the time has come for me to go public: i have ibs.
what now? haha… exactly.
ibs stands for irritable bowel syndrome, and is really doctor speak for “i dunno”. ibs is what you get diagnosed with when every other possibility has been eliminated. i don’t have cancer, crohn’s, colitis, celiac… any of those ugly C-words. they don’t know what i have, so it’s ibs.
i started getting unexplained abdominal pain in august. i’m the annoying type of patient who waits until life can’t go on before visiting a doctor. the pain was spreading and intensifying, and there were days where i would just lay in bed like a lump in the fetal position, clutching my torso and wishing that the pain would stop long enough so i could go to sleep and be free from hurting.
i’m not trying to dramatize what i’ve been going through, just trying to be honest with you and possibly help out someone else who may be spending hours googling a diagnoses for themselves. so… ibs. you probably know one or two people who also have it, but their symptoms are nothing like yours. you can google it, and find a slew of symptoms that you have, and just as many that you don’t have.
i wasn’t joking when i said that it’s how doctor’s label unknown abdominal pain. it can be frustrating when you’ve had a horribly painful week and you confide in someone: “yeah…i have ibs” and the healthy, happy other half of the conversation cheerfully exclaims “me too!”.
my symptoms are pretty limited: PAIN!!! and i fall into random narcoleptic comas without warning. true story: i fell asleep at your wedding reception, natasha.
to treat my ibs, i’ve been on an elimination diet for about 2 months. i had to eliminate alcohol (not a big deal)/caffeine/fatty food/and dairy. the idea with an elimination diet is that you can eventually reintroduce foods to see what your body reacts to. so far none of the above has been able to come back into my life, and the list has grown to include soy, carbonated drinks, and excess amounts of sugar.
you care, right? haha…. i know this is really personal and uninteresting stuff and if it’s completely irrelevant to you, feel free to skim to the end, and i’ll post something more reader-friendly by the end of the week!
if you’re still here…. i’ve got some recipes & tips for you! i’ll be adding an ibs section to the category cloud of this blog, so you can find all of the stomach-friendly foods that i’ve been testing and enjoying. here’s some stuff to get you started:
almond milk! essential. i’m not at the point where i can drink it straight yet, but on my cereal and as a milk-replacement in baking, it’s been a life-saver!
earth balance butter-substitute. so here’s the thing about substituting dairy: i’ve been a “clean eater” my whole life. i don’t like products with ingredients that i can’t pronounce. i really couldn’t reconcile the fact that eating fake chemical ingredients was better for my innards than real butter and milk. thankfully my vegan sister introduced me to earth balance! it uses natural ingredients, tastes like butter, and it’s good on popcorn, potatoes, and bread. mmmm… bread!
this recipe has been so good to me! i substitute in the almond milk (as suggested in the recipe), and use olive oil for the butter. it’s so tasty! if you’ve never made bread before, make this anyway! you have to start somewhere, and when you’re so limited with your food intake, eating comfort food like this is like finding hidden treasure.
i’m certain that i could never ever ever give up eating bread! i don’t know how people do the gluten-free thing, and i would be so devastated if i ever had to cut that out of my diet as well!
there are a few other recipes that i’d like to show you guys, but they require posts of their own. i don’t normally fish for the comment love, but i’d really like to hear from you if you’re on a limited diet and have any tips/recipes/or stories to share! even if YOUR ibs isn’t MY ibs, it’s nice to know that there are others among us!