After all these years, I think I've cured myself

I've suffered from IBS-D for most of my life (I'm 48).  I've been to several doctors, had lots of tests, seen a nutritionist, etc. Additionally I've taken TONS of various anti-diarrhea medicine over the years.  I've tried to avoid my 'trigger' foods, tried elimination dies, FODMAP and never got any relief that lasted for more than a few days.

A couple months ago, someone on this forum mentioned Phenergan.  I started  taking it, one 25 mg pill before bedtime. It *massively* helped my diarrhea. In fact, I think I've only had 2 incidents of IBS in the past two months (completely unheard of before, as I'd have it 4-7 days a week prior!).  A week or so ago, I switched to the 10mg pills.  However, I still had that awful bloated feeling.

Years ago I experimented with a high-raw vegan diet, but I didn't last very long on it, and reverted to the standard western diet.  Recently I remembered that I felt my very best eating high-raw vegan. So I started again three weeks ago, as I was desperate to get rid of the gas and bloating. It worked. I eat up to 12 different veggies/fruits per day and NO gas, bloating or diarrhea. I eat cabbage most every day, and all the things that my nutritionist and GP told me to avoid.  What's more, my blood sugar (I'm a diabetic) has *dramatically* dropped AND I've lost 18 lbs in three weeks!  Although I still have a good deal of weight to lose, I no longer have that bloated/6 months pregnant look, nor the pain that comes with it. I have lots of energy. I have started exercising again. I don't wake up in the middle of the night having to go to the toilet. I never have to rush around in a mad panic to find a loo when I'm out in public (something that I had to do frequently in the past). Yes, it is hard to eat just fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts, and you do have to have a plan when you are out (I bring along a smoothie, or carry fruit or raw nuts or seeds in my handbag), but I feel so good now that it makes it so much easier. I've learned to make a variety of meals by downloading free e-books. My husband and step-son still eat a regular western diet (and I even cook for them!) but I'm not tempted (not even by bread, which used to be my downfall), because I know those foods only brought me sickness, pain and embarrassment.  I'm not 100% raw, but 'high-raw', which means about 90%. I still make a homemade vegetable soup. Prior to changing my diet, I couldn't eat ANY soup for years, as it would send me right to the toilet.

And, not to be too graphic, but when I poo, it is mostly solid, 'normal' poos!! No pain, no feeling of not completely eliminating, and no spending 30 minutes or more in the bathroom. My husband said that when I had IBS, I'd come out of the bathroom looking drained and defeated. Now I come out smiling. LOL!

I'd just thought I'd share this as it may also work for someone else.

21 Replies

  • Its great to find something that works for you! Good for you! I know that if I would eliminate all grains (I mean ALL grains...this gluten free routine doesn't help me) I would totally get rid of it... but...hate to admit to such weakness, but I just feel deprived when I do that. I know you can make things with nut flours, but when you are in your mid 70's you don't always have the 'get up and go' to do that much work. Good luck to you!

  • Thank you! Yes, it is difficult. I grew up in an Italian/Irish household, so pasta, potatoes and/or bread were on the menu most days, and always meat *and* sweet desserts! I know there are a lot of things one can make in the dehydrator and with nut butters, nut flour, etc. but for now I am keeping it simple ('cause I'm lazy like that, haha). Maybe when I get bored I will move onto more fancier fare. :)

  • Hope the new 'diet' keeps working for you. Do an update in a while to let us all know if it is still helping you.

  • Thank you!  I will definitely update in a month or so. The big test is when I go for my annual diabetes checkup in July. They'll run blood sugar, liver and kidney tests, weight, etc. I may have just solved *all* my physical problems, not just the IBS (which was by far the most annoying and exhausting on a day-to-day basis).

  • It's so nice to hear when someone finds a solution. It seems to me that understanding your own body,  accepting you have a condition and be prepared to stick to something you believe in. Good luck. 

  • Pleased you've found something that controls your symptoms it does make a difference to life

    I have had to go dairy free for nearly 4 years now but unlike you I can't eat a lot of fruits and a lot of seeds affect me too

  • Your raw vegan makes it worse for me all the things you eat are absolute  negatives for me! Shows everyone must monitor their own individual intake.gGlad you are in control

  • Oh definitely, everyone is different. I thought I couldn't eat all the veggies and fruits I do now. Turns out I just couldn't eat them when I mixed them with other things I typically ate in a day, like meat, dairy, grains, diet soda, etc.

  • So glad you have found something that works for you. Good luck.

  • Wow. That is brilliant. 

  • That's great news to read on this forum. Hope you continue to feel well and your diabetes improves too. Congratulations. 

  • Do you also still take Phenergan ?

