Jul 252012
 

Ugh. One month after discovering Truvia had been wrecking my gut, I ate over someone’s house only to be gifted with food poisoning. That night everyone except my daughter Coral became ill. Two days later I was informed that the humus we’d eaten had been tainted. For a change I was glad that Coral hadn’t eaten her vegetables.

After that mild food poisoning, half the time I ate anything I would get bad indigestion, followed by intense stomach pains, followed by everything being flushed out of my system from my stomach on down. This was happening a few times a week, and I had a lot of intense stomach pains and indigestion in-between the really bad bouts.

Everything I read said food poisoning should clear up on its own in one to four weeks. I waited. Six weeks later I was still suffering. So much for my summer plans of fun and productivity.

I was feeling normal maybe one day a week. The rest of the week I experienced some level of miserable. I decided it was time to talk to my doctor. He ran tests and found no infection. He said inflammation from the food poisoning was likely causing temporary lactose intolerance, but it should clear up after a few weeks.  When I mentioned it had been nearly two months he said that there was really nothing more he could do diagnostically other than send me to a gastroenterologist to snake scopes through me. When I was first having digestive issues with Truvia I had that done, and like a mechanic that couldn’t solve a sporadic car issue, the gastroenterologist told me there was nothing wrong even though I still had symptoms. It seemed like a last resort to try that again. Instead, I decided to run some experiments. I asked my doctor about taking enzyme or probiotic pills. He said he knew nothing about enzyme pills, but that probiotic pills might be a good idea.

First up, I tried the probiotics. The ones I had on hand included enzymes for breaking down proteins. They gave me terrible stomach pains every time I took them, and would trigger one of the really bad bouts I mentioned earlier. Obviously, I didn’t need more biotics growing in my gut right now, pro or not. I counted these out.

Next, I started paying attention to what I ate to see if I could find trigger foods.

I was definitely lactose intolerant in nasty ways I’d never been before! Even with lactase enzymes a dollop of whip cream on some strawberries would totally wreck me. It was very repeatable. All dairy was removed from my diet.

One cause down, but I was still reacting.

I started recognizing some of the things I could tolerate and used these foods to guarantee some good days before testing suspect foods.

Prior to getting food poisoning, I had been researching fructose malabsorption. About 30% of westerners and 10% of Asians have insufficient enzymes to fully digest fructose. Undigested fructose enters the intestines and overfeeds bacteria causing digestive problems. To test this I bought some pure fructose powder and made a lightly sweetened lemonade. My glass had about 25% of what a healthy person could tolerate, which is about half of what is in a typical can of pop (soda or cola for those not living in the Midwest.) Twenty-four hours later I was a total wreck. I repeated the test with the same result. I went on a low fructose diet.

These two issues were both known to be caused by enzyme deficiencies. I started taking a full spectrum enzyme pill with each meal. By the second day all pain was gone!

Next, after a few days had passed, I decided it was time to try replenishing my gut with good biotics, so I tried taking probiotic pills again. This time I used one that didn’t include any enzymes, since I wanted to restrict the enzymes to only before meals. I’m taking the probiotics on an empty stomach when I wake and at bedtime. I’ve had no digestive issues doing this.

While I was no longer in pain, I’d say it took maybe a week to start feeling like a healthy person. I’ve been feeling good for a week without any reactions, so I think it’s solved. I’ll be sticking with the enzymes and probiotics for a few more weeks and then I’ll start weeding off them. I’ll redo the lactose and fructose tests in a month or two to see if my enzymes are working correctly.

Hopefully soon I’ll post about things other than digestive issues, but I’ll probably put up one last post about fructose malabsorption before moving on. For now, stay away from the salmon mousse… and the tainted humus!

Share

  26 Responses to “Solving Long Lasting Food Poisoning Side Effects”

  1. Ugh. I’m so sorry that you’ve lost so much time on this. ::hugs::

  2. I have had similar issues following drinking raw cows milk. Not even an hour after drinking about 3 ounces of this nasty stuff..I had explosive diarrhea that had blood in it! Following this explosion…..I had severe stomach pains with mucous in my stools. A month has went by and I’m now suffering from what seems like food induced pains. It’s with consumption of sugary foods, coffee, soda, and especially chocolate. I’ve never had problems before now. So I am going to try your protocol and hope it works! I am miserable! I get weak, dizzy nauseous and have back ache with all of this!! I will post my results when I find out if it helps. ????

    • How are you doing to date? Have you healed completely?

