptoms disappeared.

Over time I had developed really strong body odor, bad dandruff and a flaky crust between my eyes, and in my ears. I also had problems concentrating and felt like I was in a fog sometimes.

It turned out this was all connected to food sensitivities.  The same food sensitivities that had been making my IBS MUCH WORSE!

After eliminating some foods from my diet and making some lifestyle changes all those strange symptoms disappeared!

Losing weight (and finding it again).

As a bonus, I lost 50 pounds! (Don’t worry though, I found 25 pounds again without even looking for it, once I figured out what I could eat ;).  I’m back to about 15 pounds overweight.

I also lost a bunch of foods that were making me really sick.  Gluten (a protein found in wheat and other grains) and dairy make me very ill.  My bowels are also very sensitive to alcohol.

It was hard to get these out of my diet (I was a junk food junkie and also enjoyed a beer or glass of wine with dinner).  I had to make some other lifestyle changes as well, and sometimes the world didn’t seem fair.

But getting rid of the misery I described above, made it VERY worth while.

Now it’s your turn.

Many people with IBS have food sensitivities and don’t know it.  You could be one of them.  If you are, then a food elimination diet might help you find the foods that are making you sick!

Return to the Food Sensitivities page from My IBS Story.

Return to the About Me page from My IBS Story.


  1. Reply

    Hi Shawn , Your site is really great .Thanks a ton for it.
    Here is my IBS story I have my IBS from my childhood and Its manageable.I got married in 2006 and I have two kids .In end of March 2014 when I returned back from my work I had continuous belching.I saw my family doc and found that I am diabetic.
    After that my IBS got worse ,I have bloating , little stomach cramps and frequent stomach upsets .I decided to control my diabetic by diet and workout and stopped my diabetic medicine during that time my IBS D became worse .My periods became very painful.
    I am scared to leave my house .I stopped eating spicy food ,I stopped drinking coffee ..I suffered a lot for the past 4 years.My gastro told me take colonscopy which I did not take till now.My gastro asked me test my vitamin D3 level.Its low and she asked me to take Lumia 60K for 2 months ..I took my first dose on Feb 12 and after started taking that tabelts my IBS is improved a lot .Still I have acidity ,for the past three months I never took Loparet. I gained my weight .But the fear is still there ..I am posting this because it may be helpful for some people out there .Please check with your doc for vitamin d3 testing and follow your doctor advice if the level is too low.

  2. Reply

    I have terrible IBS with Vasovagel Syncope….it is so awful. I have been on a low FODMAP diet for 2 weeks now – today I had some yogert and some bread (not a lot mind you) and I had a vasovagel episode (with diarreah).

    Going to a GI doctor next week….

  3. Reply

    Thanks so much Shawn for putting together this informative website and letting it run. I’m finding so much comfort and so many good reminders of things I need to watch out for as I read these stories. I’ve been struggling with IBS off and on for years ever since I had a campylobacter infection 20 years ago and in fact I’m in the midst of a pretty bad relapse right now which is the reason I started doing research again and how I discovered this site. One of the frustrations we face of course, as others have said, is that mainstream medecine is no help at all (other than testing for any possible organic problem). Even my gastro-enterologist, who should be the expert in such things, simply suggests taking imodium (which of course only makes me uncomfortable and doesn’t solve the problem). The one doctor who helped me the most 15 years ago was an allergist,a Korean doctor in Rochester NY, who put me on an elimination diet(wheat,dairy,eggs, corn,and citrus) and helped me discover my sensitivity to wheat and dairy which I have tried to avoid ever since. The wheat was hard to spot because the reaction occurred the next day–fatigue, a slight headache–while dairy simply caused bloating fairly soon. He also recommended Pau d’Arco tea because intestinal dysbiosis often results in the growth of yeast and that tea is an anti-fungal and very sooth- ing. And he started me using psyllium (whole husk psyllium mixed in juice in the morning, very healing because it’s a soluble fiber). I should stop but finally I want to say how odd it seems to me that I can go for weeks, sometimes months with no problem and then suddenly have a relapse. I wish I could tell what triggers that. Perhaps coffee and wine as other parts of this site suggest, plus getting tempted by things I shouldn’t be eating! Anyway, thanks again so much for the help you’re giving all of us. One more thought for anyone looking for a health professional near where they live: I do think naturopaths can be very helpful as well. I got some help from one a few years ago. She helped to keep me on track!

