Jump to content

Drinks, pepper, and onions, oh my!

Recommended Posts

For background, DH and I have been following "primal" for just over a year, more or less compliant. Less compliant recently mostly due to me having a baby and not being able to cook all the time. I do great with primal, I find it easy. But my DH is the one with the health problems (which got us started on the ancestral eating path to begin with) and he's a tough cookie.


We decided to do the Whole30 because, like I said, we have been "cheating" on primal more than usual lately, and my DH still has lingering and recurrent health issues. He also has decades of bad eating habits, so am wondering if anyone has any support/advice on any of these areas.


1) He has salivary stones/reduced salivary function. The result is that he only want to drink sweetened drinks. He says that water or tea make his mouth dry. I thought that was ridiculous, but recently found out that it's because the water washes out what little saliva he has, and he doesn't make more very easily, hence the dryness. I think with sugary drinks the syrups coat his mouth, which prevents the feeling of dryness. Yes, his teeth are absolutely terrible.


With Primal I got him off (most) of the added-sugar drinks. But he took up drinking massive amounts of milk. I sometimes get raw milk, and he prefers that, but still.... I told him that if he wants to lose weight he needs to cut the milk, to which he responded, "But I thought milk was healthy! What do you mean there's sugar in milk! There's nothing else for me to drink!"


So...Whole30 is a bit of a challenge on that front. I got him some coconut water, which is more expensive than I would like. I made some kombucha (but my scoby is still small, and the house is chilly, so there's not a lot of that). And I picked up a pack of Seagrams flavored carbonated flavored water. He will tolerate those.


Any other compliant drink suggestions for a person with almost no saliva?


Anyone have any experience of "weaning" onto water that they could share? (I have a Zero water filter, btw, but he says that's still not enough).


2) He says anything "peppery" gives him heartburn. I made chocolate chili last night, and didn't put quite as much seasoning in it that the recipe called for, but he still couldn't eat it. Not unless he had a glass of milk with it to ease his stomach, he said. He usually likes spicy, but not peppery, but lately he has been complaining of "tummy trouble" with both peppery and spicy. Thoughts?


3) Onions give him gas. I think legumes do, too. But onions are a big problem. At first I thought he just didn't like onions, but lately he has told me that he has real trouble if he eats onion - bloating, pain in the abdomen, and a feeling of unpassed gas. He likes garlic, though, and doesn't seem to have a problem with that. Poking around the internet I found the suggestion to sub onion in recipes with celery, so I've started doing that, and will try to stay with that for the Whole30 and see if that helps.


I suspect he has IBS, one of his grandfather's had a bad case of Crone's. He often complains of nausea, bowel movement issues, and general abdominal discomfort. But maybe his tummy troubles are just because of an onion allergy/intolerance? I mean, onion is everywhere and in everything. Since he likes garlic, maybe it isn't an allium allergy but a fructans problem? I'm trying to parse out where the differences lie, and I get confused. If onion causes problems, what else should I try cutting out on the Whole30 to see what effects him upon reintroduction?


Or maybe he just has bad bowels that need to heal. We tried Rubin's soup+yogurt diet once last year, and it seemed to help a little. But it isn't a rather sustainable WOE, so we didn't stick with it for long. Though the blast of probiotics seems to have had some long-term benefits.


I'm all ears...


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am so sorry to hear of your DH's health issues.  Honestly, my advice is to 

seek out a naturopathic physician.  


As far as beverages go, continue to try a variety of herbal teas.  However read the 

labels as many (even "nighttime teas") have stevia leaf in them.  


I wish you both the best during this journey.   :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Both my dad and I can't eat onions, something I dub "onion intolerance."  I developed it during college almost 8 years ago.  My sympoms are eerily similar to your husband's, so I wouldn't necessarily lump it in with IBS (though I would never claim to rule anything out for someone else).  Try to have him elminate ALL ONIONS/GARLIC for a while to see if it's anything else or just those.  Green onions, shallots, leeks, garlic and onions all affect me, and to varying degrees depending on preparation.  He may want to experiment with adding each back in, in all different forms.  For example, my dad can handle dehydrated (often in salad dressings) or cooked-until-clear onions (which he puts in chili), but my stomach can't handle those. Onions really are everywhere - ketchup, most salad dressings, spice mixes, sauces, marinades, and all sorts of diet/low-fat anything (e.g., mayo) can often have shallots or onions.  One restaurant I went to said that their steaks (which I thought would be safe!) were coated in a butter glaze with onion/garlic in it.  I would have never known, and possibly would have felt lousy without knowing why.  Also, over the past 8 years it has evolved.  I was originally okay with garlic, but now that affects me, as well.


At first my mom would cut onions up small and cook them into a dish for my dad, which obviously didn't solve the problem.  People do this to try to help, so they can keep the flavor of onions without someone objecting to the concept of onions.  It only hid the cause/effect because he didn't know when he was eating onions.


Subsitutes: I'm still trying to figure that out!  I haven't tried it because I don't know what to do with it yet, but I ordered this: http://www.highonhealth.org/asafoetida-is-a-wonderful-alternative-to-onion-and-garlic/%C2'>


I found that doing the Whole30 gave me a lot more willpower, making it easier for me to turn down things that might have onion, so I avoid the possibility of eating it.  It's surprisingly amazing to not have that bloating/gassy/painful feeling.  Also, for me the symptoms pass quicker when I'm eating a high fiber diet and drinking plenty of water (I've tried "starving the symptoms," but that didn't help).  Gax-X and Tums are mainstays in my medicine cabinet, although I'm honestly not sure if they actually help or taking them just makes me feel like I'm doing something.


All this being said, I've never brought it up to a doctor except on forms as the only recommendations I've heard others receive is to avoid eating onions. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Onions and garlic are FODMAPS, if he does have IBS or Chrohn's then he should not eat FODMAPS. There is a list on Whole9 of what foods to avoid. Also, he probably needs to be an autoimmune diet. You shouldn't have him eat spicy food, peppers are nightshades and are very inflammatory for people that have AI.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...