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BTD Forums  /  The Encyclopedia/ D'Adamo Library  /  Chocolate indigestion
Posted by: Eric, Sunday, March 31, 2013, 7:34pm
I've known this for years, but have always ignored it... assuming it was a "healing" issue, and that it would at some point go away.  But I think it's here for good.  I can't eat chocolate.  In fact, it seems like the better I'm doing digestive and health-wise, the more chocolate destroys me.

If you read the list of symptoms that a dog gets after eating chocolate, that's how I feel, minus (but not far from) dying.  It's not the sugar.  Or the fat.  Or the milk.  Or the whatever.  It's the chocolate.  The darker and purer, the worse I feel.  I get an upset stomach, racing heartbeat, and overall feeling of panic.  Then I get nauseous and start having intestinal cramps.  For the next 24-48 hours my stomach feels like it's on fire and my thyroid gets all whacked out.  Dry skin, loss of energy, mood changes, and overall badness.  

I'm wondering if I have some genetic mutation where I can't efficiently metabolize theobromine.  Like dogs.  I know I'm not alone, because lots of people have googled the same question... except I have never once read a satisfactory answer.  Again, it's not an allergy.  It's not anything else IN the chocolate... it is the species Theobroma cacao.  

Thought like Easter would be a good time to bring this up :)  Cheers.
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Sunday, March 31, 2013, 7:35pm; Reply: 1
Can you eat carob? It's possible to make all kinds of tasty treats with carob instead of chocolate. Will it taste exactly the same? No, of course not. It's "real carob" not "fake chocolate."
Posted by: Lloyd, Sunday, March 31, 2013, 7:42pm; Reply: 2
Quoted from wikipedia
Even without dietary intake, theobromine may occur in the body as it is a product of the human metabolism of caffeine, which is metabolised in the liver into 10% theobromine, 4% theophylline, and 80% paraxanthine.[27]

In the liver, theobromine is metabolized into xanthine and subsequently into methyluric acid.[28] Important enzymes include CYP1A2 and CYP2E1.[29]


Among the interesting factoids.
Posted by: Lloyd, Sunday, March 31, 2013, 7:44pm; Reply: 3
Quoted Text
As with caffeine, theobromine can cause sleeplessness, tremors, restlessness, anxiety, as well as contribute to increased production of urine.[45] Additional side effects include loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting.[48]


More factoids from wikipedia
Posted by: Lola, Sunday, March 31, 2013, 7:45pm; Reply: 4
Portion Size: 1 teaspoon
Frequency: 2 servings daily.

chocolate under spices


and for carob, under veg protein
Portion Size: Nuts, Seeds: half cup; Nut Butters: 2 tablespoons
Frequency: 5 servings weekly.


so in all, moderation is key..... ;)
Posted by: Eric, Sunday, March 31, 2013, 7:58pm; Reply: 5
Thanks ruth, that's a good reminder.  I do great with carob.

Lloyd, sounds spot on.  Very interesting.

Lola, unfortunately I get the same effect regardless of the quantity consumed.  One bite of a dark chocolate bar or a huge bag of M&M's.  It's all the same.  Except milk chocolate is actually not as bad.
Posted by: Lola, Sunday, March 31, 2013, 8:13pm; Reply: 6
does DPN s carob syrup cause the same effect> ;)
Posted by: ABJoe, Sunday, March 31, 2013, 9:26pm; Reply: 7
Quoted from Eric
In fact, it seems like the better I'm doing digestive and health-wise, the more chocolate destroys me.  

... except I have never once read a satisfactory answer.

Don't eat it, then...  Problem solved... ;)   ;D   :K)
Posted by: Eric, Sunday, March 31, 2013, 10:34pm; Reply: 8
No Lola, carob is fine.  I do enjoy the syrup.  ;)

Thanks Joe... lol  I know how to avoid the issue, I just wish I knew why I was special.  :)
Posted by: Adopted4, Sunday, March 31, 2013, 11:09pm; Reply: 9
Eric,

If you can avoid chocolate and solve the problem completely, more power to you. I don't think I know any women that could fully come to terms with never eating any chocolate for the rest of their lives, though.

