I’ve mentioned IBS a few times in previous posts. So what is it exactly? IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Not to be confused with IBD or Irritable Bowel Disorder (which includes Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis). IBS is a common digestive disorder with a wide range of symptoms, varying from bloating, cramps, excessive gas, abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea or alternating between both! What brings it on is still unclear. But we do know that there is most likely a link between the gut and brain, so stress/anxiety can be triggers as well as certain foods. We also know that other factors such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, intestinal infection and genetics can all play roles in triggering IBS.
There is unfortunately no cure for IBS, but we can definitely manage symptoms. Whether the cause is due to stress/anxiety or foods there’s usually something that can be done. If it’s the foods, FODMAPs are usually the culprit. What are FODMAPs? FODMAPs stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are small chain carbohydrates that don’t get well absorbed in the small intestine and then can wreak havoc in the large intestine. FODMAPs can be found in many foods that we eat daily. And these three foods are just some examples. When considering if this is something that you would need to follow, I would highly recommend seeking out a Dietitian to help you through the different steps, i.e. elimination, re-introduction/challenge and maintenance phase as it can be confusing and overwhelming, especially with all the information out there.
I will admit that I do have IBS, along with Celiac disease and it can be quite frustrating at times not being able to eat the foods I love. But unlike Celiac disease, when I eat a high FODMAP food that triggers my IBS symptoms, it doesn’t cause damage to my body. So on occasion, I will eat it and accept the fact that I will suffer for the next few days. There are many substitutes that you can use to still flavour your foods and still follow a low FODMAP way of eating. I will touch base on this topic next week, so watch out!
Do you have IBS? I would love to hear your story
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.