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:
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.