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Garlic intolerance = digestive nightmare!

By Anonymous August 30, 2010 - 2:36pm
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I have a self-diagnosed intolerance to garlic that is getting worse with age. My symptoms include terrible gas, bloating and up to 2 days of constipation or diarrhea. I also emit a strong garlic odor on my breath, skin and when I experience gas and bowel movements following a dose. I am frustrated because I have finally admitted to myself that garlic is an issue for me and have been telling restaurants that I am ALLERGIC to garlic. I still get served garlic consistently. I am generally a very healthful person and know garlic has many health benefits. I am wondering if there is a natural supplement of some sort that might counteract garlic's negative effects on me so that I can consume it regularly and without the abdominal pain and digestive issues I experience now.

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Look up FODMAPS. People with IBS often have difficulty digesting garlic. It belongs to the grouping of foods called fructans. Onions are in this category as is wheat. When I was pregnant, the smell of onions and garlic would make me wretch. I got over that but now the aversion has returned. And yes, it's a pain going to a restaurant.

November 7, 2016 - 10:38pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Sari)

Thanks for your input Sari.

As someone with post viral IBS D and C, I concur. I gave up restaurants in the end and eating became a science. Not a pleasure - just a science.

But with time and practice - it's ok!

After a final diagnosis and medication my diet is much more varied (even though I am a strict vegetarian) and I can eat out again.

There are some food brands that are FODMAP friendly - many are in Australia for some reason but there are also some FOD friendly restaurants. It takes research.


November 8, 2016 - 2:15pm
EmpowHER Guest

I had all these same problems and went to a gastroenterologist and he tested a stool sample and ground I had a gut parasite, this would make me sick when eating anything that contained onion n garlic. I then took courses of antibiotics and eventually got over it! But now he is saying it's my own stomach because I am still getting the symptoms and have had another stool test done now I'm off to see a dietitian to help me eat the right things

August 22, 2016 - 5:19pm
EmpowHER Guest

I've had the exact same symptoms for most of my life and it is a garlic intolerance. I try to avoid garlic as much as possible, but it is added into so many foods (even small doses of powder in crackers can affect me). The best preventative treatment I have found is taking a beano pill before I eat anything that contains garlic. Sometimes two if I am out at an Italian restaurant. It really makes a world of difference.

July 11, 2016 - 7:39pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have a Garlic powder allergy and sever irritation. I have had this for 15 years or more and in 1999 it was very difficult explaining this to your doctor.

I had sever shortnes of breathe, swollen esophagus and tonsils, which I removed tonsils and obtained inhalers from the EU. But nothing worked. The doctors were trying to slam me with anxiety but I am anything but anxious.

The first main issue is sever cramping, diareah and abdomen pains. Basically, your body is rejecting it and washing out your intestines and stomach as fast as possible, no consideration to sever pains.

Also, I met a scientist and I explained that I thought it was garlic and milk, and this person ran the idea that it may be garlic because it fums through the lungs. So, after years of suffering in end of high school and into college , sleepless nights and suffering. Removing tonsils, etc.... I removed garlic out of meals 100 percent and 1 week later, I felt relax, breathing easy and can concentrate again for hours and hours.

I went to a homeopath ( medical doctors pricked needles to my skin and nothing, sorry but this is cave man testing.. I could have done this myself when I was 5 years old with my science kit. What a joke.) And the homeopath used a machine the measures the energy levels (I'm a computer scientist , I know all organisms have energy, they are just measuring it) and we attach 100 or more substances, all were fine except two. garlic and Sulphur extract from Garlic. The needle went below 0 so fast it would go to negative 100 . That means I was not only a little bid irritant but extremely irritant.

Today, funny because I tested myself out with garlic but cooking a high concentration of garlic powder in room. And 15 years later I am extremely irritant. I couldn't breathe nor concentrate again, won't even bother testing it out on my stomach.

Summary is garlic was primarily used as medicine, not a food for daily consumption. my ancestor's are from the place they introduced garlic to world for consumption, but even my grand parents would use it for medicinal in 1890s and sometimes for food on occasion. Not for consumption on daily basis. And their garlic I think was a lot lighter in flavour.

Not sure what is going on to the industry but there is a growing number garlic irritant people, extremely irritant.

July 4, 2016 - 6:45pm
EmpowHER Guest

I've been frantically looking for anything that can help me with my garlic intolerance. Last night after eating out I spent the night awake with severe cramps, nausea and diarrhea after a meal at an Indian restaurant. It wasn't smart I know, but for years I've been avoiding eating out because it seems nobody understands when you tell them you just cannot eat garlic. I find garlic gets thrown into pretty much everything - seasonings, salad dressings, pastes, and even if you ask that they leave it out, it still finds its way into your food. I self-diagnosed after along period of carefully excluding and re-introducing foods into my diet and numerous visits to the GI specialists who diagnosed me with IBS even though I let them know the only foods that I have problems with are garlic and dairy (which I avoid or take a lactaid for), I just don't know what to do about the garlic! Help! I thought I was going to die yesterday!

April 30, 2016 - 2:43pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Try Beano. It works for me, exact symptoms. I take it before eating my first bite of food.

July 11, 2016 - 7:41pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Garlic was not used as Daily consumed food a long time ago, is recent. Don't be surprised if your allergic to garlic. I am extremely irritant and allergic to garlic.

- sever bowel movements
- shortness of breathe
- inability to concentrate
- sensitive to other things.

Look garlic has a high concentration of Sulphur, my body rejects Sulphur from Garlic 100 percent but my body accepts onions. I eat onions almost every day.

Garlic was not used for regular food, was used as medicinal purposes. But people over blew the whole garlic thing in Americas, too much and garlic is stronger , larger then the ones I saw in Europe.

It's a sever condition where I almost went to hospital after eating French chicken with way too much garlic power. It was category 4 tissue damage. Garlic did that to me.

July 4, 2016 - 6:55pm
HERWriter Guide (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Anon!

I have post-infectious IBS and am intolerant to garlic and you're right - it's in everything! I'm shocked people don't throw it into desserts - it everywhere!

As a consequence, I rarely eat out and am very careful with home cooking.

One piece of advice I read is that garlic powder seems to be less hard on the system that regular, fresh garlic/crushed garlic etc.

Good luck - I feel you pain!


May 2, 2016 - 1:48pm
EmpowHER Guest

After severe allergic reactions to certain food items, garlic being one of them, I was diagnosed with IBS. My symptoms is "spastic colon". It is triggered by any amount of garlic, caffeine, chocolate, and any kind of peppers. My Gastroenterologist prescribed a medicine called dicyclomine, which keeps my intestine in a relaxed state during non-bowel movement times, but will not allow me eat these items without problems. The allergic reactions to garlic and peppers are a burning in my rectum, resulting in sore inside my anus that bleeds during any bowel movement. The allergic reaction mimics peristaltic action and makes go to bathroom, thereby causing the, now, anal irritation to bleed. I too have talk to waiters and chefs, while dining out, and read food labels at supermarkets. My concern is that will this get worse as I get older and wifi it become debilitating. So far, my doctor can shed no light on this. Gastroenterologists don't seem to have a full understanding of this ailment and how to combat or eliminate it.

February 6, 2016 - 2:46pm
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