Mum, scientist, foodie blogger and fellow IBS sufferer, Vicki, from Free From Fairy shares her IBS story, tips and tricks.
How did you know you had IBS?
I’m not really sure that I can remember how my diagnosis came about! It was a long time ago and I had been suffering with really bad bloating, wind, constipation and tummy pains for a long time. Eventually I was tested for coeliac disease but I think I had cut down/out most gluten by then so I guess the negative result doesn’t mean I don’t have it. My daughter has it.
How do you cope with IBS on a daily basis?
Over the years it has gone through periods of being really bad, and then even going away (when I was pregnant). About 10 years ago I made the discovery that wheat triggered it so I cut out all wheat and it was much more manageable. Then last year I had another flare up out of nowhere. To try and get to the route cause I have tried all kinds of crazy-strict diets from the SCD diet to GAPS and low FODMAP. I have just finished the I Quit Sugar 8 week programme and I have to say that my tummy is the happiest it has been for a year!
Any life-changing tips of how to deal with symptoms?
Don’t worry about them! It makes them worse. Of course that is easier said that done but if you can believe that everything in life is temporary then it helps to get through the tough times. A spot of mindfulness is always good too. Or a run!
Foods you swear by and foods you swerve?
I avoid gluten, dairy (which triggers my eczema but not any tummy problems strangely) and sugar. I take Symprove, a water-based probiotic every day which I swear by and I eat a very natural diet with no processed food or additives.
What’s the food you most devastatingly miss?
Warm fresh baguette or tiger bread and fresh Danish pastries without a shadow of a doubt! It’s going to be torture going to Paris soon!
What’s a typical weeknight dinner?
Something simple like protein and lots of veg. I don’t eat a lot of carbohydrates.
Do you feel your lifestyle has changed?
Not really. Eating out is tricky, and going to friends houses is also a bit of a nightmare but most people and places are accommodating and I am determined not to let it change what I do.
What do your friends and family do to accommodate?
They always ask me what I can eat before I go around. I usually take a dessert or something and provided people keep the food simple, it is usually fine. If I suffer I know it will be temporary.
How would you explain IBS to others?
Like a pain in the behind! Something that I wish I didn’t have but which makes me more creative, trying to make delicious food that I can enjoy without the pain!
Head over to Free From Fairy for a whole heap of delicious free-from recipes.
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