      • I’m doing much, much better now. I generally keep myself on a semi-restricted diet because it’s what I like now, but not nearly as stringently as I did when I was ill. I stay totally away from sugar alcohols, and I’m conscious of the amount of fructose I eat at meals, but I don’t avoid all sugars anymore. For example, when it was really bad I couldn’t have any milk without getting awful headaches even while taking lactase enzymes, but now I’m back to being able to have milk again with an enzyme tablet and I don’t get headaches anymore. Huge improvement. Just took a while to balance things out.

        This past year I decided to do some personal research using DNA analysis of my gut bacteria. Yet so far it seems to show that sugar still throws the balance of bacteria in my gut way off, destroying common colonies and increasing unidentifiable ones. I’ll be returning to my restrictive diet again soon to see if it returns my gut bacteria colonies back to a more normal state. I’m still in the middle of this science experiment. I’ll post something up when I’m done with the research.

        • I know you posted this a long time ago, but I was wondering if you ever recovered fully? I’m having the same issues after food poisoning a month ago (which happened to be my kids last day of school before summer break). My daughter ate a little of my food that day and has had diarrhea since and even tho I keep the air conditioning at 69, she complains she is hot. I have many more symptoms and pain and it’s been crippling. I was hoping to find out how to fix it. I hate feeling this way but would feel like this every day if it ment my baby didn’t feel sick. She is 8 and my youngest. So if you see this if you could give me advice on what to do I’d appreciate it. I’m seeing a specialist but since I have so many health issues prior he wants to contribute it to those even tho I had none of these problems prior to the food poisoning. Any advice would help. Her Dr said it will go away on its own. This is just horrible.
          Thank you for tapping the time to read this

          • Yes, I feel great these days, but I do still have to avoid certain foods to keep feeling great. Hopefully your doctor is right and it will just get better on its own, but after months of waiting I found I could quickly help the food poisoning recovery along.

            If your doctor agrees, you could start by trying what I did in my story above. I cut fructose, dairy, and wheat from my diet and took full spectrum enzymes before meals. For a short while I ate only basic simple foods like meat, potatoes, rice and vegetables, etc. I cut all sweets temporarily, including fruit and artificial sweeteners. All of this together helped the diarrhea within the first week or so of doing it. Next, switch to multi-spectrum probiotics and see how you do with those. If they upset your system my assumption is you need to let the bacteria load decrease longer using the diet above. If your digestion returns to normal keep them up for a few weeks and then see if you can ween off the probiotics. After that start adding back the foods you removed one by one and see how you feel after each. I would expect the whole process to last a month, though I would hope for progress the first week.

            While it is unlikely you will have to worry about this, after multiple bad long-term digestive illnesses I found I was permanently intolerant of a few foods. It’s annoying to not have a rock solid gut that can eat anything anymore, but it’s all very manageable and I do eat very well. Don’t worry, as I said, as this is not likely a worry, but I’ll mention it while I’m discussing this in case you are still dealing with issues as the months pass. Keep in mind that your intolerances, if you develop any, probably won’t match mine. They are just examples of what happens to me. If you don’t feel better in a few months I would suggest cutting out different common foods like corn or soy to see if there is an intolerance. Again, I would only worry about this if the technique in my post doesn’t work. And always follow your doctors advice.

            I had the hot all the time symptom. I’d toss blankets off even on a cold winter night while my wife was all bundled up under two layers of blankets. While I’m not diagnosed as celiac, when I went gluten-free I realized I’d stopped being hot all the time. When I eat gluten, that night I’ll be hot again and my legs will ache badly. I assume it’s an allergic reaction of some sort. My doctor has no clue. I assume that while I get this reaction to wheat, it’s possible someone else might get this reaction to something else, so I wouldn’t automatically go gluten-free unless every time you stop eating it you feel better, and every time you eat wheat you have the symptom. If your daughter still has some of the bad bacteria in her gut I assume it’s possible she feels hot because she’s having a reaction to that bacteria, so my suggestion is to test and verify multiple times before deciding to stick with any dietary restriction.

            Dairy would give me horrible headaches, but no digestive issues. I finally discovered this was caused by casein A1, which is a type of milk protein. I switched to using only “A2 Milk”. This is a brand of milk that only comes from cows that produce the more easily digestible A2 protein. You’d have to check their web site to see where it is available near you. I first cut all dairy out to prove I was dairy intolerant, and just recently found I could drink this without issue. I use full spectrum enzymes if I consume dairy that may have A1 casein and that seems to keep the headaches away.

            I also avoid all sugar alcohols, which includes most zero calorie sweeteners. They mess with my gut and give me dizzy spells.

            Hope this is helpful.

