Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Me and My Low FODMAP Diet

History:
I have tummy issues. They have come and gone most of my double number life. My body just all of the sudden gives out on me. One day, things are beautiful and fine and I can eat like a wild animal and then the next day, it seems that even the simplest things will not stay in me for longer then 15 minutes. I have found ways to improve it but sadly (for me) it always comes back. I have been to the doctor most of my adult life with this. The first time, I was diagnosed with IBS by my family doctor and told to eat a diet rich in fiber, fruit and veggies. I did and it made me so sick, it almost made matters worse. It came and went for a while along with other things and then 2 years ago it got really bad and I dropped down to 78 lbs (I was usually 95 lbs at that time). I went to the hospital and saw some specialists and again, I was diagnosed with IBS. They told me to eat a diet rich in fiber and veggies but what I realised was a diet rich in white bread, processed cheese and meat made me feel best. I learned that rich food and processed food didn't bother my tummy and I finally was comfortable with my tummy and knew how to handle it. Then, one day I had some mango (or maybe it was the scone) and my tummy once again gave out on me. Nothing would help it. The things that I could eat the week before all of the sudden upset things immensely. I started to panic. I didn't want to lose weight. I have finally broken 100lbs, I go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week and do yoga, cardo and a lot of weight training. my body is the strongest it has ever been and the idea of losing that scared me. I started to panic.

My tummy issues triggered my OCD and the OCD started triggering other things and all that made my tummy worse and so on and so forth.

I felt like I was at the end of my rope. To me, it seemed like I had been down this road once before. I thought I had exhausted every option the last time. I thought I had fixed it all. Apparently not... nothing worked. I was going from bathroom to bathroom when out in public, trying hard to juggle my social life and my tummy. I was drinking Pepto every other day to try and give myself some kind of control. Everything except bagels and milk were upsetting my tummy (oh, and of course wine was fine as well), my life was feeling small and I had no idea what to do.

Currently:
Last weekend I ate some food that upset my tummy and I spent a lot of time on Monday in the ladies room at work. I figured it might be time I go on a diet for long term tummy issues. I had written about the BRAT diet a few years ago and it was helping me a little then just to normalise things. BRAT stands for Banana, Rice, Applesauce, Toast (not very nourishing for the ol' body if you ask me). I then remembered what I had dismissed most of my life, the IBS. I Googled "IBS Diet" and found something called the Low FODMAP Diet. It fit for me and so I started to research how to make this happen in my life. I know enough about nutrition and my body to follow something like this correctly and to be honest, anything is better then milk and plan bagels.

I talked to people, I did some reading and on Saturday I started (Friday, I again spent most of the day going back and forth to the washroom). It was amazing how I just all of the sudden was fine. Things were working normally and I felt like for the first time in a few month I was eating normally again. This part of the diet is only 6-8 weeks long, it's the elimination part of the diet and maybe the most challenging. By the end of the 6-8 weeks I will be able to start introducing my favorite foods again. That will be a test period to see, what do I have issues with and what do I not. The first category I will add will be lactose. I doubt I have an issue with it because I have been consuming it without any connection to issues my whole life. I want to make sure though, so I am making sure to follow the rules perfectly.

I enjoy Tweeting about it once a day as well, I see this as a great food adventure for me. Going into it I wasn't sure I could do it but having stuck with it for 3 days I realise that it just takes some thought and planning. It's not REALLY that limiting. I have enjoyed cooking (so far) for myself. I am curious to eat and enjoying not having issues. Tonight I made these quinoa cheese bacon tomato things. I had to leave somethings out of it but I make up for it in other areas. They are so good and perfect for an easy, lazy breakfast in the morning.

So this has been my Low FODMAP diet this far. It's been good and I am pleased 4 days into it how good I feel. I stopped trusting my body which is the worst thing because it's like not trusting a loved one. I didn't trust the diet going into it but after 4 days, I am learning to and even better-- I am learning to trust my body again.

It's nice to be back on the same side old friend.

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