A uncomfortable-looking woman is curled up on an armchair scrolling through her phone. She looks sad seeing images of happy people surrounded by foods within the Paleo Diet, which are jumping out around her.

I Followed a Paleo Diet For My IBS And It Made It Worse

I love when people share their success stories for managing their IBS, I really do. It gives me so much hope that things can get better and it’s possible to get it completely under control. I will admit, however, that I can be very guilty of reading someone’s inspiring story on the internet and thinking that, maybe their method will be the thing really helps me fully control my IBS.

Despite a modified low FODMAP diet helping me get things under control, I’m still not in the place I’d like to be with my IBS. I always hold out hope for another solution and that I can fully heal. I am, however, well aware of the fact that what helps one person, may not be the solution that helps someone else. There really doesn’t seem to be one size fits all approach when it comes to healing your IBS.

Discussing the Paleo diet with a health professional

I’ve heard a lot about the Paleo diet and the benefits it has brought to the lives of others. I was really inspired by a story I read on the internet. It discussed the benefits it brought to an IBS sufferer. So, I thought, "that could be me!" I also watched some documentaries where people completely changed their health, not just with regards to gut issues. Talking this through with my nutritional therapist helped us both agree that this diet could bring some benefits to my health too.

I carried out a little more research with regards to what I could and couldn’t eat and searched for recipes online. Coming up with a meal plan for a couple of weeks seemed like a good amount of time to see how it could work. I even joined some Facebook groups for some support. I couldn’t wait to feel the difference people spoke of and I went into this diet with a positive, open mind.

The harsh reality for my IBS

You know when people say they get “a gut feeling?” Well, I can safely say I know what people mean when they say that. Within a couple of days of me trying out the Paleo diet, my stomach was completely swollen and my trips to the bathroom were increasing by the hour. I experience gurgling as I’ve never had before. Worst of all, I was experiencing terrible nausea and really bad cramping. My gut was definitely saying to me that it didn’t like what I was doing to it. I needed to stop immediately.

Well, I decided to persevere and push through, as I hoped it might have just have been a bit of an adjustment period. But, after 2 full weeks of this, I just couldn’t take anymore. I knew this was way beyond what I was used to with my IBS. I came off the diet and within a couple of days, my gut returned to my normal. Well, it returned to what I would describe as my IBS kind of normal.

History repeated itself

To be perfectly honest, I should have predicted I would have this kind of result. It meant I had to increase my vegetable consumption and reduce my carbohydrates. Although I know some people would argue this is a healthier way to eat, it is something that has always upset my gut. Since having IBS, my gut can only tolerate a certain about of vegetables in one go, before it sends me running to the bathroom. I love most kinds of vegetables and I know how healthy they are for me. But surely they’re only really healthy when your gut actually doesn’t reject them?!

Over the years, I’ve found that a diet lower in fiber seems to sit quite well with my gut. Whilst these inspiring stories can really help people, I do think it’s important to be mindful of your limitations when approaching different diets. On the flip side, sometimes it’s good to know that you’ve crossed another potential solution off your list. At least you know not to go there again. I know for sure that the Paleo diet wasn't right for me.

Have you found relief with the Paleo diet?

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