Started the low FODMAP diet yesterday and my symptoms are worse than ever! Do I try and eat something or should I wait?

I'm sorry for posting so many questions just now but I'm struggling to make sense of things.

I am following the instructions in Patsy Catsos' book and I started the elimination stage of the low FODMAP diet yesterday with gluten free corn flakes and soya milk which was fine. I had diarrhoea shortly after but that was probably due to the previous days food intake. I had chicken, salad, tomato and gluten free bread at lunch which caused some abdominal pain but not too bad. For tea I had pork loin, carrots & rice pasta which I quite enjoyed. Shortly after the pain in my abdomen started. It got really, really bad and I had it all evening. I took a Tramadol in the end which did help but didn't get rid of it completely. I woke a few times during the night with abdominal pain and still had it this morning. Although it has improved slightly it is still quite painful. Now I don't know what to do. Should I try and eat something or should I wait until it has settled down? Scared to eat in case it kicks off again but I know the general advice is not to stop eating. Don't know what to do for the best. Any advice would be brilliant.

53 Replies

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  • Hi, isnt Pork loin fairly fatty? I find that even though the FODMAP helps there are still some 'FODMAP' safe foods that I cant eat like broccoli for example. Give it some more time as its way too erly to write it off.

  • I know corn is okay on FODMAPS but it's one of my major triggers. This includes corn starch, syrup, etc. Gluten free products can include a lot of triggers. Keep trying, but note your symptoms. You might have some other triggers that are non FODMAPS related. Sorry you got off to a rocky start.

  • Your problems could be due to what you ate up to 48 hours' ago - it can take that length of time for food to transit your system.

    Outside of high FODs, I can't tolerate soya products or rice in whatever form they take and, as runswithdogs says, gluten-free products often contain high FODs and other triggers. Gluten-free bread for instance, usually contains fruit juice concentrate and should be avoided.

    You must read the ingredients' labels carefully on all processed food.

    Try porridge made with lactose-free milk for breakfast and eat corn crackers or tortillas at lunchtime.

    Rosie

  • Thanks for that. I did read all the ingredients before I bought anything so fairly confident that they don't contain anything not fodmap friendly.

    I am going to try the porridge you suggested with soya milk this morning and see how I get on. I tried to find Tortillas because I like them but couldn't find any that didn't have wheat in. Have you found some that are fodmap friendly?

    Just have to keep trying to identify triggers but when everything is a problem it's very difficult to do.

  • Yes, I know how hard it is to identify all the triggers - I'm still doing it after almost 4 years!

    I buy tortillas from mexgrocer.co.uk - problem is that pack sizes are big, but they freeze well and also keep at ambient for several weeks.

    Hope the porridge works okay for you and if you still have a problem try switching to lactose-free milk rather than soy.

  • Thanks for that, I am definitely going to get some corn Tortillas but as yet I haven't found anything to go in them that I can tolerate.

  • How about chicken, salad, cheese for starters, are you okay with those?

  • Thanks for your reply. I can't tolerate chicken. I'm not sure about salad items yet I had some a few days ago and had stomach pains but I had them with other things so will need to check that out. Not tried cheese yet so again need to try it out.

  • I think the important thing is to stick to something for two weeks. Keep the food to little and often. Don't just sit and have a large meal because a book says you can eat 'this'. Persevere with whatever you try and remember that whatever you try doesn't work for everyone.

  • Fodmap does not work for all

    Pain could be wind from veg,cook carrots longer

    Yoga breathing

    In extremis hot water sugar plu little brandy or whiskey will shift wind

  • Hello LindeP, and Whoa! It's much, much to early to see any improvement!

    In my experience to eat little and often is the answer, never go hungry as that will kick off symptoms. Drink loads of water, take a lot more excercise and above all stay calm. It's a really horrible condition and actually embarking on the low fodmap diet can increase stress! It certainly did for me. I am doing it on my own because dieticians seem to be like hens teeth, but it is desirable to work with one.You will need patience and understanding from those around you. Ibs was discussed on the Jeremy Vine programme on Radio 2 yesterday, there are so many of us....

