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Eat plain? Low FODMAP? High Fat Low Carb? Veggie???? What diet changes have helped you with your IBS-D?

There are so many different things we can eat its hard to know what to eat sometimes and what to try and what might make a huge difference! I like to eat all things, i like meat, i like veggies i like carbs, when my stomach is good i eat all kinds of things and unfortunately since getting a boyfriend (not the unfortunate part) and moving to China I have eaten an abundant of bad foods, which is no doubt why my stomach has played up much more!

But I know that when my stomach is bad i should only eat plain foods, but then there are many other options.

Should I try and be vegetarian? Would that help? red meat is always a bit problematic and chicken when my stomach is fine is not an issue!

Should I try a high fat no carb diet - people keep telling me this will be great even for 2 weeks, but high fat foods make my stomach bad - at least the greasy and saucy foods - so I dont feel like this would help me personally? Unless my stomach would adjust and love me for it afterwards!

Should I try eating no carbs at all and just protein and veggies - But my stomach only loves carbs, it is happiest when its eating rice...even if my mind thinks is the most boring thing ever!

Should I go Low FODMAP? This seems to cut out so so many foods, that it will make eating really hard and living in China makes eating out and buying food to cook harder than it would be in the UK.

Should I continue with intermittent fasting (yes as ive only been doing it a week! lol) and keep eating plain foods for 2 meals a day plus a few snacks - example of todays meals: a boiled egg and some small chinese bread rolls (softer and more doughy) with Rice congee (plain rice soup), a banana and crackers for a snack and boiled potatoes in some butter for dinner - dinner alternates with a 4 egg omelette (2 full eggs and 2 egg whites)along with some rice crackers or toast (stopping the toast as i dont think my tummy likes it) and i will have oats blended with banana over the weekend.

I have read a lot about different ways you can 'reset your stomach' And it does make sense that having a break from foods or detox would help.

I think i should stick with the eat plain option and be as strict as possible until my stomach starts to feel better..right now i have regular bowel movements which is good, buttt i have a horrible stomach pain beforehand which is not!

But I cant help but wonder would one of these diets be the magic I need!

I am currently wondering that maybe if i actually get through this and ate healthy and then did a plain eating detox once a month or every 6 months for a few weeks then maybe my stomach would stay happy! But its just frustrating that i have been I am still not feeling much better! but i guess it takes time!

I would love to hear your experiences with changes in diet :)

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Sticking to mainly a FODMAP diet, eating plain when I’m feeling particularly fragile and cutting down on red meat all help me. It sucks, but when I do occasionally have a blow out or am somewhere I can’t control the food - holiday etc - I’ll use Imodium to help me through.

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Yeah its all about finding that balance! I struggle because sometimes I am totally fine with all foods then suddenly I am not, so I need to find a balance and basically eat healthy always lol! Glad you are managing yours!

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I think changing my diet didn’t work as problems happened when I turned veggie.

Eggs do not agree with me at all.

Keep a good diary.

I am doing the clever guts diet at the mo but am always cautious as half these things contradict each other.

I am currently seeing an acupuncturist and constipation better but has bad.

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Along with low FODMAP, I would encourage acupuncture. I have recently started having treatments and having a noticeable change in my stomach's agitated state. It has become much calmer. It is hard. Eating out is a challenge where ever you live.

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I have started having acupuncture as well, but I have also been using imodium and not eating clean when i started around (christmas), perhaps if i eat better / plain like I am now I will see the effects of the acupuncture in that department! Although I am noticing that acupuncture is having other positive effects like helping me sleep and feeling less stressed so all this can only help! Today I had a very basic warm salad and I am so bloated i feel i might be able to float our the window, but it could be worse :)

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I have been advised by my nutritional doctor (which I encourage you to seek out) that you may need to have your vegetables slightly cooked. I take enzymes as well.

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Thanks for your response! I think this is something I need to do as well! I think I need to get some tests and really look at the best way to help my IBS D! Being in China complicates it a lot as doctors that speak English here are very very expensive and I just can't afford it right now! One very good reason to move back to the UK in the not to distant future :)

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Drinking Kefir everyday has made a huge difference for me

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I was just reading about Kefir! It sounds amazing! Unfortunately I have no idea where to get it in Beijing and can't even find the Chinese word for it haha! But it's something to consider when I get the chance! Thank you :)

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The scientific evidence surronding probiotics and fermented food is very strong. Its being likened to the same significance as the discovery of antibiotics. You can buy dry kefir grains on the internet. I got mine from buyprobiotics.co.uk

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My doctor prescribed Welchol for me. It has changed my life completely! I had chronic extreme diarrhea for years and could barely leave my house..and when I did, I was very sorry because half the time I couldn't make it to the restroom and soiled myself! How embarrasing and pathetic. I tried absolutely everything before and nothing worked to stop it. You should ask your doctor about it.