  3. I have had similar stomach pains when drinking milk which I never had before I had food poisoning. I also get this incredibly painful gas buildup at seemingly random times of the day. I haven’t tried enzyme pills and I was wondering if you could name the pill you took Do you need to get it from the doctor, or can you just order it online or get it at a store?

    thank you for writing about your problem!

    • Sounds like food poisoning has made you lactose intolerant. I have the same issue: lactose, the sugar in milk, triggers pain. It’s usually a delayed pain that kicks in hours after eating. The solution has been to carry lactase enzymes and swallow one pill before consuming any food that contains lactose.

      Lactase supplements should be readily available at most drugstores.

      I started by using the most common brand where I live: Lactaid. Lactaids eventually stopped working for me. I later realized that sugar alcohols also triggered digestive issues for me, and realized that chewable Lactaids include sugar alcohols to make them taste sweet, so it’s possible they stopped working because the chewable form was simply replacing lactose with a sugar alcohol. You can try the chewable kind for convenience, but I personally only use the capsule form now with a cup of water. I’ve found they work best for me with an adequate amount of water when swallowing them.

      Since you have lactose issues, I would also beware of sugars that are not easily digested (diet sweeteners), particularly sugars that end in -ol. These end up in the colon and can cause problems similar to your undigested lactose.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_alcohol

      Currently I’m using Shiff’s Digestive Advantage Probiotics – Lactose Defense Formula. It’s also readily available at many drug stores. These also include a probiotic and they claim that you can just take one in the morning. The once a day concept does not work for me. I still have to take one each time I eat dairy.

      Note that you may be able to eat hard cheeses without pain, as the bacteria that creates cheese feeds on lactose. Soft cheeses and yogurts will likely still have enough lactose in them to cause distress. You’ll have to experiment here to see what your personal tolerances are.

    • If you are reacting to more than just Lactose, visit a health food store or on-line drugstore and you should be able to find broad spectrum enzyme supplements. I can’t positively remember what brand I was using when I wrote this post, but I located a bottle of “Source Naturals Daily Essential Enzymes” in the cabinet, so I assume those are the ones.

      These days I still take lactase enzymes, but no longer take broad spectrum enzymes.

  4. This is such an amazing article to find! I have been having the same issues since a severe case of salmonella over a month ago. I became so ill from food poisoning I was hospitalized 7 times with critically low potassium since I couldn’t keep anything in me. After going on potassium pills and a potassium sparing diuretic and blood tests twice a week my potassium came up after about a month to a safe and normal level.
    However after getting better and better everyday out of nowhere my stomach started acting up. Every morning when I woke up within minutes I would run to the washroom and that’s where I would spend my morning with pains cramps and such an uncomfortable stomach accompanied but very loud burps.

    My doctor yesterday told me to say off lactose for now because it doesn’t allow the digestive system to heal after the initial food poisoning. Anything I eat now gives me a stomach ache and I live off of Imodium. Out of nowhere I threw up this morning which I haven’t done since the food poisoning and anything I eat tends to give me a stomach ache even though I’m no longer eating dairy. I’ve also lost my appetite and find it hard to eat. It’s been so long and tiring and frustrating and just mentally exhausting since no one can seem to tell me what’s wrong.

    • Hope all the information I’ve posted is beneficial and you feel better soon! It is an awful experience, and at this time there’s definitely not enough help available from our medical system. Luckily a lot of research is being done right now on the gut microbiome, so hopefully that will eventually be remedied.

    • I had terrible food poisoning just over a year ago. I was in the hospital for two days. Month after month would pass and I still felt it was day one. It took me almost an entire year to recover because I finally figured out what was wrong. Lactose intolerance. And yes I was told to lay off the lactose and I did to the best of my ability. Certain foods like creamed cheese would send me to the bathroom five minutes after eating it. Even with two or three lactaid pills. It takes a very long time if you had severe food poisoning for your gut and lactase to come back. Sometimes it never does. But the thing that got me was that sometimes I would eat cheese or something dairy not an over abundance and feel just fine but the kick of it all was that it would sometimes take more than 24 hours to feel the ramifications of that small piece of cheese. I was so nauseous and bloated and it would feel like food poisoning all over again. Basically, my lactose intolerance was delayed with certain foods. Even today, over a year later, I still have to use the lactaid pills. If I have a lot of dairy one day I make sure I’m good for at least 3 days after, meaning low dairy no matter lactaid pills or not. I hope you feel better soon. I always promised that if I ever figured this out that I would write about my experience in hopes that someone who is desperate for answers will read my experience and maybe it would help them. Good luck.

