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Old 17.08.2012, 13:15
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Stomach problems

I moved to Switzerland from Seattle in April 2011. I work at the ETH at Hongerberg. I never really had stomach problems in my life before now, but about 2 months after I moved here, I started having all sorts of problems. Mostly, I am bloated all of the time and my stomach hurts a little....not bad, but the bloating is extremely uncomfortable. I went to the stomach doctor and they put a camera in my stomach and took biopsies to determine if I was allergic to gluten or lactose. Everything was normal. Then, I took a round of the drug, omeprazole (Prilosec) and it seemed to work in the first week...maybe, but then it stopped working by the end and now its worse than it was. I just started eating the "Bifidus" yogurt from the Coop.

Has anyone else experienced this once they moved here and did you figure out anything that helps you?
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Old 17.08.2012, 13:35
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Re: Stomach problems

If you eat out quite a lot your problems could be caused by the over-liberal use of Aromat, which is basically MSG. I also felt ill a lot of the time when I first arrived until I noticed that a lot of the food tasted the same and worked out why! Aso look out for foodstuff that has MSG added to it.

I have an intolerance to it and suffered, much as you do, until I eliminated it from my diet.
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Old 17.08.2012, 13:42
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Re: Stomach problems

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I moved to Switzerland from Seattle in April 2011. I work at the ETH at Hongerberg. I never really had stomach problems in my life before now, but about 2 months after I moved here, I started having all sorts of problems. Mostly, I am bloated all of the time and my stomach hurts a little....not bad, but the bloating is extremely uncomfortable. I went to the stomach doctor and they put a camera in my stomach and took biopsies to determine if I was allergic to gluten or lactose. Everything was normal. Then, I took a round of the drug, omeprazole (Prilosec) and it seemed to work in the first week...maybe, but then it stopped working by the end and now its worse than it was. I just started eating the "Bifidus" yogurt from the Coop.

Has anyone else experienced this once they moved here and did you figure out anything that helps you?
Is it the mensa food?

I was eating 100% mensa food for almost 3 years, only now have slowly switched to meals I'm used to in Canada--still not the same though
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Old 17.08.2012, 13:50
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Re: Stomach problems

No idea why you're having problems only since moving here, but for any stomach problems, the best medicine is a small tot of whisky, preferably single malt. It's worked for hundreds of years and works every time with me.

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Old 17.08.2012, 13:50
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Re: Stomach problems

I definitely blame it on the mensa food, which is absolutely terrible. I was eating at the mensa for probably 100% of the time as well, at first and I like to think that the poison that they serve is what caused the problems.

The MSG tip is great. I don't eat out a lot, but I do eat at the mensa quite a bit which is likely loaded with the stuff. I hadn't thought of that at all, but I think that I am allergic to MSG as well as I used to get headaches from Chinese food laced with MSG. I never had these stomach problems before, but maybe that's because I'm older now. I will really watch out for this now.

Thanks.
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Old 17.08.2012, 13:57
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Re: Stomach problems

Also coming from Canada, I had a hard time adjusting to the food here. If I eat at my inlaws place for more than 3 days in a row, I start to feel very sick due to the over emphasis on milk products and bread. In Canada, I almost never had any milk, yogurt or cheese and I've also never eaten so much bread in my life. MSG and Aspartam are seriously a problem here (even some yogurts have aspartam if you can believe that!). Hope you can try and get back to your normal eating habits and feel better soon
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Old 17.08.2012, 14:02
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Re: Stomach problems

At first I loved the Mensa food, but like with any cafeteria (groan to memories of my undergrad caf) all the food starts kinda tasting the same. Not sure if it's a common cooking oil or cleaning method, but everything starts having the same taste. Whatever that common link is, perhaps you've always been intolerant to it.

As with most stomach issues, the best method, is to cut everthing off and slowly add test spices/foods until you figure out what exactly is the culprit. Not an easy task, but I've been attempting it for a good 15 years, and have only singled out 1 or 2 foods that don't agree with me, still a lot of combinations to try though.
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Old 17.08.2012, 14:06
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Re: Stomach problems

Mensa is disgusting. I eat there once in a blue moon. The salad bar isn't bad, though, and occasionally the "Spezialteller" is good.