    • Reply

      Thanks Grace, there is a lot of GREAT information here. I appreciate you taking the time to share it with the rest of the readers and me. Yes, Wheat (and many other things) are hard to track, because they don’t necessarily happen the same day. That’s why a food diary can be so helpful. BUT, it’s such a pain to write everthing down then go back and play detective.

      Incidentally, I’ve heard of other people going months without problems then suddenly having flare ups of IBS.

      I’m glad you found a doctor (and allergist) that set you on the right track!
      All the best!


  4. Reply

    Hi Shawn,
    Like everyone has said, great website! I was diagnosed with IBS about 2 years ago even though i have has symptoms for about 15 years. I get all the usual – diarrhea, stomach cramps (severe!!), fatigue, etc…I find it the worst when I got out for dinner and it comes on so suddenly! Talk aobut embarrassing!! Anyway, about 6 months ago, I thought that it’s time to get serious about this. So I had all the intolerance tests and found that I was boarderline fructose intolerance. So I have eliminated “most” of the foods that have frustose and also limited lactose also (I now buy Zymil milk which has no lactose). I also take two probiotics every day – one specifically for IBS, and one general one that boosts the immune system – they have both helped immensely, as well at the new diet. I have also cut out all greasey, fatty foods as this is certainly a trigger. Even foods such as mash potato (loads of butter and cream which = disaster!!). But as you have mentioned in previous posts, STRESS, that’s right, STRESS and ANXIETY are a huge factor for me. I’m a very anxious kind of person and I have realised that the times I am at peace and relaxed and ususally the times I have zero sypotoms (as well as sticking to the clean diet). So all you peeps out there who suffer from IBS – you need to figure out ways to stress less. The way I do it is cognative therapy (mind over matter) and my faith in God. I have reliased that my mind is strong so it can go either way – bad anxiousness with IBS, or relaxed and calm with no IBS…peace out.

    • Reply

      Thanks Sue! This could be a page by itself, it’s so full of useful info.

  5. Reply

    Hello and thank you for all of your great information! I have been sick for about 2 years now with very few answers. I have been told I have acid reflux (but I have no heartburn) and ‘probably’ IBS. I have chronic sinus drainage, dizziness, intermittent diarrhea, abdominal pain, and the list goes on and on. I have an appointment with a specialist next month to test for Celiac (bloodwork was negative though) or potential gallbladder issues but just today saw a naturopath who has put me on a ‘detox’ diet (no sugar, caffeine, eggs, dairy or gluten). I am willing to do the work but I have seen a few people here mention blood testing for food sensitivities. Can you recommend a good one?? There are many online and it’s hard to know which ones will be accurate. Thanks very much!

    • Reply

      Hi Kimberly,

      You’re welcome. I take that as a compliment. I have reflux. A lot of people with IBS have reflux. They often go together. Now, remembering that I’m not a doctor, here are some things that happened to me, and what a doctor or a study told me about them.

      I’ve read that there is a higher chance a person has IBS if they have “hayfever”, which is an allergy. In my experience, allergies can lead me to have chronic sinus drainage. This may not be connected, but if you’re having chronic sinus drainage, and your ears get filled up, that can sometimes cause dizziness.

      I was having a lot of sinus drainage, and my doctor told me that can lead to stomach pain. My pain was probably a 5 or 6 on a 1 to 10 scale, with one being no pain.

      I tested negative for celiac, but do have a food intolerance to wheat, (and dairy).

      I can’t really recommend an allergy test. There are lots of variables, about you, and your circumstances. I think your doctors are the best source of that since they know your history. My 2 cents is to go with what the naturopath recommends.

      Detox diets are a pain in the ^%(*&^), but often valuable. If I were in your shoes, I’d also consider a food elimination diet to find out if some foods might be causing you problems. But again, your doctor’s advice comes WAY before mine.

      I hope this little book I wrote, helps. :), I’ll email it too you as well.


