starch (and lactose) intolerance: from Katalin Bardi on 2008-07-17
Just some words for all of you out there from someone with the same problems that you are discussing here, and maybe with some info that may help you,
I wish that they did
I am from Budapest, Hungary and I was diagnosed with lactose intolerance first in 2002 and then with starch intolerance in 2004. I am now visiting the US and was surfing on the internet to see if I can find any printed literature about starch intolerance, something I could not find at home.
So first on lactose intolerance, for those who also have that, besides starch intolerance, like I do, it is fairly common that you have both. There is plenty of literature on lactose intolerance out there, both printed and on-line, so I am not going to write extensively about that. The fact is that most adults lack enough enzymes to digest milk or milk products by the time they are adults, and a lot of people are running around with lactose intolerance without ever seeing a doctor or being diagnosed. Also, it depends whether or not you have some enzymes left or none, so lactose intolerance hits people differently, some cannot tolerate milk but can eat cheese and all other sour dairy products (sour cream, cream etc.) some cannot tolerate anything dairy. There are enzyme supplements that are called
Lactase (at least this is the name under which they are sold in Hungary) and if you eat dairy you can help your system by swallowing a couple of those. I do not find them very helpful, but I can tolerate say a small ice cream with them. I use vegetable margarin, lactose free milk for my coffee and cooking, lactose free sour cream instead of cream to cook with (all of which you have in the US, even you have lactose free cottage cheese here, something I am "envy of") and I can tolerate hard and the semi-hard cheese such as gouda, eidami etc.
On starch intolerance reading your personal testimonies here show that you do not seem to get enough help on what to do and how to eat once you are diagnosed with starch intolerance. So it is the pancreas that produces (or in our case does not produce) the enzyimes to digest starch, a different story from lactose whose digesting enzymes I think can be located somewhere in the intestines. My gastroenterologist told me when I was diagnosed with starch intolerance that you cannot have a starch free diet, there is starch in all grains and in all vegetables, of course a lot less (much less!) in vegetables.
What I want to tell you my doctor has been prescribing me an enzyme supplement that I have been taking for all these years called PANGROL. It is produced by Berlin-Chemie AG (Menarini Group) Glienicker Weg 125 D-12489 Berlin, Germany ( I copied this info from the box tha capsules are in). I take 4, maximum 6 of these capsules per day, two for every main meal, and I am not on a diet. This seems to work, as it supplies the enzymes to my body that I do not have. My doctor, in our system, renews a permission every half-a-year for my general practicioner who then prescribes 200 capsules for me every month at a 70\% discounted price, so I pay less than the market price because I need this permanently on the basis of an expert diagnosis.
Even with taking these enzymes, I cannot tolerate black beans, rice and potatoes, chick peas, chestnut and bananas, these being very starchy, but I can live without those very serious constraints that you are all talking about here. I certainly experience that these enzyme supplements do not always "work" perfectly, as on some days I am bloated and on others I am fine. And even with taking these supplements it is clear that vegetables are better for my system than grains, like I eat bread in the morning but not in the evening etc., but I eat whole grain pasta etc., and as you would imagine, I only can look at shop windows of confectionary shops because of the lactose intolerance, so that helps...
Anyways, I just wanted to tell you this, as taking enzyme supplements is largely missing from this conversation, one person asked about it only on the whole site. I am not a doctor, only a patient, so please consult whoever you need to I was only trying to share with you my experience with starch intolerance, and was trying to bring it into the discussion that there may be something out there to atually chemically help your digestion. These supplements are not regarded as medicines, they are prescription free at home, and they are only prescribed to me in the process I described above to be able to buy them at a cheaper price. With a 70\% discount I pay today the equivalent of cca USD 31 per month.
best wishes for you all,
starch (and lactose) intolerance: from Maria on 2010-01-20
Hiya Katarina. I think it's important to state outright that is not a criticism of your life-choices, I truly believe that if it works for you then go for it. That said, I am curious to know why you would want to chemically induce your body to accept food stuffs that it has told you it doesn't want? I appreciate that initially a starch free diet seems inconvenient and daunting, but it's really not so bad and I take comfort in knowing that I am staving off the accumulative effects that might be caused by continuing to eat something my body doesn't like. Just a thought.