View Full Version : Bodybuilding with IBS (help?)

07-18-2006, 08:34 AM
I've just been ignoring it since I started but I've been crippled nearly every morning for the past few weeks... so it's time to break out the guideline book and try and make this work.

From: The book I stubbornly resist even though it's medically sound and proven

1. Soluble Fiber Foods: These foods are the cornerstone of your diet and should be eaten with every meal and the first thing eaten on an empty stomach. These are the safest foods for you.

Rice, pasta (white), oatmeal, barley, fresh white breads (not processed, such as Wonder), rice cereals, corn meal, corn cereals, flour tortillas, corn tortillas, SOY, quinoa, carrots, yams, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutabegas, parsnips, beets, squash, pumpkin, mushrooms, chestnuts, avacados, bananas, applesauce, mangoes, papayas

2. Insoluble Fiber Foods: Never eat on an empty stomach, eat in very small quantities and only with soluble fiber, handle very carefully

Whole Wheat, whole grains, meusli, seeds, nuts, popcorn, beans, lentils, berries, grapes, raisins, cherry, pineapple, rhubarb, melon, peaches, nectarines, apricots, pears, citrus fruits, apples (safe if skinless), dates, prunes, lettuce greens, peas, green beans, bell peppers, corn, eggplant, cucumber, tomatoes, celery, onions, shallots, leeks, garlic, cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, fresh herbs

(Most of this category completely destroys me)

3. Trigger foods: Avoid as much as possible, go low fat but not fat free, use small amounts of heart healthy oils

(Here's where I get to cry)

Red meat, dairy products, poultry (dark meat or skinned), egg yolks, fried foods, coconut milk, oils, shortening, butter, fats, solid chocolate, coffee, caffeine, alcohol, carbonated beverages, olestra, artificial sweeteners

Keep fats to 25% caloric intake, maximum, and focus on mono- and polyunsaturated sources.


Well, whey has only bothered me once and I take four 25 g scoops a day so as far as I'm concerned it's safe.

For the rest though... 90% of my diet is dairy and red meat (which could very well explain why my IBS is at an all time high).

I also have dumping syndrome as a complication but I think that can be handled by not being a dumbass (ie: eating high sugar (DQ blizzard) or high GI (popcorn) foods on an empty stomach is suicidal, but I do it anyways).

It should be as easy as picking foods from column A, mixing with lowest risk meat sources (white poultry, fish), and not eating from column C without being willing to suffer... but I'm having a hard time pulling it all together to make a diet that is:

2000 cals, 170+ g protein, 60 g fat - for cutting


3000 cal, 200+ g protein, 80 g fat - for bulking

I've been trying to go low carb but apparantly that is one of the worst things I can possibly do (and another possible reason for my recent suffering).


07-18-2006, 08:51 AM
You can't pull numbers out of your ass (no pun intended) for cutting and bulking. You need to find your CURRENT maintenance calories and adjust from there. I'm also wondering why you want your fats so low.

Bottom line, it definitely wouldn't hurt to drop some dairy, add some veggies, and add more variety to your meat choices.

07-18-2006, 09:14 AM
My maintenance is between 22 and 2400. That was the base I used for my 20 pound cut, a month of maintenance or two, my 10 pound cut, and my 10 pound bulk since I've started.

Fats are GI aggitators. They're the highest risk macro for IBS patients. The 60 and 80 were based off the guideline recommended '25% maximum'... though they're a little higher than 25% because I want to stay close to .5 g per pound of LBM.

07-18-2006, 12:44 PM
Dude, you've got to kick your soluble fiber intake up, even if it means taking a fiber supplement like Metamucil. I'd recommend going with either raw psyllium husk from the health food store, or one of the gum based (either guar, or xanthan). You'd be surprised how well these work at helping you get your rhythm back, even if you have the watery type of IBS.

Fish oil has also been indicated as a treatment for Crohn's, for some. If you're able to tolerate it, it may be a viable option for you as far as getting your healthy fats in. Avacados are packed full of healthy fats, and also contain a fair ammount of soluble fiber (about 9 gms per fruit). If you could do a coldwater fish like salmon, herring, mackeral, etc every other day, that'd also work. Then you'd be pulling some protein in, as well.


07-18-2006, 05:14 PM
Metamucil agitates my GI... something in it that starts with a p makes me gassy. I thought that was the only fiber supp on the market but a quick google search showed me others... I'm trying some benefiber (active ingredient guam instead) to see what happens.

