How do I keep a food diary to identify triggers? - IBS Diarrhea (IBS-D) - IBS Self Help and Support Group Forums - IBSgroup.org
Advertisement

Jump to content


Photo

How do I keep a food diary to identify triggers?

IBS-D food diary triggers trigger pain

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 jimhalpert625

jimhalpert625

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 11 posts
  • Country:United States

Posted 19 May 2013 - 07:51 PM

Advertisement

Hey Everyone,

 

I suffer from D attacks about once a week on average (sometimes more, sometimes less) and I'm trying my best to discover the foods that trigger it. I've had this ever since I was born and it follows no dietary or emotional pattern, from what I can tell it's completely random. Doc diagnosed me with IBS-D. My Dad has the same thing and stopping gluten helped him a lot, so I'm thinking of trying that. The biggest problem with the attacks are the pain and malaise that come with it. The D is almost manageable but that intestinal pain that comes with it is not. It's literally the exact same thing every time.

 

The triggers are extremely hard to identify (one time I ate nearly the exact same foods for two days in a row and on one day I had an attack, the other I was fine). Firstly, what would be the best way to do a food diary? Are there any websites or iPhone apps that specialize in this sort of thing? Secondly, how long until I know a food is safe to eat for sure? For example, if I don't have an attack after three days is it safe to assume that that food is always safe to eat? I'm not only trying to identify what causes it, I'm also trying to identify what foods I can eat and feel safe. There are some situations where an attack would be... problematic. I'm a helicopter pilot.

 

Thanks,

Jim



#2 Kathleen M.

Kathleen M.

    Very Prolific Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 34954 posts
  • Country:United States

Posted 19 May 2013 - 11:18 PM

our http://www.ibsgroup.org/ibs-diet  page has a link to one symptom journal.  Our Apps and Media forum under the Information Section also has some symptom trackers.

 

One thing to remember is food is not the one and only possible trigger.  It could be other things (how you slept the night before, weather, stress, etc) so it may not be just something you ate on some day.

 

Sometimes people find that when the IBS is acting up for other reasons some foods may be problematic then, even if they are OK on good days.

 

A lot depends on the food as to how long until symptoms.  Some foods, like a fatty, fried meal, may tend to cause symptoms early on in the process, where something high in sorbitol making the stool runny may be more a problem in the 1-3 day range when it gets to the end.

 

Sometimes lower in starchy foods overall may help even if you don't eliminate just the gluten containing starches.  Some of the gums and things they use to try to make some processed foods have the texture of gluten containing processed foods can be just as problematic.

 

Do you have an antispasmodic prescription so you can take something when the pain starts to hit?  Some of the daily meds may not be appropriate as you don't have symptoms most days.


My story of beating IBS: My Story with IBS
Ph.D in Biology

#3 Louise Rizzo

Louise Rizzo

    Regular Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Country:United Kingdom

Posted 20 May 2013 - 08:27 AM

Hi,

 

I write my food diary in a notebook. I write what I have had for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the times I had these meals. I'll also write down any snacks I've had throughout the day. I also write down what time I had a bowel movement and what it was like.

 

I also write down how I feel on that day as my doctor has told me that my IBS is mostly caused by my anxiety.

Hope this helps.



#4 jimhalpert625

jimhalpert625

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 11 posts
  • Country:United States

Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:13 AM

our http://www.ibsgroup.org/ibs-diet  page has a link to one symptom journal.  Our Apps and Media forum under the Information Section also has some symptom trackers.

 

One thing to remember is food is not the one and only possible trigger.  It could be other things (how you slept the night before, weather, stress, etc) so it may not be just something you ate on some day.

 

Sometimes people find that when the IBS is acting up for other reasons some foods may be problematic then, even if they are OK on good days.

 

A lot depends on the food as to how long until symptoms.  Some foods, like a fatty, fried meal, may tend to cause symptoms early on in the process, where something high in sorbitol making the stool runny may be more a problem in the 1-3 day range when it gets to the end.

 

Sometimes lower in starchy foods overall may help even if you don't eliminate just the gluten containing starches.  Some of the gums and things they use to try to make some processed foods have the texture of gluten containing processed foods can be just as problematic.

 

Do you have an antispasmodic prescription so you can take something when the pain starts to hit?  Some of the daily meds may not be appropriate as you don't have symptoms most days.

 

Thanks for the help. Unfortunately, I'm trying to become a pilot in the Air Force after I graduate and IBS is disqualifying for that, which means no doctors, no prescriptions, and no treatments for me. I am seeing a homeopathic doctor next month who can hopefully help. I keep immodium on me but the problem with that is that you can only take it if you haven't eaten for two hours, which I almost always have once the attack starts. The pain and D come in waves for 1-3 hours and eventually die down. Afterward I'm extremely lethargic and tired, and even though the pain left, my stomach (specifically my intestines) feel "wrong" for the next 8-10 hours or so.