  6. Reply

    Hi Shawn,
    I came across your site yesterday and wanted to thank you. I have been struggling with ‘IBS’ for 12 years. It frustrates me that IBS is a diagnosis as it means nothing and having a label doesn’t help. Seeing your site though gave me the courage to keep looking for answers. When I read the symptoms of wheat intolerance there were things on that list I have, that I would never have thought were associated with an intolerance. I am going to try to find a diet that works. My ibs was bad again today, but it is only day 2 of no wheat, so I guess it is too early to see any difference. Will it take a week or two with no wheat to see any difference? I suppose there may be other things too. I have been looking into hcl supplementation to help me digest. I have made an appointment to see a naturopath that will look at allergies and diet with me as guess work makes it hard. Anyway, I am waffling, just want to say thank you for your site, you have inspired me to keep going :-)

    • Reply

      Thank YOU Sarah. I’ve been ill in other ways, which have prevented my from working on this site. Or maybe not prevented, but I haven’t felt the energy to do much on it. I’ve been focusing on my job to feed my family. However comments like yours, where someone is actually feeling relief from reading my site is a huge motivator. I hope you have success with the naturopath, or the wheat avoidance, or find SOME answer that works for you.

      Then, I hope you’ll let us know back here at

      Thanks again ~ Shawn

  7. Reply

    Thanks so much for this really great website, Shawn! I’m in my early 30s and have had IBS for about 17 years. Doctors have not been particularly helpful, so over the years I have learned almost everything I know about IBS from this wonderful invention the World Wide Web. Your website is one of the best and most comprehensive that i have seen on the topic! A lot of websites seem to apply a one-size-fits-all approach, recommending a list of foods to avoid or eat that is unlikely to help anyone. I am still working on figuring out all my IBS triggers, but for me, anything high in resistant starches, wheat, pulses, cabbage and anything onion-related are the worst dietary triggers. I have also found that sleep is a MAJOR factor, and I don’t see that mentioned on many websites. Sleep has been linked to levels of stress hormones, and stress is of course a major IBS factor, but also the simple fact that our digestion is probably at its most active at night, and if we don’t give it time to do its job, we can cause some major disruption. Anyway, I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU and keep carrying on the good work! Sites like yours give people like me the courage to not give up until we find our individual way to manage this condition.

    • Reply

      Thanks YOU so much Melanie. I’ve been slacking on the site. I need to get cracking on some new material. There’s some info on nightshade vegetables like potatoes I need to get up. I’ve read that shift work (like nurses for instance) can lead to IBS. Thanks for the page idea! And thanks again for the appreciation. It means a lot. I know you will keep trying, and that’s the key to success in anything! – Shawn

  8. Reply

    Hi Shawn. I am a fellow IBS success story and I wanted to share some resources with you. I healed myself completely from IBS 7 years ago by doing a year long liver cleanse. It was strict and hard but I managed to reset my body so that my food allergies no longer are an issue. This experience transformed my life. I was so sick for years and so lost and this took over my whole life! But I was so fortunate to find a solution and I want to help others do the same. I am finishing up a health coaching certificate and am ready to help people heal themselves with one on one or group coaching. I am looking for clients right now and am charging very low introductory rates. Sometime people need knowledgeable support and hand holding while they are making tough diet and lifestyle changes. Also few people even address the liver as a cause of IBS but a toxic, sluggish liver can definitely contribute to the issue. I can be contacted at Thanks for doing this good and much needed work!

    • Reply

      Hi Angela, I looked around your site, and was impressed by many things. I’ve never really heard of a health coaching cerficate, but good information is good information. So for you folks that don’t find what you’re looking for here, consider wandering over to Angela’s site. And I get no money for saying so :).

