I am that girl who can’t eat half the things you serve at your barbecue.
For my entire life, I have had somewhat of a sensitive stomach, but I could usually deal with it.
This past summer, after I ran over 27 miles in the St. Jude Run, that changed.
After the run, there is this big banquet with tons of food. As soon as I got my plate, I knew I couldn’t eat. We ended up heading home soon after, and my stomach was cramping up so bad that I could barely stand when we got home.
So, I did some research. It seemed to be running-based, and I made sure to hydrate better through my marathon, which was a month and a half later.
The marathon came and went. I was running WAY less than usual. My stomach was STILL bugging me. A lot. Enter multiple doctor’s office visits, referrals to a specialist, elimination diets, tests, and all signs pointed to nothing. It was so, so frustrating.
After a frustrating sushi date in which I only had two bites before my stomach started feeling crampy and full, I had had enough. I got home, laid down in bed with my iPad, and vowed to figure something out. Thats when I found the FODMAP diet.
Finally, I found something that seemed to make sense. Basically, FODMAPs are naturally occurring sugars that some people just can’t digest. I had tried going dairy-free and gluten-free, but never at the same time. So, I eliminated all FODMAPs, meaning gluten-free, dairy-free, and avoiding a whole lot of fruits and vegetables, for about two months. At that point, I did tests of one week at a time to see what I could tolerate.
Long story short, I discovered that nearly all 5 FODMAPs affect me. The only one that is generally safe is lactose.
I have been eating differently for most of this year and have seen a big difference. My biggest foods to avoid are onions and garlic, but gluten, apples, peaches, and lots of other things are big no-no’s.
I will admit it is still hard. Sometimes really hard (i.e. Easter when someone brought Carrot Cake Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory…grrr). I still get frustrated at times because it hasn’t completely solved the problem. However, I can actually stay comfortably in restaurants now, or go out and not have to go home early because my stomach starts to hurt. Based on what I was experiencing, that is a big deal.
Anyone have complicated diet restrictions? How do you deal with it?