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Gum! Oh no!

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  • Gum! Oh no!

    So, I've recently had some weird abdominal pain/cramping that had me, and a nurse convinced I had an umbilical hernia. Even a doc thought it was a good possibility, based on my profession: I run a CF gym, and train, so I lift, a lot.

    Had an utrasound and CT scan done. Nothing. No hernia. Nothing abnormal. Nothing. NO sign of a strain, even.

    SO I got to randomly reading Mark's article on sugar alcohols, and I realize, as I read "they can cause IBS, indigestion, and abdominal pain," "OH CRAP!" I've been chewing sugarfree gum at an unprecedented rate in the last 2 months or so since I hired an assistant trainer who is awesome, but has a crazy gum habit. Otherwise, I'm like 95% 5% ratio primal, organic, etc. I've been chewing 3 pieces on the way to work, a couple during the WODs, 1 piece between errands, more on the way back, like 10+ pieces of damn gum a day, just in the time this popped up, and I've had instances when I felt like it was bugging my stomach.

    A)Could this be it?

    B)If so, I love having the gum, it was a replacement for smokes for me 2 years ago, before it got out of hand the last couple months. Any alternative? Gum with sugar maybe even better? I don't know...Anything? I hate those toothpicks.....


  • #2
    Yes, it could be the gum, if you have fructose malabsorption (a very common problem that many people don't realize they have) or some FODMAPS digestibility issues (closely tied with IBS)

    Here is an exerpt from one site:

    Sorbitol (C6H14O6), also named glucitol, is a sugar alcohol (polyol) derived from glucose. It is used as an artificial sweetener in diet soda, sugar free chewing gum, other sweetened products, or as a moisture stabiliser in baked products. On labels it can be referred as humectant, sweetener, emulsifier, it may be ’hidden’ in sugar alcohols (polyols), or denoted as E420. It may be present in medical syrups for children, and it is also used as a laxative.

    Sorbitol naturally occurs in stone fruits (plums, peaches, apricots, cherries, etc), apples, pears, grapes, and may appear in high amounts in dried fruits, like prunes, raisins, figs etc. It also appear in related fruit juices, jams, etc (foods high in sorbitol) (9,10). Sorbitol is partly absorbed in the small intestine – it’s calorie value is 2.6 calories/g (sugar has 4 cal/g).

    Sorbitol seems to slow absorption of fructose. If ingested in excess, it drags water into intestine and causes osmotic diarrhea; 10g of sorbitol (1 stick of chewing gum contains ~ 1.25g of sorbitol) can cause prominent diarrhea in a child. Consuming 20g of sorbitol daily was reported to cause chronic diarrhea and weight loss in adult. Persons with fructose malabsorption are often excessively sensitive to sorbitol.

    Source: Low Fructose Diet in Fructose Malabsorption |


    • #3
      I think there's a gum made with stevia, "Steviadent"? It's rather expensive and I don't know how it tastes. I've seen it at the co op, and at the supplement store.
      There's a crack inside of everything, that's how the light gets in. ~Leonard Cohen
      Journal, From Sick to Fit:


      • #4
        Originally posted by GoLisaGo View Post
        I think there's a gum made with stevia, "Steviadent"? It's rather expensive and I don't know how it tastes. I've seen it at the co op, and at the supplement store.
        I believe the Orbit brand uses Xilytol, still a sugar acohol, but maybe it is different in your body's reaction to it. At least it will make your teeth stronger.
        Learning the intricacies of healthy eating and nourishing my body the right way.
        I am not bald, that is a Vitamin D collector. Time to Grok and Roll!
        Eased into a primal diet starting at Christmas 2011. Goal weight - 205 started: 240 pounds waist 40, now 227 pounds and waist 38 Summer 2012 - weight =215 and waist is actually still 39"
        ljbprrfmof = LJ = Little John = John


        • #5
          I can definitely have some GI issues from consuming foods with sugar alcohols (and I don't have fructose malabsorption problems). You could look for an alternative sweetener. Eating a lot of sugary gum might not be all that great either, though. That or you could try to cut back on how much you're chewing.
          “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

          Owly's Journal


          • #6
            since october, anytime I chew ANY gum ( I only buy the sugarless kind) I instantly throw up and get sick from it. I have tried different brands too. I guess my body hates gum now.
            I'm too stubborn to give up so I keep on trying.

            You're never going to get to the top of the stairs if you don't walk up them.


            • #7
              I use Tea Tree Toothpicks. Wonderful alternative to gum and smokes.


              • #8
                I can't chew gum because it gets trapped between my teeth but one time I bought some diabetic sugarless gummy bears and oh my god I was never so sick.
                Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


                • #9
                  Another possibility is the extra chewing and swallowing could be adding a lot of air/gas into your stomach. Which could be a reason why you have stomach pains/cramps. I know that when I used to chew a lot of gum it would cause stomach pain too but it really felt like it was because of the gas/bloating it was causing.
                  "If man made it, don't eat it" - Jack Lallane

                  People say I am on a "crazy" diet. What is so crazy about eating veggies, fruits, seafood and organ meats? Just because I don't eat whole wheat and processed food doesn't make my diet "crazy". Maybe everyone else with a SAD are the "crazy" ones for putting that junk in their system.


                  • #10
                    Honestly, I think chewing gum is one of the worst habits. There is nothing attractive about someone constantly chewing, and most folks that chew gum do not keep their mouths closed. The sound alone is disgusting. It's as bad as eating with your mouth open.