The Coop at Hönggerberg has a decent selection of stuff, and that's where I usually grab a salad or a sandwich. If you don't mind paying just a hair more, the Dozentenfoyer is a touch above the Mensa, though whatever's causing you problems might still be there if it's a common ingredient.
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Old 17.08.2012, 14:35
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Re: Stomach problems

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I moved to Switzerland from Seattle in April 2011. I work at the ETH at Hongerberg. I never really had stomach problems in my life before now, but about 2 months after I moved here, I started having all sorts of problems. Mostly, I am bloated all of the time and my stomach hurts a little....not bad, but the bloating is extremely uncomfortable. I went to the stomach doctor and they put a camera in my stomach and took biopsies to determine if I was allergic to gluten or lactose. Everything was normal. Then, I took a round of the drug, omeprazole (Prilosec) and it seemed to work in the first week...maybe, but then it stopped working by the end and now its worse than it was. I just started eating the "Bifidus" yogurt from the Coop.

Has anyone else experienced this once they moved here and did you figure out anything that helps you?
I've had a similar experience. Having lived in various countries I was quite comfortable with all sorts of food and I ate out quite a lot. Meanwhile however, I've developed some adversity to eating out in Switzerland because I kept getting upset stomachs and coughing a lot after I ate. I would attribute this to the lack of good quiality ingredients and the wide usage of additives (i.e. MSG Aromat type of stuff...).. I now mainly eat home-cooked meals and I feel much better.
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Old 17.08.2012, 14:44
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Re: Stomach problems

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At first I loved the Mensa food, but like with any cafeteria (groan to memories of my undergrad caf) all the food starts kinda tasting the same. Not sure if it's a common cooking oil or cleaning method, but everything starts having the same taste. Whatever that common link is, perhaps you've always been intolerant to it.
I strongly suspect it is the Aromat, which they insist on putting on everything
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Old 17.08.2012, 14:44
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Re: Stomach problems

Drink a bit less maybe ?
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Old 17.08.2012, 14:46
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Re: Stomach problems

I also, have an occasional irregular stomach condition, which causes me have to use the toilet several times in a day.
But although I haven't fully solved the problem, I've found that by changing my brand of beer, I have at least alleviated it, somewhat.
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Old 17.08.2012, 14:55
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Re: Stomach problems

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Drink a bit less maybe ?
I think the OP is looking for realistic good solutions :P
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Old 17.08.2012, 15:08
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Re: Stomach problems

I've experienced this. It started a little over a year ago. I started having the occasional stomach pains and discomfort, bloating and irritation. The frequency went from time to time, to weekly and then daily. Recently I experienced it several times a day and then finally I would have it for days on end.

I went for blood tests and a gastroscopy. They could not find anything and the blood tests concluded that there was nothing wrong and that I was healthy. They also tested for food allergies and intolerance. There weren't any. I also changed my diet cutting out dairy, wheat, alcohol and coffee, introducing them back into my diet one by one to see that was the cause. That never helped, but it did make changes to my diet which was a good thing.

I was also prescribed the medicine that you have taken and as you described it helped but as soon as I stopped the medicine, the pains returned.

I even tried acupuncture and chinese medicine to no avail.

In the end I went with a herbal medicine called Iberogast that the gastroenterologist recommended. I don't know if it was that, but the pains stopped rather suddenly. I am still pain free several months later.

I went through a rather traumatic phase just before the pains started. I am sure it was a delayed reaction from my body, the stress resonating in the pains becoming more intense and frequent until they finally broke and ceased.

Are you unhappy, stressed, anxious or somehow traumatised physically or emotionally?

I feel for you, good luck at getting better.
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Old 17.08.2012, 15:23
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Re: Stomach problems

Wow! Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I wouldn't say that I feel particularly stressed about anything in particular. That said, I did move here for a new job, which is always stressful, and I am having a baby in 3 months. In general, I'm not a very stressed guy, though.

