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Atkins and diarrhea
May 29, 2003

Like several others here, I thought I'd try Atkins to try to lose the pot belly. Thought it would be more difficult to give up carbs than it actually is, although I'm not a devoted Atkins follower. I've basically just eliminated bread, potatoes and pasta from the diet -- and the first 10 days or so, dropped about 7-8 lbs. Then I started having diarrhea, and it hasn't stopped. It isn't debilitating and I'm not confined to the house; it doesn't wake me at night -- but it begins soon after the first cup of coffee, and kicks in shortly after I eat virtually anything. As there have been no changes in my meds, I gotta think it's the diet -- but why? It seems I'm getting sufficient fiber with the veggies (mostly broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, etc.) and some fruits (strawberries and melons primarily), but maybe that isn't enough. I *know* I'm eating more protein than I did previously, as I'm ingesting more meat. I rarely ate meat prior to the diet -- just don't like it that much. Any ideas? Is the diet the likely culprit? Thanks!

Response from Mr. Vergel

In my 20 years dealing with this illness, diarrhea has been one of those misteries that I can not account for sometimes. It seems that you are on a modified Atkins diet (probably closer to the Zone diet). People on the Atkins diet actually complain of constipation because of the lack of fiber. Who knows? You could have a parasite, a food allergy, stress, higher caffeine intake, etc. I get so frustrated sometimes because I have no clue in my case. But taking calcium carbonate, acidophillus, glutamine, and soluble fiber helps many times. And sometimes nothing works. It is always good to get a stool sample analyzed. But sometimes these tests do not show anything either. You may want to read the best article I have read on diarrhea by Dr Lark Lands at http://www.larrylands.com/lark/TR13_Diharrea-Treatments.PDF for more information. She is writing a book about diarrhea that will be the best thing we have seen so far. Sometimes my diarrhea gets better on it own with no changes from my part. Just try to stay hydrated and talk to your doctor about it. Nelson



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