In The Grip of IBS

I’m in the midst of an IBS flare up of horrid proportions.  Things have settled a lot now I’ve been on the What To Eat When You Can’t Eat Anything plan from Help For IBS.  Because I really was at the stage when I seemingly couldn’t eat anything without pain and terrible discomfort.  The kind of discomfort that doesn’t allow anything else to go on in your brain except “ow ow ouch ow”.

Rice by Eva the Weaver on Flickr

I never knew I could be so happy to eat a bowl of rice.  Or indeed so excited to see tofu with my rice (and nothing else).  Whilst the spasms and pain and nastiness has settled down (just about) getting back to eating more normally is more of a challenge.  Gradually re-introducing other foods and roughage doesn’t have much of a formula other than to give it a go.

I’m also aware that having become so frightened and suspicious of food during the horrid flare is dangerous territory.  I hear it’s easy to fall into an eating disorder after something like that.  “Sensible” is the way to go.

Except tonight I am going out with Growler to a social media curry with a group from my local area.  Not sure curry is the best starting point for tummy rehabilitation but at least there will be lots of rice available.  Now if I could only sneak in my own marinated tofu …

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16 Responses to “In The Grip of IBS”


  1. 1 ashysheela August 25, 2009 at 9:57 am

    good luck eating out tonight! My tip would be to avoid potato based things as well as the very spicy, as i have found that the resistant starch thing does hold up with potato that has been cooled then reheated (or processed) and i can only eat it when freshly cooked and still hot… I have not tried to eat reheated rice but potato is meant to be worse… i ate a few crisps the other day and it really upset me (pub chips also seem to). I had a bit of saag paneer (spinach and indian cheese) this week and it was fine and it was so nice to eat something different! Thai green curry with tofu and rice is also working for me which is surprising but welcome.

    For easy digestion i recommend: Gluten free porridge, Alpro soya pudding (dark choc flavour – so nice if you don’t mind the slimey texture), carrots, steamed baby spinach, halloumi cheese, (hot)quinoa with chopped avocado (the quinoa heats the avocado a bit in a nice way, basil dressing or just a few leaves can be nice on it), rice cakes with nut butter (i don’t like peanut butter much but you can get mixed nut ones, or ones that are just almonds or cashews etc), peeled pear with alpro plain “yogurt” and, er, rice, rice rice! Don’t know if you are keeping dairy low but alpro is my new best friend…

    I also have a recipe for some biscuits made from ground almonds, sugar, egg white and cocoa powder which seem to be fine for me, can give it you if you are interested.

    It is really hard to reintorduce foods – i thought that after a rest my system would be back to normal in no time… unfortunately after 4 months or so i am still eating a fairly restricted diet. I am taking some multivitamins which thankfully don’t upset me as a back up and do keep trying new things… i ate half a banana this morning after my porridge (hoping my tum won’t notice)!

    anyway, good luck with it, i hope you can keep it under control and still eat some of your favourite things…

    • 2 rachelcreative August 25, 2009 at 2:34 pm

      Well microwave rice (thus reheated) is my friend. I’ve tolerated banana well and also a handful or pringles. Mushrooms seem ok.

      But I tried to reintroduce some fibre last night with eating a bit of my baked potato skin and am having a bad flare this afternoon so looks like I’m not going to go out after all. Sigh.

      Thanks for the suggestions.

      I’m not feeling crazy about this plain eating lasting for a long time! I was hoping the same thing – let it settle down and then get back on track. We’ll see.

      Thanks again.

  2. 3 ashysheela August 25, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    maybe i will try the reheated rice then, it would make life easier…

    sorry you can’t go out today – it is sooooo frustrating, and curry is so nice! I have found lately that immodium is making me feel sick/queasy the day after taking it which is a shame as it was nice to have a magic pill for a flare up.

    Yes mushrooms good for me too! and courgette, and red pepper and toms (de-skinned as much as i can be bothered with) – i do a mixed grill 🙂

    I really hope you can have more luck than me with the timescale – if you find any veggie meals that cause you no trouble please let me know as i am getting v bored with the same old things at this point!

    Hope you don’t feel too disappointed about tonight and things calm down soon.

    • 4 rachelcreative August 25, 2009 at 7:40 pm

      Oh crikey good luck! Was just saying to Cusp that I do find my Celevac very effective for bunged up but you can also use them for the other way too – although I’ve not tried it for that. Hope Immodium doesn’t do that to me! But I don’t take it too much.

      Now I thought courgette was full of non soluble fibre when I looke dit up on t’internet. Can’t do peppers personally.

