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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, depending on how far along you are in treating your IBS, you may dread or be excited about social food engagements like Thanksgiving.

I thought I'd share my game plan for when I was really sensitive (I had a IBS-A initially the first 1.5 yrs and occasionally, and then mostly IBS-D for 3.5 yrs).

Let's see if the community here can help others find a game plan for Thanksgiving, both in terms of eating and the social aspect of it, like being pressured to eat other people's foods because they made it.

Ok, my first decent Thanksgiving with IBS:

  • I had requested my mom not to season the turkey with onion and garlic. I was sensitive to butter as well, but I was just given a piece of the turkey breast that was deeper inside. I avoided eating the edge near the skin. I turned out pretty ok.
  • Someone made plain green beans. This was great, as I just added salt and pepper.
  • I had a spoonful of mashed potatoes. This was a little bit of a mistake, because they only told me afterwards it was made with milk and butter. I felt a little queasy, but not much (seems like one spoonful wasn't the end of the world for me).
  • Undressed Salad was served on the table- Romaine lettuce, spinach, tomatoes. I ate this with lime, salt and pepper. Now adays I add Extra Virgin Olive oil too.
  • Pecans- they were present in the salad and on the pumpkin pie. I found out I can eat, like 1/4 handful of pecans with little to no issue, but then more than that could cause problems for me.
  • Pumpkin pie- I made my own pumpkin pie. That time I used cloves, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and stevia. I had not diluted it with any almond mlik or other milk. The crust was delicious, it was made from ground pecans mostly (maybe a little almond flour?). I ate too much of this, as I had loose sort of orange-y stools that night/next day. I learned I couldn't eat a normal slice of pure pumpkin without reprucssion, and later learned that 1/3 of that slice ~2 tbsps however had little or no effect on me.
  • Other foods- Many other foods were served, but I didn't want to have to stay in the bathroom the rest of the dinner/family gathering, so I abstained from everything else that I knew would cause me issues. I was quite satisfied with my food anyway. I already had developed the habit of not thinking of food as pleasure, but as a necessary requirement of survival. This kind of thinking is sort necessary or helpful when following a very restricted diet (which was necessary for years until I got better).
    • Let me elaborate about that. I think my first mostly successful Thanksgiving was my second year with IBS. On Thanksgiving on my first year of IBS - I think I was only at the table at the beginning before excusing myself to the bathroom, and then my room halfway through the meal.
Dealing with People and Social Expectations:
  • My direct family mostly loves me, so they were more understanding about my situation, although they did find it hard to believe.
  • They had trouble knowing and remembering what I could and couldn't eat. They didn't know or hadn't become aware that certain prepared foods contained bad ingredients I couldn't eat. They had not gotten into the habit, that most of us here already have, of reading an ingredient label thoroughly.
  • Some of my direct and extended family made me feel pretty bad about my situation. They said I was to blame for my IBS, and that it was because I had tried my keto diet that I brought this on myself. One member said it was because I ate too many eggs and disrupted my balance. The other said I had eaten too many almonds or too much chicken.
    • These were hurtful comments, where they didn't seem to have much empathy because apparently I brought this on myself.
    • Actually, having suffered this for years, I researched it and yes, it is possible that some of these things did help distress my system.
    • For example, I found out that raw almonds have a lot of phytic acid that inhibits good digestion and irritates your system. And I was eating a lot of them everyday with the skins (the day my IBS started and months prior).
    • I found out that the chicken I was always eating, likely was chock full of antibiotics, because I would buy the cheap chicken. Antibiotics can upset your digestive balance of good bad/bacteria.
    • So, maybe I did help cause the onset of my IBS. No one has confirmed it, but regardless the way it was said, wasn't helpful at the time.
  • Family friends that came over were less understanding. Yes, they did initially feel a bit insulted when I didn't try their dish (because it was made with stuff I know I can't have). Some of them had trouble believing me. But, the repetition over time of my parents telling this family friend prior to the engagement at the engagement, and throughout the year, helped them to finally believe me the next year. So, the following year, they only insisted once, and then said "that's ok" when I still couldn't have it.
    • Ask your family and friends to be more understanding about you illness and that you really can't eat certain foods.
    • Have your own food ready, and if there's something you'd like to try, see if you can make it yourself with ingredients you know work well with you.
  • In recent years, I've gotten much better and can eat a wide variety of foods that I couldn't even touch when I first got IBS. I got there by improving my gut and gut flora.

