Thyroid UK
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The FODMAP diet

Hi, I saw a Gastroenterologist privately last night. I've had a lot of tummy and bladder problems for the past three or four years as well as a number of other health issues. I'd seen a urologist first and he insisted I see a Gastroenterologist as well.

He said I am suffering with IBS and I should follow a fodmap diet. I had not heard of this. I have done some research. Every article stresses it should be a last resort and should only be followed under the direction of a dietitian or other health care professional. I looked at a lot of specimen menus - they all included eating meat, poultry or fish. I'm a vegetarian and will not eat any of these.

I did tell the consultant this and he said that was not a problem, but on what I've seen it is. I followed a keto diet for six weeks earlier this year and there are a lot of similarities. But with keto, calories are obtained from cream and fat and some cheeses but these are not permitted in fodmap. My tummy was no better ( or worse) following a keto diet which is gluten free.

I'm also worried about protein - eggs are permitted but no cheese. Protein can be obtained from vegetarian sources but it majors on soy - which I won't eat mostly because of my thyroid problem.

The consultant did not suggest trying anything else first and did not suggest I should see a dietitian. Has anyone had any experience with this diet?

Has anyone found any particular foods hurt or help IBS?

I'm also angry with the guy because he said I was taking too much thyroid meds as my results were well over range. I queried this with him because the results I've been given are not over range. I asked if he was referring to T3 and T4 or the fact that my TSH is suppressed. He said T3 is well over range and that is why my TSH is suppressed. He's going to write to my GP to tell him to reduce my thyroid meds. When I tried to argue with him he told me it was outside his expertise. So I can't understand him writing to my GP. Especially, as he wants my GP to do a couple of tests to check for other health issues.

In Nov 16 T4 16.4 ( 11 - 23 ) T3 4.84 ( 3.1 -6.8 )

In Nov 17 T4 17.4 ( 11 - 23 ) T3 5.08 ( 3.1 - 6.8 )

I found out this morning that my GP had tested my thyroid on 26th March this year.

The thyroid results had been missed off a long list of results.

T4 18.5 ( 11 - 23 ) T3 not tested. TSH was suppressed every time.

Am I missing something? I cannot see how these results are greatly out of range.

Now I'm stressing even more that I was before seeing him and it's cost me a couple of hundred pounds for the privilege!!

Any help and advice is greatly appreciated.

7 Replies
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Hi re Fodmap diet. I follow it a bit! I’ve always had problems eating onions, leeks etc and IBS.

I would imagine that the best way for you to proceed is to cherry pick from the diet and see if things improve. I think from my experience that fibre especially inulin and other very fodmap foods can be irritating to the gut. Experiment and see what works for you. Since I started experimenting I found that bananas and apples, that I was eating every day, actually gave me a stomach ache. I eat berries instead now.

The amount of a problem food you eat can affect your stomach too. You might be able to tolerate small amounts only. It also seems that it’s often the total amount of problematic food in a day that matters. Lots of small servings of fodmap foods can add up to a problem at the end of the day, so avoid ready made food with irritating ingredients like onion and garlic powder. Become a label reader. Extra fibre is sometimes added. Learn the terminology.

Try eating low fibre, more white foods. You can reintroduce brown bit by bit later. Try using magnesium citrate to mentain bowel regularity.

I have had great success with reducing IBS by changing to A2 milk. It’s from cows that produce a different form of protein. I also use sheep yoghurt. Cheese and butter are less of a problem as they’re fat not protein but some can affect me. Blue cheese I avoid.

Re thyroid issues. I agree that your results look fine. I take T3 (privately prescribed) only now and have a very suppressed TSH as many members of the forum do. I haven’t faced up to my GP about this yet but I will stick to my guns and not change my dose. I’ve spent decades in poor health on T4 only. I did notice that I had urinary urgency and diarrhoea when I pushed my T3 dose higher, all resolved when I reduced. I’ve never been over range though. Maybe try a small reduction of your T3 dose?

Hope this helps.

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Hi also be careful with nuts and seeds, which I find can cause serious pain. Quantity could be the problem but they all seem to be irritating at times.

Collagen powder is useful for repairing stomachs among other things. I use powder from Edible Health. British company with helpful staff. I mix it in hot drinks, particularly cocoa.

Slippery Elm helps line my stomach if it’s irritated. As does Guinness!

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Have you tried kefir? It replaces the bad gut bacteria with good. I'm still working up to half a pint a day but I am less bloated than I was and I'm sure it helps with other things too.

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Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for your suggestions. I'll look into them.

I don't eat apples, pears or oranges as I read these can upset the stomach. I do eat a lot of raspberries and strawberries and Greek full fat yogurt. For years I eat one banana every day for the potassium. I gave it up three months ago as I read bananas can cause digestive problems - it's made no difference. I did start eating a few mixed seeds in my yogurt four months ago as I was feeling really hungry all the time. Again my tummy is no better and no worse.

I have bought some non dairy yogurts to try as I thought I'd start with going dairy free.

I do always read food labels as I always check new products to make sure they are vege but when it comes to gut friendly products I don't know what to look for.

I rarely eat garlic but I do have a couple of spring onions most days with my salad lunch - I'll try doing without them.

I gave up gluten for over six weeks on keto and noticed no improvement but I have definitely been worse since including gluten again. I'm not sure if that means I have a problem with gluten or not.

My gp is to test me for celiac disease, which I think is gluten intolerance.

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Dizzy, are your vitamin and mineral levels sufficient and have you considered SIBO?

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Hi,

I've just done some research on SIBO. The gastroenterologist that I've just seen privately is writing to my gp asking for me to have two further tests. One is testing for coeliac disease and I know the other involves a stool sample. I could not remember the name of the second one but it sounds very like he's testing for SIBO. I'll know for sure in a week or so when I get a copy of his letter, if not I'll ask my gp about a test.

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My daughter suffers with stomach/IBS issues, she saw a consultant a couple of years ago who suggested the FODMAP diet, restrictive it is, but when she sticks with it she is symptom free, occasionally she has a 'treat' and soon knows it. I think you need to eliminate the foods it lists cause some you will be able to eat and others you wont, it does vary person to person. Good luck with it.

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