Honey, you can get all the tips and tricks from your doctor, your nurse friends, people standing in the checkout line, books, online forums, Facebook pages…
But here’s the truth of the matter, you ready for it?
Everybody’s body is different! IBS is not the same for every single person.
Hence the word “irritable” in irritable bowel syndrome; it’s not, BBS, broken bowel syndrome, it’s irritable, meaning, upset, hormonal, hangry, exasperated, contentious, petulant, or grouchy.
Our goal here is to find your specific triggers…to make your life easier and more joyful!
Yes, you can enjoy your life again, if you learn to control the IBS…and don’t let it control you!
Rule #1: You are a survivor, not a victim! (Say this affirmation to yourself often.)
This won’t cure IBS, but knowing your body, what you can and can’t have, creates a self-confidence you’ve lost while constantly worrying about the unknown!
Ever notice how what works for you one day doesn’t always work the next day, next week, or month?
That’s because your gut is a working system that takes time (and enzymes, bacteria, and other scientific stuff) to digest foods and depending on the food and the environment of your gut (hormones, bacteria, stress, etc.) depends on how long and in what manner it takes to digest certain foods.
Some foods could take days…eww. Some foods don’t seem to digest at all, (cough, cough, corn…) One day you have a slice of bread…fine; but eat it two days in a row, you might be doubled over in pain in the bed wishing the world would end.
So, the first step is figuring out what foods and how much of those foods work best for [Insert your name here].
You need to do what’s commonly known as an elimination diet.
Because I am not in the medical field, just like you, I had to do research, a LOT of research!
That’s why I want to share what I’ve learned with you; maybe it won’t take you as long as it did me to get this beast under control!
Rule #2: You will not give up, or give in, you will succeed!
I used information from all kinds of places to start figuring out what my major food issues were.
I don’t think I had one specific plan that I used for this portion of the research, but finding the information on elimination diets is super easy online, just type “elimination diet for IBS”, especially on Pinterest. Them homies got it goin’ on for resources!
1. Get checked for celiac disease first. Because it can be such a sneak, you may think you have IBS instead. Unless you’ve been formally diagnosed of course!
2. Start a food journal! Day, time, what you ate, and how much of it. Write down any reaction you get, bloating, trapped gas, diarrhea, pain, stuffy nose (yes, this is can be a reaction to food), etc.
3. Start a poop journal! Yep, I said that. You need to log when, how much, what it looked like. Check out a Bristol Stool Chart for reference.
4. Learn what FODMAPs are, this will help your journey to find your triggers. Check out the Monash FODMAP app, or go online for free and get the skinny.
5. Remember, it’s not forever; the elimination phase is only between 4-8 weeks. If you can hang for that long, it might just change your life!
What to eliminate:
Here are the main food categories to start with (yes some adaptions to your diet may be needed in the future).
It’s a long list, I know, but don’t freak out, hang in there; we will get through this together!
- Foods you suspect are triggers
- High FODMAP foods (see Monash University for an up-to-date list)
*Good News* You don’t have to eliminate all of these items at one time, you can take them in sections, and slowly reintroduce them back into your diet a little at a time, testing if you can handle that item at all and if so how much!
*Sadie Tip* I will say, for me, it was easier to eliminate everything on the FODMAP list at one time because I was very sick and probably just needed a good gut reset anyway. Then I would test one item at a time, which was much easier to determine what it was exactly that made me sick.
FYI, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia were the first to coin the term FODMAP, they have an extensive research facility dedicated to IBS.
There is tons of information on the inter webs about IBS, but I personally feel these folks have the most accurate and up-to-date information since they like…dedicate their lives to studying it.
No, I haven’t been paid or get anything for promoting them, that’s just a personal opinion on where to start. 🙂
I sincerely hope you get some relief from this stuff.
When out of control, IBS feels like it takes over your life.
I don’t want that, I know you don’t either…that’s why you’re here, congratulations on taking the first step!
Together, we will fight it and find even more ways to enjoy life, enjoy food again, and be stress-free!
**See legal disclaimer: basically, I’m not a doctor; the information on this website is for informational and educational purposes only, not a substitute for medical advice. It is always wise to consult your physician or health care provider before making any health-related changes.