I’m sure most people wouldn’t pair these two far fetched topics together. One of the most desirable things and one of the undesirable things. I get it, but my 25 years on this planet sure hasn’t been the typical cheeseburger and french fry combo so I am hear to talk about that. Don’t worry, there will be more talk on the sweet side of the pair and less about MoviPrep (some readers will understand that one.)
The look on people’s face when I said this would be the title of my blog certainly confirmed I tend to think outside the box. Some people might think it’s disgusting and not even bother to read any further. But the truth is, millions of people are affected by digestive health problems, and millions of people like cupcakes. Who says that can’t be the same person? I certainly meet the criteria.
I have spent so much time reading other peoples helpful tips and tricks for various health issues and I have decided to share my own experiences. Even though I am not a doctor, dietician, or health professional, I do have a story worth sharing, even if only one person finds this and it helps them.
Still intrigued? Here is my story:
Everyone who knows me could tell you a few basic things: I eat gluten free, I take pictures of my gluten free creations (well, I take a lot of pictures of a lot of things), I have a big place in my heart for South Africa, and a very strong desire to travel the rest of the world.
But this isn’t about being gluten free. This will be about life AFTER my Celiac Disease diagnosis.
I was recently diagnosed with SIBO and IBS. (More on that in a minute)
I know it’s not a glamorous topic. It’s not even a topic people like to talk about but after doing a lot of research trying to understand it myself, I see that so many people are affected and just as confused as I am.
According to Mark Pimental, Director of the GI Motility Program and Director of the GI Motility Laboratory at Ceders Sinai,
“There are an estimated fifty million people in the US who suffer with chronic IBS. [His] team found that 78 percent of patients with IBS had SIBO.”
Many of them are reaching out to the internet for support.
Still have no idea what I am talking about?
About 8 years ago was the beginning of doctor’s office visits becoming a regular thing for me. Like many people have experienced, you don’t just go to the doctor and learn you have Celiac Disease, a gluten allergy, food intolerance, or any digestive disorder for that matter. Unfortunately, it took years of misdiagnoses and what seemed to be a growing list of other health issues, to finally realize what was the cause of everything. Food. Flash forward to today and I have since learned that Celiac Disease doesn’t only mean eating gluten free, but it triggered SIBO (Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth) which causes IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). Treatable, but not curable.
“FODMAP – Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols”
English translation: certain fruits, vegetables, dairy products, artificial sweeteners, and even teas. Something about different levels of fructose, lactose, fructans, and a few other things I thought were only related to diabetics who had to watch blood sugar. Now I have to not just read ingredient lists, but learn how these food are chemically broken down inside the digestive track?! I’ve certainly never looked at an apple and thought to myself “that sure has a lot of fructose in it” or a clove of garlic and said “too many fructans for me!”
When I first went through the initial diagnosis of Celiac Disease, I spent several hours on the internet to seek tips on this new lifestyle. Today, several years later, I found myself back in that spot, but this time typing in “What is SIBO” and “What are FODMAPs”
Well, I see that I am not alone on this topic.. I’m seeing it all over Google, Pinterest, even hashtags on Instagram (#fodmap – 7,000 posts?!) In general, we are becoming a more health conscious society and people are starting to pay more attention to what they are eating and how it affects our body, maybe because it’s the only one we get.
Additionally, I’ve always found that giving back is not only extremely rewarding but also very therapeutic. For one thing, it quickly reminds you to put life into perspective, which we all need at some point. No amount of medicine makes me feel better than I do when someone says they tried one of my recipes and loved it or I get to take someone to a newly found sandwich shop in Los Angeles with the best gluten free bed they’ve ever had. I go through my pictures of being with the amazing people in South Africa and it also makes me so happy knowing that I have friends all over the world who love that here in America we get these huge platforms. Most of the world will never experience the opportunities, health, and knowledge that we are so fortunate to have. Sure, I have had my fair share of obstacles but looking at everything as a whole, life has been pretty incredible to me. Each hurdle I face opens my eyes and gives me the motivation to help others grow into the best they can be. If I didn’t have these difficulties, I don’t think I would be the person I am today.
Putting all of this out there for the world to read about was a decision I made after a lot of consideration but if I have the ability to help someone who loves to travel, try new foods, or has a similar health situation, I have nothing to lose.
Feel free to contact me if you have anything to add or need any advice on the previously mentioned topics!
And to leave with some good news..
A glass of red wine with brie cheese is low fodmap.
Some articles I found to be extremely helpful (and partially biased to since Ceders Sanai is so revolutionary on this topic):