I was thinking that I would share with you what foods I’m currently avoiding because they give my digestive system a hassle. I’m technically on the challenge phase of the FODMAP diet, but I’m finding life so enjoyable without IBS symptoms that I’ve been reluctant to risk getting sick again – it’s easier (for me) to avoid everything and feel good!
DAIRY: My system cannot tolerate any amount of bovine dairy, in any form. It’s more than just a fermentable issue with me – the smallest amount of even the ‘safe’ dairy (american cheese, parmesan, yogurt) will send me running to the washroom with watery diarrhea within a half hour (usually sooner). I’m lucky that I can tolerate goats milk and related products (different protein makeup), so this has taken the sting out of loosing this food group.
EGGS: My IgE blood panel tells me that it’s just the egg whites that my system reacts to. However, this reaction is so strong (intense headache, fatigue, bowel discomfort) that I have written off all egg products.
BEEF: Eating a steak will result in me staying awake all night as I suffer through every groan, cramp, twinge and strain of my gut trying to break this meat down. I can have a bite of steak (my husband is pretty good about sharing), but I haven’t chanced much more than that.
STRAWBERRIES: Eating a few of these has me running to the bathroom with diarrhea and cramping within a few hours.
And FODMAPS. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols – the carbohydrates that are malabsorbed in my intestine. I get very confused as to what an Oligo vs Fructan vs Fructose are, so bear with me…
OLIGOSACCHARIDES: My excellent FODMAP App from Monash University tells me that fructans and galactos are in this group (FOS and GOS for short). Vegetables like garlic, legumes and onions are listed. Fruit like nectarines, peaches, apples and watermelon are included. Grains like barley, rye, wheat are included. Nuts like cashews and pistachios are included too. This carbohydrate is also disguised as inulin on ingredient listings.
I definitely have trouble with garlic and onion. Apples are out for me. I haven’t really challenged the rest. The Monash FODMAP app helpfully lists some foods that have moderate Oligos-fructan/FOS and or GOS – I’ve been avoiding these so maybe it’s time to try and start my food challenge with these items. I know a serving of broccoli (listed on the app as having ‘moderate Oligos -fructan/FOS and or GOS’), at dinner doesn’t upset me too much.
DISACCHARIDES: lactose (dairy). I stay away from all dairy, not sure if it’s an intensive reaction to the carbohydrate or the protein (casein). Dairy causes my most immediate, intense reaction.
MONOSACCHARIDES: one molecule sugars. Glucose, fructose and galactose (lactose) are here. Honey, high fructose corn syrup, and fruits like apples and mangos are included. I know honey and apples mess me up, so I’ve been avoiding these too.
POLYOLS: Polyols are sugar alcohols. Sorbitol and mannitol (found in some fruits and vegetables and often found as artificial sweeteners) are some of these. Cauliflower, mushrooms, snowpeas, peaches, watermelon are listed as having high mannitol levels, and I have been avoiding them. I know that giving up gum was one of the things that helped alleviate my symptoms so the artificial sweeteners are obviously a problem for me.
So, in a nutshell, most food makes my tummy grouchy. This leaves me with limited options as far as cooking goes – most helpful ‘low FODMAP’ recipes are out for me (or need a lot of adjusting) because they will include eggs or dairy of some kind.
Watch for my next posting, where I list the Top 10 ingredients that I keep in my pantry.