View Full Version : Possibly Oatmeal Allergy -- Substitutions? Replacements? Ideas?

01-08-2004, 08:45 AM
For those who don't know, I'm allergic to, well, just about everything:

All dairy products
All nut products
All shellfish
Most fruit
Some vegetables (i.e, jicama)
Some potatoes (red)

These allergies necessarily limit my dietary options; and as it can be difficult to find bread without milk or nut products, I've been using oatmeal and brown rice for the majority of my carbohydrate intake. Recently, however, I've been noticing some not-insubstantial GI pain (cramps, bloating, etc...), most often in the late mornings/mid-afternoons. After a series of experiments (comprising mainly the elimination of possible comestible culprits), I've come to the tentative conclusion that my morning oatmeal (typically one cup, cooked well, with my 6:00AM meal, and 2/3 cup, cooked well, with my 9:30 AM meal) may be to blame. This wouldn't surprise me, as my blood work has indicated a possible mild allergy to oats, and for such an allergy to manifest itself suddenly is not at all outside the realm of scientific possibility.

My question, then, is if oats indeed turn out to be the cause of my discomfort, with what should I replace them in my diet? Oats were, I found, the perfect low-GI carbohydrate source, readi;y divisible into portions and cooked quickly and easily. I'll certainly miss their convenience, if not their gastrointestinal consequences.

01-08-2004, 10:19 AM
you could try another grain product such as quinoa or rice. considering your very limited options, investigating some more unusual grains might be a good idea.

01-08-2004, 10:33 AM
I would go with yams if you could eat them.

01-08-2004, 12:58 PM

Never mind. It turns out it wasn't oatmeal after all -- I cut it out completely today, only to suffer worse bloating/cramps/gas than I'd yet experienced.

Seriously. It's enough to make me want to stop eating altogether.

And I know it isn't the QUANTITY of food I'm eating; it's largely independent of caloric intake, as was evidenced particularly well yesterday, when I ate no more than 1500-1600 calories.

What frustrates me most of all, I think, is that, right now, the last thing I need is another reason not to eat. I've already lost weight, and I can't afford to lose much more. Equally frustrating is the fact that I used to be able to eat quantites far in excess of my current (struggling) diet with no discomfort whatsoever.

Ugh. Advice/help would be much appreciated.

01-08-2004, 01:10 PM
Sounds liek you have IBS.. if you don't know what that is PM me.

Other then that.. have you tried taking digestive enzymes? Those can deffinately help. What happends is... some people don't have certain enzymes that digest certain foods. For some it's proteins for some fats and for some carbs.. that causes bloating. There are enzymes for each of these things but if you don't knwo which one causes your simptoms then try one for all 3 of them. You take 1 right before you eat.

01-08-2004, 02:15 PM
He's probably allergic to digestive enzymes, too.

01-08-2004, 02:20 PM
Sounds liek you have IBS..

01-08-2004, 04:11 PM
some have already mentioned but i think yams and quinoa are great alternatives, even if you can still eat oats. and, in all seriousness, he just might be allergic to digestive enzymes too if he is allergic to some fruits.

01-08-2004, 04:21 PM
With the severity of my allergies, I am, to tell the truth, extremely reluctant to take such enzymes. If necessary, I will; but I'll have to be exceedingly careful in doing so.

I honestly think, after today's experience, that oats are not to blame, which is itself a good thing -- except for the fact that it also means I have no idea what's going on.

It occurs to me, however, that there might possibly be another explanation, which I'll toss out here for opinions/criticism/observations/etc... My diet over this past week has not been good; there may have been, at most, two days in the last ten when I managed to eat 2000 cal. The last few days, for example, I've been hovering around 1500-1600. Yes, I know; it's stupid; it's not right; it's dangerous; etc... And this span of ten days follows two weeks of being home for the holidays, a period in which I ended up losing weight as well.

Could these cramps arise from hunger? I don't feel hungry, per se; but then, I've long since become desensitized to my appetite, just as I also have a long-standing habit of badly underestimating my caloric needs and overestimating my caloric intake.

Edit: I'm not kidding about the diet; were I to post it, the response would be unanimous: EAT MORE!