    It may help to start the day with gluten free porridge and rice or coconut milk with a few blueberries and golden syrup. Also a boiled egg and GF bread. Mid morning snack, then lunch, mid afternoon snack then dinner, and I always have cereal in the evening.

    Tesco and Sainsbury have good sections, but always check ingredients as GF doesn't always mean FODMAP friendly.

    There is a small book called the FODMAP navigator, which is available from Amazon, and also on Kindle which lists a huge variety of foods and ingredients and classifies them.

    There are loads of tips on the Web, the Monash University Site has some good advice. I have been following the diet for about eight weeks, religiously, and still have some awful days, but generally symptoms are much easier. I also take Probiotic20 from Healthspan, which were recommended.

    Stick with it, and keep asking the questions. And you are not alone

    Good luck, Nobiker

  • Maybe it is soya which affects you, it does me. Some people are also affected by rice. Soya causes wind really badly in some people and gives me diarrhoea too.

    Try using Koko milk which is coconut, almond or oat milk. Corn is also a culprit. Try porrage

  • Try to eat very bland food for a While and take a probiotic.

  • Thank you all for your advice I really appreciate it. I was not thinking of stopping the Fodmap diet. It's just that right now everything I eat is causing symptoms of one sort or another and not having things I can eat doesn't give me a base to start from. I am only able to eat very small portions on anything like 10g of chicken and 2 small potatoes. I don't have snacks at all. I like the idea of cereals in the evening just need to discover what I can eat. The only thing I had yesterday that didn't cause me too much problem was a boiled egg.

    Thanks again for all your help and encouragement. I will find a way through this. Should get food allergy test results next week but not really expecting it to show anything. Anyway time for breakfast now.

  • Just a quick update. I had porridge with soya milk this morning and I immediately had D. So I think it's pretty safe to say that soya is a no-no for me. At least I'm going to go with that for now. At least that's progress.

  • Experimentation is the name of the game. It's great you found one thing already. Hopefully you will be okay with rice or corn so that you can have some starches to go along with your proteins.

  • I'm not sure about rice at the moment. Just had some gluten free bread which has rice flour in it and an hour later I had D. Don't know of course if it was that but it was a pretty fast reaction. It's just a guessing game at the moment. Not sure what to have for lunch now. Maybe stick to one ingredient at a time and see what happens. Hope I get the results of the allergy tests soon. I want to try cornflakes again but can't until I can get some milk substitute. Hopefully my care worker will go shopping for me on Tuesday.

  • You could always try a handful of dry corn flakes as a snack to see if you react. Not the best without 'milk' but still crunchy.

  • I'll try that if my stomach stops complaining for a while.

  • I had 10g of corn flakes with the blackcurrant squash I drink all the time and my stomach felt like it was sighing with relief. I've found the first thing I can eat without any symptoms! Yeah! Have to stick to 10g - 15g though or my stomach complains.

  • Excellent. Perhaps corn works well for you. You could try corn tortillas, chips, crackers, etc as a base for your other FODMAPS free food. I'm really happy you found something.

  • Too short a time for it to be a reaction, it was something you ate earlier

  • It's not too short a time if it's an allergy. I asked a question of Prof Nick on the network site through which I had an email yesterday from Marianne Williams who is a Gastroenterology Dietitian Specialising in Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the Low FODMAP Diet, Gluten Disorders & Food Allergy. I have been reading her website this morning and she says that when testing for food allergies it is vital to have a detailed case history,

    a diet and symptom diary, and the use of food challenges for a correct diagnosis, none of which were available in my case. I had a smaller amount of soya milk 2 days before and had D 45 mins later but when I had more of it the reaction was instant. That was why I believed it to be an allergy to soya which could still be correct according to Marianne Williams.

    You can find her site here if anyone is interested: wisediet.co.uk

  • Oh that is really interesting. AND I admire your pro active approach to your health, a great example. You will sort it even if it takes time. Good luck Joy.

