Posts tagged ‘gas’

Less-IBS… continued

So I’ve been experimenting with different ways to decrease my IBS-like symptoms the past week or so. So far, things are going really, really well. My belly hasn’t been in a constant ache and I feel better, more energized. This hasn’t decreased my number of trips to the potty, but I must be realistic about my goals here. If I can feel better during the day, bring on the bathroom trips.

Here are a few things I’ve noticed that have helped me feel better:

1. Sleep.  I know, this was #1 on my last list. But it’s a biggie for me. The more rested I am, the better I feel. I know, it’s revolutionary. But for this gal who’s got a lot on her plate, it’s important for me to remember, and it’s really helped me the past week.

2. Calorie Counting. Most people attribute this to weight loss. And while it’s important for that, it’s also a big help for those who struggle with IBS. Overeating can be one of the worst triggers. I’ve found over the past few weeks though, when I manage my calories and don’t go over my recommended daily total – I don’t have hardly any food problems. Granted, I’ve been eating a lot better, too, but calorie counting has tremendously helped me.

For a great calorie counter, I recommend SparkPeople or LiveStrong. (I have the LiveStrong app on my phone and LOVE IT.)

3. Diet. I know, another shocker. But a diet full of fresh, healthy, non-processed foods has really helped me feel better. At first all of the fresh fruits & veggies can be a little rough on the colon, but after awhile I’ve gotten used to it. It’s somewhat like fiber – when you first starting eating more, hang on to your hat. But after awhile, your body adjusts and you handle it much better. I do recommend; however, that if you’re going for a salad, eat some crackers or bread before and after. It’s helped me digest it and cut down the gas and other problems.

I’ve also really cut down on my meat and dairy intake. I’ve not ruled it out completely, but I’ve noticed a big difference when I’m not consuming as much (especially red) meat and milk. Still go for string cheese and yogurt, though!

4. Not eating after 9pm. I don’t follow this every night, but I try to as much as I can. If I can tap myself off on food and most drinks by 9pm, it allows my system to rest throughout the night. I just feel better in the morning. Also, this is another recommended weight loss tip, so it’s a double-bonus for us IBS-ers.

So there it is! My Less-IBS plan continues and is finding much success! If you’re a fellow IBS-er and have any other helpful tips, do share!

May 29, 2010 at 12:29 pm 1 comment

Blowing Into Test Tubes aka My SIBO Test

Last week, I had the unique experience of testing for SIBO – Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth. Characterized by symptoms like:  bloating;  gas; pain; diarrhea; irritable bowel syndrome; and other *fun* things, I thought SIBO had just become my middle name.

My friends at Midwest GI were explaining what exactly SIBO was, and suggested I take the test for it. I agreed since it seemed easy enough. I got a small kit to take home to do a breath test with simple instructions to follow. Yep, just like the cops test for booze, except this test is better – it’s testing for bacteria in your small intestine! Woo hoo!

The day before the test, I had to follow a strict diet. This wasn’t too hard, since it was basically the diet I followed post-colon surgery. I could only eat white bread, rice, meat and eggs. Here’s what my menu looked like:

Breakfast of bagels & toast

We call them "toad in the holes" (basically an egg in grilled bread)

Now, I will admit…. it started to get a little harder to follow at dinner.

Cookout! Grilled hot dogs and hamburgers

Sort of hard to pass all of this up.

I followed this diet for 24 hours before my test. Though challenging at times, I got through it. I woke up the next morning ready to dive in and blow into some test tubes!

I had to wait an hour after I woke up to begin. I started getting the preparations ready by laying out all of the kit’s contents and triple-checking the instructions. I also had to remind myself that I could not work out an hour before, nor anytime during, the test. Needless to say, I was ready to begin.

The Testing Begins

I took an initial baseline test, drank this sugary-substance stuff, and then blew into a new test tube every 20 minutes.

Halfway there!

Because I had to stay nearby, it was a great way to get some things done. But yes, after three hours of blowing into test tubes and not eating, I was ready for it to be over.

Finished!

I finished all ten test tubes and then drove it back to Midwest GI for them to run the report. Super easy, and painless. I was so thankful that I could do it at home.

In my case, the test ended up negative – I do not have an overgrowth of bacertia in my small intestine. I’m guessing more of my complications have to do with post-surgery stuff, and because I only have a few inches of large intestine, much of my digesting is taking place in the small intestine. However, for anyone who does have their entire colon and still can relate to the IBS-like symptoms, I recommend getting tested! Even if you don’t have your whole colon, it’s worth getting tested if you’re having some similiar problems like too much gas or bloating. It’s an easy test, and could be the solution to your GI-related problems.

For more info about the SIBO test, click here.

May 11, 2010 at 10:59 pm Leave a comment

Reasons #23 & #24 You Never Want Colon Cancer

Reason #23
You’ll have to take it easy on the cheese

I’ve never really considered myself a cheese connoisseur, but lately I’ve realized how much I love it … but not its impact on the GI track. Too much cheese will equal too much gas, or bathroom time, or both, guaranteed.

Reason #24
Coffee-only mornings make you blow up like a blimp

Maybe it was just my day today, but I learned the hard way that I probably shouldn’t start my mornings off with black coffee and neglect to eat anything with it. I felt like the Good Air Blimp was inside of my stomach all day.

March 24, 2010 at 11:16 pm Leave a comment

Dear Colon

Dear Colon,

Well, it’s been a rough week. We were doing so well, and off to a great start. You’d actually impressed me and many of my doctors. You’d been keeping up to speed with me and my busyness, and actually surpassed my expectations. You usually … hold … more than I expect, and have found a way to fade into the background most of the time. I know you still have the typical gas, bloating and “blah” moments pretty frequently, but I’ve found a way to look past those. My props genuinely go out to you. You’ve been doing so well.

But, as we both know, I’m writing you based on the past week or so. We’ve not been getting along, and these fits you’ve thrown now two times in one week cannot go on. Tonight’s little episode right before the birthday party was not cool, and I got your message loud and clear. You were unhappy, and you did something about it. And it’s gotten my full attention.

I realize that I’ve not been doing my part. I haven’t been resting well, eating great, nor managing my stress the past few weeks. But hey, we’re still trying to live as normal life as possible and that stuff happens. Plus, a girl’s gotta have a late night and a sprinkled donut with coffee in the morning once and awhile. I’m not asking for big things here, just a day or two where I can feel like the average 26-year-old who’s enjoying the life, friends and family God’s given her. Not the gal who’s life is defined by her colon … or lack thereof. I know it might be unreasonable to ask for all of that, but it’s where I’m at after a rough night.

I’m writing to propose a deal. I’ll do a better job of watching what I eat so that you don’t have to work so hard. You have gotten so good at keeping up with me, that I’ve forgotten how my diet really does impact you. I’ll rest up and work better at cutting down some stress, with one being exercise. But in return, I need you to cool it for a little while. Lay off the back pains and cramps, and start … holding … stuff again. Give me a little break and let me feel normal again, at least as much as possible.We have to work together, you and me.

Please don’t take this as disingenuous, and an attempt at getting what I want out of you. I am SO thankful you’re still here, even if you are itty bitty. You’ve been through a lot, and I will start taking care of you as well as I can. I hope you will do the same for me.

Love,

Danielle

February 28, 2010 at 4:44 am Leave a comment


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