I’m about to open up about IBS… in a personal way. I’d like to share with you a big, BIG message, that I needed to hear years ago …

You are NOT alone.

I also want you to know that there is hope to improve your symptoms of IBS. There is a way to significantly reduce symptoms of IBS, things like gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea and/or constipation, so you can get back to living your normal life.

This is for YOU… my fellow IBS sufferer. I’m with you.

I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in 2007. After my colonoscopy, I was told of my diagnosis, handed a pamphlet on IBS and sent on my way.

No follow-up booked.

No recommendation to visit with a registered dietitian or my family doctor.

Just a pat on the back and a wish of good luck. Hmmm…. I thought to myself…

I guess it wasn’t too big of a deal? I would be fine and just keep living my life.

Well, after about 4 years of suffering with daily stomach discomfort and pain, along with other embarrassing and uncomfortable symptoms that would interfere with many parts of my life from eating dinner out with friends, to playing sports, to travel, to sitting in a car… (IBS can really alter your life!) I finally decided that ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH.

During this time I had become a registered dietitian (I was in love with the idea of healing the body with real food, not knowing I would need to do this one day for myself!), so lucky for me, I had the research and skill at my finger tips to solve this problem.

After trial and error, cutting out foods, eating vegetarian, adding loads of fibre, drinking more water (all the usual recommendations)… I finally found a plan that worked.

I am now 99% symptom-free. Meaning, most days I feel absolutely great, and once and a while when I eat a giant ice cream cone, pig out at a fancy buffet or drink 3 lattes, I don’t feel my best self. However, I’ve not had to “run to the washroom” in a  long, long time. Actually my symptoms are much milder when I do experience them.

How did I do this?

The Low FODMAP Diet: An Evidence Based Way to Reduce Symptoms of IBS

Have you heard of the low FODMAP diet?

I hadn’t at the time. It took a little digging and conversations with other driven dietitians in 2011 to find out about this evidence-based approach. Today, there are several quality studies that show over 75% of people with IBS experience significant symptom improvement when follow the low FODMAP diet for 8 to 12 weeks.

I stuck to eating foods that were low in FODMAP, and excluding all other foods that were high in FODMAPs; for some time actually. This is a temporary diet to follow.

Once you experience symptom relief, you can add foods back into your diet to test them as triggers. It can be a bit of a process, that’s why the diet has been designed and is highly recommended to follow with a registered dietitian. (I highly recommend working with someone who is an expert in the low FODMAP diet for best results).

I myself was able to add foods back in, slowly, a little at a time. I can eat small amounts of high FODMAP foods and other foods that aren’t great for digestion, like wine, coffee or sulphurous vegetables. But I am very mindful of my body and aware of how much is too much.

Even though I am mindful of my body, aware of how I feel and thoughtful in my food decisions, I feel this is a good change. I read nutrition labels, eat mostly homemade food and do my body good… well most of the time!

I don’t have that constant worry about what I’m eating and if it will affect me any longer.

I don’t have fear surrounding a meal.

I am not afraid I will have gas and other awful symptoms when I’m out for dinner or at a party.

It’s a relief. 

Living this way has changed my life, allowed me to feel more naturally me and get back to thinking about other things besides food and symptoms.

 

 

Treatment for IBS: Food, Support & Community

 

Because of my own success and improvement in life, I started the Clairmont Digestive Clinic. This began in an office building in Waterloo, Ontario, then became a remote practice where the team and I work with clients from around the world with Skype, telephone and email. Today… it looks a little different with an online community I’ve built called CLAIRITY. This is the best way to work with me in the program I offer to meet you where you are, provide you with credible, up-to-date advice and information to get you feeling better and get back to enjoying your life. I’d love to have you join us as a member.

I started this business, this practice and developed this membership group for all my IBS people, for IBS sufferers, for those that need hope and help and guidance to improve symptoms of IBS. After years of working with those with IBS and dealing with it myself, I believe that we all need a little more than just articles on the internet… and support beyond the one-to-one office appointments (although those are amazingly helpful!).

If you were handed a pamphlet and sent on your way.

If you were misunderstood by your doctor who didn’t know what to do with you next.

If you were told “it’s all in your head” (or something like that).

If you’re tired of living this life, not sure when symptoms will hit.

I developed the step-by-step system inside CLAIRITY for you. To help you follow the low FODMAP diet, get additional strategies and support and have a team of people with you on this journey to improve your digestive health.

 

Wishing you good gut health & wellness,

Stephanie