Trying the FODMAP Diet

The Real Struggle

Trying the FODMAP Diet

Society has made it hard for anyone with dietary issues to easily make the changes needed for them to manage their dietary problems, and to live a normal life. The FODMAP diet is a perfect example of this because of the fact that many of the foods on the list being acceptable are either too expensive, or too hard to find because of where they come from. It is hard for anyone to make a healthy change to their diet, because it is cheaper to find processed and unhealthy foods than it is to get healthy foods. I speak from personal experience.

I suffer from IBS. The long version, Irritable Bowel Syndrome. IBS is a chronic digestive issue that affects what a person can and cannot eat, as well as how well their body digests food. Severe IBS can be especially limiting, because it makes even the most normal meal painful. You have to learn what foods aggravate your digestive tract, and what foods are okay for you to eat.

I learned early on that spicy foods, greasy foods, and carbonated drinks were not something that I should eat on a continuous basis. Unfortunately for me, those three things dominate today's society. My body became accustomed to me eating greasy foods and drinking sodas over time, but that didn't mean that I didn't suffer for it. Through trial and error, I determined what was safe, and what wasn't without the help of a doctor.

Time went on and my symptoms worsened to the point I knew that I needed to speak to a doctor about what I should do to manage my IBS, because I knew that it was never going to go away. This doctor suggested a low FODMAP diet that would help me to understand what foods were recommended for IBS sufferers, and what foods were not. The issue? It cut out foods that I had eaten for years, limited my diet to many kinds of Asian foods (I don't like Asian food), and wanted me to be primarily gluten free. I could handle losing the foods that I loved and trying a new branch of cuisine. I couldn't handle being gluten free. Gluten free limits where I can eat when I want to eat out and buying gluten free in stores is very expensive.

Gluten free is one of the hardest dietary adjustments to make when the prices are high, and finding gluten free foods is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I've learned from my journey that I don't need to make a complete change to my diet, but eliminating foods that I can live without, and introducing healthier versions of food for my body to adjust to is good too. The diet doesn't have to control anyone's life, and neither do their dietary problems. Experiment with the diet to find what you can live with and live without, but remember that you don't have to follow it to the letter.

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Megan Sowards
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