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question about calorie consumption- warning kind of gross.

Lately right after I eat dairy I have to run straight to the bathroom. Obviously something is up and I'm seeing my doc next week, but I was wondering: If you eat a meal and then have to go to the bathroom right away...and it seems as though the food has gone straight through you (ew gross I know I just need input) have you consumed the calories? I know that people always say that laxatives are useless for dieters (I usually agree) because calories are barely lost. But this seems more like the kind of thing that happens when you have a stomach bug. Anyway its throwing off my calorie log. If I eat and it goes right through me and then i'm hungry sooner does that mean I'm not absorbing the food? should I count the cals or not? Its been going on all week and I've been deducting some calories for it, is that a mistake?
I know I should focus on my health, and this week wont really matter after I see the doc and get it worked out, but I'm trying to log really well these days and keep track so its important to me that I'm not tricking myself into thinking its ok to eat a little more.

Sat. Sep 29, 11:36pm

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Assume you are getting the calories. there is no way to calculate how many you are losing/absorbing from your bathroom trips so don't waste time trying to figure out if you can eat more or not. Why don't you avoid dairy in the mean time? Then you wouldn't have to ask such a question. Problem solved.

Sunday, September 30, 2007, 12:31 AM

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sounds like you developed a lactose intolerance. Happened to me a few years ago too, I actually see it as a good thing. Now, whenever I have a problem "going", I just eat some cereal with milk. Awesome.

Sunday, September 30, 2007, 7:12 PM

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Yes, it's probably lactose related. Depending on your genetics, you can have a declining production of the enzyme that would convert lactose to a more digestible sugar as you get older. I'm really more of a biochem dilettante than anything resembling expert, but here's my take and rationale. I think you would have gotten most of the nutrients into the blood before the undigested lactose gets to the point of creating those symptoms.
As I think I understand it, if you have enough beta-galactosidase present then the lactose (which doesn't absorb well intact) will be broken down into glucose and galactose, which have a pretty prompt uptake through the intestinal wall into the blood. So far as this doesn't happen, the lactose survives longer and will eventually be visited in growing amounts by intestinal bacteria which will ferment it through any of several pathways, producing typically hydrogen, carbon dioxide, or methane as well as an alcohol. The lactose itself also tends to suppress the normal osmotic reabsorption of water in the large intestine. So you end up with the gas pressure forcing out the water and whatever else is nearby.
It sounds to me like all this happens far enough along that at least your simple sugar and protein absorption should pretty much have happened by then.
I don't know much about fat digestion other than I thought lipase was key and did its work in the small intestine, and if that's really the main fat digesting reaction, then I think you would have taken up most of the fat calories you're going to. Anyway, we'll see if someone who knows more biochemistry than I do wants to correct any of this.

Sunday, September 30, 2007, 10:59 PM

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