Since falling ill with severe chronic illness, I have discovered that there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to managing chronic conditions, especially in regards to healing through diet. We each have to commit to trying anything we can and letting our bodies show us what works and what doesn't.
Welcome to my first guest post in this new interview series, Eat To Heal, where we will explore the effects of diet on chronic illness. We will meet various people from around the world, people with different chronic illnesses, and hear which dietary changes have provided the most benefit to them.
I am so excited to share Gina Caro's story with you this week! Gina has a gorgeous lifestyle blog where she shares tips for living a simple, sustainable, waste-free life. She covers all sorts of topics from beauty to home decor and more. Today we will find out how she is using diet to manage her IBS.
I have learned that what you eat can play a huge role in improving your quality of life and that it is absolutely worth the effort and sacrifice to find out what your body thrives on. I hope you will enjoy this series and maybe gain new insight on how you might improve your quality of life through changing what you eat.
Eating To Heal IBS, Interview With Gina Caro
Please Note: these posts are meant as testimony of personal experience and are not to be considered as medical advice. Please do your own research and consult with your doctor before making any dietary changes.
1. What is your diagnosis?
I was diagnosed with IBS when I was 12. IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and has a range of symptoms including stomach pain, bloating, distension and altered bowel movements.
Some days are better than others depending on what you’ve eaten and how your stress levels are.
2. Briefly explain the process you went through to get your diagnosis.
I got the diagnoses the first time I went to the doctors about my symptoms. They didn’t refer me on to anyone and sent me home with a load of medication and a leaflet on IBS. The doctor couldn’t of been less interested if he tried.
3. What did a typical day's meals look like before you made the changes?
Before I started my new diet I would pretty much eat anything I wanted as I couldn’t pinpoint exactly what it was that was making my symptoms worse. I always opted for foods that were high in fibre as that is what I had been told to do previously. However, as I was soon to learn, not all high fibre foods are good for IBS.
4. Explain how you came to the decision to make changes to your diet
Over the years my symptoms have progressively got worse and worse. To the point where it was starting to effect my everyday life. One night I’d finally had enough and decided to do a bit of research on anything that may help with the IBS. That’s when I came across the Low Fodmap Diet.
I had tried most other things by now so thought it was worth giving it a go.
5. How did you transition to the new way of eating?
I just dived straight into it. The Low Fodmap diet starts with an elimination phase. You have to cut out all high Fodmap foods for at least 6 weeks. This is a particularly hard part of the diet as there are quite a few foods that you cannot have. However, within a week of starting this phase I started to notice improvements in my symptoms.
It’s recommend that before you start the diet you speak to a nutritionist but personally I didn’t do that. I just did a lot of research before hand.
6. What does a typical day of meals look like now?
The diet is pretty complicated but in a nutshell you can’t have anything that contains lactose, gluten or anything that is processed. You also have to avoid/limit any foods which are high in Fodmaps. Like for example apples, onions and garlic.
In a typical day now I would eat the following…
Breakfast: Start with warm water with lemon to drink. Then rolled oats with lactose free milk, blueberries and chia seeds. Mug of green tea
Snack: Unripe banana & green tea
Lunch: Jacket potato with tuna mayonnaise and a side salad. Glass of water
Snack: Orange & green tea
Supper: Lemon pepper chicken with quinoa, green beans, kale & courgette. Glass of water
Snack: 1 square dark chocolate & mint tea
7. What improvements have you experienced since changing the way you eat?
I have noticed a massive improvement in my symptoms since starting the Low Fodmap diet. The main one being that I can now go to the toilet without the excruciating pain. I’m now also hardly ever bloated and the stomach cramps have reduced a lot.
I’ve also lost a lot of weight! My skin is healthier and my all round fitness and health has improved.
8. What is your favourite recipe book for this way of eating?
I don’t have a book but I get the majority of my recipes from www.ibssano.com
9. Where can people go to learn more about your way of eating?
Would you like to be featured in this series?
If you would like to share your "Eating To Heal" story, please visit this page and complete the interview form. I look forward to hearing how you are improving your quality of life through healthy eating. ~ Char
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