  • I have printed off the 2 emails from Prof Nick Read and Marianne Williams and some of the pages from her website about allergy testing. I'm going to go to the open surgery on Tuesday morning and see if I can get some help. I'll take a copy of my food & symptom diary too so they can see the pitiful state of my diet added to having lost a stone in the last 2 months then maybe I can get some help with this. Both emails from Nick and Marianne say I should be seeing a dietitian so hopefully I'll get referred. I will get past this sooner or later, hopefully sooner than later?!

  • The soy milk cannot have caused immediate D. It was something you ate many hours before. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    However, soya is high fodmap. Soya milk is usually high fodmap depending which part of soya they use to make it. Check what Patsy has to say, the info is in her book!

    Patsys book is great but also check out

    alittlebit yummy blog

    monash university low fodmap diet blog

    You will get the bigger picture

    Joy

  • I hadn't realised that soya milk is high fodmap so thanks for the information. I think I may well have made some mistakes with this diet so need to sort myself out a bit and do some more reading.

  • I follow monash fodmap - corn, soy milk and salad are triggers for me - the latter two I can tolerate v little, but then I am not brave enough to have them all on same day as not only can one product trigger probs but also a few lesser tolerated products similaltaeneously - yes it can be a little obsessive!

  • The problem at the moment is that I don't know what my triggers are so I don't know I'm having more than one of them in a day. I need to find something that I can tolerate and then I can add extra things to see how they affect me. Only boiled egg so far that I can tolerate more easily and can't base my diet on that!

  • if u follow a low fodmap diet for a few weeks then reintroduce as the Monash diet suggests u find out - the book your using must not be appropriate - good luck

  • I am following the book IBS free at last by Patsy Catsos so I am on the right diet it's just that I'm only a few days in and the low FODMAP foods are causing me problems. I have a long way to go yet.

  • ok, in England I cannot get soya milk made from leitchin only from soya bean

  • It's the same here in Scotland. I need to try coconut milk instead which my local supermarket have.

  • Some years ago I had a food allergy test. Soya came up as my main culprit! I had recently changed from cow's milk to soya. I followed the nutritionist's advice and came home with supplements to take as well. My tummy reacted so badly to the pills and it made me feel the whole experience was a waste of time and money. Now, and some time later I have suffered on and off for the past ten years or so. Six months ago I gave up onions and garlic and surprisingly it was quite easy as you can use garlic oil and the green part of a spring onion as alternatives. Milk wise I now have lactose free milk in drinks and with porridge but also really enjoy almond milk on my gluten free corn and rice cereal with no ill effects. Over the past couple of weeks I have given up red wine and that has made a huge difference....I can drink white thank goodness! I tried broccoli a couple of days ago after a two week lay off and nearly flew around the room with all of the wind I was producing! It's all trial and error at the end of the day. I'm going to try eggs for breakfast tomorrow as I wondered whether they were a culprit. Interesting that you're ok with them. Fingers crossed!

  • Well egg is OK so long as I only have ONE. I do get a few symptoms but they're not too bad. I can put up with them since so far that is the only thing my stomach is sort of ok with. I haven't had garlic or onions for ages. It's difficult to find things that don't contain it. Even Heinz tomato soup (my favourite) has garlic in! I'm toiling to find foods that don't contain things I think may be a problem like rice. Most free from bread seems to contain it. Just have to keep trying I guess. Let me know how you get on with the eggs.

  • Finding ready made sauces/soups etc without onion or garlic is nearly impossible. If your like me and miss Gravy finding a stock was hard but Knorr make a concentrated stock sold in little glass bottles ,and no onions/garlic, I add water and thicken with corn flour. I have found dairy/wheat/egg/soya free chocolate made by Kinnerton in Sainsburys and also recommend Oatly dairy free chocolate drink which is gorgeous. Mostly however I have found I have to cook everything from scratch and now have a cupboard full of ingredients. It's not just a diet it's a life style change and I am eating so healthily now without readymade meals. x

  • Thanks for the info. I've tried to find the concentrated stock you mention but even on the knorr website I can't seem to find it. What is the exact title please so that I can get hold of some. I do miss my gravy.

