Soy Intolerance - Misdiagnosed as IBS
Hi everyone, I just wanted to share the following experience with you...In October 2004, I began having some diarrhea, stool with mucus, gas, and stomach pain. I never had GI problems before so I chalked it up to poor diet and stress. As the symptoms began to get more severe, I started on a much healthier diet, but to no avail. My symptoms worsened (especially in the morning) to the point that I was losing control of my bowels. My GP told me that I had IBS, prescribed me Levbid, and told me to keep a food diary. Well, the Levbid did nothing, but after keeping my diary, it finally dawned on me (I don't know why it took me so long) that the only new food I had added to my diet in the past year was soy. I researched soy intolerance online, and eventhough there is not much info, I did come across some articles that attributed soy intolerance to my exact symptoms. I also read that it could take as much as 4 weeks for symptoms to subside after soy is stopped, which is why the intolerance is difficult to diagnose. I stopped eating soy about 10 days before I saw my GI doc, but was still having symptoms. I told him that I suspected soy intolerance, but he told me told me that I had the classic symptoms of IBS, but that he would schedule a colonoscopy to rule out any other problem. I asked him to also do a biopsy of the colon lining cause I read that soy intolerance does not cause any visible signs of colon damage, but that it causes inflammation, hemorraghing, and mucus in the tissue that can only be seen microscopically. My doctor told me he didn't expect anything abnormal, but he would do one anyway just to appease me. After the colonoscopy, my doc told me my colon was fine and that I definately had IBS and that he would prescribe me medication and anti-depressants. But, a few days later, I got word from my doc that my biopsy results were abnormal and were most likely due to a food intolerance and that I did not have IBS. I have been off soy for approx 5 weeks now and my symptoms are totally gone. Just a note...I was eating soy milk and soy cheese, but byproducts (soybean oil, soy lecithin) are in a lot of common processed foods (chocolate, baked goods, canned soups). It's possible that someone with a severe soy intolerance may have problems with these foods as well.