I'm thinking the problem could be related to poor liver function. You say you're a hunter, but do you have the caffeine sensitivity which is an explorer characteristic? I have that sensitivity even though explorer is not my dominant genotype and certain chemical sensitivities can make me feel a lot like you described above.

Lemon and water is very detoxifying for the liver, particularly on an empty stomach, unless your SWAMI doesn't list it as a superfood. I drink lemon water anywhere from 15-30 minutes before non-compliant food whenever possible and it does seem to speed up the digestive and detoxification process. The other food I emphasize is ginger in the form of crystals. It is fabulous for indigestion, nausea, or an upset stomach.

I don't know if you're interested in testing the theory, but I"m willing to bet there are foods such as lemon or ginger that could minimize the symptoms. Of course, being a nonnie probably has a lot more to do with the intolerance than anything else.
Posted by: Lloyd, Sunday, March 31, 2013, 11:48pm; Reply: 10
Quoted from Eric
I just wish I knew why I was special.  :)


Eric, everyone is special. They just have different 'specialties'.
Posted by: AKArtlover, Sunday, March 31, 2013, 11:54pm; Reply: 11
I had pretty much the same reaction last time I had a cup of coffee. Someone suggested gallbladder issue.
Posted by: Victoria, Monday, April 1, 2013, 12:01am; Reply: 12
Since DPN syrup doesn't bother you, and it does contain chocolate, maybe the problem is the cocoa butter in chocolate candy.  There is more of it in dark chocolate since the milk in milk chocolate displaces some of it.
Posted by: grey rabbit, Monday, April 1, 2013, 2:05am; Reply: 13
Quoted from Lloyd


Eric, everyone is special. They just have different 'specialties'.
;D

Posted by: Lin, Monday, April 1, 2013, 7:41pm; Reply: 14
Eric,
I feel for you. I love Dark chocolate but it is either a black dot or avoid for me and I can go without for a while but my husband loves it and so there is always a stash in the house to lure me every so often :(  Fortunately I don't have the dramatic effect you have, but I have GB issues and should avoid it.
Lin
Posted by: JJR, Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 4:48pm; Reply: 15
Good thing you're not a Mayan.  
Posted by: Eric, Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 8:52pm; Reply: 16
Quick update...

It turns out the Carob syrup does in fact have cocoa in it.  Since stopping this and getting off chocolate completely the last several months, I've never felt better in my life.  What's weird is eliminating chocolate has brought up my underlying thyroid problem.  But I've since corrected that, and now coasting along on the best health I've experienced my entire life.  It's like living in 4-D, when at times life felt only two dimensional.  Cannot even express how incredible this is.

After another Google search, I FINALLY found a group of people with my same experience after eating chocolate.  It's so great to hear some validation!

Does Chocolate Cause Depression?

http://depression.about.com/b/2004/08/11/does-chocolate-cause-depression.htm#comment-749465
Posted by: cajun, Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 10:12pm; Reply: 17
Good for you, Eric! Glad you found an answer! ;)

Like Adopted said.....and Lin, too...women like me sometimes crave chocolate and if I eat a little, I always want more!!!It doesn't matter what kind, although I prefer the creamy European milk chocolate. MMMMMM!!!! It is a black dot on my swami, I eat it once in a great while without any problems....other than wanting more!!! :P ;D

I agree about the lemon water and ginger...my go-to remedies for any digestive problem...besides Deflect. ;)  
Posted by: Spring, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 3:23am; Reply: 18
I have to say that I am downright envious of people who can enjoy lemon! I wish I could solve the mystery of why this diamond nearly kills me!! And its kin, the grapefruit!
Posted by: Possum, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 4:09am; Reply: 19
I have read that Bit B5 deficiency causes citrus allergy/sensitivity?! But am not 100% convinced it is the only reason I must say, after my recent reaction to mandarin... (mind you it is a black dot for me)
Posted by: Adopted4, Thursday, June 13, 2013, 12:40pm; Reply: 20
Eric,

I hope you can find delicious desserts from the recipe center to make for yourself, such as brownies without cocoa in them. There are some really good ones in there.

