Getting off FODMAPS

Soooooooooooo.

I saw my nutritionist again this week, and we concluded that if the FODMAPs diet was going to work, it would have worked by now, but alas, no relief. Which means, woohoo! NO MORE FODMAPs FOR ME.

It’s worth mentioning how many people have contacted me saying that the FODMAPs was their miracle cure, how they felt a million times better immediately, and how it changed their entire lives. Don’t take my experience as the be all and end all. It does work for a lot of people.

In saying that, my first day off FODMAPs has been AMAZING. I had tomato and avocado on TOAST, I had rye crisp bread, I had my favourite coconut nice cream. Heaven! And I feel exactly the same as I did before, maybe even a touch better. So what more could you ask for?

We don’t have a diagnosis for what’s causing the chronic pain. Tomorrow I see my doctor and we will discuss the results of a few more tests, and then decide on a course of action. I am pretty keen to not have another set of endoscopies to test for Crohn’s, to be honest. Both my doctor and my nutritionist have suggested that a parasite could be a cause of the problem, despite the fact that “the parasite test” came back clean. It could be a parasite that they can’t test for. The treatment for that would be a long term, broad spectrum antibiotic, which would essentially wipe out everything in my gut and allow the good stuff to repopulate.

In the mean time, I’ve been to a hot yoga class, and tomorrow I’m going to another one as well as seeing my acupuncture doctor and my doctor doctor! So take that, chronic pain!

Thanks for the support from my family and friends I’m actually getting through this. I just cry all the time and watch Netflix, but I’m still here.

Cheers for reading,

M x

Yoga!

I am a yoga no0b, but I felt pretty good about these poses today! Yoga really helps my stomach, maybe not for a long time, but I definitely notice that when I’m practicing I’m almost pain free. Makes me want to literally do yoga all day every day!

While practicing, through trying to allow the mind to quieten, I discovered some positive thoughts which were hiding: Even though the low FODMAP diet hasn’t really been working for me, I have stuck to it day in and day out, through chronic stomach pains and the worst headache I’ve had for a very long time. Okay, so, I had a couple of pieces of toast when I was really down, but overall it’s been a solid effort on my part. I am proud of myself for that.

I stuck to this god-awful diet for three weeks and now I feel like I can do anything. So, while practicing, I made the decision that the next thing I’m going to try is going refined sugar free, and couple this with more yoga classes. I have a good feeling about it helping!

Namaste

M x

Low FODMAP Blueberry Muffins

This is an Annabel Langbein recipe with adjustments!

Ingrediets:

  • 1/2 cup Tapioca Starch
  • 1/2 cup Sorghum Flour
  • 1/2 cup Coconut flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup rice milk, warmed
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 1tsp lemon zest

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Sift the flours.
  3. Mix flours, cinnamon and brown sugar together with a whisk, making sure there are no lumps of sugar left. Add the blueberries, being gentle, and stir them in. Mix the egg, milk, butter and lemon zest together (the milk ought to be warm enough that the butter does not solidify when they are combined).
  4. Combine the two mixtures, and fold together with a spatula until there are no dry ingredient pockets left. Be very gentle: overmixing will yield rubbery muffins!
  5. Pour the mixture into greased muffin tins, filling right to the top. Sprinkle each muffin with raw sugar.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Delish!

Acupuncture and Other New Thoughts

Three quarters of the way through! It’s been a bizarre few weeks and I can safely say I have not had any success with this diet (yet). No miracle cures for me, apparently! I’m now unsure if I should stay on it for an extra week or so to see if it just needs time to settle. At the same time, I am craving avocado on toast SO BAD. With margarine and salt and pepper. Get in me. #drool.

A few people have mentioned to me how much change they’ve noticed with their digestive systems since eliminating sugar from their diet, and while I don’t know how I would cope without processed peanut butter, I am contemplating giving this a go, maybe once I’ve recovered from this!

I am also considering going on a yoga binge, and maybe taking it up at Flow Hot Yoga here in my home town. 6.15am hot yoga classes every day for a week or two? Might give my stomach a kick up the butt that it needs!

In terms of a biomedicine diagnosis, my most recent tests for parasites in my gut came back clean. I am waiting on more test results this week, this time bloods to check my liver and kidneys, and another calprotectin test which will tell me if there is inflammation in my gut, which would be indicative of Crohn’s. That would probably lead on to a colonoscopy etc to determine if my symptoms fit more closely with Crohn’s, as it’s been a year since I was tested for it. Obviously, I’m not too keen on going down that road! So unless my calprotectin levels are considerably higher than last time, I think I’ll be leaving that one!

This week I also hit up acupuncture for the first time. I went to the doctor that my brother regularly sees and my bro came with me too, to give me some support. It was so scary, so bizarre, and ultimately helpful in a subtle but noticeable way – not a miracle cure, but I’ve felt some changes in the way my stomach feels after eating, and it’s also been gurgling which it hasn’t done for a long time! I’m really looking forward to going again and observing the changes as they happen. I had four pins: three in my feet, and one in my wrist. The wrist one was extremely painful, I was sure I’d lost the ability to use my hand! But my stomach started gurgling away while I was lying there (screaming and crying) and I’ve been in just a little bit less pain since then. Amazing!

It can be such a frustrating illness because I don’t know what’s causing all the pain, I really don’t think it’s what I eat and that thought has been backed up now that I’ve been on FODMAPs for three weeks and I’m in the same amount of pain/trouble that I was in beforehand. It’s frustrating because it’s fickle and unpredictable and hard to explain to people because they’re likely to tell me what they think I should or shouldn’t be eating, and good on them, I’d probably do the same! And it’s frustrating because it’s looking more and more likely that I’m not really nearing the end of this, that this is just the start of my journey towards a pain free life, and that is just so hard to accept.  I don’t want to spend my 20s in pain all day every day and end up missing out on fun stuff because of the pain and the inconvenience. Thinking about that is scary! And sad! And lots of other things.

So here’s to trying to remain positive in the face of adversity.

Cheers for reading,

M x

“Take care of yourself!” and other confusing instructions

I had a break-down last night. Full on hysterical crying, pounding headache, stomach pains the worst I’ve had in weeks, and associated digestive problems. Lay on the couch with a cold cloth on my head, crying, for about an hour.

I reacted badly to the bread recipe I put up on here. I don’t recommend it anymore! The good thing about making it though was that my reaction to it was severe enough for me to contact my nutritionist, who said she didn’t think eating gluten was a good idea right now anyway, and also my doctor’s office. They’ve said they will run some more tests for me next week, specifically looking for parasites.

Once I cheered up a bit last night I managed to get to a dinner with some friends from the department at Uni. Obviously I couldn’t eat any of the food there, but I’m so glad I went. They’re such great people, and nearly all of them said to me “Take care of yourself, okay?”

It’s such a lovely thing for people to say but today I didn’t really know what that meant. Taking care of myself, to me, is always associated with things like exercising, eating well, getting my assignments done on time, and so forth. But last night and this morning, with a bad headache and stomach cramps, any uni work I would do would be worthless, and I don’t want to do it anyway!

So, what does taking care of myself mean today?

Staying in bed late. Eating two-ingredient pancakes. Watching Netflix. Using my favourite body-wash in the shower. Doing some yoga. Texting my boyfriend. Giving myself a break from study and refusing to feel guilty about that. Watching YouTube. Trying to convince myself that this diet, my internship, my masters, and my life in general isn’t going to fall apart completely.

Although my stomach is still sore, my headache is mostly gone and I’m feeling much happier now. This diet is a million times harder than I thought it would be.

Onwards and upwards,

M x