Dieting with Obstacles - Dieting with IBS

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Baz xo
11-29-2008, 12:07 PM

I have to say that I've always found it hard to diet with IBS. I had IBS all my life but I found out when I was 13. Everytime I try to eat less than I usually do (to lose weight), it makes the IBS go out of control and it would keep rumbling unless I've binged loads of food. Lately, I have replaced my much-loved Pepsi with water and although I have found the symtoms of IBS much better, it does get worse sometimes because it feels like my stomach is being washed out with water! Most of the time, I can put up with it but sometimes in the end, I would have had enough of it and go back to binge eating and drinking Pepsi, and my stomach would be fine. :mad:

So how can I lose weight the healthy and sensible way if it means a lot of pain in my stomach if I go without Pepsi and binge eating?

11-29-2008, 12:30 PM
Can you do 1 or 2 diet pepsi's a day? My g/f has IBS and i know coke helps her stomach settle. Also why not try volumetrics? Replace the high cal food with super low cal food so you can eat more with the same amount of calorie

11-29-2008, 01:10 PM
The first bout of IBS I ever had was in high school while I was dieting extremely. The abdominal pain was so severe I was tested for all sorts of things like appendicitis and mono. Eventually (when nothing else was found), I was diagnosed with non ulcerative colitis (which was an old name for IBS).

Basically from then on, I learned that to control symptoms, I had to eat "middle-of-the-road" - if I "dieted" (because I thought that meant you had to eat tons and tons of veggies, especially lettuce) or if I ate "junk" (high fat foods like chocolate and potato chips) I would suffer terribly.

It has been hard to find a way of eating that both allows me to lose weight at a reasonable rate and avoid IBS symptoms.

Slowly adding in more high fiber foods has helped, though some foods (like lettuce and raw greens) are still triggers. It can be hard to avoid the trigger foods, not just because they're "dieting foods," but because they're foods I like. I miss having a salad every day, and while I can eat a small salad occasionally, a large dinner salad is out of the question.

I really think slow change is the key though. From what I've read on IBS sites, everyone's triggers can be different, but for most people any change in diet can trigger problems, so any changes have to be made very gradually. It's harder to make gradual changes than you would think, because a dieting mindset makes you want to look at some foods as "good" and others as "bad." Also, gradual changes mean gradual weight loss, and it's hard to be ok with that too, because who doesn't want to see big numbers on the scale?

To keep your digestive system "happy," gradual change really is about the only way to go. You could talk to your doctor about IBS medications, to see if they might help, though diet is still going to be your best defense.

Just as a word of encouragement, slow and gradual can be done. It's taken me a year to lose 40 lbs. When I think about how slow I'm losing, I get discouraged. When I think about how comfortably I'm losing, I get really excited and enthusiastic. This is the best weight loss attempt I've ever had! I don't feel like I'm dieting at all (because I'm not). I just feel like I'm living my normal, every day life with just a few minor adjustments. If I get off-track or try to make too drastic a change, my digestive system tends to remind me with an IBS flare.

11-29-2008, 01:52 PM
I also have IBS, when its acting up dieting is harder. I have lost 79lbs and only had bouts of IBS thru it. Soft drinks trigger IBS in me...but not having them trigger constipation in me. Its a no win battle.I try to eat alot of veggies but not always alot of lettuce. I also take a medication called librex as needed to help control symptoms as they arrise. I have also found seeds and nuts makes mine worse. Good luck!!

Baz xo
11-29-2008, 02:03 PM
CandyKisses0204 - that is a good idea. I suppose I could switch Pepsi for diet Pepsi or Pepsi Max. If that doesn't help the IBS, then that must mean that my stomach loves pop packed with sugar :dizzy: What are volumetrics? I've never heard of them. Thanks for the advice anyway, I will give it a try! :)

kaplods - That must be very difficult, trying to maintain your IBS symtoms and losing weight! It's the same thing I'm going through now.
Eating vegetables are fine because they don't trigger the symptoms but I can't have a lot of potatoes because I find that high carb food like potatoes and pasta triggers the symptoms. It's very baaaad because I love pasta loads! However, I can live without pasta :^:
Great advice about changing my diet gradually, that sounds like the best way to do it. As I've said to CandyKisses, I could try replacing Pepsi with diet Pepsi and gradually reduce the number of Pepsi I have and in the end, hopefully I will be able to drink water altogether. Thanks very much for sharing and giving me good advice! :hug:

Baz xo
11-29-2008, 02:07 PM
dgramie - that's great that you managed to lose 79lbs even though you had bouts of IBS symptoms! I hope to do as well as you. I think I have about 90lbs to lose so fingers crossed!

Oops, I forgot! I'd like to say well done to kaplods for losing 40lbs in a year, with bouts of IBS symptoms. That's a job well done!

12-19-2008, 03:51 PM
Sorry to hear so many young people are suffering! I read a book called 'Eating For IBS" that helped me immensely. I now feel better and know the trigger foods. I don't know if they are the same for everyone but mine are peanut butter and nuts and seeds, chocolate, coffee, hi fats and yes. soda and beer (alcohol in general) although I found that blackberry brandy stops the stomache pain. I also use white bread instead of wheat and white rice has been a life saver in bad situations. Yes, it is hard to lose weight this way but it is possible! Instead of salads I use veggies in soup, especially in winter. Good luck to everyone suffering with this debilitatins ailment. My doctor didn't even believe me until an exray showed the inflammation and colitis. :^:MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone. Stay healthy.

