Part of a recent IBS flare up has meant that quite a bit in my diet has had to change. I’ve already cut out gluten and dairy which has helped a lot (although made eating out rather difficult) but I have still been having some pretty gruesome symptoms – which I won’t mention for obvious reasons – that has meant yet another trip to my doctor. During said trip I chatted through my options and was offered some medication to help regulate my bowels and discussed the low FODMAP diet as a way to discover any other common foods that may be causing issues.
There is a lot of conflicting information on the internet about low FODMAP with some less than reputable websites giving incorrect information. My doctor helpfully pointed me to Stanford’s low FODMAP diet handout (where the research for the diet took place) which explains what the acronym FODMAP stands for as well as giving a list of acceptable and restricted foods.
There are a LOT of foods on the restricted list that I use daily in cooking, plus a whole bunch of my preferred fruits so for about a week I kept telling myself that my symptoms weren’t that bad and I didn’t really need to follow it. Then I had a really bad day with symptoms – tired, cramps, headaches, crying, flatulence, bloating: the lot – and I realised I could either have 6 weeks of boring/creative meals or a lifetime of IBS symptoms. It was a no-brainer.
So as of the 28th June, I will be undergoing a 6-week elimination phase where I won’t eat anything from the restricted list at all. That gives my gut some time to heal and my symptoms to settle down, plus the peace of mind that any symptoms I experience aren’t linked to my diet. Once the 6 weeks are done I will add one item from the restricted list to my diet each week. If I experience any symptoms during that week I will know they are from that particular item and I need to keep it cut from my diet for my own comfort. It’s going to take ages and make any events or meals out extremely difficult but hopefully, it will be worth it.