Good food, bad food

As I wrote in my last post I have been following the lowFODMAP diet for a couple of weeks now and I have started to feel better. Yesterday I realised just how much better, but this is because I slipped and had a bad day as a consequence. 

I was craving eggs and even though they gave me grief before Christmas I decided to give them another go. I had one poached on FODMAP approved spelt bread and a short cut rasher of bacon. I’m thrilled to say it went down well with no bad affects, where I was having severe pains within a short period of time. So I will go back to eating eggs, but only once or so a week. 

It was lunch where I slipped. I made the poor decision to have pasta with a store bought sauce that I know contains added fructose. The pain began quickly, and it didn’t stop until after breakfast this morning. I’m disappointed, but it also really does point to fructose being the issue. Clearly I’ll be avoiding regular pasta and bottled sauce!

Only a couple of days until I have my fructose breath test, so fingers crossed I get answers!

On a side note the meal I cooked tonight just may make it to my “last meal ever” list. My son and I enjoyed it so much! I will pop up the recipe soon, a modified “Carbonara”, no pasta. So yum- but unfortunately no good for those following low FODMAP with diary issues. 

What is going on with my body?

As stated in my first post I have been diagnosed with IBS. My symptoms: pain which can vary from “gee my guts are a not feeling so great today” to being in the foetal position unable to move or get comfortable for hours on end.

When I was first diagnosed about a decade ago (although I have had symptoms since childhood) my doctor put it down to the stressful time I was having and we didn’t pursue it any further.

I have known for years that some foods were more likely to set off pain. Bread and wheat products in general have long been an issue, but mostly if I eat it in large quantities – which hey, we shouldn’t do anyway right? To manage this I try to only have one meal with these products, but my pattern with diet has always to follow my own guidelines fairly loosely. In some respects I have in the past lacked discipline. Avocado of all things is one that is guaranteed to have me in agony within 20 minutes. Recently egg is one that gives me an immediate pain response. We are unable to determine this one as yet, but I did eat an egg almost every day for breakfast the last 12 months as I cut out commercial cereals. There has been some research to indicate that you can OD on eggs.

November 2014 brought on my worst bout to date, which lasted 6 weeks and left me scared to eat and mostly unable to exercise as I was in so much pain. Thankfully my doctor took me seriously and I underwent many tests. We tested for gall bladder, kidney, pancreas and liver issues, all which came back clear, as did a blood test for coeliacs. Then what? A trip to see a gastroenterologist.

Once again the thought was that this was not a “medical” problem, but we did have another avenue to pursue. Fructose malabsorption. Now I have looked at following a low FODMAP diet before, as I said I have had IBS for years, but I worry over following something un-necessarily, but given my situation now I happily look at this again.

I am currently undergoing ‘breath tests’ to ascertain if I am unable to absorb fructose, and hope to have the results in the next two to four weeks. I am a high hydrogen producer, which means that my results will be immediate. This is great news, and I am hoping to get some decent answers.

In the meantime I am attempting to follow a low FODMAP lifestyle. I am not going to ‘sugar coat’ it (haha). It is challenging. I try to “just eat real food” and as a general rule as a family we do well. Cutting foods that I love (even though they cause pain) is still difficult, and as I person I generally rebel against being told what to do. Still I am sucking it up and trying.

A couple of days in and I have to say I have experienced some relief, but feeling low in energy still, but I think I just need to eat more regularly.

For more info on testing for malabsorption of fermentable sugars go here

For more info on Monash Universities FODMAP research go here

I have found the Monash FODMAP app a helpful quick reference to see what I can and should not eat.

Leave a comment to tell me your experiences with IBS, fructose malabsorption and beginning a low FODMAP lifestyle.