Irritable Bowel Syndrome is something that I've struggled with for a long time and for me it's just become my new normal.
IBS is the medical name given to describe a number or gastrointestinal symptoms. IBS affects around 1 in 5 adults in the UK and it can vary in severity from person-to-person. Some of the symptoms include abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating, symptoms being made worse after eating and more. (British Dietetic Association)
This year I thought I'd give you a recap and update on the Low FODMAP Diet that I've been on since 2018.
For those who don't know the Low FODMAP Diet (link to a blog post I did which gives a fuller explanation) is a medically prescribed elimination diet specifically designed for people with IBS or other functional gastrointestinal disorders.
FOMAP's are different types of short-chain carbohydrates and FODMAP stands for each type of fermentable carbohydrates; these are...
These foods are poorly absorbed in the gut and include simple and complex sugars which can be found in a variety of foods including fruits, vegetables, wheat and milk.
The Low FODMAP diet has been pretty incredible for me. It's defiantly reduced my gastrointestinal symptoms (though I still have issues related to my other illnesses), but in terms of my IBS it is now so much better than it was a few years ago.
I still do get IBS symptoms like bloating, pain, cramping, constipation etc, but it's not all day everyday and when it does falre-up its more manageable and I also notice that often my symptoms will flare up after eating a food high in FODMAP's.
Now usually when I have a flare up I'll just need to put some heat on my tummy and drink some herbal tea which usually settles things as well as remembering to be extra cautious for a short while to avoid FODMAP foods. If my IBS flare is really bad I might take some medication like Buscopan. I have my Mebeverine which I take before eating. I now longer need to take my Colpermin and I very very very rarely need to take strong laxatives except senna which I currently take every night. Before going on the Low FODMAP Diet I was taking bowel surgery strength laxatives and they still didn't work.
I still find it amazing how just changing my diet has improved my IBS.
One thing I've found really interesting is how before going on the Low FODMAP Diet I ate and drank everyday things now I can't tolerate any more such as soya, wheat, gluten and certain fruits and vegetables.
The Stage 1 of the Low FODMAP Diet was completely cutting out all foods that contains FOMAP's.
The in Stage 2 of the diet you start to reintroduce foods to find out what you can or can't have, or what you can tolerate in small amounts.
I'm now on stage 3 which is living with a customised Low FODMAP Diet.Like for example I'm on a total wheat and gluten free now, and I've switched to drinking oat milk but I can tolerate small amounts of soya, like one soya yogurt a day or have a small latte.