All posts filed under: Getting Diagnosed

fodmap-plate-modified

The Low FODMAP Diet + Coeliac Disease: Two Years On

It’s now been two whole years since I started on the low FODMAP diet, a medical diet used to treat IBS symptoms. You would think that one special diet would be enough, but in my case, the strict gluten free diet did not solve everything. Just when I thought I had the whole coeliac thing figured out, I started to get ill again. Daily upset stomach, pains and fatigue. Regular unexplained symptoms that were similar to those of coeliac disease, but which made little sense as I knew I was sticking to the gluten free diet. Apparently, this is not uncommon. ‘20-30 % of coeliac patients on a gluten free diet still have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms’, according to one study*, and the low FODMAP diet is now a recommended treatment. (Read about my experience getting diagnosed, and the low FODMAP meal ideas that helped me to stay sane.) I thought it would be interesting to check in a couple of years down the line, share with others in a similar boat what I have learned, and hopefully …

Another day, another hospital appointment.

I realised this week that I have been asking doctors for answers for almost two years. As I have written about before, even though I stick religiously to the gluten-free diet, I have ongoing health problems that seemingly cannot be explained by coeliac disease. For a while I worried that it was all in my head, but I have since found countless stories from other coeliacs on Facebook, Twitter and online forums that chime with my experience. At this point it is likely that as well as coeliac disease, I also have IBS, or SIBO, or some other gut-related condition. IBS is the front-runner, and as this can only really be diagnosed through process of elimination, I have had (and am still having) every gut-related test under the sun. I have had a range of advice to help deal with the symptoms. A Dietician put me on the FODMAP diet, a Gastroenterologist recommended I try yoga, mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy, another Gastroenterologist prescribed me peppermint oil capsules to ease the pains…though some of these have helped to a degree, …

Sample list of Low and High FODMAP foods

When Coeliac Disease meets IBS: The joys of FODMAP

As those of you who follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter may know, for the past few months I have been following the mother of all elimination diets, the FODMAP diet. I don’t cut out delicious foods for fun; unfortunately it seems that I may have some form of IBS or food intolerance, as well as coeliac disease. Yay! Though I’ve had a bunch of tests (including the aforementioned endoscopy) these haven’t pointed to anything obvious, so I am still in the process of figuring out what exactly is causing me problems. This is where the FODMAP diet comes in. FODMAPs are Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are all compounds that can trigger digestive issues in people who suffer from IBS, and are found in foods right across the spectrum, even in healthy foods like fruit and vegetables. The Low FODMAP diet minimises intake of these compounds as much as possible. The diet is extremely restrictive (especially when combined with coeliac disease) so it is not intended as a permanent solution, but rather as an elimination diet where you cut out every possible irritant, …

TMI alert: My endoscopy experience

There is a reason for my radio silence. My brain is only just getting back to normal after that pinnacle of  coeliac fun, the endoscopy. For those of you who don’t know, an endoscopy is a procedure whereby your insides are examined using an endoscope; a long tubey thing with a camera / scraper on the end. Sounds a bit horrifying, no? Read a proper medical description on the NHS page, here. An endoscopy with biopsy (sample collection) is still the gold standard, i.e. the only truly reliable method of coeliac disease diagnosis, so many in the gluten free community will at some stage go through it. There are always lots of questions in the forums and Facebook groups asking what to expect, so I thought I would share my experience. My reason for having an endoscopy this time was not coeliac diagnosis (I was formally diagnosed aged 2), but as more of a check up. I won’t sugar-coat it; the experience was not my favourite. The procedure itself was over within about 10 minutes, but the entire preparation, waiting …