  9. Reply

    I love your page, straight to the point! I have gone through hell the last two years dealing with digestive issues…and am FINALLY coming out on the other end feeling much better. I initially found out that I had an issue with dairy in my teens, but was not interested in changing my diet, so I just limited it…I then discovered that gluten was an issue about two years ago after cutting it from my diet as I was advised to do by a neurologist, who was treating me for chronic migraines. I had debilitating migraines almost 5 days a week for about 9 years, and had seen 10+ different doctors (neurologists, PCP’s, Physical Therapists, Chiropractors, etc.) trying to find a solution and they all wanted to drug me! For the first time I had someone suggest changing my diet. I was diagnosed with IBS (which as you stated means that I had tummy problems that no one can figure out and nothing can be done to help it) maybe 3 years ago, also had chronic sinus issues, that no one could explain…Cutting both gluten and dairy out got rid of the migraines, sinus issues, and most of the IBS symptoms within a week! It was amazing. I was doing great, and all of a sudden got extremely sick…I was passing out and waking up not knowing how long I was out, or how I got where I was. I possibly had a mini stroke, the entire left side of my body went numb and limp and I was having these crazy contractions in my chest around my heart…I didn’t poop for a month! (sorry TMI), I was in and out of the ER, with no answers…I had to wait months for GI appointments and colonoscopys it was horrific..I was finally diagnosed with an H.Pylori infection, and a hyatial hernia, but that’s it! It took 9 months and three rounds of antibiotics (Pylara was what finally killed it) to get rid of the H.Pylori. I was still feeling awful…I could sleep 20 hours a day if someone let me, I lost 30lbs, couldn’t concentrated to save my life, ended up taking a blood test to test for food sensitivities and got back a long list of other things to cut out! The two biggest changes (on top of gluten and dairy) were Fructose and all of the nightshade vegetables. I have found that fructose is a huge issue for me! All these years I thought wine messed with my stomach, and it was the fructose! I can drink vodka with no issues =). I feel sooooooo much better. I wanted to share all of this in case anyone out there has a similar issue and is looking for answers! I was desperately looking for them at one point!

    • Reply

      OH MY GOSH! 9 years of migraines 5 days a week??? That and the rest of your tale sound like a marathon of misery! Thank you for the kind words about my site. Thank you so much for sharing your story, because it will give people hope. It will also help someone who has been where you are, and didn’t know where to go.

      I REALLY need to look into nightshade vegetables. I read an article about potatoes and IBS the other day. I wish I had more time to work on this site. Thank you for helping by providing all this information, Roxanne.

  10. Reply

    Oh and also if some of the powder floats and also sinks to the bottom, it’s no big deal. You can consume it. It’s actually a very high in fiber and nutrition vegetable. It makes a very good ice tea as well, and I’ll sometimes make a pitcher of it and keep it in the frig. For me, anything over 3 cups is too much, so work out your own best amounts. Your body will certainly tell you what is too much for you. Everyone is different.

  11. Reply

    Hi Shawn,
    I neglected to say that the Moringa I buy is the 1/2 pound bag of powdered leaf. I put a teaspoon of the powder in a tea ball and steep for several minutes. The longer you steep the better. I have never purchased the pre packaged tea bags, so I don’t know how or if they work. I purchased on Ebay for the best price and it is organic. I use the Yelixer brand (for the capsules too) but I don’t know if that makes a difference or not.
    If you google Moringa also called Mulungay you’ll find all sorts of info on it. For me it’s a fabulous product and everyone I know who has tried it loves it. If you end up trying it and it’s works for you as well as it did for me, I’d love to hear about it.
    All the best,

  12. Reply

    Hi Shawn,
    I have had IBS D for years. Hormones are definitely a partial reason for flare ups. Cooked tomatoes, oranges and orange juice, yogurt and chili are definite trigger foods for me. I have no idea if I have a gluten intolerance and I drink a ton of milk and eat a lot of cheese. I started drinking Moringa tea about 16 months ago and it eased my symptoms from having IBS D almost everyday down to only a couple of times a month. I switched to 2 Moringa capsules in the morning and it has maintained a pretty good success rate for my IBS D. The tea does work better though. It also gives you a great energy boost without feeling jittery. The first 3 weeks on the tea for me were horrible as I started to go even more, which was horrible, but I had read that sometimes you have to get worse to get better so I pressed on. I couldn’t be more glad as it has helped so much! Many of my friends have started using Moringa and are hooked. They did not have the issues I had with my initial use. I share the fact that my IBS D actually got worse for approximately 20 days in case someone else has that issue too, to not give up on it. I am so thankful I found the product and had no idea it would help with my IBS D. I was taking it because it is a natural vitamin versus synthetic and because it is said to be a cleanser as well. Great site you have, so glad you are there to encourage and help others. Hope Moringa will help others as well as it has helped me!

