About four years ago, I began to have some really crazy stomach issues. After nearly every meal I would find myself sick and bloated, with the feeling like food just wasn't digesting; I was completely miserable. I went to doctors, GI doctors, herbalists, acupuncturists - you name it, I tried it. One prominent GI doctor said that there was nothing wrong with me, I should eat more fiber and had I heard of chia seeds? (I would have been amused had I not been in so much pain - I am far from a junk food vegan so fiber is pretty much all I eat... Yes I had heard of chia seeds!)
I tried every remedy under the sun, did everything in my power to reduce my stress, I even tried eating meat again (for a day...) but absolutely nothing helped. Enter the low fodmap diet.
Fodmaps are specific fibers in food that, when eaten, get digested much more slowly in your gut. These then ferment, causing bloating and crazy discomfort. At least; this is my understanding of it - you can always google for a more in depth understanding of it. Anyway, the way to see which one of these groups of fibers cause bloating, you need to cut out all of them for a few months, then slowly reintroduce them and observe the results.
This was hard for me! I eat a huge amount of vegetables daily, and this called for cutting out some of my favorites.. But I stuck with it, and wow. After a couple of days, I felt so much better. My bloating disappeared, my general nausea went and I had so much more energy! Worth the boring, bland diet. After a couple of weeks, I tried eating garlic and raw onions again, and felt my old symptoms come roaring back. Same with cauliflower and mushrooms, in any amounts more than a handful.
This is a mild bummer as these are some of my favorite foods to cook with, and are in pretty much everything. However I have learned to make do without them, and the feeling of energy and health I have now is worth every bite I miss out on. I won't bore you with the full list of vegetables and fruits I have to avoid, but it really helps to have this knowledge about my gut.
Paired with a gnarly probiotic and fermented food regime, and my symptoms disappeared pretty much overnight. What's more, I have been able to keep them away to this day. I never really get sick anymore, my skin is clear and my energy levels are good. The low fodmap diet is definitely better known in Australia - but I think it is starting to make the rounds here in the USA. If your symptoms sound anything like mine, maybe give it a look! It was certainly life changing for me.
Peace and love,