For years my husband had been unwittingly suffering the dreaded, painful, debilitating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition shared by a staggering one in seven Australians.
When I say debilitating I am not kidding. All 193cm of him would be struck down, unable to function and utterly miserable (which in turn made my life miserable – come on girls – have you never dealt with a sick man!).
Now, just to clarify the husband is no sook. He’s fit, healthy (apart from the IBS) and usually very active – it’s hard to keep him still.
We’d been to many a doctor, and NONE, NONE at all could diagnose him. All they did was hand out prescriptions which didn’t help and were for everything but IBS.
The good husband had constant nausea, cramps, no energy, discomfort, gas, reflux and generally life was not too pleasant for him.
We’d tried everything. Not only were the symptoms physically debilitating, it was starting to affect him mentally. My funny, active, carefree and gentle husband was miserable.
So, to cut a long story short – I meet the lady who I refer to as GOD. As we randomly walked into a pharmacy while on holiday (yes, he had a particularly painful attack on his birthday holiday) the lovely woman who worked there asked a few questions and immediately said ‘You’ve got IBS’.
We’d never really heard about it until then. The first thing she told us was to go onto a FODMAP site and follow the dos and dont’s. She didn’t even try to sell us anything. I think I was in love! (FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols. These are a group of short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed).
Six months later, the husband has not had one irritable bowel attack. Downloading the Monash University’s amazing FODMAP app has saved both his and my life.
For those suffering, especially the ones who suffer severe IBS, this resource is a a godsend. It walks you through foods that are either green lit (eat as much as you like), orange (eat in moderation) or red (avoid at all costs).
Now, I know there has been a lot of science and research go into this app – and all hail the Monash University for coming up with it. There seems no rhyme or reason to me why some foods are okay and some aren’t, but by god it works!
For all of you who suffer from an irritable bowel, and many of you do in silence, I beg you to download this app.
If you’re still not sure about spending $13 for the Monash option, there are plenty of other free FODMAP apps now out there to get you started on the road to a healthier, happier life.
The opinions expressed here by The Carousel columnist are her own, not those of The Carousel.com.