I’ve written a few times about how the FODMAP diet was a real savior for me and at first it really was, but it didn’t take long to figure out I completely misunderstood how to do the reintroduction phase. So here I am, doing it again to figure out which carbohydrates are the culprits of my misery and to what degree. So here’s an update on my progress and findings along eith all the resources I’ve found most beneficial for my journey through FODMAPs. If you don’t know what the FODMAP diet is, click here.
I knew there were different kinds of carbohydrates and that some affect me more than others, I just didn’t take the time to learn about each group and what belongs to each of them. I was still inadvertently eating things that were bad for me. It required a good deal of time and effort to research, but I eventually found all the information I was seeking, so I figured I’d share it here so everyone can benefit.
First off, since I got everything all riled up, I had to start back at square one with the total restrictions until my system returned to normal for a few weeks, as explained here. Now, as this reintroduction phase article explains, I’m challenging my system with one type of carbohydrate for 1-3 days to see how it reacts. If I have a reaction, it’s rather easy to tell and almost immediate. Then I have to give my system a few days to clear and begin with the next, sometimes testing the same type of carb several times to ensure an accurate measure. Of course I only do this if I’m reacting fine to that type of carb, as there’s no need to torture myself.
I only had to test high lactose dairy once on one day to know it is a major problem for me. I don’t know when it became a problem, because I’ve been a dairy crazy girl my whole life, but it had me running for the bathroom in 20 minutes and took 3 days before I felt better. On the other hand, I can digest cheddar or parmesan fine, so I’m able to consume hard, well-aged cheeses with low or no lactose.
I’m not even testing polyols, as I know I have a big problem with those from trying to eat low-calorie treats that contain them. Turns out there are bunches of fruits and vegetables with high and medium polyols, but I had no idea and had been consuming tons of them thinking they were okay because they were known for their low sugar content, such as berries and avocados. I just can’t even bear to test them, but I have tested low polyol fruits and vegetables and do alright with those at no more than 2 a day, so I’ll stick with them. I’m staying clear of high and medium containing ones.
But I had to figure out what’s safe and what isn’t and it was turning out to be quite the task. Then I found this comprehensive list of foods arranged by carbohydrate type and then broken down into high, medium and low amounts. These lists have become my carbohydrate bible and I live by them. They have helped me choose foods I prefer for my testing and really helped me to stay safe while also helping me to find a little variety in my diet.
At the moment, I’m a little confused by my fructan responses and I hope once I do some more testing things will become more clear. I’m almost certain I reacted poorly to onions and soy is one of the worst offenders for me, but so far wheat, pinto beans and almonds seem to be fine. With such mixed results, its unclear what to think at this point.
Fructose in small quantities doesn’t seem to be problematic. I’ve tested out some sugar in decaffeinated coffee and did fine with it, but with all my other allergies and carbohydrate issues, I doubt I’ll have the opportunity to test anything more soon. I’d really rather just avoid sweets altogether.
In case there’s something missing from the list or you want to double check something, you can use this website. It will tell you everything you want about a food’s composition. In the carbohydrates section, click ‘more detail’ and it reveals the type of carb.
Incidentally, I’ve been trying and failing for a long time to lose weight, even eating a severely curtailed diet. As soon as I started FODMAPs for the first time, the weight started to fly off. It stalled when I began having problems again, but a week into going back on it, I lost 3 more pounds. If someone told me a 300 lb woman couldn’t lose weight eating 1300 calories a day (sedentary or not), I wouldn’t have believed them, but it’s true. I was stuck that way for a long time. I didn’t even understand how I could have gained all that I had. But I struggled with these issues for years and my IBS turned from diarrhea to constipation with bloating and nothing ever moved unless I used laxatives. The only time I ever lost was when I had a bowel infection. Even when I started Fasciablasting and working out, I somehow lost almost two inches without losing any weight. Now I’m down 39 lbs! I don’t know the physiology behind why, but I sure am glad it’s having the positive effect that it is. Maybe one day, I’ll be able to walk into a doctor’s office without having my weight blamed for all my health problems, when it’s much more likely it’s the other way around.
What a difference a year makes!