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Hello! I'm new to this website and have been living with IBS for 3 years. Okay, lemme get straight to the point: have any of you experienced the phenomena of developing an intolerance or severe sensitivity to every food you have eliminated? Because I have. I've been on a Paleo and low-FODMAP diet for 8 months now and I cannot eat any of the foods I have weaved out of my diet on the FODMAP diet. It seems if I go more than a month without a particular food I develop my regular IBS reactions to it where previously I had none or very mild reactions. My doctors don't know what it is but they don't seem concerned. However, I am very concerned. Seeing as now I am at a point of I could literally type out a short paragraph of all the foods/spices/drinks I am able to ingest with low-to-no side effects. Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thank you!
 

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It is a blessing that you have foods that don't cause a negative reaction.

I know that if an offending food is eliminated and then re-introduced it causes a stronger reaction. If you live in a polluted city and then you spend some years in the countryside, your body will react to the polution if you go to the city again.
 

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There could be a couple different things going on here... my guess is that you could either have a true sensitivity to the foods that you eliminated (when you remove foods that you're sensitive to for a period of time, you often experience a stronger reaction when you re-introduce them) and/or you haven't gotten to the root of the problem and healed your gut sufficiently yet.

I'm not a huge fan of the FODMAPs approach because it doesn't really address the underlying reason for why you may not tolerate the different foods that are removed. For example, underlying inflammation typically plays a role with IBS, which, in the case of FODMAPs, could actually affect your ability to produce the necessary enzymes to digest various FODMAP-containing foods (the FODMAPs in and of themselves aren't really the problem... it's your body's inability to process them properly that's the problem).

That's just one possible way that inflammation could be causing issues... there are tons of other possibilities.

Removing foods high in FODMAPs doesn't really address the issue with inflammation (unless, of course, you only experience inflammatory reactions with FODMAP foods...but that's extremely unlikely to be the case).

A big issue that I have with removing FODMAPs long-term is that you're essentially eliminating foods that are good sources of prebiotics (which feed the good bacteria in the gut). Since the gut bacteria are also often out of balance in IBS, you could be compromising your health further over time.

Another issue I have with being on a restrictive diet long-term is that you're increasing your likelihood of developing sensitivities to the foods that you're limiting yourself to (so a diet that works well initially could start causing more symptoms/health issues down the road).

When you're in a state of inflammation, the last thing your body is concerned with is actually healing... it's just trying to survive the perceived "threat." Identifying and removing the foods and chemicals that cause inflammation in your body will allow your body to work more effectively on many different levels (inflammatory symptoms are reduced/eliminated, nutrient absorption improves, the gut bacteria/microbiome comes into better balance, etc.).

Hope that helps!
 
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