Why I’ve decided to embark on the FODMAP diet again
My blog and the FODMAP diet
As many of you know, this blog was created after many years of trial and error with my IBS, I discovered that the FODMAP diet was the thing that helped my symptoms the most. I created this blog to get inspiration, find other like minded individuals and help me open up more about my IBS and I do feel it has been a great outlet for that.
I feel like in the past year or so I’ve become much more in tune with my body (sometimes a little too much) and through food diaries, journal taking and just noticing in general, I’m really aware that my IBS is reacting extremely badly to stress and I’m in a constant state of anxiety. I’m going to be honest though, I’m not sure which one came first, the IBS or the anxiety? It’s really got me thinking though, could my main contributor to my IBS is in fact stress and not diet. I carried out a test to check my cortisol (stress) levels a short while ago and the results of that gave me a bit of a wake up call too, you can read all about it here.
Initially I started the FODMAP diet around 3 years ago and worked with a dietician but I wasn’t very successful in my reintroductions. I think mainly due to the fact I had a very poor work life balance and I had quite a few life changes going on at the time. Perhaps it wasn’t the right time for me. Too be honest, I’ve quite loosely followed the diet since then, not entirely knowing what all of my triggers are. I do remember when I started the diet, I felt quite a difference in my gut health, but I’ve never really been able to combat the D part of my IBS.
IBS Awareness Month
Back in April I was asked to take part in the Kaye Adams show on BBC Scotland in aid of IBS awareness month. I was lucky enough to be on the show with the dietician Lesley Reid and the IBS Network where we discussed what living with the condition is like and how it can affect us. I had discussed on the show that the FODMAP diet had helped me the most but if I was stressed it didn’t matter what I ate, my IBS would be hugely affected. It was nice to be on the show with like minded people.
After the show I got thinking, I’m far from in a good place with my IBS and I didn’t feel what I said about the FODMAP diet was completely true. I wanted to follow this diet again properly and work on my reintroductions fully and really assess if this diet is what is going to truly help me out.
Working with a dietician again
I decided to get in contact with Lesley, knowing that she is freelance and does a FODMAP diet package. We set up a date for a Skype consultation and got the ball rolling.
During my Skype consultation Lesley asked me lots of questions initially, firstly checking I have a firm IBS diagnoses and that I have had tests to rule out everything else. She is also asked what other methods I had tried, I assume because the FODMAP diet should be a last resort. Lesley is a big believer in Hypnotherapy for IBS and also suggested this to me. The Skype consultation was an hour in total and Lesley decided that I should go back on the FODMAP elimination phase for two weeks and then start doing my reintroductions. I agreed this was also the best option for me. We also agreed for me to start using the headspace app regularly to help with my stress/anxiety levels.
I will update you on my progress of doing this diet again, to find out if this truly is the best thing I should be doing. Ultimately my aim is to get my symptoms down to a tolerable level and gain some confidence in myself again. If you are looking for a FODMAP trained dietician I would highly recommend Lesley, she is based in Glasgow but can also do consultations over the phone or Skype.