12-19-2008, 05:54 PM
I just wanted to say I have found this thread very helpful.

I was diagnosed with IBS just today after suffering severe debilitating abdominal pains twice in the space of two months - on each occassion lasting over 24 hours.

My doctor has presribed me some medication - Colpermin to take on a daily basis and Buscopan to take in the event of a flare up. She gave me some advice as to managing it like drinking lots of water and eating lots of fruit but I do this already. She thinks it has been triggered by stress.

I did wonder how this might affect my weight loss efforts.

I feel as if I don't know very much about the condition and how to manage it - can anyone give me any advice or point me in the direction of resources you have found helpful?

Thanks :)

12-20-2008, 01:43 PM
Ms. Vitality, I keep mint tea always! and it helps break up 'gas'. Ginger is good. Also, peppermint oil capsules (coated) are good and fennel tea. Best to avoid all 'triggers.' Yes, it is possible to lose weight with IBS. My doctor made me go for colonoscopies every year for 3 years. Yes, there were polyps. Don't need to go again for 5 years. Good luck.:carrot:

12-20-2008, 11:10 PM
Um, your stomach is not doing better with binging and carbonated beverages. Maybe it seems like that at first because you've been in a such a habit your body doesn't know what is happening. If you start a healthy eating plan and stick to it, you would be amazed how much better your IBS can be eventually. If you are used to binging and suddenly you aren't, yeah, your stomach is going to rumble. If you feel like you are just so starving you can't stand it, add some fats like organic eggs, natural peanut butter or organic butter.

12-21-2008, 07:07 PM
Ms. Vitality, I keep mint tea always! and it helps break up 'gas'. Ginger is good. Also, peppermint oil capsules (coated) are good and fennel tea. Best to avoid all 'triggers.' Yes, it is possible to lose weight with IBS. My doctor made me go for colonoscopies every year for 3 years. Yes, there were polyps. Don't need to go again for 5 years. Good luck.:carrot:

Thanks Liz! I bought some peppermint tea today so hope it will help!


12-21-2008, 07:18 PM
My doctor thinks I have this too...I go see her again on Tuesday. I've been having a LOT of problems lately. My tummy hurts all the time...usually it's just sorta a gassy ouchy feeling, but sometimes its a stabbing pain. I have my appendix out, so it's definitely not that. My doc gave me some meds to we'll see what happens. Greasy foods make it worse, for sure!

12-22-2008, 04:12 PM
I suffered from stomach issues for a very long time. I went through so many changes to my diet that I have finally found a way to eat that keeps me full of energy and with no stomach pains or waking up in the middle of the night and being in agony.

I would keep your fat intake low and eat plenty of fruits and greens. Each morning I drink a large green smoothie. This not only gives me lots of energy but also helps keep any cravings at bay.

Another thing also is to not eat late at night...and if you must eat have some fruit which is very easy for your body to digest.

I would look into food combining too - combining the wrong foods has triggered many problems with me and I could never work out the combinations until I did some reading. This doesn't really affect me now though because I have a very simply way of eating.

I eat tonnes though...nursing a one year old makes you hungry!

12-23-2008, 08:25 AM
Thanks - so far I can't really identify any trigger foods although I have experienced difficulties twice recently after being out for a meal and generally eating more than I normally would. Lesson learned! Small portions and saying no to three courses when out! It always seems good at the time but even before all this started, I would end up feeling bloated and generally yuck after eating out. This is another incentive to cut it down and stop eating like food is going out of fashion!

I eat fruit every day anyway but am going to increase my intake. I have always drank a lot of water which my doctor said would really help.

Baz xo
12-23-2008, 08:45 PM
Thank you all for sharing!
It's really sad to see that IBS is so common these days. I'd like to blame it on the government because they are the reason that fruits, vegetables and good, organic food are so expensive. The government always complain that there's too many overweight people in this country... well, why don't they cut down the prices of healthy food?! I like to eat vegetables for my tea every night (boiled potatoes, carrots, green beans and meat like chicken or lamb burger), but my mam can't afford to keep a good supply of healthy food due to the prices.

I find eating vegetables and healthy food helps me a LOT but sadly, due to the economic climate at the moment, we can afford processed food and soft drinks because they are MUCH cheaper than healthy food!

I definitely agree with you. My stomach can be REALLY stubborn when I change my diet. I know that the IBS will be easier to manage once I stick to a healthy eating plan but in my personal opinion, I think the best way is to limit the number of Pepsi I have each day and turn it down grandually until I can manage without Pepsi. Otherwise, I will have to make a numberous trips to the loo in school! :o

Again, I'd like to thank everyone for sharing their opinions and tips. I have to say, though, everyone is different so some food could affect one person but not the other. I have heard that it is quite common for people to suffer terrible bouts of IBS from eating spicy food but that has never occured to me! I can eat chicken korma and tikka marsala with no problems.

Please keep the posts coming in! :D


12-28-2008, 05:50 PM
There are two hospitals in our city that have meeting once a month for people with colitis. I called and they said colitis is very closely related to IBS. It might be worth your while to call and see if you have any meetings where you live. I had a bad bout over the weekend. Lots of water and cooked pears with honey and ginger set me back on the right track. (no skins)

01-04-2009, 05:51 PM
I have IBS and cannot find any trigger foods but stress canbring it on and also if I go off my paxil I will notice it comes back very annoying and distressing. Sometimes I just want to give up