As for the alcohol suggestions, I don't really drink and if I do drink, it will just be a little bit of wine with dinner or something. Personally, I don't think that I will ever get into single malt whiskey as a method for stomach ailments, but if it really does help, then I will try to give it a try.

Also, thanks for all of the tips about different things to try. I'll definitely look up the Iberogast solution and see if that helps anything. Also, I'm going to avoid the mensa all together and try to eliminate all of the aromat that I can. I drink coffee, rarely drink milk, and do eat yogurt every morning. I also love all of the cheese here, but I've never noticed a direct connection between eating cheese and feeling bad directly.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 17.08.2012, 15:27
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Re: Stomach problems

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Wow! Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I wouldn't say that I feel particularly stressed about anything in particular. That said, I did move here for a new job, which is always stressful, and I am having a baby in 3 months. In general, I'm not a very stressed guy, though.

As for the alcohol suggestions, I don't really drink and if I do drink, it will just be a little bit of wine with dinner or something. Personally, I don't think that I will ever get into single malt whiskey as a method for stomach ailments, but if it really does help, then I will try to give it a try.

Also, thanks for all of the tips about different things to try. I'll definitely look up the Iberogast solution and see if that helps anything. Also, I'm going to avoid the mensa all together and try to eliminate all of the aromat that I can. I drink coffee, rarely drink milk, and do eat yogurt every morning. I also love all of the cheese here, but I've never noticed a direct connection between eating cheese and feeling bad directly.

Thanks everyone.

My gastroenterologist insisted that I use the Wikipedia reference-linkIberogast for a minimum of 2 weeks. It's herbal btw.

Also, moving and a baby on the way is certainly going to deliver a dose of existential anxiety whether you're aware of it or not. Both of those events are huge. Good luck on both counts :-)
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Old 17.08.2012, 16:02
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Re: Stomach problems

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Wow! Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I wouldn't say that I feel particularly stressed about anything in particular. That said, I did move here for a new job, which is always stressful, and I am having a baby in 3 months. In general, I'm not a very stressed guy, though.

As for the alcohol suggestions, I don't really drink and if I do drink, it will just be a little bit of wine with dinner or something. Personally, I don't think that I will ever get into single malt whiskey as a method for stomach ailments, but if it really does help, then I will try to give it a try.

Also, thanks for all of the tips about different things to try. I'll definitely look up the Iberogast solution and see if that helps anything. Also, I'm going to avoid the mensa all together and try to eliminate all of the aromat that I can. I drink coffee, rarely drink milk, and do eat yogurt every morning. I also love all of the cheese here, but I've never noticed a direct connection between eating cheese and feeling bad directly.

Thanks everyone.
Sorry if this sounds obvious but are you getting enough fruit and veg in your diet? Keeping your fluid intake at a good level is also important, especially in this heat (although I don't really subscribe to permanently chugging on a bottle of water).

There was a guy on TV on one of those medical programmes a few weeks back who was suffering from all sorts of stomach problems (cramps, constipation, wind, etc) and it turned out he wasn't eating any veg or fruit at all. He upped his intake to a few different fruits and a plateful of veg per day and he was umm... shall we say "happier" inside after a couple of weeks.
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Old 17.08.2012, 16:21
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Re: Stomach problems

I used to have stomach problems. After seeing some doctors about it and without result, I decided to take a spoon of green clay in a glass of water as my mum told me.

Never had those problem again.

I still use green clay, it's an amazing matter.
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Old 17.08.2012, 16:24
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Re: Stomach problems

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I used to have stomach problems. After seeing some doctors about it and without result, I decided to take a spoon of green clay in a glass of water as my mum told me.

Never had those problem again.

I still use green clay, it's an amazing matter.
We cannot even buy brown sugar here, where do you expect us to find green clay?!
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Old 17.08.2012, 16:29
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Re: Stomach problems

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We cannot even buy brown sugar here, where do you expect us to find green clay?!
it is sold in pharmacy/drugstore here

and my grandfather had some on his lands, but i would not use it anymore....
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