  • If you're going to be adventurous this thanksgivingand still try/eat foods that you know you can't really digest:
    • Have your enzymes ready- make sure you have a dosage that works for you. I for example needed 2-3 times the dosage for enzymes to provide relief
    • Only eat a small amount of the "bad stuff." Who knows how much your enzymes will help you. Its best to just eat a small amount of the item that you know is bad for you.
  • If you do have an upsetresulting from T-giving dinner, be prepared to deal with the aftermath and minimize the damage:
    • For me its usually either gas or diarrhea that would result from an upset.
    • Here's what I do:
      • I drink 1.5- 2 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar in 12-14 oz of water. Or/and half a lemon/lime in 8-10 oz of water (warm preferrably).
      • I try to consume some clean fiber to help me (usually spinach).
      • I drink 1-2 capsules of Saccharomyces Boullardi and/or other probiotics to help reduce/prevent the diarrhea ( I would have had a loose stool, or an upset stomach by this point telling me I should do this).
      • The Saccharomyces Boullardi is most effective for me.
      • If I have gas, I've seen my gas stop most quickly with a Xifaxan or Nystatin pill right when its starting. But the above help too.
I hope sharing my Thanksgiving meal plan and plan in case of upset helps you this Thursday too!
Share what you plan to eat and do if you can help others, or questions.
 

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Hi NinaS thanks so much for sharing your meal plan I’m a little nervous for thanksgiving food Tommorow. I am pmssing and my IBS can act up around that time of the mostly due to the hormones and I usually have to be very careful with what I eat. Luckily I’ve been mostly able to avoid getting my period or PMs around holidays but my cycle days have changed! I also have very bad Gerd (Acid Reflex). So this week I’ve een trying my best to eat well but blandly so I can prepare. My parents and sister will just be the ones celebrating Thanksgiving so that’s a plus! The turkey we use is organic and we do season it with some garlic and onion but no butter. I actually only like the very white part (no skin or juice) so I will be eating that. I will opt to eat sweet potatoes, romaine lettuce salad with some carrots and a light olive oil dressing. I will be making cranberry sauce as well. My fear is the stuffing which I absolutely love so I will eat it. Usually I do okay with it sometimes I actually get constipated no heartburn. My dad doesn’t put a lot of salt or garlic in it. For dessert I feel safe eating a dairy free chocolate fudge cake from our local bakery. I do get gassy eating pumpkin pie at times so I will avoid it! It’s hard around the holidays because there is such good food but it’s hard to avoid it mixed with IBS. It’s like I need fiber and don’t want diarrhea or constipation either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi NinaS thanks so much for sharing your meal plan I’m a little nervous for thanksgiving food Tommorow. I am pmssing and my IBS can act up around that time of the mostly due to the hormones and I usually have to be very careful with what I eat. Luckily I’ve been mostly able to avoid getting my period or PMs around holidays but my cycle days have changed! I also have very bad Gerd (Acid Reflex). So this week I’ve een trying my best to eat well but blandly so I can prepare. My parents and sister will just be the ones celebrating Thanksgiving so that’s a plus! The turkey we use is organic and we do season it with some garlic and onion but no butter. I actually only like the very white part (no skin or juice) so I will be eating that. I will opt to eat sweet potatoes, romaine lettuce salad with some carrots and a light olive oil dressing. I will be making cranberry sauce as well. My fear is the stuffing which I absolutely love so I will eat it. Usually I do okay with it sometimes I actually get constipated no heartburn. My dad doesn’t put a lot of salt or garlic in it. For dessert I feel safe eating a dairy free chocolate fudge cake from our local bakery. I do get gassy eating pumpkin pie at times so I will avoid it! It’s hard around the holidays because there is such good food but it’s hard to avoid it mixed with IBS. It’s like I need fiber and don’t want diarrhea or constipation either.
Carabella,

Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you have a plan. Maybe the enzymes can help with the foods that are challenging for you (stuffing and the cake?) .

Funny thing, we ran out of Spinach yesterday, but I was asked not to replace it, as they wanted room for the "spring mix" lettuce mixture.. I am now passing a bit harder stools.. Looks like i really do need my spinach/fiber ( i mean I also ate a bit of my cheat food- half a dark chocolate bar) at least when I'm "cheating."
Thank goodness we had some celery, so that's helping.

Same thing goes for you if you're looking to add fiber. Maybe you could add spinach and or kale to your salad? (Assuming you respond well to those).

Also, you could possibly cook celery or/and zucchini with your carrots, I believe both (at least celery) have more fiber than the carrots alone if that's what you're looking for. A decent daily source of fiber is always good idea.

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving, and have a plan in case you do get an upset. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I’m bringing laxatives and suppositories to manage constipation and sticking to vegetarian food options.
I’m bringing laxatives and suppositories to manage constipation and sticking to vegetarian food options.
Wow! Well, at least you have a plan.
Really vegetarian?

Were you vegetarian before IBS, are you by choice vegetarian now, or is it an IBS forced choice?

When I was at my worst, IBS actually forced me to be a carnivore (and then I'd get constipated till I found a fiber that worked for me).

Just curious.

