Life's a Gas (Except when you have too much of it!)

Aloha friends!

Today's side-dish topic is one that may make some feel uncomfortable to discuss, but it's an important topic to tackle! So let's just put it all out there: Nausea, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea, constipation (I am hearing the Pepto Bismol jingle in my head at the moment while writing this). I am someone who suffers from tummy troubles on a regular basis, and after getting checked out a few years ago, I was told I have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is kind of a frustrating diagnosis since it does not leave you with any answers, as the gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms associated with IBS are usually unexplained. I was happy to learn that there wasn't something more serious going on with me, but it was frustrating to get told you have IBS with no guidance on where to go from there (other than try Metamucil). 

So where have I gone from there? Well, not far I guess! I definitely know some food items that are triggers for me, and sadly, they are foods that I have come to enjoy (e.g., chickpeas, lentils, beans). Dairy is a hit or miss for me, but I love cheese too much to be serious about giving it up; I have been drinking lactose-free milk for years which has been very helpful for my tummy troubles. There are veggies that upset my tummy as well (broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant just to name a few), and I swear there are veggies that affect me that perhaps are not typical triggers of IBS. I had to laugh the other day when I asked my friend if zucchini bothers her GI tract and her response was, " Well zucchini doesn't bother me, but it's you we are talking about so who knows. The question should be what veggie doesn't actually upset your tummy!" Stress is also a factor because my IBS acts up more when I'm a basket case, so it is safe to say surviving through grad school was a bit of a challenge at times!

The only thing I actually have done is get over the embarrassment of having IBS. I have zero shame in talking about anything related to the GI tract, and honestly, it has been freeing to just admit I have tummy issues rather than stress about how to hide the fact that I do. Lately it has actually been a topic of discussion with a lot of my friends. We keep saying that since we hit our 30's everything is going downhill (we kid, sort of), including our sudden inability to deal with bloating.

My bestie, also the one who cleverly suggested the title for this post, requested that the DomesticPhD write a blog post about this very topic since she figured it was one that many people would relate too. The next day I saw a post from our friend and colleague Nicole Osinga about this very topic, including talking about our gut, IBS, and research investigating the link between IBS symptoms with a group of dietary sugars referred to as FODMAPS. If you are suffering from gas, bloating, and whatever else your GI tract might throw at you, I would suggest taking a few minutes to learn about the food triggers that might be ailing you.

Read Banish the Bloat:

Here's to making your GI tract be more friendly to you!

xo Michelle