Really interesting question. It sounds like you have been through quite a journey with gastro-intestinal issues and I can totally understand your confusion.
Our GI tract is hugely complicated and figureing out what foods cause symptoms is made more difficult by the complex chemical nature of food. It is hard to know which component of the food is causing the symptoms.
For symptoms of bloating and constipation the first things that I would consider at your fluid and fibre intake and physical activity. Fibre is the indigestable parts of plants. Fluid and fibre work together in your gut to help your poo form a soft but solid mass. If you can consistently consume about 25-30g of fibre each day you are much less likely to have pressure, bloating and difficulty passing stool. The best sources of fibre are fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
If your fibre and fluid are on track but your still having symptoms of IBS, it can be good to invesitgate food intolerances. Many people have intolerances to FODMAPs (fermentable sugars) or food chemicals that can result in the symptoms you have described. When investigating these intolerances there is a process of elimination and challenges which helps to give you clear answers.
I would recommend speaking to a Accredited Practising Dietitian and discussing some of the following:
- Your usual pattern of eating - working out how much fibre and fluid you're currenlty having
- Find small tweaks and swapps to ensure your eating enough fibre and fluid
- The process of a FODAMP elimination and challenge diet
- Other possible intolerances (salysilates, amines, food chemicals)
I know that IBS symptoms can be a really impact your life and the more systematic you can be with invesitgating the cause, the more control you will have over your symptoms in the long run.
I hope this is helpful.
Accredited Practisin Dietitian
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