Friday, April 12, 2013

IBS and Me

Where, oh where, was this book about 15 years ago? I just finished reading IBS - Free as Last by Patsy Catsos. I really wish I had known about it back when I was first diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Instead, I was eating all the wrong foods for years and years.

"Fiber! Eat lots of fiber!" were what all the doctors said. So I did. Working in the natural foods department of a grocery store made it so easy to get my fill of brown rice, whole grains and other healthy foods. But I felt like crap. I had so much gas and pain. In the meantime I started to get involved on I was trying out recipes, taking photos and writing my own recipes. From there I started this blog. I was eating all of these great foods, but not feeling well at all.

One day a customer came into the store looking for some special food for her son, who has fructose intolerance. Something clicked in my brain and when I home that evening I immediately looked it up: Fructose Malabsorption (FM). All of the symptoms matched. So I stopped eating so many fruits and vegetables and I dramatically felt better. Next I gave up wheat and felt even better. So I started writing recipes that would work for my new way of eating.

I discussed it with my doctor and she didn't think testing was necessary because if I feel so much better on my new diet, why have a costly test? I don't know for sure if I actually have fructose malabsorption (FM), but I do know that I have IBS. I also know that I feel a gazillion times better eating a low-fructose diet. Fortunately, a low-FODMAP diet works for both IBS and FM, so I will continue to eat this way and create low-fructose recipes. Many people with FM also have problems with the other FODMAPs, so that is why I'm transitioning to calling my recipes Low-FODMAP. I was kind of selling my recipes short just calling them low-fructose!

Well, after reading IBS-Free at Last I am thinking about having the hydrogen breath test. I don't want to be limiting myself if I don't have to. I'm also going to redo my elimination diet and see if there are some things I could be eating or things I shouldn't. I seem to be eliminating more and more foods from my diet, but is it really necessary? I've always thought that I'm not lactose-intolerant, but maybe I am. We'll see. For now I'm just enjoying coming up with great recipes that are tolerable for me and taste great too. And if you, my readers, like them too, then all the better!

I'm really just learning as I go, and I'm writing this blog because maybe it will help someone. This whole post I've been rambling, but I would like to close it with a great quote from IBS-Free at Last. It sums up how important it is to find what works for you and your family.

"You should eat and feed your family the best you can with the time and money you have available, not feel guilty or ashamed if you fall short of someone else's idealistic vision of dietary perfection."  - Patsy Catsos, IBS - Free at Last!

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