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Barbara Bradley Bolen, Ph.D.

IBS and Sugar

By February 15, 2013

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Did yesterday's Valentine's Day celebration leave you feeling all IBS-y today? Did you overdo it on the chocolate? This seems like a good time to make sure that you have a good awareness of the the link between IBS and sugar intolerance. If your symptoms tend to toward excessive gas, bloating, diarrhea and nausea, it is certainly worth considering that a sugar intolerance may be to blame. Learn about the various types of sugar intolerance to see if such an intolerance may be contributing to your symptoms:

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Comments
January 28, 2009 at 12:57 am
(1) Regina M says:

Thank you so much for this article! I have been searching everywhere for some kind of reference to eating sugar and get a sudden burst of dirrehea. I was thinking maybe diabetes … looked it on there and the symptoms just didn’t fit right. I am wondering if there is something you can do or take. I first discovered it with Chocolate as that seems to be worse … I even throw up with the chocolate, it’s almost as if I have food poisoning, and assumed I was allergic to it. So I left that alone. Already use Splenda in my coffee as the sugar gives me a sick feeling. But I have gotten to notice that as soon as I eat something sweet I am barrelling to the bathroom.
Thanks for the info. Keep it comming as you find out more pls.

January 28, 2009 at 6:28 pm
(2) ibs says:

You are welcome – I’m glad you found the article to be helpful. Feel better!

July 29, 2009 at 9:23 am
(3) Daphne says:

All sugars give me diarrhea includind artifical sweetners. I figured this out a long time ago. Ironic therefore that ALL OVER THE COUNTER STOMACH MEDICATIONS and ANTI DIARHEA SOLUTIONS, ANTI GAS AIDS, ANTACIDS ARE MADE WITHOUT DIARRHEA PRODUCING SORBITOL OR MANITOL. EVERY ONE OF THEM! HOW STUPID OF THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY.

August 19, 2009 at 1:47 am
(4) Mike says:

I have a very stressfull life at the moment, new job, new country, building a house and a forth child newly arrived! Over the the last year I seem to have developed an intolerance to sugar. At first I thought it was wheat but am now thinking I am narrowing the field to sugar generally. My symptoms start with wind and an unsettled stomache and can give me chest pains, perhaps a heatburn or indigestion feeling, on rare occassions if I eat very unwisely I get cramps and diarrhea. Any thoughts?

August 19, 2009 at 7:47 am
(5) ibs says:

If you suspect a sugar intolerance, keep a food diary and then try an elimination diet.

March 31, 2010 at 10:31 pm
(6) Sher says:

I have finally found out what is triggering my IBS and it does seem to be foods with fructose. I have read the book Fructose Malabsorption and the author mentions that she used Splenda a lot. So did I and I wonder if it triggered the problem, but I do know that my symptoms improve about 70 percent when I am careful to not eat food with sweeteners.

April 23, 2010 at 6:55 pm
(7) benitta Robertson says:

I have confirmed a link to sugar and diarrhea… and would like to thank you for your information…I am already sensitive to wheat, well, most flours give me constipation; and dairy products give me mucous and make my nose drip constantly. All of my 48 years I have suffered candida, cold hands and feet, animal allergies, and now sugar intolerance. It’s a busy life, isn’t it. QUESTION: How can I lessen this sugar problem? Should I avoid certain fruit, I eat 500g of fruit for brecky. Could this have started the problem do you suppose?
Sincerely
BR

April 26, 2010 at 10:51 am
(8) ibs says:

You could follow the links above and try an elimination diet to confirm that the fruit is causing your symptoms. Good luck!

September 26, 2011 at 12:13 pm
(9) Dawn says:

I hope you are still out there to answer my question. I had figured out the link betwen sugar and my diarrhea about a year ago. I have had some really embrassing days. So glad I found this article. **** I have a question**** becuase I know I have this issue if I am out of town I will take an anti-diarrhea medicine the whole time I am gone just so I am not on the road or away from a bathroom when I have an issue. I normally take the maxium dosage while I am gone. Also if I go to friends or out to dinner and I know I am going to drink a Margarita or each dessert I will take medicine. I take 2 to begin and another one or 2 if it is a long day. **My question is how bad is this for me to be taking meds like this?

September 26, 2011 at 12:31 pm
(10) Dr. Bolen says:

Hi Dawn, whenever you are in doubt you should ask your doctor as they are in the best position to know how much medicine is right for you. In the meantime, if you are specifically looking at Imodium, this article might be of help: How Safe is Imodium?.

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