    • Reply

      Hi Sally,
      Yeah, a lot of those foods don’t agree with me either. I’m so glad you’ve found something that helps you. I don’t know anything about moringa tea… Yet. Thanks for the tips!


  13. Reply

    Can’t thank you enough for this site. Gastroenterologist told me I have IBS…who knew. I’m worried about another diverticulitis flare (have had three in the past two years) otherwise, to tell the truth, diarrhea doesn’t really worry me (clean colonoscopy). Past few weeks have been hell, I came off a prescription medication cold turkey (prescriber’s idea) and oh boy let me tell you I had serious physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms and then the IBS kicked in. Haven’t gotten it under control yet. I started a food diary on the 21st and, believe it or not, something new in my diet was Honey Graham cereal and I think that was the culprit but still not sure. There’s really no info out there that’s anything like this site of your. God bless for all this info.

    • Reply

      Thank you for the kind words, Jill. And for sharing your story. Good luck with your search. I hope things settle down soon! – Shawn

  14. Reply

    Hey Shawn,
    Comforting words , I too am after some time awaiting to see my Gastro after having symptoms of IBS for years and only just recently (April) the symptoms have gotten worse.
    Last week I had to stop work as I couldn’t cope with the pain.
    It’s the Anxiety which is stopping me from sleeping although I do get pain I wouldn’t consider it major enough to wake me.
    I’ve cut dairy gluten and wheat out and don’t feel as lethargic although I’m tired from lack of sleep.
    I’ll keep fighting to get my life back.

    • Reply

      Hey there Graham,

      Anxiety and IBS are tightly linked. One leads to the other as far as I can tell. If I’m anxious, I get bowel pain, etc. If I have bowel issues, then I get anxious. Not sleeping is one of the worst things. I hate insomnia, though I rarely have it.

      I’m glad your diet changes have helped you, and I wish you the best of luck with the Gastro, and with your IBS. Like you said, keep fighting!

  15. Reply

    I have been suffering with IBS for years and since menopause, it has gotten worse. I was only told by the doc to avoid greasy and spicey foods back then. Thank you for all the information you have included here. I am going to start with a food diary and see what turns up. I already have eliminated caffiene from my diet and am trying my best to remove the sugar. I am not sure how to eliminate “grains” since they are in a large portion of my diet and they are supposed to be healthy for you. What do you replace them with, if anything? Are either yogurt or cottage cheese acceptable? Thank you to everyone who has posted such helpful tips. I’m going to look into them and see how they work for me.

    • Reply

      Hey there Darlene. Menopause AND worsening IBS sounds like a dastardly duo. As far as what’s acceptable, that depends on the person. I can get away with really sharp cheddar sometimes, but not yogurt. The real trick is to find out which foods (if any) are causing your IBS symptoms. Some people have IBS that seems unrelated to food. Some foods seem to make existing IBS worse though. Good luck with your food diary! – Shawn

  16. Reply

    Hi Shawn. Brilliant site! I have had IBS for a few years now and suffer with anxiety from it. Constantly on the internet thinking its something more serious that the doctors have missed! A lot of the time I get myself in a panic and end up on sites about cancer and all sorts but now I have seen your site, every time I feel worried, I will come to your website! (in fact…. I think I’ll set it as my homepage). One thing that I will let you know on which I found helped MASSIVELY is exercise. Even if its once or twice a week, it made a huge difference. I hope this site stays around forever!

    • Reply

      Hey Ben, Thanks for the kind words! There is a huge link between anxiety and gut problems. Also, the Internet makes lots of people (including me) worry about potential health problems. Thanks for the tip about exercise! I just started up again today after reading your comment.

