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  • IBS, Food Obsession, Eating Disorder

    I've had IBS for a few years now. That's what I was diagnosed with anyway.

    In hopes of curing it I tried to go paleo/primal. But I keep failing. Unfortunately however I feel it's made me become increasingly paranoid about food. Anyone who has IBS knows how horrible the pains are and how embarrassing the situation can be. As a result from trying to avoid those pains, I've become slightly food-phobic. I'm afraid to eat. I get confused about what to eat, how often, how to prepare it etc. I get agitated with wanting organic food and not eating GMO conventional crap. Because I live with my parents atm and no job, I don't have a lot of choices in what I eat (not healthy ones anyway.)

    Yesterday, I happened onto something called "orthorexia nervosa" and was startled to see that this mirrored how I acted, thought, and felt about food. Inwardly I know that I do not eat healthily and I sometimes end up unknowingly avoiding any food or punishing myself when I have something "bad".

    Today I had a horrible attack of stomach pain coupled with frequent trips to the bathroom. I have no idea what I ate or did that might've caused it. But I'm kind of at a stand still with what to do about all this. I have been wanting to see a doctor on helping to ID possible food sensitivities but I'm not so sure I want to see a conventional allergy doctor. Are Naturopaths better at this sort of thing? I get delayed reactions.

    Anyway food has become something that makes me nervous now. Not sure why. I wanted to know if anyone was struggling with this sort of thing. I've become rather depressed (which obviously only makes the pain worse.) I'm just tired of living with this pain and fear of causing it by eating. I know that I have to eat. That's obvious. But that doesn't change the fact it's become a slippery slope.
    F|26yr|5'3"
    1st Start: 8.25.12
    SW: 151 CW: 147 GW: -150
    HW: 195

  • #2
    If I am understanding you correctly you are not actually afraid or paranoid about food - but rather you are paranoid about triggering and IBS flare. That is perfectly normal and understandable!! It is horrible to be in pain and normal to become anxious about anything that could trigger pain. I have had a few gall-bladder issues and when they are flaring I become a lunatic about food. I can't help it - I just don't want to trigger the pain.

    What type of food elimination have you tried? There are many people around here who have had success figuring out bowel issues. Eliminations diets, GAPS diet, FODMAPS, low lectin, fructose malabsorption.....different things have worked for different people. For me, all my bowel issues went away when I eliminated grains (oats were the killer for me). It may take a while to figure out, but try to be patient and methodical about it and I'm sure you can make some progress.

    Also - have you been tested for the autoimmune gut pathologies - crohns disease, ulcerative colitis, etc?
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

    http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

    Comment


    • #3
      TBH I don't know where to begin when it comes to elimination diets. Unfortunately I sort of avoid most food altogether. My eating is irregular, staggered and I'm pretty malnourished. Sometimes I end up eating the same thing everyday (ex. eggs for breakfast. I used to have cereal everyday for breakfast but stopped when I found primal.) You see, the pain is not immediate. I usually never know what triggers me unless it was right after I ate the food in question. And at times I've eaten things that at one time triggered me and at different point and time it has no effect on me.

      I think I was tested for those but so far no one has told me i have it. I have IBS-C mostly.
      F|26yr|5'3"
      1st Start: 8.25.12
      SW: 151 CW: 147 GW: -150
      HW: 195

      Comment


      • #4
        If you do feel as though it is possible you have an eating disorder, please get evaluated ASAP. You will need help and if you are already malnourished you could have electrolyte issues that need immediate attention.

        As far as diet, you should be able to add in meat, bone stocks, and animal fats/ghee without any trouble. I've never seen anyone with IBS that had a problem with meat. Bone stocks are very healing to the gut and nutritious. Eggs can be a problem for some people.

        I'm hoping some of the bowel experts around here will chime in to help you.
        Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

        http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't have a lot of money to throw around for evaluation or anything medical. But I'll try to keep aware of what I do. I can get stressed easily and I cry when I get frustrated with my situation (which I know never helps.) That probably sounds kind of weak but I'm being honest.

          I don't think meat bothers me (unless maybe it's prepared a certain way that disagrees with me.) I keep debating on keeping a food diary. I admit part of me really doesn't want to look at what I eat everyday (and it can also be a hassle.) Guess I'll have to look up how to do bone stocks...never heard of it.

