During the appointment I confessed to how I suffered bloating, putrid gas, and watery stools even after chomping on a bread stick.
The doctor nodded sagely like he understood.
I hoped he was about to unveil a new wonder pill that could UNTWIST the knots in my guts so I could finally eat in restaurants again.
But my hopes were dashed.
Instead, he suggested I drank more water, lost some weight, and, bizarrely, tried eating mustard (someone had told him it helps).
Thinking I must be speaking to the crazy doctor on 30 Rock, I pleaded for a second opinion.
After some persuading, he agreed to refer me to a GI doctor.
The next day on the GI doctor’s icy cold examining table I went through a grueling series of tests.
She asked lots of awkward questions about my bowels, took a blood sample, and even examined my back passage with her finger.
After this teeth clenching experience, she pulled off her rubber gloves, flung them in a bin, and gave me her conclusion:
I had IBS.
“No s&it sherlock!” I thought.
And her advice?
To cut out dairy and gluten, start taking a daily probiotic supplement, and antispasmodics to keep the cramps at bay.
So I did as instructed.
- Cut out milk, eggs, and white bread
- Filled my cabinet with gut health medications
- Bought the most impressive sounding probiotic supplement I could find
And did these steps work?
I’ll admit, there was an improvement in my bowel movements. And I did have fewer mad dashes for the bathroom.
But I started getting INTENSE bloating and gas.
Almost as bad as before.
I’d often be hunched over the table clutching my stomach in the middle of breakfast.
From the look on poor Billy’s face, I can only imagine he thought an alien was about to explode from his mom’s chest.
The probiotic supplement wasn’t working.
So I switched to the most radical diet I could find – the Low FODMAP diet.
I cut out all the high carb foods, like with the Keto diet.
And just like with Keto, I found Low FODMAP INCREDIBLY complicated to follow.
I had to plan my meals with military precision.
But even then l suffered from the drained energy… gnawing cravings… and all the dieting misery I’d been through so many times before.
By this stage I felt more lost, confused, and frustrated than when I’d started.
I felt like I was searching for the Holy Grail – A way of remedying the “belly plague” that was festering in my guts.
Did such a remedy exist?
Or would I forever be cursed with a rumbling stomach warning me to get to a bathroom?
Would I never live a normal life again?
Yet, I’m delighted to say, one day I finally made a breakthrough.