I self diagnosed myself with mild IBS a while ago. I even kept a food diary for awhile. Of course, my symptoms seemed to clear up markedly during this month, but I worked out what triggered my digestive woes:

Over eating
Spicy foods
Cheap, bad food
Too many rich foods
And of course, stress – totally unrelated. When I’m strung out, I don’t eat, my stomach does acrobatics, and tries to purge what little is in it. This can go on for days.

Sadly, I love some foods too much to give up. The biggest problem for me is Indian. I love curries, with a vengeance. And a good Indian meal out at a restaurant poses absolutely NO problems. It’s the cheap takeaways or food courts that make my stomach rebel and send me to the toilet multiple times. It’s the readymade sauces we buy at the supermarket, butter chicken, or more recently, our beloved Nando’s coriander and lime stir fry sauce. It was hot. Even after being watered down with milk. Every mouthful burned, but burned nicely (think “Hurts so good”). I was too lazy to get anything to wash it down with. And it was delicious – I couldn’t get enough!

Even the cramps a few hours later were worth it. I think.

What’s the solution? I don’t know. I eat better now than I used to, or at least I try. I don’t stuff myself, even at all you can eat’s, and I’ve let go of my food-finishing guilt. I will now leave a few bites on my plate rather than force myself to choke them down. I’m also cutting down on the cheap nasties and the supermarket curry pastes/sauces.

I guess it’s all about balance. And I’m willing to go through the pain once in a while to enjoy a spicy, tasty meal.

3 thoughts on “IBS

  • Reply Bruz February 16, 2009 at 08:06

    I was amazed as I read your post how closely it echoes my own experience. I’ve found some specific trigger foods for myself that have been a big help to figure out, but the broad categories of rich foods, cheap foods and too much food are generally very true for me as well. It’s always good to hear someone else with a shared experience!

  • Reply eemusings February 16, 2009 at 08:09

    Hi Bruz, sometimes I think it sounds ridiculous, but it seems those really are the ones that upset me! What are some of the specific foods that trigger you? Your site sounds really interesting, I might give tracking another go 🙂

  • Reply The bean conundrum « Musings of an Abstract Aucklander July 18, 2010 at 18:54

    […] is all very well and good. Except I have quite a sensitive stomach (I used to think I had a mild case of IBS, but eating better, more home cooking, getting more sleep and reducing stress seems to have sorted […]

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