Soon after turning 40, I started to feel unwell, especially after eating and in the years that follow, things started to become even worst. The bloating was constant with peaks soon after each meal and the numerous trips to the bathroom were wearing me down.
I always loved food and eating, but eventually it became a routine that I started to dread. What made it worst was, that although I was eating less and I was visiting the toilets up to ten times per day, my weight was going up and up. In fact in two years I gained 8 kg, not happy with that 🙁
As I was in my forties, I was blaming the slower metabolism and hormonal changes for the gain, but what about the yucky feeling I constantly felt, was that also part of mid-life changes?
I went to see various practitioners and nutritionists and one of them suggested for me to come off any wheat products I was eating. Being of Italian origin, you can imagine my diet was very rich in pasta and bread type of food. It took me a few weeks of weaning myself out, until I was completely wheat free. Thank goodness, I could still eat rice.
Although I started to feel slightly better, I was still bloating at almost every meal and running to the bathroom several times a day. I could not understand why, I ate healthy food with lots of vegetables and some fruit.
In the midst of all of this, I also started to feel chest pains. The type of chest pains I had, were very similar to the symptoms described for unstable angina and they usually happened at rest or early in the morning.
From one moment to another I would have this pain starting from my jaw, travelling down my upper back and at the front in my chest, where I could feel like a squeeze in my chest. I ended up twice at the hospital emergency, where they performed all sort of tests to see if I had any heart issues, but thankfully my heart was all good.
You can read about this experience, in details, on a separate blog post.
Soon after, I was able to be seen by a doctor, who listened to me and wanted to try to identify the cause, rather than just treating the symptoms and so he sent me for a lot of tests and scans.
Finally, after three years of horrible symptoms I received a diagnosis: I suffer of Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and on top of that I also have non-alcoholic fatty liver (P.S. my latest scan have shown that my non-alcoholic fatty liver has since gone – amazing :-D).
IBS is a condition that around 15% of the population has and which causes bloating and abdominal pain, often in association with an alternating of constipation and diarrhoea.
My doctor referred me to a dietitian, who suggested to go on strict low FODMAP food for about 6 weeks (elimination phase). After the six weeks I was able to re-introduce some high FODMAP food and now I follow a diet which is probably 85% low FODMAP. (P.S. the elimination phase length can vary depending on your individual situation)
The Low-FODMAP diet can help people suffering from various digestive issues, especially IBS. Around seventy-five percent of people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome have greatly improved their symptoms, when they remove the FODMAP foods from their diet.
About This Blog
In this blog, I will take you through my experience with IBS and the low FODMAP diet, my struggle with weight gain and what I do to improve my health and fitness.
I also share my favourite low FODMAP recipes.
If you have also been diagnosed with IBS and have been recommended to follow a low FODMAP diet, I would love to hear your stories.
Within this blog I also recommend some products and books (affiliate links). If you purchase anything I may receive a small commission for which I am very grateful.
I have also a Podcast about the Low FODMAP Diet & IBS
I am an avid podcasts consumer. I listen to podcasts shows many hours per weeek. I listen to them in my car, when driving to work, while I am cleaning the house, during my fitness exercises, I have them even playing in the background, while I am working on my blog. Podcasts are easy to consume and that is why I thought that would be the perfect media to further spread the word about the Low FODMAP Diet.
During the podcast I interview low FODMAP experts, such as doctors, specialised dietitians, nutritionists, fitness experts, low FODMAP diet and IBS bloggers, recipes creators, etc., they explain the details of the diet and of course talk about IBS and all those nasty symptoms.
I also interview IBS sufferers like me and you, who have found relief to their IBS symptoms by following a low FODMAP diet. Any other digestive issues sufferer, who have managed to feel better, by following a low FODMAP diet, are also welcome to participate as guest to this podcast.
Feel free to contact me, if you think your story is relevant and can help other IBS sufferers. Thank you.
Please note that I’m not a doctor, a nutritionist, a registered dietitian or other health professional. In this blog post and on the rest of this site, I am sharing my experience with IBS, with the low FODMAP diet, food and life. This is purely my experience and it is not my intention to give you advice. When it comes to your health and fitness, consult your GP or other health practitioner and do your research.