Also some more gentle laxatives include marshmallow root and rhubarb root I believe. That's in case you don't want to overshoot by using the traditional laxatives (in some people it just makes them have diarrhea instead of a nice passable stool).

One I really like is "intestinal movement" by Healthforce. I should probably invest in having it as a backup.I ran out a few years ago and didn't need it. But I'm being forced to disrupt my routine, so good to have these "upset reliefs" on hand.
 

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Wow! Well, at least you have a plan.
Really vegetarian?

Were you vegetarian before IBS, are you by choice vegetarian now, or is it an IBS forced choice?

When I was at my worst, IBS actually forced me to be a carnivore (and then I'd get constipated till I found a fiber that worked for me).

Just curious.

Also some more gentle laxatives include marshmallow root and rhubarb root I believe. That's in case you don't want to overshoot by using the traditional laxatives (in some people it just makes them have diarrhea instead of a nice passable stool).

One I really like is "intestinal movement" by Healthforce. I should probably invest in having it as a backup.I ran out a few years ago and didn't need it. But I'm being forced to disrupt my routine, so good to have these "upset reliefs" on hand.
 

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Thank you for the advice. I’m vegetarian by choice for other reasons but I imagine meat wouldn’t help my problem. Unfortunately my plan failed. I didn’t have a bm since Wednesday. Even the suppository caused cramps but didn’t help me go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for the advice. I’m vegetarian by choice for other reasons but I imagine meat wouldn’t help my problem. Unfortunately my plan failed. I didn’t have a bm since Wednesday. Even the suppository caused cramps but didn’t help me go.
Sunstar,

I'm sorry your plan failed and you haven't had a BM since Wednesday (and it was Saturday night at time of posting?).

I noticed in other posts you mentioned you also have gas that come out at unfortunate times as well.

I would recommend a gut cleanse first before finding your daily "agreeable fiber."

The reason I'd recommend the gut cleanse is to get you an immediate relief to your current constipation, as well as to help remove all or most of the things inside your gut that are causing the persistent gas.

You can ask your doctors about this, and what they recommend. They have a colon prep solution available to them that they could prescribe you to take even if you're not doing the colonoscopy at this time (although that would not be a bad idea at some point soon). They may tell you only to take a certain amount of hte liquid instead of the full dosage.

If not, I'd recommend you try Renew Life "Cleanse More." I just checked the reviews and a lot of people are really happy with the relief this product has given them. To me, if I had a few days of persistent gas I would take the Renew Life Cleanse more pills. But my reaction vs most of the reviews is that it would really clean my gut. Like, I think almost everything in the gut would have left after taking the recommended dosage. I would probably eliminate it in 2-3 bowel movements of liquid crap.
I'm sure it can get constipated people out of constipation.
According to the reviews it woudl cause many constipated people to just get a stool of nice regular consistency. ... well that never happened to me, it would always be liquid for me. So, later on in my IBS, if I didn't want to get the liquid, I'd reduce the dosage to only 1 pill before sleeping. It made things move, sometimes I'd get looser stool, but it definitely always made things move down there.

However, if the effect you have is only normal stools instead of a complete cleanse, it really would be great if your doctor or alternative medicine doctor mentioned what would be teh best cleanse for you. I'd imagine you could take the Renew Life for a few days. But the idea to getting better and longer term relief is to clean your gut first.
There's most likely something (like bad bacteria or yeast or pathogen) there (probably stuck in the biofilm of your gut) that is persistently causing you the gas at untimely times.
The only way to get rid of it is to kill it and remove it. But since we don't know what it is yet, lets at least reduce its population (via elimination) and eating less sugar/starch, until we identify it.

Also have you had stool tests recently? They could find out what kind of infection you could have (could be part of whats causing the gas).

Since you're vegetarian, I can't help but wonder if you may have trouble digesting some of the vegetarian foods.. For example, many people even non IBSers have trouble with beans.
Beans have difficult to digest fibers and starches.
When food is not digested properly by us (the human stomach and our intestines), bacteria come and eat it too.
If you have a large population of bad bacteria eating the undigested food, they will produce their byproducts-- H2 gas usually, but also other gases (some smell worse).

So, you could either eliminate those foods that you think you have trouble digesting, or you can reduce it whilst taking a decent amount of enzyme to digest them.

I would choose to eliminate, and then add on when better (maybe months or years in the future).

By eliminating your gut is less stressed. less stress on the gut means its happier and will behave better. Why test it when its obviously not happy at the moment?

My elimination diet started with just chicken bone broth (cooked for minimum of 4hrs, but usually 10hs) and celery in the bone broth.
Then after two weeks of stability (but you could probably start 4 days after being stable), I added 1 food every 3 days and waited for the reaction. If it was positive, I kept it in my diet, if it was negative I did not add at the time.

