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ask: 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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EmpowHER Guest

I have found that if I accidentally consume garlic (usually because a restaurant served it or I was not diligent in avoiding it) I can counteract some of the reactions by immediately taking Gaia's Gas and Bloating pills and one or two peppermint pills. Depending on how fresh the garlic was, and how much I consumed, it can lesson my reactions by up to 75%. I will even take it prior to going out to social events as a precaution.

October 18, 2015 - 7:44pm
EmpowHER Guest

One more comment, garlic has sulfur in it, and someone I knew some years ago was sensitive to sulfur. (She learned this when the town's water supply got a high sulfur content).

So you may find that different things in the same food might be the allergenic agents.

October 13, 2015 - 7:57pm
EmpowHER Guest

After many years of feeling this way, I decided to look online to see if this is a problem with anyone else.
I have a self diagnosed allergy to garlic. I find that when I am cooking at home I can use a small amount of crushed garlic gloves for flavour. My problem seems to be with garlic butter and oil used when eating in restaurants. I was at an Asian restaurant last night for a friends birthday at approximately 8:30pm. I ordered ribs for a starter and duck with mango slices for my main course, with noodles - thinking this would be okay. I also did not have any alcohol.
At 3am this morning I awoke with severe abdominal pain; followed by a very violent strain of vomiting and diarrhoea lasting at least an hour. When I finally went to bed again I nursed a very sore head and tummy upset. This morning, I am extremely weak and desperate to ask if there is anything that would help me now or in the future?
I have found restaurants to be generally very unhelpful when ordering food and explaining about my allergy, usually telling me there is no way the cat majority of the menu could be cooked without garlic!
Maybe some is aware of foods that would make smart choices when out to avoid this problem.
It's sad to see so many other people with the same issue and it's even more sad that garlic is my favourite taste!! Ahhhhhhh x

October 11, 2015 - 6:24am
EmpowHER Guest

I have developed with age garlic and onion intolerance as well. One meal of Italian restaurant cooking sends me straight to the bathroom. If I cook at home, I have found I can use a small amount of garlic powder and/or onion powder and be fine. But the problem comes the next day when I reheat leftovers and eat them. Then the same food I ate last night suddenly gives me boating, gas, and cramps. Any idea why?

September 24, 2015 - 1:08pm
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Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I have found that certain things bother me at different times of day.

For instance, if I eat spicy food for lunch (usually my first meal of the day) then I "feel the burn" later. If I eat a non-spicy meal first, I can have spicy food later in the day without ill effect.

I think the same applies to garlic for me. I suspect I am sensitive to garlic but it is not consistent, and seems to vary by time of day I eat garlic, though I have not been scientific about this.

October 13, 2015 - 7:55pm
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Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

You must try to live witbout garlic as much as possible, or use just a little bit, but only once in a while!

September 26, 2015 - 7:40pm
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you, thank you. I could t figure out why, after a quiet evening at home, simple dinner, and a good night's sleep, I felt so wretched the next day. All your symptoms, thought not as severe. By chance I googled garlic -- which I had added to last night's favorite pasta sauce -- and I sure got my answer. Hadn't cooked with it for years; age must make a difference.

September 22, 2015 - 6:26pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am also allergic to garlic and so is my mother. It makes me super nauseous, gassy, unable to sleep and I feel anxious. People are always surprised to hear this or have never heard of such a thing.

September 18, 2015 - 10:04am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Sounds like my symptoms exactly. Best thing I found to do was keep it out of your diet as much as possible and take probiotics and drink keifer daily.

September 18, 2015 - 8:06pm
EmpowHER Guest

I wanted to echo the FODMAP comment. Since garlic is a high FODMAP food, it often causes digestive distress to those of us that are FODMAP sensitive. There is a book called The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body, with a wonderful healing program (not just for autoimmune disorders). The author discusses FODMAPS in relation to gastro-intestinal problems and says that garlic juice or garlic-infused oil may be used without problems. I haven't tried it but it might be a life saver for some garlic lover out there.

September 15, 2015 - 2:05pm
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