Greetings! It is the IBS savvy teen, Laura.
Being in the IBS community for quite some time, I thought I should share my experience with the lowfod map diet. If you do not know what that is, it is an elimination diet to help people with stomach issues. The diet cuts out the most common food sensitives like gluten, dairy, garlic/onions, beans, and some nuts. There is a more in-depth list online. Low fodmap, in my own experience, was NOT the answer for me. This may surprise you since it seems like it works for a lot… but how if each IBS case is not alike?
If the lowfod map has been your saving grace, I am more than happy for you that you could find relief in it. I am speaking from my own experiences with it and recommending other options if you feel at loss with the lowfod map diet.
To start, I will give the lowfod map some credit for helping me not eat gluten anymore. I have a terrible reaction to gluten which has only got worse over time. Symptoms such as joint pain, severe constipation, cold sweats, and nausea. Besides helping me not eat wheat, I was still in so much pain on this diet. I followed the diet very strictly and I considered it my “stomach ache bible.” My fodmap diet relationship lasted for 5 months. Every flare up I would blame myself for not following it correctly when I was doing everything by the book. I gave up on the diet and ended up seeking further help…
Who did I go to?
In my past, I have pleaded for help to several GI specialists. Some helpful, some… they meant well. I ended up going to the ER because of this “clean out” treatment but that is another story. I was exhausted from seeing healthcare doctors who lead me to only dead ends. My dad looked into naturopath doctors who treat IBS. Honestly, at this point, I was discouraged and thought to go to this clinic might be a waste of time. Little did I know, I would be feeling a lot better soon. At the IBS clinic, they had me explain my whole IBS journey to them. From the beginning to then, in my own words. Not once did they look to my mom. I have a lot of doctors look to my mom for her to answer questions when it is my own troubles, not hers! They cared about what I said, how I felt and asked about my mental health history. Every doctor should take in consideration life- stressors when it comes to the patient when trying to aid them. The doctor 100% listened carefully and made my personal treatment plan.
What was the treatment plan?
I will make a post about the full treatment plan I still follow, including my specific diet plan, medications, and other lab tests. The first measure of action was to have the doctor take my blood for a food sensitivity/allergy test since he knew that the lowfod map diet was not working. A week later I got the test results back. The paper said my highest food sensitivities were almonds, corn, oats, pineapple, bananas, gluten (duh), and a few other foods. But the thing is, THESE FOODS ARE CLAIMED TO BE FODMAP FRIENDLY. I was shocked when I found out these foods were causing me to have issues. Before, I was your common plant-based eater. I would have oats with bananas for breakfast almost every day. I had to adjust my diet which was a bit difficult but if this meant any type of relief, I was willing to.
How do I feel now?
If you were to ask me how I felt last January, I would answer a lot differently. I have lost some of my IBS weight due to inflammation and constipation through my new diet plan. The flare-ups still can be painful, but before I would have to be hospitalized for the pain. I do experience fewer flares but still struggle with minor pain daily. I take special vitamins and prescription medication to prevent bacteria build up in my gut but I will address this in a later blog post.
What did I conclude from this experience?
What I am trying to portray, is to not fall into believing that every popular diet will work for your IBS. I believed that the lowfod map would work for me. It dug me a deeper and deeper hole down into more pain. Not knowing what worked for me, damaged myself in both a physical and mental way. My suggestion is to get allergy tested. Everybody has different anatomical makeup and the foods that could be “safe,” could be preventing you from a better quality of life. If getting an allergy test is not available for you, try out different diets and truly listen to your body. This simple tactic is tedious. It is why I prefer the allergy test route because it gives you a chart of foods that have no reaction to high reaction. Others and including myself, only wish to have known about food sensitivity test sooner! To restate, the lowfod map is meant to eliminate most common inflammation foods but if you have a stubborn case of IBS, your gut is a complicated minefield. Sometimes, being gluten and dairy free is not enough. All in all, do not limit yourself to one diet or treatment if it has worked for others. Again if the lowfod map diet has worked wonders for you or someone you know, that is great. I am speaking from my own experience from it.
- Wishing you a happy and healthy day, Laura
follow my personal IBS/wellness blog and Instagram!
Instagram username lauragamble_ link: https://www.instagram.com/lauragamble_/