  • Knorr "touch of taste" concentrated liquid stock. I have added a link waitrose.com/shop/DisplayPr...

    The ingredients list celery, but I phoned Knorr and its a very small amount I was told, so I use a small amount in water and flour to thicken, I havent had any reaction to it at all.

  • Thanks for the link. Unfortunately I can't seem to tolerate chicken. The last time I had some on Monday I had the worst stomach pains ever! I will need to try one of the other varieties after I've determined which meat I can tolerate if any.

  • Hi Linden:

    Another good website is: "Help for IBS" is run by Heather Van Doross. She has had IBS for over 20 years. She has a wealth of information on her website.; including books, teas, a newsletter, a sheet which lists foods that you can eat, and foods that you can't eat. Best you!

  • Hi, I've been on the FODMAP diet now for 6 weeks. I was ill for the first three days of the diet but since then I haven't been ill once, and I was ill 3-4 times a week for the last 30 years so I know it works. The three days that I was ill at the beginning I was still eating cheese and butter which are ok on FODMAP but I learnt that I can't tolerate any dairy, as soon as I stopped these I was fine.

    I am OK with Pork and eat quite a lot as its my fav meat, so doubt that is the problem. I just think your bowel still had some food left in it from pre FODMAP, stick with it and bear in mind you might also be intolerant of some safe items, for example I can only eat 1 slice of Gluten free bread a day. Good luck :)

  • Hello again, and as you are finding, this can be a minefield. I was feeling pretty happy with things and then had an awful couple of days. Having trouble with any kind of lettuce so tried kale and red chard, which is low FODMAP, instead. Bad pain so I'll avoid in future! There's always something!

    Nobiker

  • It is a minefield I agree. I don't have trouble with lettuce but do with dark green vegetables like too much spinach for example. Pretty much the only vegetables I can tolerate are carrots, parsnips and runner beans, boring but i just stick to those.

  • Well that's day 5 done and worse than ever today. I tried corn flakes this morning and because my abdomen was starting to get a bit sore and I felt hungry I had it earlier than planned. As soon as I started to eat it the pain started to reduce. It felt like my tummy was having a sigh of relief. It was short lived though. A couple of minutes later it started getting sore again and I waited to see what would happen. As I still felt hungry I tried having some more corn flakes but I don't think that was a good idea. It continued to be sore but it wasn't too bad and did eventually calm down. I had some chicken at lunch time and have been in agony ever since so chicken is definitely off the menu from here on. I wasn't able to eat anything tonight and eventually took a Tramadol but it didn't seem to do anything. The only way I can get any relief is to lean right forward and rest my arms on my knees but it makes my back sore. Am going to try and go to bed but not sure I will get any sleep. I can't believe how bad things are when others have said their symptoms improved after the first 24 hours. I'll stick with it though and give it a good go. Every day I hope I will have a breakthrough but not so far!

  • Well now on day 8 and I have only identified 1 food that I can eat without a problem, gluten free corn flakes so long as I stick to 15g or less. I tried salmon last night and it wasn't too much of a problem but had 24g today and had stomach pains and a pain in my left side. I have got some koko coconut milk so I'm going to add that to the corn flakes in the morning and see what happens.

    Coeliac test was negative but still not got food allergy results. Could be another 2 weeks apparently! Dr suggested I should ring back in a fortnight but I'm not going to leave it that long. Desperate to know what to definitely avoid so I can make some informed decisions but have to try and be patient.

    Definitely going to try the corn Tortillas from mexgrocer that someone suggested but as yet I haven't found anything to go in them that I can tolerate.

  • I use koko milk and that seems ok with me. For the first week all I ate was gluten free cornflakes too. I think it takes a while for your stomach to calm down and any inflammation to pass. Keep trying to introduce low fodmap foods and I'm sure you will find more that are ok. After the first week and for the next month I did stick to bland meats /veg /pots.

