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This time last year, it was unusual to go more than 4 or 5 hours without sitting on the toilet at least once. I'd years previously self-diagnosed myself as lactose intolerant, on the basis that taking Lactaid (or the store-brand equivalent) did help alleviate (but not entirely prevent) my symptoms of bloating, gas, and diarrhea (the textbook symptoms of same). And that things like eating ice cream or large quantities of cheese would almost always provoke said symptoms, very shortly after eating.
This had started around the time that I had a really nasty -- the worst I've ever had, in fact -- stomach bug one summer, although I lived in denial about it for long enough that I can't really be certain that is when it started. Still, it is documented that particularly nasty stomach infections can indeed provoke the onset of lactose intolerance, so it made sense.
I had, however, always had my doubts, based on the fact that my symptoms seemed to also be provoked by e.g. eating a good-sized piece of steak.
Last October, I had another bout of some nasty stomach bug (colloquially, the "stomach flu", although of course that's not really influenza, or at least so I'm told). After recovering, I realized I'd lost nearly 30 pounds, and wanted to keep it off. So I ate less, using the fact that even after being fully healthy again my appetite was much reduced, meaning I could eat oftentimes less than half the portion I would previously have eaten and no longer feel hungry.
So far I've been successful in not only keeping that weight off, but losing almost an additional 10 pounds since then.
But I've also noticed something else: I poop a lot less frequently now. Even when I forget to take Lactaid and eat a nice cheesy quesadilla, or a bowl of ice cream, that doesn't send me scrambling to the nearest toilet for a quite liquid #2.
Instead, my bowel movements are quite regular, usually once in the morning and then possible one later in the evening, and solid bowel movements are the norm now, rather than multiple daily bouts of diarrhea.
Could my "lactose intolerance" have simply been my fat ass over-eating? I have heard that excessive weight can lead to all sorts of health problems, but this is one I've never heard attached to weight before.
Still, empirical evidence does suggest that my weight and/or former eating habits are connected.
Or, it could simply be coincidence, as it is rather common for non-hereditary lactose intolerants to regain their former tolerance years later.
I certainly don't miss running to the toilet 4-6 times a day!!!
I am also getting a helluva lot more fiber in my diet than I used to. But doesn't that do the opposite, i.e. fiber helps with constipation? So probably not related to this, right?