I'm also going to retool my diet to include a lot more soluble fibers in food form. The cornerstone of every meal and snack, as recommended. Not going to be easy or fun... but screw it. I wanted to cut back on my sugary carb intake anyways.

07-18-2006, 05:55 PM

I don't like it either.

07-18-2006, 06:10 PM
The problem with a blanket recommendation of "25% of cals from fat" is it ignores our bulk/cut lifestyle. I should think you'd want to be at the low end of what I usually go by - namely, at least half a gram of fat per pound LBM.

The problem with red meat, as I understand it, is that it's pro-inflammatory. You might do well to read "The Perricone Prescription" - he's a dermatologist, but the principals he promotes are based on avoiding inflammation.

I find avocados very soothing to the bowel, full of healthy fat and soluble fiber. And get that fish oil into you - I take 10g a day for 3g combined EPA/DHA, and I've read that it can be beneficial for IBS. So can glutamine, in fairly large doses as I recall.

Watch it with the PUFAs - fish oil is a good PUFA, safflower, not so much

07-18-2006, 06:28 PM
I still have an unopened bottle of fish oil caps from last summer (where I was so obsessed about what I ate that I worried about how many calories each cap was).

What's glutamine? I see the guys at GNC trying to shove it at every skinny teenager who walks through the door (of course they try and shove every supp in the store at them) promising awesome workouts. I've seen it mentioned here on and off derogatorily so never bothered finding out more... why would it benefit my condition?

07-18-2006, 06:32 PM
Glutamine is taken up by the gut - I've read in a number of sources that it's helpful for IBS.

You also may wish to shoot B-12, since it may not be well-absorbed from your food.

If your fish oil is still good, start taking it - trickle in a few caps at a time with your food.

07-18-2006, 06:39 PM
Not sure if this (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=9684266&query_hl=15&itool=pubmed_docsum)helps you ...

07-18-2006, 06:51 PM
I'd already read up on glutamine on wikipedia after your first post. All hail Wiki. It sounds good and therefore I am suspicious. It certainly can't hurt to try if I find myself with extra cash laying around (which is rare).

My b12 levels were fine at my last physical. Personally, I don't even know what they are or what source they come from... but me hitting ANY rda of a mineral or vitamin is a rare thing indeed according to fitday.

07-18-2006, 06:56 PM
B-12 absorption problems are not uncommon. I shoot myself with it every 2-3 weeks.

If you do glutamine, you'll likely have to take LOTS of it or you won't notice anything.

Bruise Brubaker
07-18-2006, 08:44 PM
You should look into coconut oil, it seems to be very good for IBS plus it's an easy source of calories. It seems to have a soothing effect on the intestines, plus it kills bacterias, fungi and virii, and saturated fats wlil help your body utilise sources of EFA. If you try it, try to find one that is unrefined and organic, and it should smell like coconuts.

07-19-2006, 09:18 AM
If you're dialing back on your red meats (as you should) then you're definitely going to be needing extra B-12.


07-19-2006, 10:47 AM
What I need is a multi-vitamin that doesn't make me sick to my stomach (I'm 0/2 on that: have tried one-a-day and an in-store brand from a local pharmacy.)

And maybe to raise my maintenance calories to handle all these carbs. The only way I know to raise BMR and maintenance by extension is to add muscle mass. Gee, I'm so dissappointed by that.... :)

07-19-2006, 10:58 AM
Have you been diagnosed w/ IBS.... or this some arbitrary auto-diagnosis you've given yourself. There's a variety of new treatments for IBS and chrons (Humira is one of them) that are awesome, yet expensive. From the looks of it what you feel sounds more like your cholonnic flora adjusting to what you're throwing at it. Check with your doc to see what you have.

07-19-2006, 11:15 AM
I have, at their best guess, IBS with dumping syndrome.

It all started 15 years ago when I caused a commotion by eating popcorn on an empty stomach at a restaurant, getting extremely sick within minutes, and losing consciousness in the washroom and going into shock. "There's a dead man in the men's washroom!" was the cry I woke up to.

Then there was the passing out on a school trip on the bus thing after eating some cheezies on an empty stomach. Shock ensued. Also, the guy I fell on thought I was clowning around and got a few solid hits in.

Then there was the collapsing at a bus stop in early spring thing after eating a snack pack of 20 tim bits on an empty stomach. Shock once more... made all the funner by it being 8 degrees celsius so I went hypothermic and nearly croaked as people stepped over the 'drunk and passed out' 19 year old security guard.

