My experience with IBS and why I’m using the FODMAP Diet once again!
I thought it was about time to share my IBS journey with you guys. Especially as I’m suffering a bit lately and have decided I’m going back on the FODMAP Diet nearly 3 years since first discovering it. But let me just explain for 1 what that is and how it relates to IBS. Firstly I was ‘diagnosed’ with IBS about 3 years ago. I had heard so many people use the term IBS to describe a case of the runs or bloating that I didn’t think it was something your doctor diagnose. So when I got told I had IBS I couldn’t really believe it would make me as ill as I was. Fast forward past an operation and some awful medication I was advised to try the the low FODMAP Diet. It was my savior. So let me quickly explain what the hell I’m talking about…
The Low FODMAP Diet
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. Which can be further divided into five groups called fructans, galacto-oligosaccharides, lactose, excess fructose and polyols. In essence, FODMAPs are different carbohydrates found in a wide range of foods including onions, garlic, mushrooms, apples, lentils, rye and milk. These are hard to digest and irritate the stomach. Usually with a dietician a LOW FODMAP Diet is introduced which means eliminating foods categorized as High FODMAPS for a period of usually 6-8weeks giving the stomach time to heal. After a period of time High FODMAPS would be introduced back into the diet to see a level of tolerance without symptoms. It is not designed to be a diet for life.
This table was taken from Monash Universities site. This is not the complete list of all foods, please visit their site for a lot more information and research. They also have an amazing app that will tell you quickly if a food is High or Low and how to consume. You do have to pay for the app but it is so worth it and all the money goes to their continued research. I have used the app for over 2 years now.
How it worked for me…
This Diet gave me my life back, and that is ment to be as dramatic as it sounds haha. At my worst I was hardly eating or drinking as I had no appetite. If I did eat I had excruciating stomach ache that would keep me awake all night. I was so tired all the time, light headed, hot and cold with heart palpitations. I was miserable. But after 2 weeks on this diet I began to feel like my old self. After quite a while of following the diet strictly I started to reintroduce foods. At the beginning I had some crazy reaction to foods like salmon and cucumber. But over the last year my stomach has been AMAZING. I did stick to trying to avoid onion and garlic and I have remained gluten free.
Where I’m at now…
I’ve decided to go back on the FODMAP Diet properly for a little while. Unfortunately my stomach ache and uncomfortableness has been creeping up for a while now. And I’ve kind of ignored it because I’ve been eating quite healthy. But healthy doesn’t always mean my stomachs happy. Eating a lot of vegetables is something my stomach finds hard to digest. And I must admit I was starting to get used to not having to be so strict on myself. But it’s the best thing to do before it gets out of hand. So I’m back on the journey of reading ingredients lists from top to bottom and everything being a little bit plain and more carb based.
Bloating, indigestion, stomach ache, constipation, diarrhea…
I have randomly talked to a lot of people about the Diet and they are always shocked that they never heard of it. But this Diet is something that could help you without medication. It’s you taking control of your life…well thats how I saw it. I spoke to one guy who had been told he had IBS and was trying so hard to eat better but nothing was working for him. I told him about it and the next day he had done loads of research, ordered a book and was about to start. It was like the thing that he needed to read to help explain why he felt the way he did. Which is exactly how I feel. I am in no way an expert and all I’m sharing is my personal experience which I hope might help someone experiencing something similar.
I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the Diet or anything IBS related 🙂 Also if you guys have any tips or tricks for dealing with a bad stomach I would be so grateful to hear them. And as always, thanks for reading 🙂 x
If you fancy a read about Gluten Free life here’s a link to my previous post!