I mentioned last week that I’ve put myself on an extremely restricted diet in an attempt to identify foods I might be sensitive to. I’m sharing my story here in the hope that it may help people in a similar situation.
My first week hasn’t really been too successful. I’m pretty sure putting yogurt on my list of acceptable foods was a mistake; I took it off after day 4 and I’ve been feeling much better since. I hadn’t been able to find a definitive answer on the lactose content of yogurt and many people said that the live cultures in yogurt were beneficial for IBS. Since then I’ve downloaded the University of Monash’s app on the low FODMAP diet and I’m using that as my definitive guide. (They are the people who originally proposed the low FODMAP diet and the foremost researchers on it.) They say no to yogurt, so I cut it out.
I got so bored with the food options available to me after the 2nd day that it was hard to motivate myself to cook or eat anything (salted rice mixed with canned tuna was my staple but I couldn’t eat it every day for risk of heavy metal poisoning). Unscientific though it may be, I realized I’d have to add a few things back in immediately. Using the app and my experiences I figured I could safely add back olive oil, salt, butter, cheddar cheese and all types of (unprocessed) meat. Although meat is a known IBS trigger, it isn’t a FODMAP and I was pretty confident it doesn’t affect me.
Research indicates that cooking has little or no affect on FODMAP concentrations in food so I thought I would be safe to eat a few raw carrots. The resulting tummy ache led me back to the internet where I discovered that raw vegetables are just generally difficult to digest. Nothing to do with FODMAPs but a potential trigger all the same. Additionally, a digestive system which is already irritated and sensitive is probably going to find it even harder to digest food it would normally be fine with.
So I’ve adjusted my plan of action slightly. I’ll need to take at least another week (really 2 weeks is recommended minimum) to allow my intestines to calm down before I start adding any other foods back in. At that point I’ll start with the foods which I’m reasonably sure I’m not sensitive to, and the foods which will have the biggest impact on my diet. I’m thinking wheat will be the first thing I try!