There's about a dozen more than kind of blur together.

The last one happened a few months back. I wanted a DQ blizzard but was cutting so skipped dinner to save calories and ended up getting it at about 9:30 pm. by 11 I was unconscious on my bathroom floor and by 11:03 I was awake but unable to move. My girlfriend had to run downstairs to get a friend because she wasn't strong enough to open the door (I was laying across it).

Combined with the pains I get if I deviate from the stupid diet for long and how much better I feel when I do follow it I don't doubt their 'dartboard' diagnosis. Anything to avoid another colonosopy or barium.. ugh...

07-19-2006, 11:25 AM
Dude, it sounds like a trip to an endocrinologist is in order. People don't lose consciousness from IBS. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that your condition might be cardiovascular, as well. I'm wondering if your digestive tract is pulling blood away from your brain during these episodes. Have you had an MRI?


07-19-2006, 11:32 AM
Yes, I had a MRI just after the DQ thing. It had been a while since I had one and the technology had improved? Something like that for the reason.

No, you don't lose consciousness from IBS... you just feel ****ty, bloated, cramped, and pained every day. (It should be noted... that benefiber is pretty cool. I haven't felt this pain free in weeks). You *can* rarely lose consciousness from dumping syndrome, though. Of course, most dumping syndrome is the result of stomach surgery and clears up after a few years... but rarely it's natural and you're hosed for life.

07-19-2006, 11:35 AM
And I've been to an endocrinologist, a registered dietician, and two gastro-intestinal specialists. And 8 doctors. And 6 ERs due to croaking in public places.

07-19-2006, 11:38 AM
Dude, it sounds like a trip to an endocrinologist is in order. People don't lose consciousness from IBS. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that your condition might be cardiovascular, as well. I'm wondering if your digestive tract is pulling blood away from your brain during these episodes. Have you had an MRI?


This actually does happen in some cases of vasovagosyncope. Your stomach basically cramps up and blood flow is increased to the area to a degree that your body fails to compensate when you get up and your BP goes down so you pass out....or at least that's how I interpreted what happens. Have they ever medicated you for IBS...seriously check out humira or any of the other anti-TNF-alpha antibodies.

07-19-2006, 11:51 AM
I could imagine that colon cramping/inflamation could also, conceivably, compress larger blood vessels in the abdominal cavity decreasing blood flow/return.


07-19-2006, 01:32 PM
Yeah, I took dicetel for a few years... it took the edge off every day symptoms but didn't stop collapses so I stopped paying for it.

A doc also prescribed me metaclorpromide which almost killed me.

Haven't tried anything since.

07-19-2006, 03:46 PM
Humira is a bit different from the drugs you've taken. It is a biologic, not chemical compound. What that means is that it's an engineered protein instead of some random chemical. Specifically, the scientists who created it designed something called a phage display library...it's an expression library of molecules grown on a petri dish designed to bind to another molecule. The molecule in question was TNF-alpha. TNF-alpha is a very important regulator of your immune system. Its over activity can cause psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, arthritis, chron's disease (or IBS) because it causes a localized inflammation at these sites. The lab made molecule binds to it and prevents your own natural TNF-alpha from causing more damage. Be warned, without insurance therapy with this new class of molecule costs something around $14,000 a year, but it and it's competing pharma drugs are fairly effective.

07-19-2006, 08:50 PM
That sounds promising, if expensive. I think I'll give the diet an honest try first (as obnoxious as it is when it comes to getting calcium and protein sources). I'll allow myself one dessert a week both for sanities sake and as a test... if I only get sick on the night or morning after I've had that dessert then I would say they were on the money.

Now I just have to keep telling myself that bulking carb heavy doesn't make you fat if you're lifting until I believe it.

07-21-2006, 01:57 PM
My real question and biggest concern is how does making every meal carb heavy (the 'soluble fiber' keystone) affect partitioning while either bulking or cutting?

07-21-2006, 02:39 PM
You can't pull numbers out of your ass (no pun intended) for cutting and bulking. You need to find your CURRENT maintenance calories and adjust from there. I'm also wondering why you want your fats so low.

Bottom line, it definitely wouldn't hurt to drop some dairy, add some veggies, and add more variety to your meat choices.

How does one figure out their exact maintenance calories.

Like how do you know that you are maintaing and not losing muscle at a specific number. For me strength never diminishes when im on a cut. I can keep going down to about 2500 or a lil less from 35-4000 but i always 'felt' like i was losing muscle mass...