          Despite my constipation, when I was still eating bread (Ezekiel) I could eat 3 slices of that stuff a day and it didn't help much.

          Uh I guess what I'm trying to get across is, I'm highly overwhelmed with what I should be eating to stay healthy. It's as if I'm too aware of what's bad and what's good and I get confounded. At times I wish there was someone to tell me exactly what I need to do for my own situation.
          F|26yr|5'3"
          1st Start: 8.25.12
          SW: 151 CW: 147 GW: -150
          HW: 195

          Comment


          • #6
            Have you tried eliminating dairy or at least milk? I have a IBS (a chronic form, it's not acute all the time) and a bout of the flu some 15-16 years ago triggered an exacerbation in symptoms that lasted for 5 years. For me milk was the absolute trigger - every time I drank some milk, I would get horrible diarrhea just a couple of hours later. Of course, in my case it was quite easy to figure it out, it was obvious... Other dairy didn't seem to bother me, just milk. When I eliminated it, I would still get diarrhea quite a lot and it was mostly triggered by vegetables, but things were sort of easier to control and predict. i noticed cabbage and the skins of peppers were a no-no, so I avoided those (too much fiber, I guess). Of course, at that time I never eliminated grains, I didn't know I should. Maybe that would have made all the difference, who knows... So my advice is, try eliminating grains and milk and/or all dairy to see if that helps.
            Last edited by Sol y Sombra; 01-22-2012, 12:04 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Byakko - there's plenty of good information out there on the Internet. Invest time in researching lectins, IBS and elimination diets.

              I've managed to figure out what gave me IBS and other autoimmune problems through research online and elimination diets. Doctors are useless in the UK for this sort of stuff, and I find that naturopaths are good but expensive.

              I recommend you eat sweet potatoes as they have strong anti-inflammatory properties and offer reasonable value for money if you buy them in bulk. Also white rice is cheap and one of the least allergenic foods on the planet.
              Last edited by paleo-bunny; 01-22-2012, 03:55 AM. Reason: typo
              F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have IBS syndrome myself, so I understand you can really want to avoid certain foods because they trigger a violent reaction. But it seems as though you're confused as to where your trigger points are, so I recommend that you write a daily food diary for a month or so to see which foods trigger what reactions. That way you know what you have to avoid, and what you can eat, and hopefully that will make you less stressed around food.

                If you aren't sure that works, maybe consulting a specialised nutritionist can help you with your specific dietary needs. Every person with IBS has different triggers, so it's hard for me to tell you what you should eat. For me trigger foods are grains, pork (yeah.. I have a problem with some meat sadly), chillies or heavy spicing and too much starch mainly. Some other foods like cabbage also trigger a reaction, but less severe.

                Also, have you got major stress factors in your life outside of your diet? Because my IBS gets worse when I am stressed I suggest you take care of yourself and get enough rest, that really helps.

                I hope my advice helped a bit, and I hope you'll start feeling better soon!

                Comment


                • #9
                  My IBS is GREATLY affected by stress - if I happen to worry a lot about something (hear some bad news or something like that), I have to be near a bathroom, because it takes just minutes for me to get diarrhea... Of course, that goes for situations of acute stress/anxiety, not everyday worries, but still.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sol y Sombra View Post
                    My IBS is GREATLY affected by stress - if I happen to worry a lot about something (hear some bad news or something like that), I have to be near a bathroom, because it takes just minutes for me to get diarrhea... Of course, that goes for situations of acute stress/anxiety, not everyday worries, but still.
                    Yep so is mine so it's very important for Byakko to check if that's an influence.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thank you all for replying.

                      I developed IBS from stress I believe. There was a situation in my family that greatly upset me and after that I started to have problems. I couldn't even eat two bites of breakfast without going to the bathroom and at night I'd make multiple trips (even though I'm mainly IBS-C). It wasn't until the doctor gave me some medication for it that I was able to eat through out the day without having to use the bathroom so much. (Though I'm wondering if the medication is giving me the constipation.) I can't say I'm happy to take these pill every morning and night. I was also prescribed sleeping pills (that go under my tongue) for an attack at night. I'd get nauseous and really bad cramps.

                      Most of the time I don't consciously worry or feel stress, but I'm sure I am stressed without even knowing it. I have a lot of problems going on in my life atm and I yet to find any solutions to them. Things like school debt and being dependent on my parents when I should be on my own. And of course IBS itself will sometimes stress me out.

