living with ibs site logoLiving with IBS


Clinical trial for IBS research purposes - January 2020

Part one.

I havnt written much about my IBS lately as to be quite honest, with the relationship I have with my restricted diet it’s pretty much subdued most of the symptoms I have to suffer on a daily basis. Sure, the odd slip can result in the pains and bloating returning and biting me on the arse .. reminding me that I have to be really careful as to not upset the Apple cart so to speak, but that’s just what dealing with IBS is all about I guess. The uncertainty of every day life grinding to halt at any given moment just because of a mere slip with something you know is going to kick off at some point. Or merely just by giving in to the daily stresses of life. Letting those stresses build and build within us before they eventually leach the badness into our guts and cause yet another reaction that could go as quickly as it came, or it can linger for days or weeks on end, causing another period of your life that you’ve lost to this hideous condition.
The stresses of daily life affect us all, we would be stupid to think that they don’t that’s for sure. I consider myself to be pretty laid back in life, not much gets to me much of the time. I found running helps me de stress .. just hit the roads for a couple of hours and clear my head, stretch my muscles to breaking point and think about absolutely nothing except the next step ahead of me. That freedom of your mind is a powerful thing. The remoteness of your empty brain in those moments is simply priceless and almost a necessity to cope with life on a regular basis. We all strive to find this place in our lives .. keep it open and cherish it for what it is , the clarity, the peace, the break from reality and the saviour from this modern world we now find ourselves living in.

The last few months I have dabbled with keto to help my IBS and it really has helped. The switch to eating low carb is a tough one .. your body is so reliant on the heavy carbs that modern life now gives us and it fights damn hard to give that up. That struggle within your body is real ... it’s hard to take in and strictly adhere to it for those first few days, weeks even. You will need plenty of will power to stop those cravings for carb loaded foods.. the sugars, the grains, the beans and pulses, the bread and cakes... the list is endless and the list of foods you can eat dwindle to next to nothing. You frantically research what to eat and when .. there is so much to get your head around it’s frighteningly mundaneness isn’t appealing at all. Your mouth is increasingly dry most of the time due to losing more salts .. you are constantly having to drink more and resupply your body with extra electrolytes and water. You will find you need to add In certain supplements to your daily intake, as well as the foods you’ve chosen to get you through the days. If, like me you are already very restricted then this can be a very difficult time adapting to the new regime of fats and protein without the carbs to satisfy your cravings for sugary junk food or even fruits, which are high carb loaded death traps on the keto diet.
Keto isn’t for everyone, something you will find out within that first week of training your body to eat this way. You need some strong will power and a huge bravado to match what’s needed to succeed. You need to be a stubborn person to really dig down deep within yourself and want to keep up this New way of life. This isn’t a diet .. this is a dietary way of life .. a huge change to the normality that you’ve had In life. One that you must love and nurture to get the most out of it if you are to sustain it on a celebratory level.
The rewards are great though if you’ve managed to fight all those cravings and madness that want you to fail. The extra proteins will keep you feeling full and satiated for much longer, day in day out. Your muscles will feel the benefits of being constantly supplied with fresh renewable energy for them to cling onto and store. Lean muscle will adapt and feature more in your body as the time goes on. You will learn to burn off fats rather than store them around your body and use those fats when burning energy. Although until that fat adaption really kicks in, you will certainly feel like crap for a fair few weeks. You will feel lifeless in that first week or two while you change over to the new regime. You will want to be a couch potato and your exercise will depleat and weaken you. Don’t give in to it though, keep those muscles going as much as you can. Find the strength within to keep moving and keep moving forward until it gets better and you start to get stronger once more. It’s worth the wait and almost worth the inconvenience it will cause to your routine if you have one. My races got harder in those first few weeks, but they came back up to normal levels again. You can do it, you can find that strength within you and make it happen.

Along this journey and on this leg of me going keto again for me, I signed up to do a clinical trial for an IBS research unit. It deals with diet as alleviating symptoms and is basically a three week period where I am given a dietary sheet with what to eat during the two phases.
The first phase is basically to eat my usual diet, keep taking my supplements as normal and log all the details, what I eat, how I feel, rate my stools on the stool chart, rate flatulence,energy levels,pains,bloating and a few other things.that first week was really just a continuation of normal life for me but with a bit of homework with the details I was asked to keep a check on. All went well in the first week as I sent in my findings and waited for them to send me week two and three instructions.
Instructions came and it kind of threw me a little ... the changes to the stuff to eat were surprising and scarey at first look and to be honest I really didn’t like what I saw in its entirety, and I was about to throw in the towel and not move forward with it all, as my two weeks keto period had gone so well for me.. I’d lost 8lbs in that time and was finally getting my body used to the new food regime and the proteins were kicking in and my muscles were beginning to feel the benefits at last.
So here I am with new way to eat for the next two weeks .. can I do it ? Do I want to do it ? Do I want to lose what I’m thinking I have already gained from my two weeks on keto ?

Well I had signed up for it so it wasn’t really a choice to give in and quit it right now .. I can just head back to keto in two weeks time and just delay my transformation again.. I have plenty of time to get fat adapted before my crucial three marathons towards the end of the year so, I’m going for it.

I had a few days of getting rid of the foods that I wasn’t now allowed to eat, and to try and introduce new foods that I can now eat in the trial. That’s a hard one to deal with for me.
The main part of the new regime is mainly what I have been eating, salads, nuts,chicken or turkey, olive oil and ground seeds in the mix etc etc. The big thing was they expected me to eat 1kg of veggies a day .. now there’s no way I can eat that much in one day so I contacted them and they said it wasn’t that important it was a guideline.. yes one that’s almost impossible to obtain for myself at least. There are five food categories that I must eat at least one item from every day. The main sticking point for me is having to eat potatoes every day and no red meats. Replace red meats with fish or seafood.. not a choice I would ever make for myself.. I can just about manage tuna but thats not easy for me, so I will try my damndest for the two weeks to adhere to this crazy food group change and see what it does to the fine balance I had created for myself so far along this IBS journey. I really don’t know how I’m going to cope with eating potatoes again after so long without them.
I will write about the next two weeks as the happen and bring the concluding findings forward at the end of it all. Luckily this trial is just food related with no drug trials impending. I’m hoping the findings are not too contradicting to what I’ve learned myself so far along this journey though.
Watch this space