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IBS Improved After Removing Chloramine (Not the Same as Chlorine) From My Drinking Water

Discussion in 'The Gut: De Meirleir & Maes; H2S; Leaky Gut' started by Hip, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. kangaSue

    kangaSue

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    Thanks for clearing that up. I just wasn't sure whether the terms removal or neutralising of chloramines were tantamount to the same thing in this context.
  2. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

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    FWIW my town uses chloramine and I have found this to be true as well.
  3. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    When you say "I have found this to be true as well", do you mean you have also found that removing chloramines from your tap water improves your IBS?
  4. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

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    Yeah.
  5. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    @acer2000
    What do you have, IBS-D, IBS-C, or mixed type? And how long did it take for your IBS improvements to manifest? For me it was a couple of days — very quick.
  6. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

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    Mainly D. I also respond fairly well to the FODMAP diet. Its worth noting that either using non chloriminated water and/or the low FODMAP diet mainly improves my GI symptoms in isolation, they don't seem to have a huge effect on my fatigue, fog, etc. The effect is noticeable almost immediately, though.
    Hip likes this.
  7. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    @Hip,
    Since (as you linked above)
    wouldn't a carbon/zeolite water filter work just as well (and more simply) then adding Vitamin C or sodium thiosulfate then boiling or letting the water stand in the open air overnight? (Btw, my information about treating water for fish says standing is not sufficient, you have to bubble or circulate the water to make sure that the chlorine and ammonia in the bottom of the container reaches the air surface.)

    I use a product with sodium thiosulfate to treat my aquarium water and the resulting water smells very unpleasant, although the smell clears after the water circulates for a while. Still, not something I want to deal with for my drinking water.

    It seems like using a quality filter on your drinking water and using a bit of vitamin C in cooking water would be the simplest solution. A standard activated carbon filter (such as a refrigerator filter or a pitcher) should remove most (80-plus%) of the chloramine in one pass. That's probably enough for most of us, but for the super-sensitive, two passes through a standard water filter should be sufficient. It's unlikely we need to remove every last chloramine molecule since everyone has some stomach acid to deal with the tiny amounts remaining. There are inexpensive chloramine test kits/strips available if you want to check the chloramine in your water after filtration.

    If you are trying to remove significant amounts of chloramine from your water, it pays to make sure you change the filter regularly -- perhaps more frequently than recommended. It's simple to test the filtered water occasionally to see if the filter is still removing as much chloramine as you want.

    I don't have IBS, but I have noticed I have some queasiness if I drink our local water (with chloramine) unfiltered. It's noticeable enough that I won't drink the unfiltered water anymore.
  8. acer2000

    acer2000 Senior Member

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    My experience carbon filters has been interesting. Its hard to tell if they do a good job with chloramine. Much of the research I have read says they don't. I also have previous aquarium experience and found that even after using RO/DI unit with multiple carbon stages my water still tested high for ammonia. Its possible that the unit broke down the chloramine and it was just ammonia at that point, but I guess that raises a question. For purposes of this discussion, would ammonia alone still cause an issue?

    Also, my town uses a high chloramine level, so maybe its harder to remove than average.

    Maybe I should buy some chloramine specific strips and test it. How/where would I get them?
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
  9. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    @SOC
    I drink bottled mineral water, rather than investing in water filters. I really like cold sparkling mineral water.

    I only use tap water for making tea or coffee, or cooking. Next to my sweetener, I have a small jar of sodium thiosulphate crystals, and I just drop one tiny crystal into my cup of tea and coffee. It is as easy as dropping in the sweeteners. Each crystal is around the size of a few grains of sugar, and weighs around 20 mg — more than enough to neutralize the chloramine in a mug of coffee. Vitamin C is just as effective. I just find this approach so simple and convenient that I have not looked at any other methods. One 500 gram tub of sodium thiosulfate crystals costs around $6 and will probably last you 10 years.

    What I would like to know is if this removal of chloramines helps other people with IBS. So far, I think just myself, @acer2000, and @RustyJ have tried chloramine removal and had success from it.

    I am surprised that there are no other references to chloramine's negative effects on IBS on the Internet. I am sure I cannot be the only person who noticed chloramine removal improves IBS.