      • Thanks for adding your story, Mandee. Seem to be a lot of people who have struggled with this. Lactose is certainly a big one. I’ve had issues with lactose for twenty years. I appear to be the only one in my family with a lactose intolerance. Interestingly, all it does to me if I don’t take the enzymes is it gives me a horrid headache for two days that pain relievers can’t cure.

  5. I am waiting for a while before drinking milk after a severe case of food poisoning. Does anyone know of a lactose free milk that actually tastes like milk and isn’t sweet? Some of that stuff out there is garbage. I don’t care how you cut it, milk is not sweet.

    • You can find “unsweetened” nut milks. They are not exactly the same as cow’s milk, but at least they are not overly sweet. When I was totally off dairy I often made my own fresh almond milk by blending a handful of almonds in a few cups of water.

      There was a time when I couldn’t tolerate any milk, but I’m now back to being able to use lactose-free milks or taking lactase pills before having dairy. Cutting out all sugar alcohols appears to have given me this amount of tolerance back.

  6. Thanks for sharing this detailed article!!! I had this worst food poisoning start last week and am still suffering from it. Despite sensing a period of comfort (intermittently) last week…the horrible stomach bouts, and frequent bathroom trips seem to have not stopped totally..I have been trying to consume lemonade made with honey.. And I see they seem to do the magic..It gave my stomach a soothing effect and also brought down the discomfort under control to some extent..

  7. I was in the hospital last week, not sure what it was, the doctors couldn’t find out whether it was food poisoning, a virus, or what? I am still so sick! It started out with diarreha and vomiting. I haven’t vomited in 41 years when I as PG with my son. I never vomit, never vomited during 4 months of chemo back in 2006, but I sure vomited last week. I am so sick Al Bogdan. They gave me zofran which didn’t help, I’ve been taking emitral over the counter and it helps some. I have had this nauseated lack of appetite for 3 weeks now and severe cramping and bloating most of the time, but very bad after eating anything. I do not use milk, I’ve used coconut/almond milk for past 2-3 years. What would you suggest Al? My daughter sent your article to me. Do you think those enzymes would help? I need HELP so badly. My primary care and my gastroenterologist cannot find anything! Miserable! Kathy Wright kathyw48@gmail.com

    • Sorry you’re feeling so badly!

      If your doctors can’t help you, and you decide to try what worked for me while waiting for your next doctor’s appointment, you can visit a health food store and ask for full spectrum enzymes and also probiotics with a high count of multiple diverse strains. Take the enzymes before meals for a few days. Gauge how you feel. Add the probiotics. Gauge how you feel. Depending on how your status, remove the enzymes and then remove the probiotics.

      Use the link below and simultaneously start a low fructose diet. Also cut out all forms of sugar and wheat temporarily. Beware of hidden dairy, as lactose is sugar.

      Low Fructose Diet

      I started feeling better within days. I slowly worked my way off the strict diet and was eventually back to my pre-food-poisoning diet. I also only took the suppliments for a shot time and stopped when I felt better. II gave it a little extra time after feeling good, like one would with antibiotics, just to be sure.

      Since you don’t know what triggered your reaction, keep your doctors appointments and schedule to see them if you’re not feeling better. Doing the above assumes we both had the same type of food poisoning issue.

      I do hope you feel better soon.

  8. GET YOURSELVES CHECKED FOR SIBO

  9. Thank you for sharing your story! I will definitely head to a health food store for the enzymes and probiotics. 2 1/2 weeks ago out of the blue I felt horrible. Nauseous,cramps, headache, body aches, going to the bathroom about 15 times a day, mild chest pain…Not to mention my stool was pretty much black. After 3 days I went to the ER because I just couldn’t take it anymore. Doctor took a stool sample and I tested positive for campylobacter. I was prescribe 3 days worth of antibiotics. I’m also on a very blan diet. I’ve been eating bananas, unsalted saltine crackers, White toast, applesauce and lots of water. Like I said it’s been about 2 1/2 weeks and I still have symptoms. Not as bad but it’s mentally exhausting. Some days are good and some days feel like I’m back to square 1. It feels nice to share my story because I haven’t met anyone who can relate to what I’m going through

  10. I know I\’m a sensitive eater. I am In Thailand and I go to the market every day and buy my own food and take to my bungalow restaurant and have them cook it for me. mistake!!!!!!!! I got some squid because as a vegetarian . I suspect I don\’t get enuf protein. when I ate the dinner my intuition knew something was wrong as I didn\’t want to eat the meal. i ate half. thank god I only ate half . I might have died otherwise.. 5 hours later it started.. intense direrrea like every hour. totally watery . and then it started coming out white!!! (I\’m reading now that poops come out white when the bile isn\’t released to digest it)…………well only one night of watery loose stools. thought i would be fine after that. then the stomach started acting up with smelly gas as well. then I went to doctor. she gave me charcoal pills to absorb the poison in my system and also some pills to make the stomach relax. now I\’m on day 4 of this. god I hope it ends soon. I have the digestion of a rock usually………doctor told me antibiotics would clear this up right away . if i went that route.