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It's not pathetic! You have been at the mercy of your body which to can't always control! I have been in many a situation where I have almost soiled myself and have had to run in to the office or run in to my house to only just avoid it! I will note it down as something to look in to, thank you :) and I am glad its helping you!

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Can I just say that's not pathetic! You were ill and couldn't help it. Glad your on the mend now too.

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Cutting out dairy/eggs/ all animal products (a vegan diet) and opti probiotics 👍🏻

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I have had almost no IBS-D since cutting out (or at least way down on) gluten, dairy, eggs, peanuts, soy, corn and sugar/substitutes. I use almond and/or coconut milk, rice flour, pasta and noodles. Sugar is the hardest and I get bloated stomach and smelly stools/wind if I binge. I try to follow the Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin.

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I definitely think sugar is an issue for me as well! I am considering what to fit out and when! At the moment all plain foods are ok but other foods are not but it's a carbohydrate heavy diet and I'm reading that it can actually be bad! But I shall keep on! Thanks Karen you :) and so glad your IBS D has stopped!

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I found that avoiding onions and garlic in my cooking makes a difference to the diarrhoea I have had for years. I love cooking for people so when I cook curries and other food with onions and garlic I have small portions and try and eat plain food for the next few days. I find getting a bit anxious makes it worse so take Imodium or the generic version before travelling or events.

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Personally I would avoid anything with the word 'diet' attached to it other than FODMAP which is actually clinically tested for IBS.

I think one of the problems with IBS is that it's so personal so it's hard to make recommendations - and this is made even more tricky by being in China with new ingredients and not being able to cook so much!

I find not eating too many different ingredients in one meal is a bit easier on my tummy and I tend to avoid eating lots of raw food (including salad) as it's more difficult for me to digest. But this is is just my body!

Keeping a food diary is helpful to see if there are particular things that are causing you problems. Being vegetarian doesn't necessarily work for everyone - but it might work for you! I don't eat meat as it doesn't make me feel good, but I eat a bit of seafood and a mostly vegetarian diet (with a big focus on the vegetable part!).

I also love good carbs so there's no way I would stop eating something that makes me happy :). One of the challenges I find when I have a flare up is to keep sufficient variety and colour in my diet when I just want plain sourdough toast!

Doing something that relaxes you can also help as I find stress is a big trigger for me. I meditate every day and make sure I go for a decent walk as that's something I enjoy.

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Thanks so much for your reply! I am having one of those days where I am frustrated and at a bit of a loss of what to do and what to try!

My stomach is technically a bit better which is should be happy about, I am currently not having diarrhoea! Bowel movements are frequent but normalish ha, and my stomach felt fine until I ate some dried banana and I had a painful tummy all day! So I am definitely not better!

I should keep a diary it's hard as I go through phases of being able to eat everything then able to eat nothing at all! I know stress is a trigger and eating sugary orgreasey foods in abundance but there is just no telling when it's going to decide to get really bad and I go from months living on rice and crackers and bread! Which really is not nutritional!

It probably doesn't help that I am googling and it's giving me a gazillion different options of what might help! And I am currently wondering if maybe I have built up my gut flora too much through the use of pre and probiotics! And that is causing my problem! And I should pause simple carbs for a while and see if that helps...but I can't eat anything but that right now! And I'm scared if I try anything else I'll end up having to take time off work for not being able to leave the bathroom!

So sorry to rant! It's one of those days! But I should be positive! And thank you again for your response! I am going to look more closely at FODMAPS! Xx

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I totally understand. And have been there myself. There are days you just want to cry (or do cry!) because it's really awful. Especially when you can't tell what's causing the problems.

You start trying to find a solution and it's really overwhelming with all the information.

I've found through trial and error a set of vegetables that work for me when I need to keep things simple and I just add some grains that I know my stomach can cope with (for me that's normally something like white basmatic rice or good quality sourdough). And eggs.

Unfortunately I was one of the people that the FODMAP approach didn't really work for, but it did identify a few more food triggers (I'm not sure if you have access to a dietitian over there that could work through this with you?). Just make sure you go to the Monash Uni app or site for the correct information if you want to know more as they are the ones that carried out the clinical trials.

I had my very worst times about 3-4 years ago and it took me 18 months to get to a place where things were a lot more sorted, but I still have the odd flare up. I now meditate daily (I've also trained as a meditation teacher) and do a few other things to manage my stress levels, which has definitely helped.

