Solving Mysterious Symptoms

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.

It was a long...but great...day!

It was a long…but great…day!

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 finish line at my first marathon...my fiance jumped in for the last little push. :)

Notice the hydration belt. 🙂

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?

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