Wednesday, March 26, 2014

IBS Diet

Hello everyone,

After you are diagnosed with IBS you fumble around not knowing what you can and cannot eat, especially after you have an attack and are left feeling drained and dehydrated.

The safest way to start gaining control of your body again is to go on a bland diet (At least for a couple of days after the attack). This ensures that you have food in your system that will not aggravate your bowels and it will also give them a break.

"Safe" foods include:
White rice
White bread
Plain pasta (Boiled in water and without any sauces)
Mashed potatoes (Plain: Without milk or butter)


These are the items i personally eat/drink after an attack. There are other things you could try of course and it depends on your body's reactions.

When you're feeling better again and are back to "normal" you go back to your regular IBS diet.

Hope this helped,

Love xx,

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Part 3 of the story

After being diagnosed I spent some time trying to recover from my most recent attack (It was the worst one at that point in time). I couldn't eat properly and was feeling so weak. (I got dehydrated and needed IV saline) The doctor prescribed me Imodium to stop the attacks and Buscopan for stomach aches but he said that these medications were only to relieve symptoms and that there was no course of treatment for IBS. He also gave me Amytriptaline (Antidepressant) to soothe the spasms and fix my sleep.

He said it so casually and normally. I was dumbfounded. He was basically giving me a life sentence, telling me that I had something that will never go away and he was so nonchalant about it. I mean people who are diagnosed with incurable diseases like Cancer probably don't get told the news this way. There was no sympathy, no understanding, nothing. It was as if he was telling me I had the flu and had to just wait it out.

But it wasn't the flu. Here was something that went and came according to what I ate, how I felt, how I slept and sometimes would just surprise me out of the blue without any triggers. I didn't know what to do.

Anyways, I then started doing what the internet told me to do when you have IBS. You start a food diary.

A food diary is where you write down everything you eat throughout the day and simultaneously you start an elimination diet. You try out a type of food every week or so and see how it effects you.

Personally I didn't follow the rules of the elimination diet but through the food diary and online searches I came up with a list of things that I could no longer eat or drink. This differs from one person to another. Some people tolerate certain foods in small quantities and other can't tolerate even a single bite so its a trial and error kind of thing.

My trigger list (Mostly insoluble fiber):
Popcorn and any corn based dish/snack (Like cornflakes)
Leafy vegetables and cucumber (The skin)
Apples (The skins mostly)
Grapes (Sometimes)
Nuts and seeds (Even peanut butter)
Any spicy food (Even potato chips)
Any fast food (French fries, burger, chicken nuggets)
Any oily food (Like Samboosa "samosas" or spring rolls)
All soft drinks
Caffeine (Strong caffeine like in coffee/Tea as well if I'm having a bad tummy day)
Green tea
Some noodles
Dairy products (Milk in small quantities is ok)
Whole grain bread

So you can imagine how awfully limited my diet is. I've also recently started trying to lose weight as I've gained a few kilos (My weight is still considered "normal" but I've been skinny almost my whole life so these few extra kilos are really getting on my nerves) and eating "healthy" while having IBS is harder and more complicated than normal people's healthy eating so it gets frustrating.

Anyways, that's it for now! Hope I didn't take too long to tell my story.

See you in my next post!

Love xx,

Part 2 of the story

<<continuation of previous post>>

On this particular day I had messed up my sleep so bad and hadn't slept all night. I was in the living room trying to fall asleep on the couch around midday. I got into a fight with someone who will remain unmentioned and after that incident my symptoms were clear as day. They weren't like the muted ones I had before. The pain had gotten worse, the episodes more frequent and more severe.

I decided to go to a specialized hospital this time and they ran a bunch of tests on me (Blood, ultrasound, etc). The doctor suspected that I had Helicobacter pylori.

Definition: " (/ˌhɛlɪkɵˈbæktər pˈlɔər/; H. pylori), previously named Campylobacter pylori, is a Gram-negative, microaerophilic bacterium found in the stomach" (Wikipedia)

Basically its a kind of worm found in your stomach that has similar symptoms to IBS and Crohn's. 

Definition: "Crohn's disease, also known as Crohn syndrome and regional enteritis, is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus, causing a wide variety of symptoms. It primarily causes abdominal pain, diarrhea (which may be bloody if inflammation is severe), vomiting, or weight loss,[1][2][3] but may also cause complications outside the gastrointestinal tract" (Wikipedia)

The tests came back negative and I went back home glad that I didn't have this worm but a little frustrated over not finding out what I had. The doctor said that there was nothing wrong with me and I really wanted to believe him so I tried to convince myself that really I was fine and this was nothing.

