Tuesday, October 27, 2009
IBS tummy troubles (and how to get out of them)
I think I posted (or did I tweet? I'm losing my mind so can't remember what I said when!) that I had bad food poisoning earlier this month. (Thanks for the kind words, Mar!) After a week of antibiotics and eating bland food (nothing spicy per the doctor) my stomach has sort of settled into a bit of a delicate balance with occasional veering into IBS territory. Additional stress from getting laid off from my day job last week did not help matters, tummy-wise. Argh! I did some research that indicated that food allergic people are more susceptible to colitis (the official name for the pain from the food poisoning), so it seems reasonable that we're gonna have digestive issues in general. And so it goes.
I keep a lot of natural digestive aids around the house -- dairy-free acidophilus, activated charcoal for an upset stomach, papaya after meals for improved digestion, and peppermint tea to settle things in general. My doctor prescribed a terrific anti-spasmodic called Hyocsyamine to take 30 minutes before meals, and this has helped tremendously to prevent the awful abdominal cramping that I was having. It's prescribed fairly often for IBS, and is inexpensive, I highly recommend it if diet alone isn't helping. Ask your doctor! Personally, I don't want to rely on this heavily but it's nice to have something else in my arsenal if all else fails.
Anyhow, I found that during this month that I've been gravitating towards foods that would make me feel better. I've been much more stringent on the IBS diet -- less fat (including olive oil), more soluble fiber. The cookbook Eating for IBS has been a lifesaver. Lots of fish (sauteed fillets, tuna salad), turkey in all forms, mashed potatoes, grain dishes like polenta and GF cornbread, and less meat for this usually enthusiastic carnivore. I had some al pastor (BBQ pork tacos) that I usually demolish without a thought but this time it took me down BIG time, oy. The interesting thing was that I also seemed to crave different beverages as well. I'm usually satisfied with water or tea (no coffee for IBS!) but wanted something healthier. Luckily for me, the POM Wonderful people shared with me two new flavors of pomegranate juice -- tangerine and my fave, kiwi! These new blends are much lighter than the original (can I call it POM Classsic?), and sweeter. Much more drinkable straight out of the bottle, so they didn't really need dilution. They would be great for mixing regardless! (Any mixologists out there?) I preferred the kiwi which was a nice balance of sweet and tart. The BF preferred tangerine because it was a little more robust and tangy. The bottles have little color-coded lids to let you know they're different from the others. Anyhow, these really helped during the bad tummy time, thanks POM!
Since my stomach problems seem to be sticking around for a bit, my recipes are going to adjust some to be more IBS-friendly: less fried food, no egg yolks, little to no red meat, more fish, more high soluble fiber, and lots of water and hot peppermint tea. I also read that cranberry juice is beneficial and not too acidic, so will be going for that as well. Will report in later.
Cheers for now.