I started to feel sick and unusually tired right after eating 8 years ago and I thought I just overate and didn’t really pay much attention to the symptoms. A year later it was getting worse. I had many of doctor visits and none of them could give me the answer of what I was going through.
Best cure for IBS: Western medicine VS nature path
After taking too much of medication, it came to the point that my body became resistant to the prescription and so I switched to alternative medicines and decided to take a food sensitivity test in Vancouver. A nutritionist at a nature path place was great. She performed the test on me and we found that I was highly sensitive to about 30 food items: coffee, nightshade plants, broccoli, corn, bell peppers, kale, etc. Among those I was allergic to prawns and honey. I later found out that the reasons behind all this extensive list was the condition called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The symptoms of IBS includes diarrhea, constipation, abdominal fullness, gas, cramping, etc.
Garlic is one of the mostly used ingredients in Thai cuisine.
I moved back to Thailand in 2013 and I found it was much more difficult to be on a proper diet for my IBS conditions. I had been trying to find how to treat IBS but didn’t seem to have much luck.
Here is the list of foods I had moderate to severe sensitivity with:
Prawns, shrimp, lobster, crab, fish roe, corn, corn flour (so no nacho for me), soy sauce, soy bean, every kind of legumes, honey, non-dairy cream (some ingredients made from corn/soy), any kind of condiments, some kinds of veggies like broccoli, garlic, red onions, nightshade plants such as tomatoes (including anything ketchup, tomato sauce base), bell peppers, eggplants, every kind of fruit–the worst is pomelo and dragon fruit, anything brown or wholewheat, anything that contains lots of fiber.
I had a real struggle eating out because everything I ate seemed wrong and aggravated my IBS. Oh my gosh, my tummy was bloated most of the time and it was so big to the point that people offered their seats for me on the subway because they thought I was 4-month pregnant! I became depressed and I wasn’t very happy with how my stomach looked. I totally needed to look for ways to relieve IBS pain!
Not only IBS, but more digestive problems
Later I was diagnosed with gastritis, heartburn, migraines, and I assumed it was stress from work and relationships with people as I was in the period of adjusting back to the country of my birth and experienced a real reverse culture shock. I didn’t realize that stress piled up until one day I was diagnosed with gastritis, heartburn, and migraines. All these were known for being related to daily stress. I continued taking medication, which I absolutely didn’t want to, plus it didn’t really help ibs pain as much.
Two years into moving back to Thailand, I had troubles sleeping at night. It took me at least 1-2 hours to fall asleep and I noticed my body started not to function properly. I became sick more often and my stomach was always bloated.
Lots and lots of diet supplements
I dug deeper into the topic and did a lot of research on the supplements claimed to help with the digestive problems. I was always looking for best cure for IBS and tried many of the products available in the market. Some products worked for a bit, others worked for a period of time and then the bloats came back again. With trial and error method, I came to realization that there will always be some foods that I need to avoid forever and those are not healthy anyways. Those are, for example, corn flour and corn syrup. I also cut back a lot of carbs and started to include more veggies in my meal plans. But again, I still need supplements as my body doesn’t produce enough digestive enzymes. I prefer natural diet supplements that are safe for long-term use. I have found that the products below are quite effective to help me cope with the bloats and stay healthy.
AI/E10® ULTRA (Milk Protein Isolate MFT)
One day my friend recommended AI/E10® ULTRA (Milk Protein Isolate MFT) that helps increase the body’s production of immune fighting proteins. I did some research and found more information on it with recent clinical study that show regular consumption of bovine colostrums may strengthen our immune system because it provides supplemental quantities of immune proteins.
He also said that this milk protein has a great extract of bovine colostrums that provide a concentrated spectrum of supplemental immune antibody proteins and that will help boost primary immune fuctions. I also have lactose intolerance but he confirmed that most lactose in the product has been taken out so I shouldn’t be worried at all. And yes I didn’t show any symptoms of lactose intolerance when taking it on a regular basis.
Interestingly, for some reasons, the milk isolate product helped relieving my bloats. I tried for a couple months and found that it really helped with gastritis, yet not so much with the bloats. I had slight improvement but still experienced the bloats here and there.
The Vitamin Shoppe Digestive Supplements
During my trip to the Memphis, Tennessee, in Oct 2017, after telling a friend of mine, who is a doctor, about my bloated tummy story, he bought me the Vitamin Shoppe Pancreatin and Digestive Enzymes and suggested that I take these two to see if my symptoms improved. To my surprise, those started to work after a couple days.
My friend explained that pancreatin is an important ingredient to absorb nutrient as it is a mixture of digestive enzymes produced by the pancreas, including amylase, lipase and trypsin. So basically, when my body can’t produce enough pancreatin, it can’t digest all the nutrients, leaving me bloated and feel uncomfortable after meals.
After taking both the Vitamin Shoppe Pancreatin and Digestive Enzymes for a couple days, I noticed a lot of improvement in the bowel movement and digestion and my stomach started to get completely unbloated after 4-5 days. I was very impressed with the results, so I went to one of the stores in Memphis and picked up more supplements–Mega Acidophilus (2 billion) and Digestive Extra.
Okay now let’s break down each of the those supplements to give you an idea of which would work best for you.
Each Mega Acidophilus capsule contains 2 billion of Lactobacillus acidophilus. This works really well for those having constipation or need to unbloat right away. I’m always a big fan of probiotics and acidophilus worked for me in the past just that the brands I used to buy from were pretty expensive and they were rare to find in Bangkok so I stopped taking it for a while.
Digestive Enzymes VS Digestive Extra
Both Digestive Enzymes and Digestive Extra have necessary digestive enzymes together with lactase (good for lactose intolerance). The difference between Digestive Enzymes and Digest Extra Digestive Extra is that the latter comes with the larger number of each enzyme plus more enzymes to digest protein, gluten, and starch are added. Ok now let’s break down the two.
1. It helps with mild to moderate bloats or IBS symptoms.
2. It contains sufficient necessary digestive enzymes–a great disgestive aid for nutrient digestion and absorption.
3. It’s good for people who just have digestive problems but no issues with gluten or diary.
1. It helps with moderate to severe bloats or IBS symptoms
2. It contains sufficient necessary digestive enzymes with double or triple number of each of those plus more enzymes needed for those having gluten and lactose intolerance or sensitivity–peptidase, papain, amylase I, amylase II, diastase, invertas, etc.
3. It’s good for people who have problems with digestion, gluten, and diary.
So for those having severe bloats (like me), I would highly recommend taking Digestive Extra because you will see the results within a day or two.
For those having mild bloating, you can opt for Digestive Enzymes, which are lower in a number of enzymes as you might not need them all.