This is a question for Swishymichi

I read a lot of your posts on here,and since you have had IBS for 20yrs you probley understand it better than most.I was just reading your advise on chemicals in food and with the Fodmap diet and chemicals in food it don't leave much to eat.Can you tell me an easy way round all this.I have had IBS for 12yrs now and I take a lot of medication for other illnesses aswell.Can you give me any advise as I am desperate now and I'm feeling really low .

16 Replies

  • Hi Gemini unfortunately there is no easy way round this if you have a sensitive gut you need to avoid eating and drinking things that are triggers. I'm very sensitive to most foods so the only way to control my bloating and sluggish bowel is to avoid them. I'm still eating a healthy balanced diet but a restricted one. If you give me your email address I can send you a list of foods I can tolerate which may help you too. Re the drugs you are taking some may contain ingredients which are upsetting you even supplements. I would read the ingredient lists and google them. I took an antifungal drug which had an ingredient in to treat chronic constipation !! I was the most ill I've been! Obviously you have to weigh up the benefits drugs give you for treatment of other health issues you have against possible side effects. Hope that helps

  • Hi swishymichy, I also have had ibs for 12 years but currently trying to investigate it further with help from the doctor. I've been on low fodmap diet too for a few weeks but not seeing a major difference yet and having to take things such as dulcolax etc. If you wouldn't mind sending me the food list you can tolerate also It might help me see if I'm going wrong somewhere. Thankyou.

  • Hi Lynsey85 Has the email swishy sent us been any help to you.Im not very technical minded and I am finding it hard to follow though I do think I've got the jist of it.

  • Hi Gemini. Yes, it's helpful to have an actual list in front of you. And the low chemicals idea is quite interesting and does make sense! I'm not the most organised person so find it difficult sticking to strict diet but doing my best to eat what I think should be ok. How are you getting on with it now?

  • Hi Lynsey-85 No I'm not doing to well I was so down and tearful last week my husband told me to go back on Wheat but I have gone back to wheat free again today.But quite honestly low chemicals do make sense but with the Fodmap diet and chemicals it's a lot to take in and because of the way I feel I think my body is lacking something.I do have IBS on a daily basis plus quite a few more illnesses.Sorry for going on moan finished.

  • Don't worry about it. I have a lot of fed up days too because no matter what I try, medication/diets nothing seems to help. My stomach just stays at a standstill for about 3 weeks later it goes in to meltdown and feels like it's just being ripped out. I also worry about going out any distance from home incase the pain starts, although I do just go and do what I'm doing, I need to know I can get home if need be. Full sympathies and I really hope you're feeling a bit better!

  • Thank you Swichy for answering my questions.It just might be helpful to send me a list of foods you can tolerate .Ive been on the Fodmap diet now for 4wks but even foods on that are really upsetting me.My email address is and I will look up my meds.Thank you.

  • I have same dilemma--some low FODMAPS foods are irritating, and some are not. I did reach a point where I had pain only once a week, so I took that as a sign it's working but I have to take note of foods that irritate, usually prepared by others :( Makes getting take-out a problem

  • If the low fodmap diet isn't working fully double check you're not eating high fodmap foods by mistake. check ingredient labels for example. If you're sure that you're following it properly and you have some improvement or none maybe the low chemical diet / failsafe diet will help. In Australia where the low fodmap and the low chemical diet / failsafe diet have been developed I understand that dieticians who are treating ibs suffers are seeing much better success rates with low chemical rather than low fodmap.

    The following links may be helpful

    I'll email you the list Gemini & Lynsey. It's my own combination of low fodmap & low chemical foods which I'm currently following with much improvement in my symptoms. I haven't seen my dieticain about the low chemical diet yet so please seek professional advice.

  • Thanks for sending me your list. It's good to have something that's set out clearly! I find a lot of the FODMAP lists confusing since everyone can tolerate certain things at different levels. Even the free from everything cornflakes I've been eating are made from maize...

    How would you cook chicken etc for best results? I'd normally fry. I'm waiting on results from doctor whether I have any inflammatory protein. So will maybe know better which direction to go in from there. Thanks for your help!

  • You're welcome.

    I have to say the low chemical diet is much more complicated than the low fodmap so I hope that you don't have to do it. It takes a great deal of planning and effort but if you have problems on a daily basis it might be necessary, as in my case.

    The links and my list are not conclusive so please do plenty of research as it's so easy to make mistakes and think the diet isn't working. I avoid all corn products which includes most shop bought gluten free pasta. Maize flour is another one to look out for in gluten free bread. Personally I can't tolerate bought gluten free bread at all (I think because of preservatives - chemicals) You need to become a label detective (read all ingredients).

    I cook chicken in the oven without any seasoning or oil, covered. Either whole or portions. Frying browns the meat which creates amines. I don't buy any meat from supermarkets as it is too old (amines) and I refreeze left overs straight away for another day. Amines develope even if left in the fridge too.

    The low chemical diet is extremely bland! If it's got flavour it's high in chemicals but it's better that way than being constantly bloated!

    I hope your results are ok.

  • can you email me to thank you

  • Thank you Swichy for the email that will give me plenty to read,so thank you for your time.

  • Oh and I'll let you know if I have any improvement.I think the first job is a trip to the doctors to sort my meds out.problem with that is one of my meds is Asprin after heart failure.!but maybe there is an alternative.

  • I would mention the low chemical diet to your Dr too so he has the whole picture. Also your dietician may have heard of it. Are you in the US? I hope you get sorted.

  • I will mention it to my doctor when I get to see him .And no I'm not in the US I'm in the UK

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