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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: HappyHoya on December 16, 2013, 07:54:47 PM

Title: Affordable Eating with IBS
Post by: HappyHoya on December 16, 2013, 07:54:47 PM
Does anyone else here suffer from IBS? I was recently diagnosed, and I'm struggling with how it's changing up my diet and eating. I cannot eat a lot of the frugal foods that I thought were healthy (not for me, I guess!) like lentils, cabbage, broccoli, etc. (no legumes, no cruciferous vegetables, almost no fruit except bananas and some berries). Right now, I am living off oatmeal, bananas, and small amounts of nuts and nut milk. I always used to buy fruits and veggies based on what was on sale, in season, etc, but I can't really do that anymore. There's a short list of things I know I can tolerate, and I'd really like to be able to cook the same thing for myself and my husband. However, I am very concerned that after a few weeks of eating this way, we've spent an average of $20/week more on our grocery budget. We are not eating lots of expensive foods, we just can't shop based on sales the way we used to, and we've had to cut out some of the inexpensive staples we used to rely on. I am hoping that, as I figure out more about what I can tolerate, the list of foods we can eat will get a little longer. Does anyone else here struggle with IBS or another condition that limits what you can eat? Have you found any ways to save on groceries when you're already limited?

On the bright side, we have even less temptation to go out to eat :)
Title: Re: Affordable Eating with IBS
Post by: shamelessHedon on December 16, 2013, 08:01:08 PM
I was misdiagnosed with ibs before discovering my real issue was gluten.

We definitely shop cheap and cook at home 95% of my meals.
Title: Re: Affordable Eating with IBS
Post by: HappyHoya on December 16, 2013, 08:03:16 PM
I was misdiagnosed with ibs before discovering my real issue was gluten.

We definitely shop cheap and cook at home 95% of my meals.

I've been gluten-free for two years, but was still getting sick, leading to the IBS diagnosis. I am not convinced it's the ultimate, correct diagnosis (esp. since it's just a collection of symptoms), but I do feel better eating a GF version of the IBS protocol diet.
Title: Re: Affordable Eating with IBS
Post by: scrubbyfish on December 16, 2013, 10:59:10 PM
A paleo (or "GAPS" or "SCD") diet is a great fit for IBS, in that it can quickly and permanently resolve symptoms. With severe symptoms, you may benefit by doing SCD or GAPS first, then transitioning to paleo once the big symptoms are taken care of. A lot of folks here seem to do paleo so you might gain lots of great tips by reading (or starting) threads on "cheaper paleo", "affordable paleo", etc.
Title: Re: Affordable Eating with IBS
Post by: HappierAtHome on December 16, 2013, 11:19:15 PM
Recently diagnosed with fructose malabsorbtion, which results in IBS symptoms for many (though it's nausea and stomach aches for me, thankfully not IBS!). As a result I'm on the low FODMAP diet. Worth investigating if you have IBS or IBS style symptoms - the best guide is the Monash Uni material and their app (which costs $10!! Yikes) has helped me a lot.

I'm also currently avoiding nightshade veges (potatoes, tomatoes, capsicum, chillies, eggplant) to see if it helps my arthritis flare ups. Between low FODMAP and the arthritis diet, I'm finding that there's not a whole lot I can eat. I'm definitely being forced to eat more meat and eggs than I used to (no legumes or pulses on low FODMAP) which costs significantly more. No more cheap protein for me!

I think that you need to go easy on yourself while you're adjusting to your new food intolerances and investigating what does/doesn't work for you. Even if your groceries end up costing $20 more a week forever, that's much better than living with the symptoms of NOT spending that bit extra.

Or at least that's what I'm telling myself :-)
Title: Re: Affordable Eating with IBS
Post by: gooki on December 16, 2013, 11:23:22 PM
My wife quartered her meat intake and her IBS is no longer an issue. No other dieting, just less meat.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Affordable Eating with IBS
Post by: catccc on December 17, 2013, 08:41:44 AM
+1 on GAPS/SCD.  It's a lot of reading to understand the diets, but they are very effective.  For lots of things, which makes it seem like some sort of panacea, and makes me skeptical.  But DH used to have digestive troubles, and nearly immediately upon starting to eat the GAPS/SCD way, symptoms disappeared.  We probably need to work on following it more strictly so he can heal and get back to eating like a normal person, but I thought dabbling in it at first would be better than going all out immediately.  A lot of cheap staples we used to use are no longer used- all grains, most beans, etc.  But I haven't seen much in the way of the grocery bill going up, thankfully.
Title: Re: Affordable Eating with IBS
Post by: Matt K on December 17, 2013, 11:07:14 AM
I've been living with IBS for 16 years (I was diagnosed when I was in high school). I've learned two very important things in that time:
1 - IBS is the medical community's way of saying there is something wrong with your digestive system, we don't know exactly what it is, so we're going to lump you in with everyone else who has similar symptoms, even if the causes are radically different.
In my particular case, I am largely unaffected by many of the 'normally' difficult IBS foods (broccoli, onion, fruit, hot peppers, and corn are all perfectly fine to me). Processed meats (especially pork products) cause debilitating pain, as do grease-dense foods. I can however have certain cuts of pork (including bacon, which makes no sense, but I am thankful for it). My sister on the other hand cannot eat even the smallest portion of pork or corn. My point: be very careful with diet suggestions from other people. What works for them probably will not work for you; IBS is too broad a category, and even siblings can have drastically different reactions to foods.

2 - IBS is affected by far more than just your diet.
In my case, I now know that adrenaline not burned off during exercise (such as the adrenaline that is generated in stressful but not physically taxing situations, say an exam or emotional issue) wreaks complete havoc on me. This pretty much made me drug dependant in high school (and the drugs they had me on were not nice). I have since learned to handle stress much better. It has made a huge difference in my health and my overall happiness. I would say that the changes made to my life-style and ability to handle stress had a larger impact in my overall health than my changes in diet.