- Client’s main symptoms – abdominal pain, very low energy, fear of food setting off pain.
A story of food reintroduction that lead to more energy and less fear.
Sienna was thinking about trying for a baby, but she felt her digestion could potentially get in the way of a pregnancy. She wanted to ‘get her house in order’ before starting on a new phase of life.
Her energy was very low, she had a lot of abdominal pain most nights. This was affecting her sleep. Also, fear of food was a big issue. She felt so worried about what foods could set off her symptoms that she was eating a very restricted diet.
Lost enjoyment in eating
As part of putting together meal recommendations for my Gut Reset clients I like to find out what kind of food they love to help tailor the recipes. When I asked her this she said “I haven’t thought about what I enjoy eating for so long, the focus has all been on what I can’t have.”
Sienna had only been thinking of the negative consequences of food, rather than taste, or balanced nutrition.
‘Dairy scares me’ – Fear of new foods
Sienna had experienced digestive issues for the last 8 years. She’d removed dairy, gluten and FODMAPs from her diet to reduce the symptoms. And these elimination diets worked at first.
But then the problems with abdominal pain came back, despite the restrictions.
By using a gentle and slow reintroduction process Sienna was able to eat many more foods than at the start of the Gut Reset. She even managed to bring back in some butter, cheese and yoghurt.
At this time, what helped her was a slower approach, and conversations at every stage. We spent time discussing the fear, the actions, and possible consequences of each food.
Equally, she took some breaks between food reintroductions to let the changes embed. This helped her avoid feeling rushed into making decisions.
Initial panic – breaking the fear cycle
It wasn’t all easy. After receiving all my initial recommendations Sienna looked over her plan and panicked. She had avoided certain foods for so long, it felt very scary to think about eating them again.
I always schedule a call with new clients for 2-3 days after receiving their personalised recipes and notes.
In this check in call we can talk through any concerns, and refine the plan. Her initial feeling was of overwhelm. So we agreed to focus on one task per week for her to concentrate on, which she was happy with.
Halfway through she realised days without pain were more frequent than those with pain. In addition she noticed, ‘when the pain did come, it wasn’t as bad as it was before’.
At the end of our time working together Sienna went on holiday with a large group of friends. During this break she was able to enjoy eating in restaurants, and get involved in group cooking at the villa.
Helping someone overcome their fear of food as an IBS nutritionist, was amazing, she’s now got the skills to keep working through her approach to food as things change throughout her life.
If you are considering whether to reintroduce foods back to your diet, and don’t know where to start, give me a call to arrange a free chat about starting your Gut Reset.
Work with me - IBS Nutritionist
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