Brace Yourselves, Fellow IBS Sufferers: Winter Is Coming
If you are like me, you tend to eat more during the colder months. I do not really know why I do. I just know that I do. Of course, when you eat more you are likely to have more frequent flares. Brace yourselves. Flare season is upon us.
A plethora of rich foods is available during the holiday season. The temptation is great, and we all give in to the cravings at least once. Some of us are glutton for punishment and become actual gluttons. Some of us is me. I am some of us. I am positive I am not the one one.
Comfort foods trigger IBS flares
There is nothing better than a hot bowl of vegetable soup or chili on a cold day. Both of these foods are major triggers for IBS, but warming my old bones with a hot meal is too tempting. It is comfort food during gloomy winter days. I confess that I am unable to resist the temptation and break out the slow cooker to make these meals rather often. Then I must suffer the consequences of my actions.
Why do I do this to myself? Why do I lack self-control? I am human, and I am hungry. Comfort foods are called comfort foods for a reason. I need comforting on cold nights, and a big bowl of soup or chili is the perfect feel-good mean for me.
Feasts and flares go hand in hand
I live in the southern United States. As a southern girl, turkey and dressing are a required meal during the fall. It does not matter whether you celebrate any particular holiday. If you live in the south, a plate of turkey and dressing will be issued to you for no reason at all. Many of us serve ham or turkey and dressing on various days just because we enjoy it. Southern dressing is a rich food. It is delicious, but it causes painful IBS flares.
If you want to torture a southerner with IBS all you have to do is serve cornbread dressing. We cannot resist. Throw in the vegetables, gravies, and ridiculously rich desserts and you have trapped us into triggering a full-blown flare. We cannot resist even though we know the consequences of indulging in this feast.
Beverages that cause IBS flares
When the days become colder, many of us resort to hot coffee or hot chocolate to warm up after being in the cold. If you have IBS, I am certain you know the repercussions of hot beverages. Even if you do not have IBS, you know what coffee does. Multiply that reaction by 100. You still are not even close.
Eggnog or boiled custard are commonly served during various functions. For someone with irritable bowel syndrome, whether or not these beverages are spiked they can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Oh yes. It is not just foods that trigger IBS flares. Beverages can do it, too. We cannot win.
Temptation is torture
The thought of winter might conjure up images of snowmen, sledding, and ice skating for many of you. I think of the troubling times ahead. I know I will fall to temptation and end up spending a good time of time in the bathroom. No matter how hard I will fight not to eat these foods, I will eventually give in and have to pay the price.
I know I am not alone. I know there are others who fall prey to the delicious dishes dangled in our faces. Do you struggle to avoid trigger foods during the winter months? What are your cold-weather favorites?
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?