Predictably I got sick again and was in pain that I could not stop (Again) and was so frustrated at the doctors that I decided to take matters into my own hands and started googling it. I became paranoid and started washing my hands and tried to avoid eating out as much as I could to avoid food poisoning. At the time the only search result that came up that made sense was food poisoning.

I then started researching about things other than food poisoning that had similar symptoms. IBS and Crohns came up and I was scared. I did not want to have a functional disease that altered my life and was incurable. I did not want another diagnosis of another chronic disease that I could not control or avoid. Another disease and more medication and more doctor visits.

 I was terrified. I even started suspecting Cancer...

On my 19th birthday I got sick one more time and went to the same hospital again.

This time my doctor uttered the words "Irritable Bowel Syndrome" and I was both relieved and horrified. Relieved that I finally knew what was wrong with me and horrified because I'd have to live with this for the rest of my life...


Part 1 of the story

Hello again,

So to continue from where i left off in my previous post here is my story, or part of it at least.

As I mentioned before I was diagnosed with Asthma as a child but I don't really remember much of it from my early childhood. Just doctors appointments and medications that I had to take. Some of them made me swell up and I started putting on weight (I think it was just water weight from the steroids).

I'll leave that out for now and talk about my IBS/Acid Reflux experiences.

Back in school I remember getting stomach aches whenever exam time rolled around and I would find myself running to the bathroom (Told you its not pretty) in the morning before taking my exams. I never really knew why and my mother/people would tell me that its just nerves. I would occasionally get dizzy, faint and throw up on the first day of going back to school or starting a new school/new grade. I specifically remember my 4th grade experience and 7th grade experience. The dizziness would come out of the blue randomly and the world would go black and I'd slip to the floor and start throwing up.

Now I don't know how much of that is relevant to my IBS or Acid Reflux but for some reason I feel like they were early warning signs of what was to come.

Anyways, I grew up and managed to graduate high school in one piece without any major episodes. That summer I was supposed to pack my bags and study abroad in the UK. I was excited and nervous about it at the same time. That's when things started to get bad.

Every night I would stay up (It was summer vacation after all) and eat my favorite snack (Which is salted popcorn) and watch tv and from then on I started to have stomach pains and more trips to the bathroom (Painful ones too)(Note: bad sleeping patterns can and will worsen IBS symptoms)

My mother took me to a clinic and the doctor then told me that it was just nerves (Again) and that I was feeling this way because I was going away and leaving my family behind, etc etc.

I believed the doctor and went back home but the episodes continued and I started getting scared. Was this new thing that was happening to me and causing me pain stop? Would it get worse? Would it effect my new life at University? So many questions were left unanswered and with each passing day I was more and more afraid of being on my own in a foreign country.

So I decided regretfully that I would stay and not go abroad out of fear. Fear of my strange sickness. To this day I regret passing up that opportunity but my situation at the time at the tender age of 18 scared me too much.

About a year passed and nothing major happened. The pain stopped. The episodes stopped. My life went back to normal.

Then a few months before my 19th birthday it happened again..

The Beginning

Hello everyone,

I've been toying with the idea of starting this blog/online journal for a while now and didn't know how it would turn out.

I didn't really want people who knew me in real life to find me here as the things that I'll be sharing aren't really pretty and I still don't know how people will react to this.

But this is for me and for anyone who is like me and seeking out information or help or support.

To introduce this blog here are a few things you might need to know:

I am:
Female/in my early twenties

Diagnosed with:
 IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Acid Reflux/ Sensitive stomach to certain dairy products
Occasional migraines
Childhood Asthma (Stopped when i turned 18/19)

"Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS, or spastic colon) is a symptom-based diagnosis characterized by chronic abdominal pain, discomfort, bloating, and alteration of bowel habits. As a functional gastrointestinal disorder (FGID), IBS has no known organic cause." (Wikipedia)

"Acid reflux: burning pain felt internally around the lower chest area, caused by stomach acid flowing back up into the food pipe. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, or GORD for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease) is acid reflux more than twice a week" (Medical news today)

I will be writing about my own journey and my own feelings, thoughts and findings. I hope that i do not offend anyone or represent anything wrongly.

Love xx,