rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


Now I’ve read about FODMAPS. They’re complicated. Huge lists of fruit and vegetables that could be causing all your IBS symptoms.

I have to admit, FODMAPS has me running for the hills because I am already avoiding some pretty major food groups and really annoying things like celery and tomato to boot.

So last week’s visit to the Allergy Clinic at Churchill Hospital in Oxford may have quite literally changed my life.

I had an appointment with the lovely Liane Reeves who talked me through FODMAPS.
She agreed she was reluctant to reduce my already tightened diet.

So we talked about other things I could do, still thinking about FODMAPS but not going at it full on. The allergies are under control. The eczema isn’t great but is not covering my face and I am sleeping well so that’s not bothering me much really. I just get on with it.

But the IBS and stomach symptoms like cramps, constipation, bloating etc. can be really painful, tiring and anti-social to say the least.

I took away five really simple tips. Think FODMAPs for beginners, which you might find helpful.

  • Oats

These make up a large part of my diet. And in the last year I’ve started getting lazy and eating muesli instead of my favoured porridge. By simply making sure you only eat cooked oats this could make a big difference. Uncooked oats can be harder for the stomach to digest. Cooking opens up the starch molecules and should make them easier for the body to make use of. Just three days of having porridge instead of lazy muesli and I feel better already. Could it really be that simple? Liane also suggested I alternate with other breakfast grains such as quinoa, buckwheat and rice flakes.

  • Oats again – are they all gluten free?

As well as always buying gluten free oats I also drink oat milk and cream and alternate these with other plant milks. But are these made with gluten free oats? I’m not so sure they all are so I need to do some research to find out. No good being all clever and buying GF oats of I then don’t check the milk…

  • Water and fluid

I do drink herbal tea and water but I should be drinking a lot more, especially if I start my day off with porridge of other grains. Oats need a good amount of fluid to aid digestive transit.

  • Vegetables

Things like onions and garlic are high on the FOPMAPS chart and also make up a large part in my diet. But you could try using garlic infused oils, or cooking with large chunks of onion to get the flavour, but fishing them out before eating or whizzing up soup.

  • Probiotics and Prebiotics

Let’s give them a go. I don’t take anything regularly so I do need to also take a look at whether taking a regular boost for my stomach flora might help. I know when I don’t need them as my stomach reacts quite quickly with bloating but they can often help if I am struggling to digest food or know I’m going to eating a lot of rich foods, like this time of year

3omega6 Flax milk on blueberry porridge












Thank you Liane. Could cooking my oats and drinking more tea and water really help me feel better so quickly? Or am I just a sucker for the placebo effect? You listened and were kind so I feel better anyway? Or is this just a good week?

Who cares. Happy Christmas everyone.

I also found out about The British Gut project. Visit to find out what your gut microbiome health is really like.



An allergy and health writer and freelance copywriter, Ruth is passionate about helping those with allergies and food intolerances take control, embrace their condition, and learn to live with and love who they are. It can be very lonely finding you have allergies and discovering what helps you can be a life long journey. What works for one person won't work for another, so after trying nearly every allergy treatment under the sun and finding hours of research necessary to keep abreast of what's going on, Ruth started writing her blog, What Allergy? in April 2009. Ruth has life threatening allergies herself to all nuts, all diary, tomatoes and celery and knows first-hand what it's like to have an anaphylactic attack. Voted in the Top 5 UK allergy blogs by Cision UK in 2011, What Allergy is packed full of interesting articles, hints and tips and product reviews which are a must read for anyone with allergies, food intolerances or sensitivities, asthma and eczema. From subjects such as "What is celery allergy?" to "Surviving a holiday abroad with allergies", it's packed with useful and interesting information. You can register free for a weekly newsletter by visiting her website and also keep in touch by following her on Facebook and Twitter.

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *