22 May, 2016

Trying the Low FODMAP Diet

Trying the Low FODMAP diet

A few months ago, I was diagnosed with IBS (or irritable bowel syndrome). It basically means that my bowel is sensitive to certain foods and can't process them as well which leaves me feeling really bloated, sick or with a bit of a dodgy stomach.

So why did I start trying the Low FODMAP diet?

Obviously, the symptoms are pretty embarrassing. I've genuinely had people thinking I was about 3 months pregnant when I've had a bad day with bloating- I know I'm no skinny minnie but it's ridiculous! The bloating is also extremely painful and when I used to drive home from work, I was occasionally unable to do so because I was in so much pain every time I tried to move.

The sickness was what got to me the most, though. I would often feel sick after every meal and it was awful when I would go out for dinner with friends and end up having to go home because I felt like I was going to be sick halfway through. Then an hour later, I'd feel fine and annoyingly, extremely hungry.

So I went to the doctors to ask about IBS (my mum and sister both suffer from it so it was quite likely that would be the answer), only to be told that IBS is (and I quote) "kind of a thing, but not really a thing... it's just something you have to live with, there's no tablets or anything I can give you. Oh by the way, do you still work at [name of hotel he often visits]?" and proceeded to ask if I knew anyone who still worked there who could give him discount instead of actually helping me with what I needed! 

Needless to say, it wasn't the best experience but I didn't give up and went to see a different doctor at my GP surgery who DID think IBS was a thing but made me do a blood test to see if I had coeliac's disease first (the symptoms of IBS and coeliac's disease are very similar). When it came back negative, she gave me tablets to help with the bloating and other IBS symptoms and suggested trying the FODMAP diet.

So, what IS the Low FODMAP diet?

If you want to know more about the FODMAP diet, here is a link- although PLEASE only try it if you have been advised by your doctor. It's not a weightloss diet! 

High FODMAP food items are items which will irritate your bowel and you should avoid eating as much as you can. They do say that you don't necessarily need to cut it out completely, but it all depends on how much it irritates you. Onions and garlic are very big triggers and should be avoided as much as you possibly can (more on that later!).

Low FODMAP food items are items which are good for your digestion and are unlikely to irritate you. Some items have quantities which means that you should only have that amount and no more. 

So how have I been finding it?

It was hard at first. I'm not allowed dairy, so I have to buy lactose free milk and ask for soya milk when I go to Costa or Starbucks. But a couple of times at first, I forgot and put normal milk in my coffee or forgot to ask for soya. I've also had a couple of times where someone has bought me a coffee and didn't know that I needed soya and not wanting to be rude, I drank it anyway. 

But I have found that cutting out dairy has actually done a LOT of good. I feel a lot better- yet I only have dairy in my coffee, so that goes to show that you only need a tiny amount to irritate you. 

I also have to cut out gluten which wasn't AS hard because we already eat a lot of gluten free foods for Dan. But I am struggling to give up biscuits- gluten free biscuits just aren't as good.

Onions and garlic are actually harder than you would think to cut out- we've had to prepare our own sauces for dinners and I have to read the backs of every labels because it's EVERYWHERE. I've always known I'm intolerant to onions and garlic since I was a baby so this isn't new to me, but small amounts have never affected me badly enough to cut it out completely (or so I thought!).

Another thing I struggle with is the amount of things on the high FODMAP list that you wouldn't even expect to upset your tummy. Apples?! Coconut water?! 

But the longer I've been doing it, the easier I have been finding it. Once I got into a routine and learnt what I could and couldn't have, it became much easier to do the food shopping and I made less everyday mistakes. 

I really think though, that it's helped a lot. I still feel sick occasionally after eating, but not as much as I was previously. I also still get bloated but I've only had one painful bout of bloating since I started. Fingers crossed, the longer I stick to the FODMAP diet the better I will feel! 

If any of you suffer with IBS and have tried this diet, I'd love to know what you think! Again, I'm giving you a reminder that I'm not doing this diet to lose weight but for health reasons! :) 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to leave me a comment- I love reading each and every one of your comments and try my absolute hardest to respond to every one!

Blog design by aleelilydesigns