                      I will try the diary idea, though that won't always be an indicator. Like I said before. I've eaten things more than once. I've had times when I did get a reaction from eating..say...ice cream and other times when I ate the ice cream it didn't bother me...(at least not right away.) So it's weird...
                      F|26yr|5'3"
                      1st Start: 8.25.12
                      SW: 151 CW: 147 GW: -150
                      HW: 195

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'd be wary of the pills that the docs prescribed.

                        Sounds like stress is a major factor for you. Go easy on yourself and focus on spending more time on the pursuits that you enjoy and find fulfilling and relaxing. You need to put yourself first right now. I bet you are a victim of economic circumstance.
                        F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's hard but I'm trying (I try to do yoga, which I like in general.)

                          My condition started before the economic collapse, but I'm pretty sure it hasn't helped my stress levels.

                          People seem to swear by the elimination diet but how can I eliminate food when I don't really have a starting point? What I mean is, I have food confusion". I try to eat healthy but often times if I'm confused about what to prepare I eat whatever. So somehow I need to get a normal diet going again before I can begin to cut things away. I think I deprive myself and then I start bingeing like crazy. I admit I'm a binge eater. The Paleo/Primal eating was rather overwhelming for me and although I got the gist and tried to make changes, I was unable to keep it up for a whole week. That led me to get obsessive about the things my mother brought into the house and what she cooked with and then I realized I was the one who had to cook the food if I wanted to be satisfied that it was all free of sugar, artificial crap and grains. But of course, I still remained confused.

                          So I think that's when I sort of imploded. I'm now suffering a bout of diarrhea (which I'm pretty sure is not a bug because it only really happen near bed time.) And I'm also pretty sure it may have little do with with eating bad food. It may be because of not eating enough, eating the wrong foods or stress or even a combination of both.

                          Unfortunately I'm still finding it hard to eat because I'm afraid of aggravating the pain. Right now I'm drinking water and eating a banana (I woke up late) and that's all I've had so far.
                          F|26yr|5'3"
                          1st Start: 8.25.12
                          SW: 151 CW: 147 GW: -150
                          HW: 195

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you see a nutritionist and tell them you want to avoid grains, they can give you a guideline on an elimination diet with common allergen culprits cut out (and you can avoid grains, they always cut out wheat anyway), and how to reintroduce them. A nutritionist is not about to encourage the really bad stuff (sugar and artificial "crap") anyway, so it may help to have a set of rules so to speak. But ultimately it's up to you to find your motivation and commit.
                            Depression Lies

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It sounds like a tall order following paleo/primal and trying an elimination diet. It's going to be easier to focus on the elimination diet first. In particular, you're going to find it very difficult eating low carbs and worrying about macronutrient ratios with IBS.

                              There's a list of recommended foods that are rarely allergenic to eat on an elimination diet, which is pretty much a subset of primal foods, plus white rice. The idea is you eat those foods for a few days, and once your symptoms improve you introduce one by one significant quantities of the foods that you suspect might be causing your symptoms and see what happens. It's best to focus on the most commonly allergenic foods first, i.e. wheat, dairy, shellfish, pork, eggs, peanuts, soya, yeast, citrus, deadly nightshade, other legumes.

                              I was amazed and horrified to learn I was intolerant to tomatoes, which gave me diarrhoea, but I just hadn't made the connection. I found this easier to identify after I had identified and eliminated wheat as a problem. One clue is that you will often find addictive the foods to which you have the strongest reaction. Any obvious symptoms may not arise until hours after ingesting the food. However, within 10 minutes of eating a food that you react to, your body temperature will rise and your heart rate will rise by about 10 beats per minute.

                              And - gah! - if you replace one food with a similar one, e.g. I replaced wheat with rye, it is likely you will see a remission of symptoms, only for them gradually return because your body has started to react to the replacement food. For me this happened with rye, then corn.

                              I've learnt the hard way. Thus even though I feel no symptoms after consuming bell peppers and white potato, I rarely eat them because I know I'm intolerant of tomatoes and aubergines in the same family.

                              Also consider histamine intolerance and differing sensitivity to foods at different times of the day as confounding factors. Ingested histamine can amplify symptoms or be a cause of symptoms.
                              F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.

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