      I’m ok about tonight. Thanks. Grolwer has gone on his own so at least I get to know some of what was said even if I’m not there to represent myself. We’re off to see his folks this weekend so want to be as well as possible for that.

      • 5 ashysheela August 25, 2009 at 8:02 pm

        hmm not tried Celevac, maybe i will. No i have not taken immodium much but it had seemed ok the first few times – the last couple had that reaction… Occasionally i get v watery, painful and violent “emissions” and it is great to put a stop to that! Still worth it even if i feel sick the next day on some occasions.

        I read bananas were really bad for non-soluable fibre so had not tried them until today (don’t know yet how well that has gone down!) I think it is so personal what is ok and what isn’t… and how you eat things – i have been eating a few green beans and it has been ok and they are meant to be bad – i always eat them with rice and other veg and in small amounts though.

        Hope you feel better by the weekend, especially as you won’t be at home.

        Like cusp i also eat soaked linseeds (i grind them up with other seeds and soak in soya milk then add to soya yogurt). I also find lots of water good and corn/maize not good in any quantity…

        so many things seemed to be fine until recently and now they are not – it is odd – i hope we all toughen up our guts again soon!

  3. 9 cusp August 25, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    I’ve had a nasty flare this past weekend too (must be in the wind!! : ha bl**dy ha) and had to go to a wedding reception feeling very duff. I sat there with copious glasses of water and a (painted on )smile. It was a lovely ‘do’ but I was glad when it was over really…such a shame but at least I got there.

    I have found a few things that help in a crisis: drinking quite a lot of water, nux vom and arsenicum (homeopathic pills)are very helpful for the pain and nausea and aloe vera jiuce soothes and calms down the gut. The other thing which helps me is linseeds. I soak mine the night before. I cannot bear the plain brown ones because to me they look like fleas (!) and just give me the gibbers but I buy linseeds from H&B which are covered with plum and fig juice: taste better. The gloopiness of the linseeds really eases things (for me anyway) and makes everything go more smoothly. All things spicy and hot are disaster for me — certainly no curry or any chilli. Corn/maize is also disaster.

    Hope you feel better soon and everythig calms down

    • 10 rachelcreative August 25, 2009 at 7:34 pm

      Hiya Cusp. Sorry to hear about your flare (in the wind gave me a wry smile though).

      So horrible to have a social thingy that you really want to enjoy when you feel so grotty. But yes at least you were there!

      Linseeds eh? Hmmm. I am getting loads of advice thanks.

      I find Celevac tablets can be a great comfort especially for that bunged up feeling.

  4. 11 cusp August 26, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Never heard of Celevac tablets. TBH I don’t really like taking tablets — I feel my poor old body is coping with so much other stuff I like to keep it as natural as possible. That’s why i like the homeopathic stuff — can’t harm you and often helps.
    Aresenicum is brilliant for that poisoned feeling and nux vom for the nausea but as above it’s all very individual really. Ginger’s good too — Lakeland sell little backs of very hot stem ginger that I always keep in my bag for when I’m out (rarely nowadays). I’ve even been known to steep a few on hot water and drink.

    • 12 rachelcreative August 26, 2009 at 5:04 pm

      Well Celevac isn’t a tablet as in a medication. It’s a plant fibre in a (pink!) tablet form that swells into a gel in your tummy with water and bulks things up. So it’s natural in that it doesn’t stimulate or react – it’s a sort of an inert thing I suppose. But not natural in that it is bright pink!

      Oooh yes ginger. I have a packet of stem ginger and a little tub I leep by the bed and can take in the car if we go out but have not been using it during this flare. Must get sucking!

      I haven’t heard of those other two things. Thanks.

  5. 13 grant September 2, 2009 at 4:05 am

    hi, i was researching allicinmax and noticed you used to take a high dose of it but now only a small one. can I ask why this is? and what your thoughts on it are. did it stop working? etc. thankyou very much for your help. Grant

    • 14 rachelcreative September 11, 2009 at 8:28 pm

      Hi Grant

      I didn’t seem to get any improvement with the allicinmax so I stopped taking it. I still have some which I would take if I got a bad infection but I don’t currently take any on a regular basis.

  6. 15 sophie November 9, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    I take Celevac too – really seems to help. But I know how you feel – when my IBS is in a massive flare-up then it’s like wrestling a hippo, it can take ages before it’s on an even keel again, and I often have no idea where the stupid flare-up came from…grrr.

    Would you consider linking to my IBS website from this site? I try to collect lots of different reviews and stories from IBS sufferers to help people find a treatment that really works for them.


  1. 1 IBS Taming: Phase 2 Attempt « ChronicallyMe Trackback on September 22, 2009 at 7:16 pm

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