Given you're vegetarian, I still think a warm liquid with amino acids and minerals and a fiber would do you good.
I don't know if they sell a vegetarian substitute for bone broth that doesn't have added irritants and gunk (gums, carageenan, etc.).
Or maybe for the sake of your health, you could temporarily not be vegetarian, till you're a little more stable and find enough vegetarian food and protein that sustains you without causing problems.

Also, have you had a colonoscopy?
You may want one because they can tell from a colonoscopy if your gut is inflamed (it'll look more pink/red than usual) or if there's anything unusual. They can also take biopsies which help determine if you have certain infections they're thinking you have.

If you do find you have an inflamed gut, you would know that you must treat it. Mine was treated with bone broth. But you can also buy powdered glutamine.I don't know if they make it from vegetarian options, they may.

I hope I helped. Sorry if its long. IBS is a difficult disease with a lot of things to do to get better. But if you're determined, and try, i''m sure you'll find an improved lifestyle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for the advice. I will definitely look into renew life and also the elimination diet. I frequently do a liquid diet anyway because I get too constipated to eat.
keep at it, in terms of finding a solution that works for you.
It may take sometime but it should eventually happen.

The fastest way that I know to get better on IBS is:
1. cleanse the gut
2. start and execute elimination diet (only like 2-4 non-problematic foods in initial diet and slowly add foods that don't cause problems waiting 3 days for a reaction for each food)
3. daily intake of "agreeable fiber" (a fiber that doesn't cause problems digestively, but instead creates good stool consistency and a decent BM frequency).
4. Bifido/lacto probiotic repopulation regimen of gut
5. Exercise - to help with both bowel movement frequency, as well as mood/stress in general and as part of IBS treatment (instead of the anti-anxiety drugs they want to give us).
6. The resolve to do all the above and stick to it.- Conducting an elimination diet isn't just hard for you individually, but also sometimes is hard explaining socially or to work colleagues that you can't eat whatever foods at social functions.. I got around to only telling a few critical people, and then just explaining in general that I just value hanging out with the people even if all I consume is a cup of tea or water at their event. People eventually got used to it, stopped insisting I eat their food/drink, and just enjoyed my company. It works eventually.

Best of luck and let us know how the renew life worked on you. I'm curious after seeing those reviews (I got liquid crap, some constipation people got nice stools of good consistency)..
:p
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
keep at it, in terms of finding a solution that works for you.
It may take sometime but it should eventually happen.

The fastest way that I know to get better on IBS is:
1. cleanse the gut
2. start and execute elimination diet (only like 2-4 non-problematic foods in initial diet and slowly add foods that don't cause problems waiting 3 days for a reaction for each food)
3. daily intake of "agreeable fiber" (a fiber that doesn't cause problems digestively, but instead creates good stool consistency and a decent BM frequency).
4. Bifido/lacto probiotic repopulation regimen of gut
5. Exercise - to help with both bowel movement frequency, as well as mood/stress in general and as part of IBS treatment (instead of the anti-anxiety drugs they want to give us).
6. The resolve to do all the above and stick to it.- Conducting an elimination diet isn't just hard for you individually, but also sometimes is hard explaining socially or to work colleagues that you can't eat whatever foods at social functions.. I got around to only telling a few critical people, and then just explaining in general that I just value hanging out with the people even if all I consume is a cup of tea or water at their event. People eventually got used to it, stopped insisting I eat their food/drink, and just enjoyed my company. It works eventually.

Best of luck and let us know how the renew life worked on you. I'm curious after seeing those reviews (I got liquid crap, some constipation people got nice stools of good consistency)..
:p
I forgot to make it clear on all this advice, that if you are going to do the chicken broth or honestly eat meat, its best to get the antibiotic-free meat. That's what I did. Only the last year or so with inflation and supply chain issues did I start more consistently eating meat that wasn't antibiotic free (availability issues, other people's houses, restaurants).
But for the road to recovery, why give yourself a dose of antibiotics as you take probiotics, its like wasting the probiotics and taking longer to recover.

The other thing is when you make the bone broth, you want the highest quality, so use bottled spring water unless you have a very good water purification system at home.
Probably distillation I hear is one of the best, but not sure if it gets rid of chlorine as well. You may want to combine your systems (filter+ distillation? ).

Where i was living, the water came out brown and then the other place I moved to, you could taste the chlorine in the water.
I never used either in my broths. I always used bottled spring water (gallon) for the broth.
And for drinking I would also drink from that...
I hate doing that, but those places, we didn't trust the water quality.

At my current location I do just use filtered water with a Brita filter. But I'm also at my most improved state when I arrived here anyway.
Be careful with your water quality. It can have chlorine that would change your pH, and I don't know what other things may slip up or even you maybe sensitive to the acceptable quantities of whatever your water plant actually finds acceptable. Best to have some sort of purification system in place.
 
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