Hello Dr.Passero, about 15-30 minutes after eating I have gas, cramps, and diarrhea. Mainly when I eat chicken, cheese, milk, tea, cokes. I thought I may have IBS or Lactose Intolerance but I am confused because it does not happen all the time but more often than I like for I have found myself hanging around the restroom more often after eating. What can I do to stop this?

It is very possible that your digestive discomfort could be related to IBS.  This is just the name for any scenario in which the bowel becomes irritated.  It can be related to stress or offending foods.  You may want to try using a digestive enzyme.  This will help your body to break down food better.  Sometimes gas can be caused when your stomach does not break down protein and carbohydrate structures completely.  When this happens, the poorly digested protein structures can only be broken down by the bacteria in our bowels that produce large amounts of gas.  When food is digested completely, it is processed by the healthy bacteria that do not create gas as a by-product.

Taking a probiotic supplement that contains acidophilus and bifido bacteria species can also be helpful with gas and digestive complaints.  I alluded to the role of bacteria in gas production above.  Using a probiotic supplement introduces good bacteria into the bowels.  These bacteria facilitate the proper breakdown of food without the production of gas byproducts.  The more you have, the less opportunity there is for other gas-producing bacteria to interact with the food in your bowels.

If you think there is a chance you are lactose intolerant I suggest you try using lactase enzymes the next few times you eat dairy products.  If your gas symptoms improve lactose intolerance may certainly be a possibility.

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