A woman is standing in front of a vending machine pondering her choices.

IBS and Multiple Other Ailments: What Can I Eat?

Last updated: March 2023

It seems I keep adding to the list of ailments I have. Since many of them are affected by diet, the struggle to eat as I should is more difficult. I honestly feel like there is nothing I can eat that will not adversely affect one thing or the other.

I really do try to eat healthier now, but it seems pointless when eating a diet that works for all of my illnesses seems impossible. What might be okay with one illness is not okay for another, and I can usually find something on my list that is agitated by whatever I try to eat.

Pancreatitis and gallbladder removal

Because I had a bout of pancreatitis and had my gallbladder removed, I am supposed to eat a low-fat diet. I was quite recently reminded of why I need to stick to this diet. I had given up on eating healthy and consumed lots of fat on a daily basis. This started causing pain, which I ignored until the pain became something I couldn’t ignore.

I decided to go back to eating a low-fat diet. The problem is that much of what I can eat on a low-fat diet agitates my IBS. All the healthy options send me running for the bathroom. What do I do?

High cholesterol, hypothyroidism, and a possible autoimmune disease

I also have an issue with high cholesterol. Also, after being diagnosed with hypothyroidism I learned that it is likely caused by an autoimmune disease. On a return visit, I will be asking my doctor to confirm this is the case. However, it seems the only treatment for this is, you guessed it, dietary changes.

Many have said an autoimmune or anti-inflammatory diet helps. I would really like to do something to try to better control it and keep it from completely nuking my thyroid in the near future, but how in the world would I further restrict a very restricted diet?

Vitamin deficiencies, restrictive diets, and supplements

Oh, did I mention that I tend to have a number of vitamin deficiencies? I do take supplements to help with that because it’s truly impossible to get all I need from food with all of these restrictions. I would really like to be able to get all the vitamin B12 I need from food so I can stop taking that supplement for good.

Despite being told it was impossible to overdose on vitamin B12 because your body does not absorb and rids itself of excess, I discovered my ridiculously bothersome bouts of nausea, headaches, and dizziness were indeed caused by an ongoing overdose of B12. I have been unable to get enough from food to prevent bouts of anemia and severe fatigue, but I cannot find a suitable dose.

Struggling to find a suitable menu

Now, between an issue with pancreatitis, high cholesterol, a possible autoimmune disease, vitamin deficiencies, and IBS, what in the world am I supposed to eat? For the moment, as I am trying to avoid another bout of pancreatitis and pain, I have resorted to eating toast, plain mashed potatoes, and plain tuna. This is what I have been eating for 3 days now, and I am over it.

If you have IBS and have had to restrict your diet, I don’t have to tell you how quickly a very restricted diet becomes unbearable. The problem is that I am terrified to eat and afraid to not eat. I know I am not getting what I need and that has a huge effect on my mobility issues and quality of life. I know if I eat the wrong thing it can also have dire effects on my health and quality of life.

Is it possible to eat right with multiple diet restrictions?

It seems I am stuck in a no-win situation as I have no clue how to eat a healthy diet that provides everything I need without agitating one of my illnesses. Is it possible? I really don’t think it is. Pretty much everything healthy agitates my IBS, and what doesn’t agitate IBS agitates something else.

Do you have trouble trying to balance your diet with multiple illnesses? How do you handle restricted diets? What does your menu look like? I would love to hear about your experience.

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