 

The main issue I'm seeing with all those other factors is that I can name a time when all of them were wrong (when I slept for 3 hours, I was extremely stressed, and I ate a lot of crappy foods) and still didn't get a stomach ache. Then I can name days like yesterday where I slept for 9 hours, wasn't stressed, and ate home cooked and somewhat healthy meals all day and still had a massive stomach attack. It seems to be either a build up of some kind or a small, specific ingredient or combination of ingredients that for some reason I'm only encountering 1-2/week.

 

I should also note that extremely intense cardiovascular exercise can trigger it, specifically running. Is that indicative of anything?



#5 Kathleen M.

Kathleen M.

    Very Prolific Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 34954 posts
  • Country:United States

Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:59 AM

Well, a certain percentage of normal individuals will have diarrhea if they run intensely enough for long enough (like people who run a marathon it is very common to get the runner's trot).

 

IBS can sometimes come and go for reasons that are not particularly obvious.  And some people who handle stress well can sometimes actually keep from being sick when there is the intensity, but get sick as soon as they stand down.  It was common in college for everyone to be healthy during finals then go home and have a cold or the flu for most of their break.  There can be a "don't have time to be sick" that just puts it off until you finally do relax just a bit.

 

Every 2 weeks tends to make me not thing diet, but something else, unless you have an extremely varied but extremely regimented regularly to what you eat.  So you might note other things in your diary to see if any other pattern tracks.  Like I'm OK the day after I get 3 hours of sleep, but two days later it hits.  I wouldn't look more than 3 days back to see if something foodwise tracks.  Unless you do the constipated for 3-4 days then finally the dam breaks and then you get the diarrhea and pain as your body flushed it out.  Then the 3-4 days of constipation is the culprit. 

 

Also, heatlhy does not mean easily digested and devoid of compounds that set off the intestines.   A lot of healthy foods have a lot of fermentable carbs no human digests but gets broken down by the bacteria in the gut.  So you might check out the Low Fodmap diet and see if your days you eat healthy are also the days you eat the most fodmap containing foods.


My story of beating IBS: My Story with IBS
Ph.D in Biology

#6 storyofmylife

storyofmylife

    Prolific Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 301 posts
  • Country:United States

Posted 03 June 2013 - 11:22 AM

our http://www.ibsgroup.org/ibs-diet  page has a link to one symptom journal.  Our Apps and Media forum under the Information Section also has some symptom trackers.

 

One thing to remember is food is not the one and only possible trigger.  It could be other things (how you slept the night before, weather, stress, etc) so it may not be just something you ate on some day.

 

Sometimes people find that when the IBS is acting up for other reasons some foods may be problematic then, even if they are OK on good days.

 

A lot depends on the food as to how long until symptoms.  Some foods, like a fatty, fried meal, may tend to cause symptoms early on in the process, where something high in sorbitol making the stool runny may be more a problem in the 1-3 day range when it gets to the end.

 

Sometimes lower in starchy foods overall may help even if you don't eliminate just the gluten containing starches.  Some of the gums and things they use to try to make some processed foods have the texture of gluten containing processed foods can be just as problematic.

 

Do you have an antispasmodic prescription so you can take something when the pain starts to hit?  Some of the daily meds may not be appropriate as you don't have symptoms most days.

 

link not found


Everytime I find the key to success, some IDIOT changes the lock. mad.gif


#7 Kathleen M.

Kathleen M.

    Very Prolific Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 34954 posts
  • Country:United States

Posted 03 June 2013 - 11:34 AM

Don't know why it doesn't work, so here is the long way.

 

Go up to the top of the page, see the menu with all the words one it, under the Manage tab is Diet.  That is the page.


My story of beating IBS: My Story with IBS
Ph.D in Biology

#8 JohanIBS

JohanIBS

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 4 posts
  • Country:Sweden

Posted 24 February 2017 - 07:55 AM

I wrote a program just for this purpose (there are so many parameters and I got frustrated spending hours after hours again and again to analyze my diaries):

 

https://foodanalyzer.herokuapp.com/

 

It works really great, and contrary to all the diary apps it goes really fast to write into.

You get back statistics what is good and bad for you.

 

/Johan







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: IBS-D, food diary, triggers, trigger, pain


Advertisement

About Us | Contact Us | Advertise With Us | Disclaimer | Terms of Service | Crisis Resources

Irritable Bowel Syndrome |  Inflammatory Bowel Disease |  Crohn's Disease |  Ulcerative Colitis |  Fibromyalgia |  GERD - Reflux Disease


©Copyright 1995-2016 IBS Self Help and Support Group All rights reserved




This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. We comply with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here