MY PERSONAL JOURNEY WITH DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS
While traveling the world and volunteering on a refugee camp on the border of Burma in my 20s, I became very sick with some gut bug and was given some powerful antibiotics. They wanted to use IV antibiotics because I was really sick. By the time I arrived at the hospital, I couldn’t keep anything down and was around 100 lbs. Fortunately, the oral antibiotics worked because this rural hospital was not very sanitary! I improved but soon after, I started experiencing bloating and fatigue after eating. This was 25 years ago. LOW FODMAP diet and the SIBO diagnosis didn’t exist. My naturopathic doctor, Dr. Sandberg-Lewis, who would later co-found the SIBO Center in Portland, Oregon, gave me a strict diet of no gluten, no dairy, and no sugar. Gluten free products were practically non existent then. The only commercially available gluten free bread tasted like cardboard! I had to teach myself how to bake gluten free breads. After many years, I improved and was able to eat gluten containing grains. I should note here that we in the profession really think it’s the gliadin in wheat, not the gluten, that can adversely affect some people with sensitive guts. Anyway, my gluten/gliadin filled days ended with a little gut bug I came down with 2 years ago. I’m back where I was 20 plus years ago. But now, there’s the internet and lots of recipes for me and for others with digestive problems. I’m lucky because I’m symptom free when I follow a LOW FODMAP diet. I experiment off the diet but usually just a little (unless it’s pumpkin pie!). I’ve found that there are some high FODMAP foods that I can eat in small amounts. Dates, yes. Cane sugar, no. Mozzarella, yes. Blue cheese, no. The list goes on. The LOW FODMAP diet isn’t a one size fits all. I use it as a guide like an elimination diet.
I hope my story helps some of you. Proper diet choices are crucial to good health and can heal the gut. Contact me if you need help with your diet or if you’ve tried everything, then I recommend food intolerance testing.