  11. hey..i was doing well before november 2016..i developed severe nausea and had lack of appetite..stools were fine and there was no fever..nausea was so bad that i vomitted all the time..it was even hard for me to stand up..a stupid doctor put me on antidepressant..it was a horrible experience for me..my cbc ..h.pylori..esr..and liver function test all came back normal..i went to another country still throwing up hoping that it will be fine on its own..i became super bad..throwing up all the time..they gave me anti diarrhea injection and i became fine..i began eating well..i wonder how i could have diarrhea without loose stool..after a month while shifting my home i had icecream from McDonalds and pizza as well..i again lost my appetite and still throwing up..i began throwing up from Feb 14 and now its march and still not doing well..any ideaa??

    • Keep in mind I’m not a doctor and I’m responding to very little data here. Best to have a doctor review your symptoms and run tests as necessary. If you can’t get a diagnosis, here are some experiments you might try.

      I had very good luck using full spectrum enzymes for digestive issues. They got me past food poisoning that wouldn’t go away and I was able to stop taking the enzymes after a few weeks and the symptoms did not return. If I suspected food poisoning I’d also cut out all sugars for a while.

      It’s also common for people to develop food intolerance / allergies over time. Full spectrum enzymes help by break down the food you eat. If the enzymes help, but the symptoms return when you stop taking them, it’s possible your body is having issues digesting a particular food. I determined that I have issues with milk and wheat. I keep enzymes on hand and take them when I consume dairy. I’ve learned to just avoid wheat, though I’m not Celiac.

      Another thing you might try are short-term restricted diets to rule out food reactions. This is how I initially determined I was reacting to diary and wheat. Do this by totally cutting out a particular food type for about two weeks to see if symptoms are reduced or vanish. If the symptoms vanish try eating the food again to see if they return. Some of the most common digestive issues seem to be dairy, gluten, soy, or corn, though people seem to have reactions to most anything. To rule out diary, for example, avoid all forms of dairy for two weeks, including all cheese and yogurt and butter, etc.. If nothing changes add dairy back and try another common allergy like gluten for two weeks. Etc. Doing this is highly annoying because you often have to prepare your own food and avoid eating out for those two weeks, but it could also help you get a diagnosis, so I personally think it worth the effort.

      Also, I highly recommend avoiding all sugar alcohols if you have digesting issues. Those are artificial sugars that end on -OL. I was taking a sweetener advertised as Stevia, but it really was mostly Erythritol and I reacted very badly to it. I think it was actually using tiny amounts of an erythritol sweetener in my coffee that made be fructose intolerant.

      Best of luck figuring this out.

  12. I will be heading to the store to get some digestive enzymes after reading this. I haven’t been feeling right all week after a slightly off tasting smoothie from a local cafe this past weekend. I usually kick these things within 24 – 36 hours. This one is kicking back with a vengeance. Thanks for posting these tips.

  13. Thanks for posting your experience, it has helped me a ton! A couple weekends back I got food poisoning for the first time. I’m pretty sure it was from rotisserie chicken I used for a pie iron recipe. Those things are so sketchy, I doubt they stay hot enough to keep the crud away under those heat lamps. When we made the pies I’m sure they didn’t get to 165 degrees on the reheat, the crust cooks too quickly. Anyways woke up the next day with sharp stabbing pains in my belly that subsided to a duller pain that came and went. A couple days later I had about 6oz of beer and once again I felt like I was getting stabbed in the stomach. Which I thought was weird, but figured I just needed a bit more recovery time. Couple days later I make a protein shake with whole milk and soon after felt terrible again. I started to wonder if this food poisoning could have possibly made me lactose intolerant. Recalling something I had heard about people picking up that problem later in life I started digging around on the internet and found your article. After reading it I dropped all milk and started taking Culing Pills a time tested TCM stomach tonic that contains many things including a fermented mixture of wheat flour and other herbs. It’s been a couple days of taking that and I’m finally starting to feel myself again. I am super grateful that I was able to read about your experience though, it helped me find the right path. I was terrified of winding up at the doctor where I’m sure they’d tell me they didn’t know what the problem was and likely run up a min of $5k worth of test and possibly cut me open for no reason.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



(required)

(required)