I have IBS. Well, at least I think I do. A lot of people who have undiagnosed stomach issues get the common diagnosis by their doctor as irritable bowel syndrome.
This means that everything else has essentially been ruled out, and you have no other significant GI issues, yet you still have the common symptoms of gas, bloating, abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea (or both), etc.
Nothing is TMI for me by the way 😉
Anywho.. lately I’ve seen a LOT of people complaining about similar stomach issues. The first thing they do? “It MUST be the dairy or gluten I’m eating!!!!” must cut those foods out.
I realize that this is very common, and I’ll be honest, I have done the same.exact.thing. I was once convinced I had celiac disease. I mean, I had ALL of the symptoms, I MUST HAVE IT. I was tested literally twice by blood and twice by biopsy and it was negative all those times but I still thought I had it. (i’m a little bit of a hypochondriac hahaah).
So I cut out gluten. Yet, I was still eating dairy. Well, turns out my gallbladder was actually not working at all. That made a lot of sense. The 6 months pregnant looking bloated belly, the gas, constipation, pain after eating high-fat meals, etc. So, I had it removed. Let me tell you, whoever says that’s an “easy-reovery” surgery didn’t have the same recovery as me. It was terrible, not fun whatsoever.
I have to admit, my symptoms got a LOT better. A lot. The bloating was gone, I was pooping regularly, no more severe pain, etc.
Well, for a while at least…
I started getting severe upper abdominal pain early in the mornings, around 4 am. Every. single. morning. This was about a month after my surgery. It would radiate to my back and I could never get back to sleep. Eating something or drinking my coffee would help, and I would be up for the day. This happened for months, and still continues to happen, the doctors and I am still not sure why.
They told me it must be IBS. This pissed me off because it seemed way worse than IBS, and that has no cure and no one knows what causes the symptoms.
Naturally, the first thing I did was cut out gluten and dairy. I heard that if you have IBS, those foods really should be off-limits completely.
Initially I thought it helped. I didn’t have ANY dairy or gluten for a while, months even. But sometimes I would still have the pain. I brushed it off.
I went on vacation a few months later and tried dairy and gluten. I was completely fine. No reaction, nothing. I continued to eat it on the trip.
I didn’t die. In fact, I was literally perfect. I had NO stomach issues on the trip whatsoever. After the trip, I continued to eat dairy and gluten. Sometimes I had issues, other times I did not. That’s what happened to me when I was eating it, and when I wasn’t. Nothing really changed.
I’m still trying to figure things out, as it is a work in progress, but one thing I can tell you is I have IBS and I am FINE eating dairy and gluten these days. I do believe that eating WAY too much FIBER was giving me problems. I track macros, so I know how much fiber I’m eating. If it gets out of hand one day, I definitely feel the effects. Maybe that’s why I was fine on vacation – I was eating out all the time, and not really eating a ton of fibrous foods. I’m not 100% sure this is the reason, but at least I’m getting somewhere.
I will be honest, if I have wayyyy too much dairy, then sometimes I’ll feel the effects. I’m still not sure if I can tolerate a ton of whey protein in particular, but usually I’m okay with cheese and yogurts and such.
Yes, everyone is different. Yes, if you have celiac you MUST stay away from gluten. What I am saying is, maybe it’s not what everyone else is telling you. Dairy and gluten are popular subjects these days, but it doesn’t mean that it is what everyone has issues with it.
I also believe if you cut something out of your diet completely, you do have to give your digestive system time to adjust when you re-introduce it. Your body doesn’t like change, so it has to adjust to whatever you are changing. Think about vegetarians – they don’t eat meat, but if they decide to eat it again do you think they will go for a 12 oz. steak right off the bat and not feel some effects? No, they are told to start small. Same thing with other foods.
Figure out YOUR body, and what is triggering your symptoms. Keep a food journal and track your symptoms. That’s the best way to figure things out.
What do you think?
Have you ever cut out certain food groups because people told you they weren’t good for you?