Fibromyalgia, IBS and white bread

Hello loveys,

For as long as I've had Fibromyalgia, I've also had IBS. It was one of my first symptoms, and it still occasionally gives me hell today. Gradually I've worked out the things which upset it, the biggest of which is white bread.

I've mentioned before in the past how huge my stomach gets when I've eaten white bread, but because I'm usually smart enough to save myself the pain of eating it (and God, does it hurt if I'm stupid enough to have it a few times within the same week) I've never actually taken photos as evidence. I had a theory that if I had white bread toasted somehow it wouldn't affect me as badly, but this was proved as absolute bunkum a couple of weeks ago. James and I went to stay with his parents in London for the weekend and I forgot to take my bread, so I had white bread toasted a couple of times over the weekend. I knew I was really bloated at the time, but I didn't realise how much so until I took photos on the Monday and compared them to the ones I took the Thursday before. Here they are.

Thursday is on the left, Monday is on the right. I'm sure you'll agree I look like I'm about to give birth in the Monday photo.

White bread is absolutely a poison for me, but knowing it and seeing it are too different things. Now I can see how ridiculous the damage to my body is when I eat it, it has totally put me off. A moment's pleasure isn't worth the lasting bloating.

While I'm here I thought I'd mention some things which also aggravate my IBS.

  • dairy, especially cows milk
  • marmalade, except ginger marmalade
  • oranges and other sharp citrus
  • anything fatty
  • raw onions
  • caffeine and alcohol (it also affects my bladder)
  • sweeteners
What I've changed to make life easier on myself:

  • I have soya or rice milk, soya spread (a new change for me) and suffer for cheese but I'm not giving it up!
  • Don't eat marmalade except delicious ginger marmalade on brown, wholemeal or granary bread
  • Only eat satsumas - oranges are too sharp for my sensitive tum
  • Avoid fatty meals - there's a Chinese buffet in town and it's the worst thing for me to eat there
  • Cook my onions
  • I don't drink much alcohol (probably once a month) and limit myself to 1-2 cups of tea a day and 1 can of diet coke
  • I use agave nectar in my tea which doesn't aggravate my bladder or bowel

I'm not going to go too much into the gory details of IBS but the things I tend to experience if I eat the wrong food (or not enough of the right ones) are VERY sudden diarrhoea, terrible constipation (often the two will cycle from one to the other), bloating, wind, stabbing pains and churning sensations like I have a velociraptor in my stomach. Getting enough fruit and veg and plenty of water is really important, and if I do get constipated, it's wise for me to cram in loads of fruit and veg and drink extra water.

Do you have IBS? How have you dealt with it?

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

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