Hello! My name is Drew, and this is my story of Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
I want to share this story—hoping that you understand that you are not alone in your pain or struggles with this annoying, embarrassing, and many times painful gastrointestinal disorder.
It turns out I've had IBS all my life without even knowing it.
When I first met my beautiful wife Cory—who is a co-founder of The Gut Program & luckily a pharmaceutical rep—things started to make more sense. When we first met, I spent a lot of agonizing time trying to hide my symptoms from her.
At the time, I didn't realize the extent of my disorder. There were frequent trips to the bathroom, cramps that rendered me immobilized, and eating out at restaurants was like playing Russian Roulette with my gut! For anyone with IBS, who has spent a lot of time on the floor in the fetal position, you know what I'm talking about!
After meeting Cory, she urged me to visit a GI doctor. As a pharmaceutical rep, Cory had a much more comprehensive understanding of what was going on inside my body. Before seeing the doctor, I was expecting the consult to be the same—terrible, expensive drugs and costly procedures. Instead, I got some incredibly good news!
My newfound GI doctor gave me a Hydrogen Breath Test. (The breath test analyzes your breath for detection of the hydrogen and methane gases released from the bacterial fermentation of unabsorbed fructose).
Together through a positive breath testing, we discovered that I actually have fructose malabsorption.
I found a culprit behind all the pain and pesky stomach issues that I had been dealing with my whole life! Even knowing this I still didn't feel all that optimistic. I was still dealing with my IBS symptoms on a daily basis.
The next step was to find out how to treat these issues. My doctor recommended something called a low FODMAP diet.
(This diet is an exploratory diet that resets your gut. For 2 to 6 weeks, you eliminate a series of short-chain carbohydrates which will return your gut health back to ‘square one.’ After this, you slowly begin reintroducing foods back into your diet to see which types of foods trigger your symptoms).
At first, I thought my doctor sounded like a crock. Even my wife, who understood me and my disorder more than I did, couldn't get a grasp on this thing—the low FODMAP diet?
I felt hopeless—trapped in a world where I would be governed by my IBS symptoms. Thank God my amazing wife was by my side to keep my thinking positive!
Through countless trial-and-error, hours of food experimenting & reading ingredient lists, and yes, even some failure, I was finally able to take control of my IBS symptoms. We finally figured out a diet that would work for, not only myself but the whole family!
Once I figured out my 'trigger foods' using the low FODMAP diet, my symptoms started to alleviate! My symptoms managed themselves just by sticking to the FODMAP diet.
It was a huge personal victory.
I used the bathroom less!
I had a sharper mind!
For anyone who has IBS, you know how painful the experience can be. The discomfort is so distracting you feel as if you can't live a normal life but once your symptoms begin to calm down, and eventually go away, you feel like a whole new person! I was ecstatic!
This is why Cory and myself started The Gut Program! To help others who are going through the same pain I went through! We realized there was a better way.
But, who wants to eat the bland-tasting low FODMAP diet when they don't have to?
We brainstormed and boiled down the challenges to three things:
- Finding things to eat that didn't taste like cardboard E.g. Tasty Snacks!
- Find recipes that non-low FODMAPers can enjoy with you!
- Figuring out how to eat out at restaurants without being "one of those guys."
We boiled down these three questions to the core to identify the best tasting foods. After all, if you have to eat foods without flavor all the time who will stick with the diet? I wanted to a diet that fit into my lifestyle, not the other way around.
If you would like to learn how I conquered my IBS sign up for the 10-Day Low FODMAP Jump Start Guide below!