Friday, October 9, 2015

a little catch-up, IBS, and the FODMAP diet

I know I've been MIA for a week. Lots going on, but mostly good stuff: meeting up with Tim for a late breakfast and catching up; a visit from an out-of-town friend; meeting up with my niece and talking to her over dinner; shopping for a dress to wear to my best friend's son's wedding next week; shopping for a rug and comforter for our in-progress bedroom re-do (got the rug; no luck yet on the comforter)...and then just keeping up with the everyday stuff with housekeeping, grocery shopping, yard maintenance, little home projects, hair cut appointment, daily exercise, yoga classes, and vet appointments for Monkey. I'm glad to report that he's doing really well.

I know I don't normally mention health issues on this blog, but this medical issue is part of my life and something I felt I should share with you all since it's a common problem. I'm learning a lot about it and figured that perhaps I could help someone else as I go on a new journey and share what I learn.

I have IBS ~ or, Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I've actually had it for about four or five years, but it's been getting worse recently. Gut problems and food intolerances run in my family. Also, anxiety can trigger episodes of IBS and yeah, I have pretty bad anxiety, too. I'm not on any medication for my anxiety; I choose to treat it with natural ways such as meditation, yoga, walks in nature, deep breathing, and hot baths with essential oils. I'm not saying this is the right way for everyone; I'm just sharing what has worked for me.

With my IBS getting worse, I've done a lot of research and have read not only about IBS in general, but about diet. I have eaten a healthy, clean diet for several years now ~ meaning no processed foods (I read labels on everything!), no fast food, no foods containing high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil or any other hydrogenated oils, no nitrates or nitrites, no food colorings or MSG, no refined sugar, no excess sugar or sodium, etc. Basically, I stick to real, whole foods as much as I can. I'm not perfect and neither is my diet. I'm not saying I've never eaten any junk food in these past few years. It's more about being mindful about what you put in your body. BUT. That's not enough to help IBS!

I found a great website that has a ton of information about IBS. It's the 
You can read about topics such as, What is IBS, Signs and Symptoms, Treatment, and Living with IBS. Each of these sections gets into more related detailed topics.

In relation to food, I started reading about the low FODMAP plan. FODMAPs are Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides And Polyols - basically, carboyhdrates that are found in foods. According to Stanford Hospital Digestive Health Center Nutrition Services, FODMAPs are osmotic - meaning they pull water into the intestinal tract, and may not be digested or absorbed well and could be fermented by bacteria in the intestinal tract when eaten in excess. A low FODMAP diet may help reduce symptoms of diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, and cramping. Click HERE for the link to the Stanford report. It also gives you the do's and don'ts for the FODMAP plan: which foods are OK to eat (low FODMAP foods) and which foods to avoid (high FODMAP foods). The International Foundation for Functional Gastroinestinal Disorders (link in previous paragraph) also has information about the FODMAP diet and even has a SYMPTOM DIARY where you can keep track of your food intake and symptoms.

I've started this low-FODMAP eating plan today. You're supposed to stick to it for six to eight weeks and then introduce other foods (the high FODMAP ones) back into your diet one at a time, so we'll see how it goes. I hope to share more with you as time goes on.

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Hope everyone has a great weekend. Weather is supposed to be perfect here: warm and sunny. We have a couple of exciting things planned for this weekend, so I will be sharing with you soon. See you then!


  1. Very interesting post. Have not heard of that. Pretty photos.

    Have a great weekend.


  2. I think it's great that you are putting this info out there. I believe there are many that have IBS and may not know that it has a name and ways to deal with it. You leave no stone unturned when you research. I'd like to hear more about the foods you are eating now---changes you are making and some of the meals you are cooking up, I have to admit I got a little lost in the paragraph about what you should avoid and CAN eat.

    So glad Monkey is doing better-I know you must have been a wreck.

    Loved the flowers. I don't have much but sedum and ivy eating the house.

    Happy weekend!

    Jane x

  3. I am so sorry you have IBS. I have a friend that has it and so does her adult daughter. She does not read blogs but I am going to send her a link to this one. Best wishes in dealing with the problem. She also suffers from anxiety and finally is taking meds for it. With the meds her IBS seems to have calmed down a lot. You are smart to choose to eat a healthy lifestyle and stay off the meds if you can. xo Diana

  4. Melanie, I've suffered with IBS since my teens and it was controlling my life and I was becoming a prisoner in my home. In April of 2014 I started the Whole 30 and as a result I eliminated gluten, dairy, and a long lists of foods that trigger my problem. I've also researched FODMAP foods, and realized that many of the foods on this list are the foods I already eliminated, including gluten. I never realized that apples are one of the worst offenders and I used to eat one every day with my lunch! Changing my diet has literally changed my life and I hope your changes work for you, too.

  5. I can have the occasional 'gut problems' but have not been diagnosed with IBS but this info is very helpful. Thank you for sharing! Glad Monkey is doing better.

  6. Melanie, I suffer as well and was recently introduced to the FODMAO diet. I really have to look into it and try it out for sure! Good luck...I know it stinks!

  7. Melanie, we live just north of Madison. Our county celebrates Fermentation Fest every October. Our (adult) kids attend every year and take some of the fermentation classes. Here is the link and there is also a link on that page to their FB page. It is quite interesting. I know it isn't too far from you, and thought you might like to know and put on your calendar for next year. So glad Monkey is doing better!! That worry certainly causes us a lot of stress.

  8. I'm always looking for new ways of eating because I have some gastric issues too. Probably not IBS, but somewhat similar, based on what I've read about it. I'm glad you've been having a good, busy time lately.

  9. Happy I don't suffer from this awful disease, and sorry you do. For me I believe IBS is not only related to food but greatly to aniexty. I hope your new diet helps and changing diet seems to have helped vicki.

  10. I am sorry that you suffer from IBS and I am surprised because you always show such healthy meals you prepare.

  11. Melanie, I love your blog, always. Friendly, gentle, joyful, intelligent - a best friend.

  12. I have IBS as well (big crisis last weekend by the way) and it'll be very interesting to hear your feedback on this diet.

  13. Sorry to hear this, Melanie. I suffered from it for years, having a bowel perforation, and even a colostomy for awhile. I went gluten free 4 years ago, and it is what made all the difference for me. Having 2 children with celiac disease, it was a no-brainer for me to try it. Hope you find what works for you!


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