Sunday, 18 January 2015

Digesting my digestive problems

Oh dear, there's nothing like a cheesy pun on a Sunday to get things going..


This week's been a fairly quiet one here. Finished one of my ongoing projects at work and spent some time working from home. There really is nothing that beats waking up in your own bed, then spending the time you normally commute going for a run in the fresh air, and sitting at your own desk in peace and quiet with your slippers on!

On Thursday I headed to my GP to discuss some digestive problems. I've had problems for years and have done my best to ignore them (because that always works, right!?). When I was restricting my digestive system basically ground to a halt so I blamed all my digestive discomfort on that. When I started eating more I developed insensitivities to a number of foods such as oats and most recently wheat. But the digestive problems went beyond that - stomach cramps, bloating (so much bloating!), constantly changing toilet habits (enough said...)...and it was only getting worse. I tried to constantly try and blame it on unhealthy things I was eating but it was clear that wasn't it.


Since I started my meal plans with the dietitian I've been pretty much in constant pain during the afternoons and evenings. It shocked me how much how my stomach felt affected my self confidence. It was starting to get unbearable and I felt pretty helpless.

Whilst I was at home over Christmas I found out my Mum had been diagnosed with IBS when she was younger, and it made me realise I had to just face my problems and find out whether that's what my problems were. I don't know why I'd been pretending the problems weren't happening for so long - they clearly weren't going to get better, and a diagnosis was only going to help me find solutions.

I also read Roni and Sarah's blogs, and they've both been tackling their digestive problems recently. It gave me that added push to go and see the Dr. I love the blogging community!

After describing my symptoms the Dr said it probably was IBS. She explained that it's highly linked to stress and mood, and that the amount of stress my body has been under over the last year has probably made it worse.

She wasn't particularly great in providing any useful information for how to improve my symptoms, other than "try to relax"...gee, thanks. I've got an information sheet, and have already done quite a lot of research into things like the low FODMAP diet which I'm going to give a go. If anyone's looking for a great book to introduce the FODMAP diet I highly recommend this one. I'm hoping to go back to my dietitian so that she can provide some advice and help with my meal plans.


I took a bit of a break from running as I had some foot and knee pain from my 10k the other weekend. I managed to get out for a 9k though this morning and things felt nicely healed!

Other than that, lots of walking and the odd yoga session.


Salads and healthy snacks to avoid uncontrolled eating whilst working from home.

Some hot water and lemon to start the day.

Post run waffles made with eggs and coconut flour. With sides of caramelised bananas in date syrup and warmed berries.

Eggs fried in coconut oil with a side of frozen berries. Breakfast low FODMAPs styley....oh yeah. And can I please drawer your attention to the size of that grape! It's almost the same size as the egg yolks!


The whole IBS thing has kind of thrown me sideways. When you've had an eating disorder and you get a good way down your recovery you kind of think, "great, this is it, we're back on track! I'm now going to be perfectly healthy for the rest of my life". You start enjoying food and trying all the things you've disallowed yourself from eating for years. You get interested in nutrition and remember that food is there to nourish us. You start getting to know your body again, and appreciate all the things it can do.

IBS is being a bit of a party pooper on my new life and I'm not a fan. It's making me not want to eat because of the pressure in my abdomen, it's making me have to start restricting the range of foods I eat (hello all my high FODMAP vegetables), and it's making me hate my bloated body. And that's not to mention the fact that my stomach is painful all. the. time. which makes me want to crawl under a duvet away from society and live a life of consistent drinking of peppermint tea with a cat on my lap.

I know things could be soooo much worse, and I'm grateful for all the ways I'm healthy and that I'm well on my way to recovery and eating the amounts I should be doing. But it is so frustrating when you're eating healthily and trying to nourish your body, and you feel like your digestive system is punishing you.

I'm really hoping that this low FODMAPs diet takes me a step in the right direction!

Hope you've all had great weeks!

E x

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