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Feel allergic to food. Stomach hurt and in menopause. Suffer from depression. Having itching and gurgling in ears. Remedy?

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I feel like I'm allergic to food. I have been a vegetarian for two years due to meat making my stomach hurt and not feel well after eating it. I am 57 and in menopause. I started suffering from depression two years ago, gained 20 lbs and started having itching and gurgling in my ears at night when I lay down. I get ear aches when lying down can't hear out of one ear. My dr. says my ears are clear. I bloat up when I eat and look 6 mos. pregnant and my stomach hardens. I ache all over and feel like I have fibermyalgia. So... I am eating gluten free. My aching went away, I feel much better and my skin is healthier, but the bloating is still happening. So my pharmacist who I am consulting with things it is lactose. So now I am a vegetarian, no glutens and lactos free. So I decided to incorporate meats back in and now I am getting headaches. Terrible migraine today. I am very frustrated. Robbing my family by obsessing over what to eat and not feeling well. I feel terminal and am slipping back into depression. I feel like just going back to eating whatever, but I don't want to gain more weight and feel worse.
Posted Wed, 24 Jul 2013 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 2 hours later

You have undergone a surgery for an anomaly in the heart at 31, on 5-hydroxytryptophan for insominia, S-Adenosyl Methionine for depression (2 years) and natural estrogen for menopause and currently have complaints of trouble with food. Taking meat causes abdominal pain and discomfort. There is symptoms of bloating when you eat any meal. Are there any symptoms of diarrhea/constipation/ low abdominal pain which eases after passing stools or accompanied by a change in bowel habit or stool appearance/feeling the need to pass stools even after having just been to the toilet/a feeling of urgency?

The possible causes of your problems are:
1. Symptoms of a depressive disorder. The medication you are on may not be adequate. Consult your psychiatrist about it. This may relieve all your symptoms at once.
2. You may have an allergy to certain food ingredients. You may visit a gastroenterologist or an immunologist for symptoms of food intolerance and get yourself tested for specific antibodies in your system which may be responsible for this.
3.Symptoms of bloating can be seen in irritable bowel syndrome. The questions i asked above are to rule this disorder out.

Get your ear checked by an ENT surgeon, hardened wax in the ear can sometimes cause this problem. Itching may also be due to allergy. Get your hearing tested as well.

If not advised against it by your cardiologist, some exercise on a daily basis can help your problems. And here are a few general tips to help you with the problems,
Eat regular meals.
Sit down to eat and chew your food well.
Do not skip meals or eat late at night.
Keep a food and symptoms diary to make a note of and see if diet affects your symptoms. But remember that symptoms may not be caused by the food you have eaten just a while ago, but by what you ate earlier that day or the day before that.
Make time to relax.

I hope this helps,
Any queries are welcome,
Dr. A. Rao. Kavoor.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Feel allergic to food. Stomach hurt and in menopause. Suffer from depression. Having itching and gurgling in ears. Remedy? 7 hours later
The 5-Htp and the Sam-E was recommended by my therapist. It has helped me a lot with the depression and I have been sleeping well for the first time in years. I asked my Dr. if there was wax build up and she stated there was not.

It is hard for me to eat regular meals as I have no appetite. Plus the fact that there is not much I can eat. My bowels are very unpredictable but I do go several times a day. I guess I am just wondering if it really is possible to be gluten intolerant and Lactose intolerant both? Is there any way to find out if it definitely is IBS? Or do I just have to keep a diary and find out what things cause the bloating, diarrhea , stomach aches etc.? Thank You!
Answered by Dr. Anjana Rao Kavoor 8 hours later

Thank you for writing back,
I’m glad you found my previous answer useful,

IBS is usually a diagnosis of exclusion, i.e. other gastrointestinal conditions with similar presentations like infections or coeliac disease (intolerance to gluten) are ruled out by tests. A detailed physical examination is done and if the clinical picture matches that of IBS then a diagnosis is made.

The diary I spoke of earlier will help you be sure whether any specific food is causing symptoms and if yes then to what extent.

Lack of appetite can be caused by these above mentioned stomach conditions and it is also a symptom of depressive illness. When in doubt, like in your case, the right approach is to first rule out the possibility of a gastrointestinal condition and if the doctor is unable to come to a conclusion based on physical examination and tests only then we can attribute the symptom to depressive illness. And yes, there are a few tests to know if you have gluten / lactose intolerance. In which case considering optimizing your medication for depression may be a good choice.

Sleeping well alone does not mean that your depression has resolved. Especially because you are on medication to improve sleep. There are many other symptoms like feeling hopeless, feeling low, getting tearful easily, reduced interest, feeling tired easily, difficulty in concentration, frequent pains and aches in various parts of the body, reduced sexual interest etc.

If the ENT surgeon has ruled out all causes of any possibility of local pathology in the ear and if the symptoms do not fit into any of the known disorders then a psychological cause for the same can be thought of. Once again these bodily complaints are most frequently seen in depression.

Consult a gastroenterologist to see whether you really need to restrict your diet to that extent. After the required tests and examination, only if he/she says so, you need to.

In persons with gluten intolerance, the food containing gluten can cause damage to the intestinal lining which in turn can lead to lactose intolerance. So yes they can both be present in a person.

Hope this answers your queries,
Any doubts are welcome,
Dr. A. Rao. Kavoor
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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