  17. Reply

    Shawn- Wow, your story sounds nearly identical to mine. I think I’ve finally put all the pieces together. A Chinese medicine doctor told me years ago to get rid of grains. When I did that, the flaky skin on the sides of my nose and in my ears went away. Dandruff cleared up as well. I got rid of caffeinne last year and now drink herbal teas instead of coffee. My mood seemed to really improve since that change. The last piece I recently discovered was something I did to myself. :) Being of Scottish descent, I thought I should know a thing or two about whisky. So a few years back I started trying different whiskys and single malt scotch. Looking back, my loose stools and diarrhea had gradually gotten worse. I’ve been on every elemination diet imaginable – except eliminating the scotch. I went on a business trip in January for a week and got out of my scotch habit and guess what cleared up? Yup. So I’ve figured out now in this body I can’t have caffeine, grains, or alcohol. Casein makes my seasonal allergies worse so I avoid dairy with protein in it. Luckily, I can have whole cream in my decaf coffee. I’m 45 now and it’s taken years to figure all of this out but I think I’m finally there. The worst part is the social aspect. In-laws, spouses, friends, tend to get offended that you can’t eat “just one home-made cookie” or “just have a beer” for the superbowl or have an after dinner espresso from their new espresso machine. I used to make exceptions, but it’s just not worth it to me when I’m in the bathroom the next day.

    Great website. It’s good to know others are going through the same things. Well, it’s not good to know that others are suffering, I wish they weren’t. :)

    • Reply

      Rick thanks for sharing your story. It helps each of us to know we’re not singled out! Yes your story and mine DO sound very similar. I particularly appreciate the part about relatives and friends not understanding. Thanks for the kind words about my site too!

      All the best. Shawn

  18. Reply

    When I was FINALLY (after 25 years of D) diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I was amazed to learn that roughly 95% of folks who have Celiac Disease have been undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. Isn’t that incredible? 95%!

    Though I wish it had not taken so long for me to be properly diagnosed (average I believe is +11 years before proper diagnosis), I was glad to finally have one piece of the puzzle solved.

    Unfortunately, the gluten free diet was high-carbohydrate and lead me to trek down the SIBO road and that’s where I’m living now, with chronic constipation (didn’t even know what it was for a long time because I’d only had D all my life…).

    It seems that Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivity (as well as the lesser-known gluten ataxia, which I also have are becoming more easily recognized within the general medical community, however. So that’s the good news.

    If you ever suspect you may have a gluten problem…and even if you don’t!…please get tested. At least with Celiac Disease, we can stop the progression through a strict gluten free diet. So many folks with other diseases wish it was that easy (I’m not saying it’s EASY…believe me!…but if cancer could be cured by nixing the gluten, who wouldn’t?!).

    Gutsy Girl

    • Reply

      Thanks Gutsy Girl for your comments here and elsewhere on the sight. I look forward to seeing more information from you! All the best. Shawn

  19. Reply


    Thank you for this website & for sharing your story. I’ve struggles with IBS issues since I got a parasite from Mexico 3 years ago. Initially, a parasite cleanse cleared it up. But, a few weeks later, the issues started again. I finally decided to quite caffeine to see if that would help. I’ve been off caffeine now for almost 2 weeks. That has given me more energy, has gotten ride of the mood roller-coaster I was on & I’ve been sleeping more soundly than ever. But, I’ve still struggling with diarrhea (yuck!). After readying through your site, I finally got motivated to keep a food diary to figure out what else is causing this. I’m suspecting dairy or sugar. This is going to be so hard, but so worth it in the end.

    Thanks again!

    • Reply

      Jen, thank you for sharing YOUR story as well. Kicking the caffeine can be hard. I’m glad you found some motivation in my site. It’s a helpful reminder that this is worth doing. I wish you the best of luck with your journal.

      Let the rest of us know how you make out!


  20. Reply

    Shawn, I have recently found your site and commented on the page about wheat sensitivity as that is what I was researching at the time. I hadn’t bothered to read your IBS story as I don’t have any digestive symptoms to speak of. What I do have and what has baffled my doctors for a long time is skin irritations. When I saw you mention your eyes and ears I immediately related to that as I have had that and scalp irritations as well and mysterious rashes and irritations that come and go in other areas. My naturopath suggested a food sensitivity test and I had one last year and one again this year. Both came back positive for wheat and gluten. I sometimes don’t take my diet very seriously as well, it’s only a skin rash, and many others have much worse symptoms. However, skin irritations can be painful, unsightly and as in my case have been a chronic annoyance and one without a clear cause. I’m hoping that with renewed determination to clean up my diet I can rid myself of this condition once and for all. I wonder how long it will take…
    Thanks for listening and I hope people can understand that not all food sensitivities result in bowel and digestive issues. They can take on many forms depending on the individual.

    • Reply

      Thank you for letting me know more about your story Patty.

