Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, is an embarassing condition that causes either constipation, diarrhea, or both. The gastrointestinal or GI tract doesn’t work like it should. People with fibromyalgia (FM) often have IBS too. According to the UNC School of Medicine, “FM occurs in up to 60% of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Up to 70% of patients with a diagnosis of FM have symptoms of IBS.”
“Symptoms include cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea or constipation, or both.” The Mayo clinic calls IBS a chronic condition that needs long-term management. ):
The Mayo clinic’s article has a short video that shows what happens with the muscles in the long intestine. It also discusses treatments such as dietary changes, stress management, and medications to try. You can read it here: Irritable Bowel Syndrome
My Story with IBS
I’ve had problems with my stomach for as long as I can remember. Back in 2017, I wrote posts about using an elimination diet to figure out what was causing my stomach issues, and about the book Solving the IBS Puzzle: A Patient’s Guide to Treating IBS from Diagnosis to Treatment by Sylvie McCracken.
Since 2017, I’ve managed my IBS by avoiding wheat and dairy and eating lots of fiber-rich foods. I also started using a probiotic. I’ve had occasional flares, but since early January my symptoms have been debilitating.
I’m blaming it on stress. It was really stressful getting my book uploaded to Amazon to publish on January 4, 2024. However, the thing that pushed me over the edge was when my Facebook business account got hacked on January 15th. Suddenly someone else was taking money out of my bank account. It took two weeks to get the money back. The hacker also somehow opened two Instagram accounts associated with my Instagram account and their behavior on those Instagram accounts led to my Facebook account getting shut down.
But maybe the message that my account is locked isn’t even coming from Facebook, since I never received an email from Facebook. Facebook’s documentation says they email you when an account is blocked.
Oddly, I still have access to my Instagram account, but I cannot log-in to my Facebook account anymore. I’m finding that losing access to my chronic illness and art groups, plus not being able to see what my friends are doing, is really distressing.
I’ve tried unsuccessfully to reach a human being at Facebook support who can restore my account access.
Enter belly pain, gas, and diarrhea. My belly isn’t happy with anything I eat, and diarrhea is a daily occurrence. I even had to get some over-the-counter medicine to slow things down.
My Research Findings
This misery led me to do some research looking for relief.
Have you heard about soluble and insoluble fiber? Soluble fiber dissolves in water and insoluble fiber doesn’t. According to Today’s Dietician, foods high in soluble fiber help with IBS. However, most plant foods have a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber in them. To make matters more confusing, some soluble fibers ferment in the gut, causing gas and bloating. These foods are called FODMAPs for short. Each letter in the acronym stands for a specific carbohydrate. Limiting FODMAPs in the diet can help with IBS symptoms for some people. But not everyone is sensitive to foods containing FODMAPs.
This topic is confusing, but thankfully someone created a series of videos to help explain what FODMAPs are and how to avoid them. You can watch these videos here: My Nutrition Health
People with IBS and other bowel diseases can be especially sensitive to foods containing FODMAPs, which is why avoiding or limiting the quantity they eat can help with symptoms. The video series above gives easy-to-understand information on how to find out if foods containing FODMAPs are worsening IBS symptoms.
To find out if FODMAPs are causing IBS symptoms, you eliminate FODMAP containing foods for 2-4 weeks. Then, you re-introduce them one at a time. Research shows that 75% of people who eliminate FODMAPs feel better. That sounds pretty good to me.
For a list of high FODMAP foods to avoid , click here: https://myginutrition.com/downloads/High_FODMAP_foods.pdf
For a list of low FODMAP foods to eat during the elimination phase of this challenge, click here: https://myginutrition.com/downloads/Low_FODMAP_foods.pdf
Finally, will I try the FODMAPS elimination diet? I might if I can figure out what I can eat. It all feels like too much at the moment, because I’m struggling with my mental health. Perhaps I’ll just focus on stress management for now and see if that helps. I’ll let you know how it’s going either way.
My daughter also struggles with IBS and she told me that the FODMAPs diet didn’t help her. She believes her symptoms are directly related to how stressful her day is.
Have you tried the FODMAPs diet? Did it help your IBS symptoms? Let me know in the comments.
Also, if you can see my Facebook page, will you let me know? It might help me figure out whether Facebook shut my page down, or if a hacker did.
Till next time, Kathy
Subscribe below for the bimonthly newsletter plus access to subscriber-only freebies. You may unsubscribe at any time, but I’d be thrilled if you stuck around.