I used to make "blondies" or white brownies that had the basic browny ingredients without any chocolate. Because I suffered from terrible migraines years ago I stayed away from chocolate like the plague, at least for a while, because all the experts said chocolate should be avoided in migraine susceptible individuals. Now I wish I had used better judgment in discerning which foods in those lists really were contributing to my migraines. It had also listed all citrus products being problematic, but lemons and limes are fabulous for me and make me feel very good (sorry that doesn't work for you Spring). I can eat chocolate bars now in moderation without HFCS and they don't bother me.

I think MSG and other chemicals, such as sulfites, are the worst for migraine sufferers. Although, I have no doubt I consumed a fair amount of MSG in the foods I was eating while I was in China a couple years ago. I was very diligent about taking quercetin and the small amounts of caffeine I drank in their hot teas probably helped keep the migraines at bay, as well as eating very small portions of authentic chinese food as I could possibly get away with.
Posted by: Christopher1, Thursday, June 13, 2013, 4:41pm; Reply: 21
Quoted from Eric
I've known this for years, but have always ignored it... assuming it was a "healing" issue, and that it would at some point go away.  But I think it's here for good.  I can't eat chocolate.  In fact, it seems like the better I'm doing digestive and health-wise, the more chocolate destroys me.

If you read the list of symptoms that a dog gets after eating chocolate, that's how I feel, minus (but not far from) dying.  It's not the sugar.  Or the fat.  Or the milk.  Or the whatever.  It's the chocolate.  The darker and purer, the worse I feel.  I get an upset stomach, racing heartbeat, and overall feeling of panic.  Then I get nauseous and start having intestinal cramps.  For the next 24-48 hours my stomach feels like it's on fire and my thyroid gets all whacked out.  Dry skin, loss of energy, mood changes, and overall badness.  

I'm wondering if I have some genetic mutation where I can't efficiently metabolize theobromine.  Like dogs.  I know I'm not alone, because lots of people have googled the same question... except I have never once read a satisfactory answer.  Again, it's not an allergy.  It's not anything else IN the chocolate... it is the species Theobroma cacao.  

Thought like Easter would be a good time to bring this up :)  Cheers.


I have the same problem - but for me it is mainly nasal and throat congestion. I have no clue why.
Posted by: aussielady582, Friday, June 14, 2013, 4:50am; Reply: 22
Ayurvedic doctors view chocolate/cocoa as mostly "bitter" quality, and for some people, bitter can unbalance the physiology, choc is not really recommended for anyone according to Ayurveda, it is also from a bean, as is carob, and coffee, so people sensitive to starches won't feel well on choc esp as with me, I ate way too much of it for most of my life, I think the body/brain finally says, "I've had enough chocolate - give me something more nutrient-dense".  The darker, the more bitter, and so more unbalancing for some of us.  Eat some green leafy greens instead, which your health will thank you for in future years, due to vitamins/minerals, fibre, and anti-disease components.  with more minerals in the system / body, cravings should decrease.  I don't miss chocolate as much, I just think, "vegetables" mostly, with other essential foods too.
Posted by: Spring, Saturday, June 15, 2013, 3:13am; Reply: 23
Quoted from Possum
I have read that Bit B5 deficiency causes citrus allergy/sensitivity?! But am not 100% convinced it is the only reason I must say, after my recent reaction to mandarin... (mind you it is a black dot for me)

I take that along with other B Vitamins and can't imagine that I would need more. But who knows.... maybe I do. It would be great if everything was that simple to fix, right?! Think I will give it a try! Thanks!
Posted by: Spring, Saturday, June 15, 2013, 3:18am; Reply: 24
I never crave chocolate anymore - haven't for years. Thank you, D'Adamo Diets!
Posted by: Eric, Saturday, June 15, 2013, 10:53pm; Reply: 25
That's a good point.  I never crave chocolate... if I can stay off of it long enough.
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