- Client’s main symptoms – bloating, constant bubbling in stomach, erratic bowel movements
A story of how to listen to your body, instead of outside influences to resolve IBS
Fran was overwhelmed. She had created a set of food rules which in her mind were like scaffolding, just about holding her together, whilst her digestion was out of control.
She’d always had a keen interest in how food impacted your health, and she spent hours reading about nutrition for gut health online. She had created a ‘healthy’ diet.
But as we discovered, that way of eating was inadvertently contributing to her IBS symptoms of constipation, bloating and constant gurgling.
Before the Gut Reset, she’d previously tried a low histamine diet, a SIBO elimination diet, and an anti-inflammatory diet. In the past however, she’d struggled with the mental health impact of strict elimination diets and restricting foods.
We work at your pace – I won’t rush you
After getting to understand Fran’s health history and current symptoms we talked about trying the low FODMAP diet. This is a tested IBS diet I hoped would reduce her bloating, gas and gurgling.
Fran was scared of the large amount of restricted foods of the diet, as well as how to manage family cooking. She needed lots of information about how it would work in practice. We spent some of our sessions running through scenarios and meal ideas.
Fran took 2-3 weeks to consider whether she could cope with the low FODMAP diet before we got started.
If you’re someone who needs time to let changes sink in, you can be assured that the Gut Reset moves at a pace that suits you.
For example, as someone who carefully considered big decisions, initially Fran took over 4 months to commit to working with me, wanting to be certain I could help her first.
When food isn’t your IBS trigger
Whilst on the Gut Reset Fran started to listen to her body.
She realised she was blaming food for all her symptoms, when sometimes her noisy digestion, bloating and sleep issues could be related to stress, both emotional and work related.
This was a challenge to her mindset, and it was emotional realising it was
‘easier to blame food than look at what else could be wrong in my life’.
Sometimes when you listen to your body, the messages aren’t what you expect.
Through careful tracking of her digestive symptoms, alongside some skin issues, Fran also realised that the skin problems could be hormone related. The flareup in skin rarely coincided with a digestive flare, but did seem to follow her menstrual cycle.
This gave her great relief, and to realise she wasn’t ‘causing the skin issues by eating the wrong foods’. It helped freed up some worry space in her mind about ‘everything going to sh*t
Crisis of confidence in the Gut Reset
There was a point when Fran wasn’t sure whether working with me was actually helping her.
She was scared to lose things she had put in place to help manage her symptoms. Like afternoon snacks, or eliminating certain foods that she felt reduced her symptoms.
She was worried ‘I was going to take these away’, and she wouldn’t be able to cope without them. For example she always ate two biscuits in the afternoon. Without them she worried she would be hungry, irritable and lightheaded.
However, when she went low FODMAP, some of the need for these ‘scaffolding’ foods disappeared. Having support in our 1:1 sessions, she found the drive for biscuits wasn’t as urgent as she feared.
Actually listening to your body
Fran realised she had been listening to too many online voices. She was trying to eat more fibre, eat 10 a day, drink at least 2 litres of water, etc, etc….
But this generic guidance which is right at a population level isn’t always right for you, the individual.
She went from responding to advice from various online nutrition voices to listening to her own body.
Fran took her time to work out what all the recommended changes would mean to her life before she took them on. And she really reflected on how to embed all the learning coming out of the Gut Reset.
This case was rewarding for me as an IBS nutritionist, because I could see how much she had learnt about herself through our time together, and the space for personal reflection.
If you are someone who needs time to let decisions percolate for a while, I can give you space to do that, give me a call to arrange a free chat about starting your Gut Reset.
Work with me - IBS Nutritionist
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