When You Feel Like Your Body Is Betraying You...

These past few weeks have been hard, y’all. If you’ve been following my posts, you know a little bit about this. I have been experiencing major stomach pain, burning, and discomfort for going on three weeks now. This happens to me periodically, but I just decided it was time to go to the doctor last week. I met with them, got lab work done a separate day, and then got a sonogram done on a separate day. A LONG drawn out process – with no answers.

So, I made an appointment with a GI specialist for Wednesday. But until then, food definitely seems like the enemy. I am genuinely afraid and/or sad at most times about eating because I 1) don’t know how it will affect my body or 2) it’s just not what I want to eat. And I’ve spent the past 5 years of my life learning about nutrition and how the body works and what I should fuel myself with for optimal health…and here I am. I can’t help but feel like my body is betraying me?

Just a few nights ago I sat with my boyfriend and cried as the thought that I may have SIBO or IBS loomed in my mind (yes, I'm dramatic). I have been trialing the FODMAP diet, and my symptoms have definitely improved. Which is great! But also bad! Because this means that I potentially have one of these issues. And I cried because it “just wasn’t fair” that I am “so healthy” but still have to go through this. ME! A future dietitian! Afraid of food because of the effects it may or may not have on my body! While I sit and watch others around me consume whatever they want, including soda and fast food and fatty options, with no problems. I can’t help but feel a little jaded.

 

But I’m not the kind of gal that sits back and gets run over by life. So, while I wait for more answers. I am taking on the FODMAP diet, learning more about it, what I can consume within it, and how to make that food taste really dang good.

 

“Ok so you keep talking about FODMAP….what is this?!”

FODMAP = fermentable, oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyol (FODMAP) diet. It was developed because it’s believed that these short-chain carbs are causing problems in the small intestines. Although food is not the cause of these, it’s believed to hurt or help symptoms of IBS and possibly SIBO. FODMAP foods = the enemy in these cases. So, you want to consume "low FODMAP" foods for improved symptoms. They can 100% affect people differently. Whether that’s amounts or specific types. As always, it’s about finding what works for YOU!

 

Some of the enemies:

Oligosaccharides include fructans = wheat and onions.

Galacto-oligosaccharides = legumes

Sugar polyols like sorbitol and mannitol = stone fruits and artificial sweeteners

Lactose = milk + dairy products

Other Specific Foods: broccoli, cabbage, artichokes, asparagus, beets, Brussels sprouts, garlic, leeks, okra, onion, watermelon, apples, wheat/barley/rye, legumes, lentils, chickpeas, peaches, peas, shallots.

 

Unfortunately, the low FODMAP diet impacts your gut health as well. These FODMAP foods are considered “prebiotics” (they feed your gut bacteria). Without them, the amount of gut bacteria decrease. If I have SIBO, this could be the therapeutic diet solution! But if I have IBS, I will need to supplement with proper probiotics. But some evidence shows that the FODMAP approach should only be followed for 2-6 weeks. It is NOT intended to be continued long term. I am slowly starting to add things back into my diet this week as a way to determine if I have any trigger foods. Talk with your doctor and dietitian (future me) about this further!

 

Sounds like you can’t eat anything, right? *ensue hyperventilation and panic* But never fear! WE. CAN. DO. THIS.

 

Things to eat:

Coconut!

Nuts (not peanuts tho)!

Meat!

Eggs!

Coconut, spelt, and oat flour!

Quinoa!

Rice!

Oats!

Potatoes!

Green beans!

Citrus fruits!

Blueberries!

Spinach, kale, lettuce!

& more, we just have to get creative.

 

I’m hoping I don't have either of these conditions, but just want some answers. So far, the low FODMAP diet will have to do while I am seeking results for all this craziness. We shouldn’t be scared of food, ever. But sometimes, we are. Bc sometimes circumstances get thrown your way and you have to adapt, y’all! 

Addie Abohosh