The FODMAPs info is spot on, as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough.
For example, I didn’t realize that I had a problem with gallstones until I worked with an Ayurvedic doctor, John Douillard at Lifespa.com, but since then I’ve done a lot of detoxes and gotten rid of all my gallstones. I’m a much happier camper. It's common for people over 40 years old to have them, according to Dr. Douillard.
Before the detoxing, if I ate high fat foods, it would trigger my gallbladder to empty, only it couldn’t because of the stones, so it would spasm and start my IBS attacks. Thank God I didn’t know what was causing it until I was under Dr. Douillard’s care, or I’m sure my gallbladder would have been removed.
It’s so easy to get gallstones out safely the Ayurvedic way. I don’t eat high fat foods often, but now I’m safe if I do.
The other thing I think IBS and Fibromyalgia are connected to is leaky gut. That’s why I’m so interested in rebuilding my digestive health.
Leaky gut leads to nutritional deficiencies. My alt med doc said I’m particularly low in magnesium, so I started doing floats in magnesium saltwater. Trying to take magnesium when you’re not digesting food well is asking for diarrhea.
You might want to try floats yourself. Ask your doctor if it's okay. Try googling float spa to see what choices you have nearby. Low magnesium leads to tension and anxiety, so I figure the more I can up the magnesium levels, the better off I will be. Let me know how it helps if you try it.
An old childhood neighbor of mine told me about FODMAPs a few weeks back and I’ve been experimenting with it. FODMAPs is an acronym for Fermentable Oligo- and Di- and Mono-Saccharides and Polyol. It’s a way of eating based on research done in Australia that is just beginning to be talked about in the U.S.
FODMAPs are carbohydrates (sugars and fibers) that ferment rapidly in your gut, which means they feed bacteria (which causes gas) rather than nourishing you. They also can alter the fluid balance between the small and large intestine, which can lead to either constipation or diarrhea. Charming, eh?
So my old neighbor recommended a good e-book for this, called “IBS Free At Last! Change Your Carbs, Change Your Life” by Patsy Catsos, who’s a registered dietitian.
It’s a really hard diet to get started on, as there’s a steep learning curve. Things that are a problem: lactose— milk and milk products, fructose–honey, fruits, and high fructose corn syrup, fructans— wheat, rye, some vegetables, polyols–some fruits and vegetables, and some sugar free foods, and galactans–dried peas and beans.
Unfortunately there isn’t a list that mentions every food, so there’s a lot of reading and re-reading and it’s easy to go hungry while you’re scrambling to do the right thing. Meat and eggs are always okay. The only 100% safe fruits are bananas with spots on them, and blueberries.
The idea with the book is to eliminate all FODMAPs for 2 weeks and then do challenges on each of the above classes one at a time, so you can see what specifically is causing your problems, then eat only as much as you can get away with.
It’s really amazing to see that foods I thought were fine were contributing to my problems: avocado is high in fructans :’-( Hummus is high in galactans. These were both a big part of my diet. Honey is a no-no, but sugar and glucose don’t feed these bacteria, so that’s a small positive for us under-deprived folks, although sugar feeds yeast, so for me, the only sweetener that gets a clean bill is stevia.
Mushrooms are a problem. So is anything from the cabbage family. Onions. Garlic. I was really upset about the garlic. I loved me my garlic salt on my avocado…
I had such problems with milk for years- I had long given up dairy, but tried it again as part of the GAPS diet, using home-cultured yogurt with 2% fat that had fermented for 24 hours (as opposed to 12 hours with commercial yogurts). It was like kryptonite to Superman. I laid down in Bikram class, in class after class, exhausted like I had never been before.
It turns out that that the problem was because I was mixing yogurt with honey, kale and mango puree. Once I cut out the extras and tried the yogurt on its own, I was fine. Without the FODMAPs e-book, I’d never have figured it out.
So why go to the trouble of sorting out how to eat this way? Well, it’s not healthy to take antacids. Taking antacids is the equivalent of sticking your head in the sand while your house is on fire.
There’s a lot more going on: inflammation is building up in your system. Without stomach acid, you’re not getting the nutrition you need from your food. You’re just building up stockpiles of fat, which also causes inflammation of its own.
Inflammation is what kills people off. It might be digestion system-related or it might be in the circulatory system, or it might be both, but I don’t want any surprises, thank you very much. I just want to figure out what is safe to eat and what will build my health.
The hardest part of changing your eating is the fact that our gut bacteria influence our cravings. If you are unhealthy, check with your doctor and consider trying the elimination part of the FODMAPs diet. For the most success, I’d pair it with a colonic using hydrogen peroxide and switching to stevia. My sweet cravings have gone way down since I’ve done all 3 things.
