If I have done one thing for my health in the last five years, then it is the low FODMAP diet.
I am just going into week 5 and i can say it is good to be a little constipated a few times a week, to be honest after years of bad old jobbies.
Apart from splendid stools of solid substance, I also have a better satiation at dinner times, all less hunger pangs ie longer 'satiety'.
The clues have been there for a very loing time, way back before I had a nasty dose of presumed campylobacter way back in 1995. When i was training a lot in cycling and mountain tours i would do huge logs before or after, and often struggle to eat enough energy to keep going. I was basically avoiding dairy products and strong coffee from cafetieres or cuppachinos, a double bad.
I put on my first big weight gain around the same time I got food poisoning. My appetite got bigger and i started getting the pavlovian munchies with beer which i hadnt had before. I exercised less, drank more. 15 stone. Then by 1996 I was 18 stone. That was three stone in two years. I had been around 13 from age 16 to 24, and that is thin for my height and build.
I was a bit of a beer monster in those years, it has to said, but I really didnt drink more than many of my thinner buddies. I did eat a bit more and was less satisfied with ordinary portions.
I only lost weight in 1996 by some pretty hefty training and dropping of beers to just a few a week, and a couple of chinese starters as a weekly treat. I was miserable too! Edge of hunger for months on end.
I put on a bit of weight back on the summer of 96, with sailing being 5 days a week usually a beer of an eve' there with of course. Then I lost weight again when living in a B&B , pub dinners and only an hours walk or swim each day. Something odd was going on!
Beers and big eati in 98 -99 and despite a lot of exercise some weekends, i was by 2000 at a massive 20 stone.
Back to the gym and i was down to 18 snd quite muscly but still a peristent beer gut and w worseing 'toilet habit' with several visits a day, stress jobbies and intermittant constipation. The need was often and what came out varied.
Once again, big mountain tours and big bars resulted. I thought maybe my cuppacino habit was to blame, but in fact it was my healthy eating which was in part to blame, with piles of fermentable fruits and sulphurous onions and garlics on top of my frothy coffee dependency. Off these and especiaøly milk and red pasta dishes, and i would normalise and reabsorb obviously a lot of water.
I started getting bloaty days back in the early 2000s when my gut and side wings seemed to be extra wobbly, often during sport. I should have maybe connected this with losing s lot of fluid in my stools.
Now thisnhas changed, dramatically. Week 1 was awful, lots of diarheoa dribbly crap, but after that , hey presto. Onions and more than a glass of full lactose dairy and i am back to square one.
At week six i can start reintridocing food types to see how i get on, but also i am a bit inspired to diet. I stead of bread i have been having half a packet of crisps with lunch or as a snack when dinner is going to be late. I do allow myself a small dose of wheat, wholemeal per day.
All because i happened to listen to a BBC radio 4 inside health on the issue, and knwew it couldnt hurt to try, since rice, potatoes and a small amount of oats are all allowed !
For more serious IBS then i guess it may tske longer for the 'flora of the gut' to rebalance. For most of us it means no return to some foods which are triggers, like lactose milk products.