A woman in a vibrant restaurant nervously looks at a menu, which is casting a nauseating green light on her.

The Fear of Eating with IBS

I am a foodie. I love food and I take pleasure in tasting delicious, well-made cooking. Trying new restaurants and indulging in different kinds of cuisine used to be something that I thoroughly enjoyed. However, ever since being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and IBS, things have sadly changed for me in the food department.

Before my diagnosis, I had zero food allergies, so dining out was always a delight. I would scan the menu, read the options, and just go with what made my mouth water most. Asian food? Sure, let’s do it!  Spicy food? Why not? Mexican? Um, yes, please! Oh, but nowadays, boy have things changed.

I am now the girl that literally has to look at the menu online before giving the okay to head to the restaurant. And if dining out is spontaneous, I have to always ask for the menu before being seated by the hostess to make sure if there is something I can eat. It is such a bummer! And please let there be a clean and private bathroom that is easily accessible because I will probably be making at least a trip or two during my time here. And that’s a minimum!

Do you fear eating?

Am I the only one, or do you literally fear eating sometimes because you aren’t sure if your IBS will flare or not? I know it can’t just be me. But sadly, I went from the care-free foodie to the cautious and sometimes fearful eater. I’ve lost weight due to the fear and I get easily irritable because I am constantly hungry and not satisfied with the tiny amount of food that I can have. It’s like I have an eating disorder, yet I would give anything to eat the things I can’t have, so is that considered an eating disorder? Oh, the confusion of it all!

Not to mention the redundancy of eating the same little things, over and over again. It gets old fast, and it takes the pleasure out of eating. It’s the pleasure that is so missed, isn’t it? The days where food wasn’t an enemy, ever. It was always a delightful experience that you would look forward to. I always got excited to dine out with friends. Excited to try a new dish, excited to try a new restaurant for a birthday dinner.

Well, yes, it is not favorable what we have to deal with when it comes to food and IBS. But although it completely sucks, I guess we just have to be thankful for what is working and the little foods we can have. I just try to focus on making what I have work and not dwell on how things used to be. This is my new normal and hey, I just have to make it work. So even if it means being the girl that takes forever to order because of all her restrictions, so be it.  At least I still have the ability to chew food and swallow!

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