01-08-2004, 04:58 PM
i typically do not "cramp" when i am hungry, although severe hunger pangs are not pleasant. how much fiber are you consuming daily?

01-08-2004, 05:17 PM

01-08-2004, 08:08 PM
i typically do not "cramp" when i am hungry, although severe hunger pangs are not pleasant. how much fiber are you consuming daily?

Not that much, apparently; certainly no more than has been usual for me for ages.

Let's see...on average? Maybe 25-30 g. About 15g from oatmeal; maybe a couple grams from brown rice; and some from the brocolli I typically steam at dinner

And yet today I had far less fiber than normal, all to no avail.

01-09-2004, 11:41 AM
i was actually thinking you should increase your fiber, not drop it.

01-09-2004, 12:27 PM
i was actually thinking you should increase your fiber, not drop it.
Exactly. Because of your situation I would recommend a daily supplement of metamusil or citracel (something like that.) I'm dealing with something similar and my doctor said this will at least reduce the symptoms.

01-09-2004, 12:57 PM
read this:



01-09-2004, 02:37 PM
Much thanks all around.

I must admit that I remain a bit skeptical about IBS. Perhaps I am misinformed, but it seems a bit odd that, if indeed my GI issues arise from IBS, they should appear so suddenly -- I don't exactly have a history of such pain.

What I think slightly more probable, at least right now, is that my symptoms comprise a reaction to a definite dietary change, one which I had heretofore thought devoid of responsibility in this matter. Last weekend, fed up with purchasing my morning cup of coffee from the Starbucks near my apartment, I purchased a small, four-cup Krupps coffee maker. So far it has been working flawlessly; the coffee is good and strong, and I'm certainly saving both time and money as a result of the purchase. However, there is a not-insubstantial probability that, in making my coffee, I have consistently been erring on the side of excess, using far too much ground material (um...a lot)and drinking far too much of the resultant brew (also a lot).

For the next few days I'll forgo my personal java and return to my erstwhile practices. If this doesn't make a difference, then I'll have controlled for every possible dietary variable with the exception of increased fiber intake (which I've never had a problem with before). At that point, it seems that either IBS or some undetected stomach virus is the culprit.

Seem reasonable?

01-09-2004, 02:51 PM
that's a good place to start. I have found stronger coffees more likely to cause me discomfort especially when they are sweetened.

01-09-2004, 02:51 PM
i don't think caffeine is going to cause abdominal cramping, but performing a short self-experiment won't hurt.
i am no doctor, but the combinations of your food allergies and pain seem to be somewhat of an ibs problem. furthermore, an increase of fiber, for everyone, is recommended. good luck.

01-09-2004, 05:41 PM
Thanks again.

Re: the food allergies. When I write "food allergies," I mean "InstaDeath" -- I didn't mean to give the impression that I was merely intolerant of certain foods.

And, to clarify my above reason a bit, the reason I now suspect my caffeine intake is that these symptoms were first expressed coincident with the purchase and use of the coffee maker. Until now I had somehow managed to overlook this fact.

We'll see if there's anything to this. If not, and if IBS is therefore all the more likely, what should my next step (aside from fiber intake, which I have already increased) be? See a doctor, I suspect?

01-10-2004, 09:31 AM
When do you notice bloating? (Right after eating and then it goes away or all day long?) Do you have any other symptoms? Check this out... http://familydoctor.org/112.xml

01-10-2004, 09:34 AM
It typically begins, along with the concomitant painful cramping, approximately mid-morning -- say, 10-11 AM. After that, it's, no pun intended, a bit of a crapshoot: some days it lasts for only a couple of hours, some days it lasts all evening.

Needless to say, it's effect on my ability to eat has been, well, just a bit deleterious.

And it's no exaggeration to note that this is an entirely new phenomenon, something I've never had problems with before, at least not that I can recall.

01-10-2004, 04:25 PM
Yeah, sounds like IBS to me. But before you do anything drastic... try decreasing your fiber a bit and deffinately take the enzymes.
IBS can also come from stress or any changes in life, so it could be completely none diet related.
Another thing is that you could have some sort of a bakteria or parasites which can be killed by just taking some suppliments.