    IBS-D does affect my ME/CFS symptoms: when I get a bout of diarrhea, on that day I feel significantly more tired and brain fogged. My assumption is that the diarrhea increases gut inflammation, which in turn precipitates brain inflammation (via the vagus nerve sickness behavior pathway).
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
    Hanna and SOC like this.
  10. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    I have never read about any negative health effects from sodium thiosulfate. It is used as an antidote to cyanide poisoning (using an IV dose of 12.5 grams); and it is being investigated for treating calcium build up in calciphylaxis-calcific uremic arteriolopathy.

    In this study on the ability of sodium thiosulfate to reduce calcium stone formation in humans, however, they did say that "the long term safety of sodium thiosulfate needs to be determined before the drug can be tested in humans for long-term prevention of stone recurrence". Though they used a fairly high dose of 3.2 grams of sodium thiosulfate daily.


    But if anyone is concerned with sodium thiosulfate safety, you can use ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which is just as effective at removing chloramines from tap water. 10 mg of ascorbic acid will neutralize the chloramines in 1 liter of water.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
  11. kangaSue

    kangaSue

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    Hi Hip,
    I tried both your suggestions of sodium thiosulfate and vitamin C but there is something seriously screwy going on with my system, both reacted badly with my stomach, bloating and constant dull ache after 2 hours or so, in fact the same reaction I get from drinking alkalized water or using lemon juice in or on my food.

    That's probably just me and doesn't really answer your question but the vitamin C makes no sense as I have no trouble taking a 500mg tablet daily although I did get a similar reaction when I tried to take 500mg 3 times a day recently. Also can't see why my Vit C has spiked to a high level in the last 12 months while still on the same dose as I have had for the last 10 years.

    You can buy carbon filters targeted at removing chloramine now, a couple I have found are Pentek Chlorplus-10 and Omnipure OMB-934-1ML so I will be trying one of those out at the next filter change.
  12. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    It hurts not just fish but frog owners cant put chloramine water in the frogs water bowl either.

    I really hate what humanity is doing with things and adding toxins to everything. One day the whole population will be sick and it will be too late due to all the stuff in our environment (already we are loosing lots of our frogs, to something which is probably affecting them due to having a weakened system)
  13. RustyJ

    RustyJ Contaminated Cell Line 'RustyJ'

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    Does sound like you are using too much Vit C. Only need the tip of a tea spoon.
  14. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    Could it be that in your case, the chloramine is actually beneficial? As an antibacterial, chloramine may conceivably be helping to keep your gut populations of pathogenic bacteria in check, so that when you remove the chloramine from your drinking water, using tiny amounts of vitamin C, it ends up worsening you gut symptoms. I am just speculating here. But if true, it would suggest that your gut problems may be driven or worsened by an overgrowth of pathogenic bacterial populations with respect to the beneficial bacteria populations in your colon (gut dysbiosis).

    Have you ever had a good gut stool analysis done, to see which bacteria, fungi and parasites you have in your gut? The Genova Diagnostics Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis 2.0 is considered a good one. If you do have some microbial overgrowth, then the appropriate anti-microbials may be worth trying. For a bacterial overgrowth, the antibiotic rifaximin is a very good one. This is a unique antibiotic which stays in the gut, and so is more potent. Probiotics can also help treat gut gut dysbiosis.

    SIBO is another bacterial overgrowth condition of the gut, but this is found in the long intestine rather than the colon.


    The reason I suspect removing chloramines may be particularly helpful to those with IBS-D is because IBS-D is commonly associated with intestinal permeability (leaky gut), and chloramine is known to cause or worsen leaky gut. So chloramines may exacerbate IBS-D by exacerbating intestinal permeability.

    But for those without IBS, chloramines may not do any harm, and may even have beneficial antibacterial effects.


    The only other explanation I can think of for the adverse effects you experienced from using vitamin C to break down chloramine in drinking water is that the breakdown products are chlorine (chlorine is in the water anyway) and ammonia, and perhaps ammonia might have caused you some problems. Though small amounts of ammonia in drinking water are apparently not a problem for human health (ref: 1).
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
  15. kangaSue

    kangaSue

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    Thanks hip

    I was definitely only using a tiny amount of Vit C to neutralize my water.

    I thought it might be an acid-base issue related to the gut ischemia but nothing untoward shows up in bloods or pH. Next step will be the stool test as you suggest, had a negative hydrogen breath test for SIBO earlier in the year. Me and probiotics also have a very poor relationship but that's not unusual for many with severe gastroparesis.
  16. dmholmes

    dmholmes Senior Member

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    I had a similar experience. Major bloating, gas, reflux, and stomach inflamation :-(

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