I recently wrote about a bad experience I had with my IBS and my struggle to control the symptoms, even after twenty years of suffering with it.
The term irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, came about as the result of a group of doctors and researchers sitting in a room together and deciding what to call this collective set of symptoms that linked to the digestive system. They understood that it was a genuine medical concern, but because no one could identify one particular cause (still can’t), they had to group them together.
The term, IBS, for me, became synonymous for ‘hypochondriac with stomach ache’ and because of that stigma, I never went to see my doctor about it. Believing that they couldn’t do anything about it anyway, I doubt that I ever will go. I’ve reached the conclusion that it’s down to me to work out what causes my symptoms and try to manage it that way. That’s easier said than done, though. My recent attack (the one I wrote about), came as a complete surprise because I hadn’t suffered that badly in ages. I thought I had it under control, but apparently not.
Looking back, I can see that stress played a big part in that day and also not eating properly. For me, those two things are really important and as we know digestion is directly affected by stress, it’s no surprise that IBS sufferers can find their symptoms worsening when their stress levels increase. I have also identified, in recent years, some foods that I am intolerant to (the nightshade group) and cutting these out of my diet has really helped.
I wonder whether I will ever truly know the causes, though. Is it gluten? Is it dairy? and what about FODMAPS? Haven’t heard of these yet? High FODMAP foods are thought to be directly linked to IBS or digestive symptoms and I first heard about them when my husband had surgery on his stomach. His consultant recommended he follow a low FODMAP diet and it’s interesting that we have identified a number of foods that irritate his stomach belonging to this food group.
It’s not an easy diet to follow, though and it can be very confusing to know what foods to eat and what to avoid. This is why I am pleased to have the opportunity to road test a new app called FODMAP Friendly, specifically aimed at those who would like to follow a low FODMAP diet.
I think apps for people with food intolerances and allergies have real value. Not only do they provide vital information, you can find that information quickly and easily and wherever you are in the world. Click here to read more about some of the apps that are available to try. They include information for gluten free shopping and dining, ways to manage and record your symptoms and even an app for translating your allergy to help you communicate your symptoms when abroad.
The app I will be testing is brand new and I’m looking forward to reporting how I get on. You can learn more about FODMAPs here.
How do you manage your IBS Symptoms?