So apart from the food, it's probably worth finding a couple of things you can do daily that help you feel more relaxed. This has made a huge difference to me and I've found that I'm able to cope much better mentally when I have a flare up.

I really hope things start to get a bit better for as it sounds like it's a really tough time at the moment! xx

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Aw thank you! you are very sweet and I shall take on board all your advice! It's nice to talk to someone (everyone here also) that understands!

Honestly I have been through this before, and I think it was a bit worse, so I should probably be handling it better haha! but the things I tried last time may not be working the same this time! And it's that never ending question of when will it get better? It's only been 3 official weeks (although I just took imodium all summer so I could have a life)and at least my diarrhoea has currently lessened!

I have started trying to meditate and I am doing some yoga with the plan to do more!

I am going to try and introduce some soft veggies and boiled apples in to my diet and see if I can take this! It's all about trial and error!

I would love to see a nutritionist, but it would be so so expensive here in Beijing! It is the first time I wish I was in the UK(no problem with the UK it's just life aside from IBS got so much more amazing when I moved here, life just fell in to place!) - In the UK my IBS was significantly better, so it says something about the food and diet here for sure!

18 months must have been so hard, I can't even imagine but it sound alike you have really found what works for you!! This certainly make some feel driven to try and make mine better and try not to get too overwhelmed by all the options!

Thanks again! And hopefully I shall be posting something more postive soon :) xxx

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Good luck! And I think just trying a handful of things will hopefully help with the overwhelm.

It might even be that your body is taking a little while to adjust to the new food and environment of where you are. Unfortunately when you have IBS it just makes you so much more sensitive to changes like this.

Even when you know things have been worse before it doesn't exactly make it easier when you're having a crappy time at the moment (no pun intended :) ).

I'm sure the meditation and yoga will help a lot too, but please do update as I'd love to hear how you get on!

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Haha! I love the accidental pun! I talk about poop so much it is perfect for me lol! But yes I I will definitely update you! I am feeling much more positive now!

Thanks so much :)

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I find no gluten yeast and dairy help me, im also not good with any fruit?

I can eat veg but no brocoli cauliflower or savoy cabbage and no garlic spice

Or onions.

I would like to try the fodmap as my stomach still plays up but i do find if i fast for 24 hours il b fine after.

I wana try fodmap as there still something that upsetting me but cant quite get what?

I also take probiotc( tablets not yoghurts or actimels as dairy) a digestive enzyme and peppermint capsules. This does keep it under control 60% of time but then il eat something and thats it ... pain and poops for days....

has anyone got any views on fodmap

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I need to find out about these digestive enzymes! I basically need to be back in the UK to be able to get everything I really need! I just hope I can get better for my remaining time here and eat healthy and then get checked when I maybe move back on a year or so lol!

I'm glad you have found some things to help you! I haven't tried a FODMAPS diet yet but I am sure some people have; it sounds like it really depends on the person as to whether it helps, which seems to be what IBS is all about lol! What a pain!

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When I was at my worst with IBS, my worst symptom was lower abdominal cramping and nausea. (Nowadays I have more diarrhea and have bouts with diverticulitis.). During mostly IBS days, brown rice topped with a bit of cheddar worked best for me, also peanut butter which slowed down cramping, and applesauce. I also existed on yogurt but know nowadays people frown on it. During a recent bout with cramping, felt like diverticulitis beginning, my gastro told me to do liquid diet for a couple of days—did chicken noodle soup and jello, crackers, and that worked better than i thought. Chamomile tea, if you can find it, worked wonders to soothe my system then and now. Best of luck finding something that agrees with you.

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All great advice! I do want some chamomile tea! And I am going to boil some apples and I used to eat tuba and rice and that usually sat well with me! Odd that eating that right now and quite exciting haha! Thanks! Xx

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Apples, i love them

But i mad mistake of having a mouthful of apple crumble other night and i have paid for that ever since

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I've tried all the diets. haha. I've gone veggie, vegan, whole 30, random diets from my doc, gluten free.... I found that there is no set diet with will work for you. You really need to find what YOU are reacting too not what diets you fit into. I've had IBS since I was 5 and I am now 27. I've been symptom free for 2 years. What I did was start with 5 foods and eat that for 2 weeks. I was reacting to the 5 foods I picked so I went through them and found which I was reacting to (in this case it was rice starch in my white rice). Once you are symptom free on these 5 foods you can slowly start adding a new food every couple of days and see if you have a reaction. After all is said and done I was essentially on the paleo diet with a few extra restrictions(low veggies/fiber, not nuts, low fruits etc.). Like I said now I'm symptom free although it was a real pain having to slowly introduce food like I did.

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