Starting an IBS Diet

Long story short, I’ve been sick for quite a while, went to see a specialist, and they told me that I may have IBS. Before all of this chaos started in the world, I was going to try to start an IBS diet and see if I started feeling better. However, it has become increasingly hard to get the products we need in grocery stores so my diet changes are either going to have to be very gradual or come after everything has settled down.

Now, I know that this isn’t the end of the world, but, if you look up what an IBS diet entails, you’d be very surprised at how restricting it is. I know I was. From what I’ve learned there are many diet changes that you can make to help manage your IBS but unfortunately for me, those changes are going to be very disruptive to my everyday life. My diet right now is very unfriendly to IBS. I’m going to talk through some of the changes I’m going to be making in the next few months and the feasibility of these changes.

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Dairy

I have has a dairy intolerance since I was younger but I didn’t really follow any special diet for it. I still don’t. The way I view lactose intolerance is that I ate the way I wanted and dealt with the consequences. It didn’t bother me all that much when I was in University but from what I read it can cause IBS flare ups in people who have a sensitivity to Dairy. That checks a box for me. This is something that I can definitely manage. They have lot’s of products for lactose intolerant individuals. I will have to make a conscious effort to buy lactose free products such as cheese, sour cream, yogurt, and milk and avoid eating pre-made products with dairy.

Coffee

Another big IBS trigger, from what I’ve read and also a staple in my diet. This is something that is going to be extremely hard for me to cut out of my diet. I drink coffee every single day and I am definitely dependent on it. I get headaches if I don’t have it (which is strange to me because it’s not like I drink a pot every day, I just drink a cup in the morning) and I definitely rely on it for energy. Aside from that, I also really enjoy drinking it. Going to Starbucks to get a latte just makes my day so much better. This is going to be one of the last things that I cut out of my diet just to see how badly it actually affects my IBS flareups.

Fried and Fatty Foods

I’m not sure what all falls into this category but I know that my weekly take out trips are going to need to be eliminated. My boyfriend and I eat out weekly. I love chicken fingers, chicken nuggets, and most importantly french fries. Do you want to know what my favourite food is? Poutine. Full of fat, grease and dairy… sounds like the perfect food for someone with IBS… I think that something important for me to realize is that I can still eat out but I need to make smarter choices. Instead of having something fried every week I can try choosing healthier and more gut friendly options like sushi (until I find out that this isn’t ok for an IBS diet). This is going to be a hard change but it will definitely benefit me and who says that I can’t eat this kind of food once a month? I will just stop doing it weekly. After further consultation with the internet I realized that chips fall into this category and I may lose my mind trying to follow this diet.

Soft Drinks

This is something that I know has a terrible impact on my stomach right now. I try to avoid it as much as I can but who doesn’t love a good Coke here and there. This won’t be too hard to phase out of my diet because I’ve done it before so why wouldn’t I be able to do it again? The key is to not buy it and not have it around the house because if I have it in the house, I will definitely drink it. I guess the broader category here is carbonated beverages. I don’t consume many other carbonated beverages that aren’t soda so I think I’m ok there. I had a phase in University where I liked to drink Perriere but I’m past that now so I should be ok.

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Chocolate

I don’t have much to say about this one. This is very hurtful, right down to my soul. I love chocolate but if I have to give it up to feel human again then so be it. I wouldn’t say that I eat a ton of chocolate but we regularly go to the store to purchase M&NM’s and reeses cups. I also like to do a lot of baking that typically involves chocolate. It definitely is on my list of most liked foods. Right under poutine…

Beans

Beans cause bloating and gas at the best of times so it would make sense that this is something IBS sufferers should avoid. I like to substitute beans for meat in certain dishes because it’s cheap and tastes good but that is something that I can avoid. I don’t eat a lot of beans but I love making black bean stew (and loading it with cheese and sour cream) so that is something I will need to stop doing. I wonder if hummus is in this category because it is made with chickpeas.

This is a quick list of the food categories that I am going to have to be mindful of when starting this diet. I have lots of time to do research right now while I’m stuck inside and I plan to do as much as possible before starting this diet. It;s obviously possible but it sound unenjoyable. I’m going to have to learn to cook differently and be very mindful of what I eat.

If any of my followers are IBS sufferers I would love to hear your opinion on this and the tips and tricks that you have for making this easier! I will be following up this post with more so if this is something you’re interested in, stay tuned!

Resources I’ve Used

These are the websites that I’ve gotten my information from. I didn’t know anything about IBS before I was given my diagnosis (not really a diagnosis because I still need to go for more tests).

https://www.webmd.com/ibs/ibs-triggers-prevention-strategies#2
https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/foods-to-avoid-with-ibs#what-to-eat-instead

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Published by Brooklyn

Just a recent university graduate sharing her love of reading! In my free time you'll either find me reading or working on my novel!

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