      I know your words will help others.

    • Reply

      And Patty thank you for reminding me that I too have to follow up on what I’m telling others about. :)

  21. Reply

    I have the very problems you talk about. I’ve had them for several years. I have also eliminated gluten and dairy which helped alot. I supplement with probiotics and digestive enzymes which also help. I still find that I have problem foods that I can add to my list. As with one of the other posts, I too suspect candida. I’ve tried cleanses, but they make me very sick. I have recently seen a MD of Chineese medicine that works with homeopatic remedies and nutrition. Things are starting out pretty well so far. He has a refreshing way of looking at the health of the body compared to getting nowhere with the gastroenterologist. Western medicine is completely in the dark with this disorder.

    • Reply

      Thanks for sharing that information Teresa. Let me know how you make out if you think of it. I certainly agree that western medicine is missing something.
      All the best, Shawn

  22. Reply

    Hi Shawn, I just looked up “what is wheat sensitivy” and found you. You have so much information here and your story sounds like mine in so many ways. I’m 60!!! (feel like 35…) and only now found out that I have gluten sensitivity and am dealing with it, and it’s changed my life. I was told many years ago that I have IBS, which I figured was just another way of saying: You have a sensitive stomach and no one knows why and there’s nothing that can be done about it. Then about 10 years ago, I did a test for lactose intolerance and it turned out positive. So, I thought, cottage cheese is the culprit! But still I suffered from (pardon me) stinky gas and bloating. It was often very embarrassing.
    Recently someone recommended that I consult with a man who has a machine called Bicom and he tests you for food sensitivities. It was weird, but at the end he gave me a long list of things to avoid: all gluten, all dairy including goat, sugar, coffee, tea, honey, chocolate, peanuts …. well for the first few days I felt like a little girl who had all her candy taken away from her. My favorite breakfast had always been good coffe with really good bread and butter. But I decided that since I paid this guy so much to test me, I was going to take it seriously for a month. I decided to find alternatives: when I wanted something sweet I have a date (or 2) or some halva. Since weight has always been an issue with me, I had been avoiding rice, potatoes and sweet potatoes. I also avoided broccoli, cabbage and other “gassy” vegetables thinking they were the
    problem. Now, although this way of eating requires a little more work, I’m enjoying it so much and I feel I’m eating “real”
    food. I make lots of soups and stews, eat rice and potatoes and all vegetables. I don’t miss bread anymore. In fact yesterday at a restaurant I had a salad and they had gluten-free rolls and I had one – it was awful. I know that by not eating bread and baked goods I’m avoiding lots of sugar and margarine and all sorts of unhealthy things and my weight has come down almost effortlessly. I snack on almond, raisins etc. I find that I can even eat some dairy now and it doesn’t bother me.
    So all in all I’m really pleased with the way I’m eating now and the way I feel and I’m not looking for bread substitutes.

    Keep up the good work Shawn.

    Best wishes,

    • Reply

      Shani, there is so much important information you put in your comment that it should be it’s own page. I don’t know if there is a way to do that though. I’m going to find out more about this Bicom machine and write about it, and hopefully have such a test! Thank you for your incredibly important contribution. I’m sure other people will read it and be helped by it. I know it has helped me.

      Especially the keep up the good work part :). I sometimes have trouble finding the time to research and write all this. people like you make me realize I can’t give up.

      Thanks so much Shani.


  23. Reply

    Shawn – I mentioned fructose malabsorption elsewhere on this site but you also might like to look into taking Rafaximin which is shortly to be approved by the FDA for use in IBS-D as it has had very good results in its trials.
    The other symptoms you described sound like candidiasis.
    Good like.

    • Reply

      Thanks for the tip. I’ll look into it.


  24. Reply

    I just wanted to say how informative your site is! It’s nice to be able to read something that is in plain English and not filled with all sorts of words you would have to have a PhD to understand! I am having a lot of the symptoms that you had and am callin my doc right now to set an appointment. Thanks for all the info!

    • Reply

      Thanks so much for the kind words Misty. It came at the perfect time. I haven’t been as motivated to keep this thing going lately, but knowing that even one person found it useful makes it worthwhile. I wish you the best, and hope you find an easy answer for your IBS symptoms Sincerely, Shawn

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