  • Oh right. It's not unusual then. I tried the koko milk yesterday and then had D but not at all sure it was the koko that caused it I think it was the butter from the previous day or the 2 slices of courgette I also had. I had D again this morning and I hadn't had any koko so need to work out what caused it. Maybe I need to try 1 thing and then wait and see if I get a reaction before I try something else. I keep trying to add things but not found anything I can eat yet. Do you think I should keep eating corn flakes until my stomach settles down and then try adding things after that? It seems that trying to eat other foods is maybe stopping it healing. I haven't found anything yet to have with them though so I put a few drops of diluted blackcurrant cordial. It doesn't taste too bad like it's got fruit with it but it would be nice to have a milk substitute.

    I can eat egg so long as I only eat 1 at a time. I scrambled 2 eggs at lunch time but didn't dare eat it all. It's a minefield isn't it trying to work out what to eat and when.

  • I think everyone is going to react differently, I can't eat everything that is low Fodmap and it was a trial and error thing in order to find out what was Ok. I would hope in another week or so you will start to feel better x

  • I hope so too. Thanks for your encouragement I really appreciate it. This is day 11 and following your comments I had cornflakes for tea and my tummy was much happier. In fact in a few minutes it was hungry again so I had 5 small tinned strawberries. I know fruit is in bold in the list but I'm not having anywhere near the amount it advises and this is only the second time in 1½ weeks. Just had cornflakes for breakfast and my tummy is happy again so hopefully if I'm very careful I can keep it happy from here on in. Think I'm going to need to stay on this elimination phase for longer than the 2 weeks to give my stomach time to calm down completely before I try adding in anything from the other food groups. Having enough problems finding low fodmap foods that agree with me let alone having anything else.

    Thanks again.

  • It didn't last long. I had one egg scrambled for lunch and it felt like my stomach had been blown up with a bicycle pump. Never mind just have to wait until it passes and back to cornflakes for tea.

  • I got the results of the the allergy tests yesterday and they were all negative! I'm really surprised after the immediate D I had from having soya the other day. Can food intolerances react immediately after you've eaten the food? According to the network website it is much more likely to be an allergy. I need to check if they did a test for soya but at the moment I have to presume that it's an intolerance. Whatever it is I won't be having anymore of it any way. Still trying to find things I can eat. It seems that I'm ok with cheese and I had some lamb tonight and so far no reaction. Going to get some corn tortillas but mexgrocer don't have in stock just now. Going to keep going although now into week 3 of elimination phase.

  • Hi everyone, just to bring you up-to-date. Having tried the Fodmap diet for nearly 3 weeks and seeing no improvement rather the opposite I have decided that it is not agreeing with me so I have come off it. I am going to very cautiously reintroduce 'normal' foods.

    I was advised by Prof Nick Read and the dietitian he forwarded my email to that I need to see a dietitian who can help me sort out what my allergies and intolerances are. So armed with prints of both their emails I went to the Dr's yesterday. She says there simply aren't any dietitians who specialise in IBS and food allergies /intolerances. Dietitians only see people who are overweight or obese. She did however say that she would write to them and ask for their advice. Also being referred to a psychologist to help with the anxiety and stress. She is also going to write to the hospital for their advice but thinks I may need to have a colonoscopy as it's 3 years since my last one. If my stress levels aren't bad enough already! She then advised me to eat more slow-release foods such as brown bread, brown rice, nuts and protein bars. The EXACT OPPOSITE of what the network site advises for diarrhoea!

    I am currently trying to find a local private dietitian who can help me so if anyone knows how to find one please let me know. I live in Musselburgh, 7 miles south east of Edinburgh in Scotland (even though I'm English). I know I'm going to have to pay for it which won't be easy as I have to live on benefits because of my Fibromyalgia, but I don't have any choice. That just adds to the stress!

    I have always praised the NHS in Scotland but they are badly letting me down over this. Meanwhile I am left trying to eat what I can when I can and hope that help comes along quickly.

  • Lindenp41,,,,,,,, hope you get sorted!!!! you certainly are trying :)

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