Chronic Illness,  Chronic Illness and Invisible Disabilities,  FODMAPs and IBS

2 Years Low-Fodmap: My experience so far

In the Beginning There Was Rice, Lots and Lots of Rice

I was diagnosed with IBS and GERD at the beginning of 2019 and began the low-fodmap diet around February of that year. This February marked 2 years of sticking to low fodmaps. It took me a really long time to accept that IBS and GERD were going to be a part of my life forever. At the time, I couldn’t imagine a world without soda, junk-food, and high fructose corn syrup (now I wonder how I ate all of that junk lol). There would be phases where I’d hate eating because it felt like there wasn’t anything that I could enjoy eating.

Other times I felt really encouraged and happy about deciding to stick with it. The testing phase was particularly difficult and no, it was not because of the pooping I’m used to that by now lol. It was more so because of the anxiety. Trying anything new reminded me of the months of flares that I endured before I was diagnosed and I did not want to go through that again. So, a lot of those same feelings came back, worry, fear, hopelessness, pain even.

Overall, I’m really glad that I did continue to challenge myself to keep re-introducing and testing foods. It made a lot happier in the long-run and I learned how to “cheat” without hurting myself.

Flaring Up

2020 was a roller-coaster of ups and downs. I had flares back to back for most of the year. It was the longest since I’d started the diet that I had so many flares. From March to August of last year my stomach was so sensitive to everything. As soon as my stomach was calm again, the slightest thing would aggravate it all over again. It’s probably because of the stress from finishing my last few months of undergrad and the generally terrible year that was 2020. It got better towards the end of the year, but it was definitely a difficult year with IBS.

More Peace, Less Anxiety

It feels like it’s been much longer than two years since I started this journey with myself. As I finished my second year low-fodmap, I still felt really great about it, even with the intensity of the flare-ups. I feel less anxious about food and more open to re-introducing foods I was too afraid to test. I’ve started to understand more about my body and what my limits are. I even created a few of my own recipes by modifying regular ones. I might share them, but I don’t think they are particularly ground breaking so idk.

The Snack Queen Is Back

More than anything out of these two years, I’ve really missed junk food and pre-made stuff. Before IBS, I was the snack queen, okayyy. One of the things that I’ve doing a lot lately is trying new snacks. For some reason, barbeque flavored anything is generally safe, even though it has seasonings and other fodmaps on it. It just works and I don’t question it. So, I’ve used it as a short-cut of sorts to determine what will and will not send me to the toilet (IBS will let you know pretty quickly, ifykyk). This week I’ve been trying honey bbq fritos and they haven’t bothered me at all! It is truly amazing. Anyways, as a result of that I have been able to find some really good go-to snacks that I can have even on flare-up days. I plan to make a list of snacks and foods that are IBS/M safe to share here, sometime soon. Hopefully it will save someone a lot of trouble when first starting the diet.

Here’s to Two Years and Many More

It has been a very difficult past two years. I can also say that 2021 has been a good year for my IBS, I haven’t had a serious flare in months. I’m learning to manage it and live with it in a way that works for me. Here’s to one more year and loving my stomach more and more with every other year that passes.

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