  • Yes, 10 mg before bed. I plan to start taking it every other night at the end of this week.

  • Very well done to you as I know this takes a lot of strength and willpower to follow a diet that is very strict.  Would be very interested to hear how you get on over the months

  • Could u please tell me what your daily food plan is. I would like to try this. Thanks

  • A typical day: I make a smoothie for breakfast: banana (pre-frozen), lots of spinach, mango or melon, a bit of water and a tablespoon of coconut oil (supposed to help with lowering blood sugar). I used to add some superfood green powder, but honestly, it is too expensive for me. 

    For lunch I may have a couple apples or pears, cucumber slices with sea salt, or several oranges, or mango, melon, an orange and spinach salad, etc. (something quick and easy). I may have another smoothie instead for lunch, maybe with berries. Sometimes I'll have a salad with mixed lettuce, cucumber, tomato, kelp, with a lime dressing.

    For dinner I usually start with a cup of pureed vegetable soup (this is not raw, but is vegan). It is tomato based. I make it once a week and freeze. In it I put zucchini, cabbage, carrot, broccoli - whatever I have on hand, and a great way to use up veggie bits. Each night when I warm it up I add some greens - spinach, kale or turnip greens. With this I may have a salad, or julienne veggies stuffed in nori (seaweed) sheets, or some coleslaw. I also found Kallo corn thins, and, while they are not raw, they only have two ingredients: corn and sea salt. I spread avocado on them, then layer spinach, a slice of tomato and either kelp or sea salt on top. Some nights I have fruit on my salad greens, maybe with some chia seeds. I snack on raw carrots, celery with almond butter, dates, chia pudding, almonds, walnuts, seeds and apples or pears with cinnamon sprinkled on top. I still drink a cup of tea a day (can't seem to give that up yet), and drink a lot of water, or lime water. I am trying for 2 litres a day, but it is hard when it is still so cold outside.

    I've tried some raw 'recipes' but they never taste like I expect, so I stick to simple food. :)  Some people spend a *lot* of money on a raw vegan diet, but I don't have a lot of money. LOL  I can usually eat quite well for about £35-40 per week.  It is best to get organic produce if you can, or at least the ones that are heavily sprayed. I try to stick to produce in season, buy from produce market when possible, look for deals, etc. Frozen fruit is fine as long as it is *just* fruit, and it has the added benefit of lasting longer. I try very hard not to waste anything, and use celery tops and other bits for my soup.

    If you have any other questions, please ask! :)

  • Thank you so much everyone, for all your encouragement. :)

  • Thanks so much for post back.  I will try. 

  • Just wanted to post a little update. Now six weeks into eating a high raw-vegan diet, IBS-D is completely a thing of the past for me. I've lost 24 lbs, the bloating is gone, as is the gas. I've upped my water intake as well. Now when I go to the toilet it is normal, and it is the best feeling ever. My blood sugar is also still several points lower than before I started. I am never hungry and just feel so much better overall. I have so much more time as well, as I'm not sitting on the toilet for so much time every day! I am still taking the Phenergan 10mg, now every other day, and am soon going to start taking it only a couple times a week and see how I get along. :)

  • Update: 10 weeks now, 31lbs lost, no bloating, NO IBS WHATSOEVER!!! Remember, this is after fighting this for about 25 years! Blood sugars still falling slightly. Overall, life is SO MUCH IMPROVED! Went to the coast with hubby for four days and had a glorious time, not worrying about where the nearest bathroom was! Managed to walk over 15 miles! Went out with hubby and friends to celebrate my 49th bday this week. I just had a salad and water, but was able to socialize without any fear of feeling sick or having to rush to the toilet. I could actually sit there for a few hours and enjoy myself! :D

    So many people in my life feel sorry for me, thinking it is such a restrictive way to live, only eating raw fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, but to be it is absolute FREEDOM, not having to live with IBS! I don't even miss the old foods! :D

  • Another quick update: IBS completely gone after 25 years of suffering. Weight loss has slowed a bit, but I expected that. I've now lost 37lbs since starting. Waiting for the results of my blood work to see how my blood sugars are doing (and will post again next Tuesday when I get them). Still HAPPY, still eating mostly raw (but always vegan), still FREE from the extremely annoying, embarrassing and depressing IBS! Hubby is *amazed* at the change in me. No more scoping out where the toilets are everywhere we go. No more panic at getting to a toilet in time. No more anti-diarrhea tablets. No more hoarding of toilet paper. :D No more cancelling of plans for days out because my stomach hurts or because I'm stuck sitting on the toilet. ABSOLUTE FREEDOM!! I am actually LIVING life, not just trying to get through it one day at a time! :)

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