Regularly suffer with excruciating stomach cramps, bloating or even diarrhoea after eating? That was my life with IBS for five years before going to see a registered Dietitian. Then I learned about the Low FODMAP diet…
My Dietitian, an expert in Low FODMAP research, explained how my body was struggling to digest hard-to-absorb carbohydrates. These were common in most meals. She suggested an elimination and reintroduction plan for foods containing those carbohydrates.
This process helped me understand what foods were affecting me and to what extent. Those foods included onion and garlic, among others. My lifestyle and diet had to drastically change if I was to combat, or at least ease, my IBS. The process had to be monitored by a trained dietitian.
And how it may help you, too.
Coping with IBS when travelling
Of course, this doesn’t make things easy while travelling. However, I’ve found more and more restaurants are learning about Low FODMAP and are flexible to the needs of people who suffer from IBS.
When travelling in more remote areas, eating freshly-cooked meals means I can ask for dishes to be cooked without the ingredients that make me sick, like onion and garlic. Even though some chefs don’t always understand why anyone wouldn’t want these in their food, they come around when I explain why.
It’s mainly in busy inner-city restaurants – where food tends to be pre-prepared – that I struggle to find places that will cater for my Low FODMAP dietary requirements. However, even that is slowly changing.
The main thing is, now, I’m not afraid to ask. At first, I used to feel embarrassed to ask for a special meal, or talk about my symptoms. However, I soon realised it was only me that suffered if I stayed quiet. Wherever I am in the world, if places can’t cater for Low FODMAP, I’ll go somewhere else. It’s just not worth getting sick over.
[Original article written for Metro.co.uk]