Whether you have IBS or not, you may be having trouble digesting wheat. It’s a tricky thing to figure out- it took me several tries before I realized wheat was to blame for the worst of my health issues. The reason it took so long? The first few times I tried to eliminate wheat, I cut it out for one week and then for one month. No improvement. The third time I cut it out for 3 months. Bingo.
Since I eliminated wheat 3 years ago, I have not had to take antibiotics. When I ate wheat regularly, I used antibiotics a minimum of 4-6 times per year for sinus infections.
Thing is, all those antibiotics were killing off the beneficial bacteria in my digestive tract, which allowed the bad ones to go hog wild.
Recently I stopped eating any grains. I read that grains promote the growth of non-beneficial bacteria in the gut. If you have IBS, I think it makes sense to build back beneficial bacteria and starve the problem ones.
I combined my change of diet with a monthly colonic using hydrogen peroxide to kill off intestinal bacteria, then started taking probiotics and digestive enzymes with each meal to reseed my digestive tract with the good guys.
The night after I did my first colonic with hydrogen peroxide, I started itching like crazy and had a dull headache for 4 days. That’s a sign of yeast die-off. It turns out I had candida, which can cause all sorts of problems.
The benefits: I lost my sweet tooth, which I think was fueled by the spike in blood sugar from eating grains. I lost 6 pounds within two weeks, eating as much as I wanted.
I found a good article on why wheat is causing so many people problems. The hybridizers who “improved” it have also made it harder to digest than the wheat our grandparents ate. Here it is: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505269_162-57505149/modern-wheat-a-perfect-chronic-poison-doctor-says/
I know it’s hard to think about making changes. But what I’ve found is that it’s true what the alternative medicine docs say: Candida can change our sweet tooth, making us go against our healthy impulses. Bad bacteria can send toxins to our brain.
Why not see what your own personal needs for food are, without the influence of nasty little hitchhikers exploiting us for a free ride?
What is the whole Botox thing about, anyway? Injecting a toxin into your muscles to prevent them from being used. Doesn’t that imply that your overuse of muscle is probably what’s contributing to your wrinkles?
Here’s my idea: what if you gave yourself a massage instead? I’ve found that I overuse the muscles along my eyebrow at the edge of the eye socket and they are knotted and painful. I admit it, I squint. The bummer about that is that I have been getting these almost vertical warning wrinkles that are alarming-looking. What if my face froze like that?
I’ve started using my thumbs to press on the knots. And when I do that, the vertical lines go bye-bye. A free, healthy alternative to Botox:-) And more natural looking too.
I’m just not a Botox girl. But I consider these wrinkles a wake-up call. If I keep squinting, I’m going to get vertical wrinkles, permanently. I need to change how I use my muscles by not squinting so much. I resolve to wear my glasses more. And given the horror of vertical wrinkles, horizontal forehead lines are the new sexy. Some year, that’s what I aspire to:-)
If you’re over 40, chances are you’re not digesting your food efficiently. Over time, the digestive feedback loop goes haywire. I’ve gone into this somewhat before, but if you don’t drink enough water, you’re not digesting your food right, plus your bile will get too thick and start clogging up your gallbladder and bile ducts. You may form gallstones, like I had, without even knowing it.
If this is happening, your bile won’t be able to neutralize your stomach acid, so your small intestine will make mucus to protect itself from the acid, which will prevent toxins from being removed before digestion by the Gut-Associated Lymphatic TIssue (GALT). It will also prevent your immune system from killing off bacteria and viruses that it comes in contact with in the small intestine’s GALT, because 80% of your immune system is housed in the GALT.
Your stomach acidity will begin to drop over time to keep you safe if you’re producing mucus. Your bile quality will also decline, which (even if you had good stomach acid production) will keep you from digesting your food as well as you need, in order to be able to free nutrients for absorption.
Low stomach acid puts you in danger of H. Pylori colonizing your stomach. Besides causing stomach ulcers, H. Pylori keeps your stomach acid production low because of the damage it causes in your gut.
It’s a great idea to help yourself out by taking digestive enzymes and probiotics when you eat.
Thing is, there’s a way to do that safely. Drink 8-12 ounces of water 15 minutes before you start eating. Only the water, nothing else. Then, as you begin your meal, take the digestive enzymes with a little more water. Then you’re being safe. Of course, as always, check with your doctor before trying any of this!!
If you aren’t careful to hydrate your stomach first, you might start to feel a burning in your stomach, like I did last week. I’ve been taking digestive enzymes for a few months and hadn’t timed things wrong before. I’m pretty sure I’ve got some H. Pylori action going on, doggone it all. I have to check that out with my doc…