Facebook Pixel
EmpowHER Guest

Garlic intolerance = digestive nightmare!

By Anonymous August 30, 2010 - 2:36pm
Rate This

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.

Add a Comment51 Comments

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
EmpowHER Guest

I have experienced some similar symptoms; however, they are not quite as severe. I am beginning to think that my issue with garlic might fall under the category of being "sensitive" to it rather than allergic. The thing I dislike the most is how the taste of garlic tends to remain, no matter how I might try to get rid of it with mints, toothpaste and mouthwash. I will just do my best to avoid it in the future.

February 2, 2016 - 10:43pm
EmpowHER Guest

Hi, I am a 63 yr old business man and I self diagnosed this in myself 40 years ago when there was no help out there. Everyone thought I was being 'difficult' and family meals were a nightmare. I had to chose between not being 'difficult' and getting ill. Over the years I have developed the following tactics as I have to eat out all over the world at business dinners.
I have a simple green side salad for my starter with no dressing, and of course no onion family. Most places are happy to make up a fresh salad and leave out those. I ask for lemon juice and olive oil on the side for the dressing. For my main I ask for the cheese plate from the desert menu, but with no relish or pickle. For over thirty years now I have never been accidentally poisoned is I follow this rule. One other trick: always have a small tube of plain tomato puree on you. It means you can have pizza anywhere, as they are always made fresh and always happy to use puree instead of their own tomato base if they know you have a garlic allergy. And of course the great thing with pizza is you get to choose the toppings.

January 30, 2016 - 2:05pm
EmpowHER Guest

My husband and children have the same sensitivity to garlic. My husband is 45 and loves to cook. Through years of trial and error we have narrowed their reaction to strictly raw garlic. The cramping and digestion issues are ridiculous. I would have thought my husband was just being weird if it were not for giving to three children with his identical issue. We still cool with garlic, but it has to be dehydrated garlic powder or better yet, we occasionally roast a whole bulb, just brush with olive oil and bake for an hour. Maybe that will help some of you enjoy the taste without the discomfort.

I look like an insane person at the grocery store as I flip over bottle of salad dressing and jars of marina. As much as I wish I had time to make everything from scratch, I just don't with 5 people in the household. Paula Newman Marinara is one of the only jarred sauces we buy because they use dehydrated garlic. Not all of that brand's sauces use dehydrated, you really have to read the label and look for the asterisk.


January 8, 2016 - 10:12pm
EmpowHER Guest

After years of IBS and garlic allergies as well as intolerance to gluten I have come to find that peppermint gum or peppermints in the purse paired with peppermint tea before going out can sometimes help...gas pills are good to help immediately soon as you consume garlic but it's definitely not healthy to use on a daily basis and since garlic is in practically everything and anywhere you g...

I've tried a variety of natural solutions I tend to carry a very large purse and so like Mary Poppins I can suddenly pull out a bag of mini carrots. Carrots (for whatever reason) if I consume about two to three raw carrots after starting to feel the heartburn nausea headachy onset of garlic reaction will immediately help to slow that down. Meanwhile the peppermint helps to ease the stomach and settle the nerves that come with the reaction. I avoid garlic at all costs got rid of pizza barbecue sauce pretty much anything or will really be very clear to restaurants that I am allergic to garlic and need them to make something without garlic in it or just completely blind and playing with a little bit of salt and maybe some pepper but I'd rather use the table salt and table pepper SunTrust the chef from putting anything else inside of it to make it flavorfull...

December 7, 2015 - 9:51pm
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
EmpowHER Guest
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
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.

Contact Dermatitis

Get Email Updates

Contact Dermatitis Guide

Rosa Cabrera RN

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!


4282 Health


2729 Lives


2538 Lives
4 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Have you joined the IUD trend? What kind of birth control do you use? :
View Results