How I Beat (For the Most Part) IBS
Hey guys! Hope you're all doing good. I just wanted to give my testimony on how I managed to (mostly) beat terrible IBS and basically changed my life. It was thanks to an extensive diet that can be summarized into a few cardinal rules later down on this post. I also took some supplements.
Before that let me give you just a little bit of backstory and context.
Suffering since childhood
Ever since I can remember I suffered from stomach problems. All the way since I was born (acid reflux) to a kid (gastritis) to a teen (IBS) to a young adult (full on, tear-my-hair-out IBS).
On my last years of IBS, I literally couldn't make to any plans in advance because I would get deathly sick at a moment's notice. It didn't matter what I had eaten, how long ago or how much, every week I would have a bad bout and once a month I would have a horrible painful flare. Wherever I was, no matter where, I would have to literally run to the bathroom because I felt my stomach was going to explode. Then the excruciating pain of being on the toilet was almost enough to wish myself dead.
Fast forward to the pandemic, and you can guess it didn't get any better. My diet was even worse, my sleep was all over the place, anxiety was at an all time high and I wasn't even getting fresh air. At this point, I had had enough. Suddenly, I remembered something.
Seeing a naturopath
When I was a baby, a naturopathic doctor had cured my acid reflux and on a separate occasion, asthma. This was enough for me to think this guy was legit. So I went to him, stomach bloated and nauseous. It was the best decision I ever made.
The first thing he gave me was a 2 day emergency diet (only boiled potatoes or some of its potato-y brothers [I'm not an expert, so please disregard the lack of terminology], rice milk, apple juice and water). This is a diet to detox your body, so to speak. You'll probably feel uncomfortable at best and very bad at worst. This is part of the process. Don't know the science behind it but it was something my naturopath called a "healing crisis". Completely worth it and it's NOTHING compared to IBS, imo.
After that, I got a very strict diet. It was a very long diet but these are the cardinal rules:
- NO raw vegetables (only cooked and no coleslaw either way)
- No refined grain (whole grain rice, bread and pasta)
- NO NO alcohol, chocolate, weed, cigarettes or corn syrup
- No dark meat whatsoever, and no meat at dinner. Chicken, fish fillets and turkey are the best. Sea salt for seasoning.
- No cold liquid with food
- Chew slowly, carefully and thoroughly (this might sound dumb but it's crazy how much better I tolerated the food).
- Potatoes and its brothers are fine except sweet potatoes.
- NO Lactose (soy milk, rice milk, lactose free cow milk was fine for me)
- NO seeds/nuts (this includes flax seeds, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, etc)
Again, there is a lot more and you have to account for personal preference, tolerance and allergies. But I can safely say that cutting and adding the previous made me feel relief by the first week. On top of the diet, I took some supplements and herbal mixes.
For me to feel "cured" I followed this diet for 3 months. Every now and then I get my flares but NOWHERE near the same amount as a year ago; and usually, I can trace it back to some cheat days or some anxiety.
Other things that helped me a lot:
- Vitamin D (I took a lot of walks, sat under the sun, etc.)
- Digestive enzyme supplements
- Relaxing supplements
- Sleep (7+ hours)
If you guys have any questions I'll be more than happy to answer any details you want to know.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?