Dieting with Obstacles - IBS and weight loss

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11-17-2009, 08:03 PM
After years and years of constant diarrhea/constipation, I was finally diagnosed with IBS last summer by my doctor. I've known for a long time that I have "stomach issues", but I had a massive flair up of the IBS after a stomach virus. I think part of my weight issues in my life have been from eating foods that feel good to my stomach (ie: carbs) and staying away from foods that hurt (ie: veggies, esp. peppers, even though I love them).
I started a diet to get the IBS under control, which consisted of a lot of carbs and was based on soluble fiber. I also started using culturelle, which I think has helped a lot. So I've finally started feeling like the IBS flair up is over, but now I have to learn to eat more healthily while still trying to stick to safer foods. Potatoes, pasta, and rice are the main foods that I don't have to worry about at all as far as IBS symptoms go, but it's really not healthy to stick to a carb-based diet when trying to lose weight. I also have to eat regularly (constantly, lol) because my stomach hurts when it is empty.
Has anyone had success with weight loss and IBS? I am very interested in hearing from others which foods have worked for them, and any other tips you might have. Thanks so much! :)

11-19-2009, 04:07 PM
I switched to whole grains and that seems to have helped a lot; and I also must watch the amounts I eat of them and dairy products too, as it seems to be a combo thing going on. Cooked veggies are not a problem as they dissolve pretty well becuz they are soft from the cooking process.

Since I made these other changes, I can now eat veggies and salads with no problem. I really think the amount is more important -- I measure everything now ie 1 cup coleslaw OR 1-2 cups romaine mixed salad with lite dressing of choice (which is Ranch for me). It may take some time before you can eat raw veggies again though.

We eat pasta (1 cup cooked) as before, but now have more whole grain pastas, which we like just as well; just cook it a few minutes longer. (I am trying to use up all of the regular pasta we have by alternating each time with whole grain or other fiber-rich pastas; and all we buy now are those two types).

We also eat brown rice mixed equally with whole grain white; sometimes adding in some wild rice for a change. We also eat beans, and small, new potatoes with their skins on, varying our menu each day.

I can have a treat of ice cream as long as I only have about 1/2 cup on occasion. I eat lower sugar fruit and sometimes bake apples or a lite fruit crisp. I buy Source Yogurt in those small containers too. I rarely have a problem now, but find that I have to watch fatty, greasy foods now as my body isn't used to eating them anymore.

I also have some days with the opposite problem now; so have to make sure that I drink enuff water and have at least 1-2 tbl of good oil/fats each day to keep my system moving well. :lol: I find that having the snacks helps my stomach move the food thru my system better which is a problem we have inherited, as our food doen't leave our stomachs fast enuff; it only moves on when we eat our next snack or meal ... :dizzy:

My sister tried meds for that, but after awhile the meds don't work anymore, so it seems that eating small amounts, more often, is a healthier solution.

Don't forget that STRESS can ascerbate the problem even more; which means, it can make IBS even worse, so you need to try to find ways to destress your life as much as possible too.

Hope this helps you in some way. :hug:

11-19-2009, 07:20 PM
I have had IBS since my teens, and have always had to be very "middle-of-the-road" with my diet or I'd have a terrible flare. Crash diets (suddently eating tons of fruits and vegetables) or too junky a diet - large amounts of fat (potato chips or fried foods) caused bad flares.

I have had success losing weight with IBS, but the secret, not only for weight loss, but just to reduce flares in general, is making any changes very gradually.

If I make any drastic changes to my diet, regardless of what those changes are, I'll end up with a bad flare. If not diarrhea, then constipation - and terrible abdominal cramping and gas with both.

I've learned though that it's not what I'm eating, nearly as much as it is eating differently than my "normal." So consistency is really important. I always have loved fruits and vegetables, but my intake was inconsistent - my average has always been about 5 a day, but some days it would be 2 and others 12. I can't do that, if I want to feel good. Now my average is more like 8, but I had to increase my intake gradually - and even now, I've got to make sure I get in at the very least 5 to 6, and no more than 9 or 10, or I'm going to be hurting.

I also think that probiotics helped alot. Since I've added yogurts and cheeses, I have less trouble (again as long as I don't eat too much or too little).

It's a pain to have to pay such close attention, but it's an even bigger pain if I don't.

11-21-2009, 07:23 PM
Thanks very much to both of you! It looks like the key is to just add things gradually. I hope to eventually be back to eating all the things that once made my IBS flare up (like fiber one cereal!), but maybe in smaller portions.

11-30-2009, 09:10 PM
IBS can also be caused by gluten....wheat, barley, rye.... When I started calcium it seems my IBS has almost completely gone away. I was pleasantly surprised :)

11-30-2009, 11:52 PM
Leslie ~ I think that is so for some people, and dairy for others as well. I have heard that calcium pills can cause constipation, so that may be why it helped you ... :lol:

12-01-2009, 08:49 AM
rosebud...I am thinking that is the reason too!!!!!!!!!!! lol ! It just slows things down for me :)