I’ve been having a really rubbish time with food at the moment. It seems like everything I eat disagrees with me. Something as simple as say bread, can be find to eat one day but the next day I will be besties with my toilet because I’ve eaten it.
Last time I had M.E I became totally intolerant to lactose. This was a very sad time in my life as I had to give up ice cream and milk chocolate. A very good friend of mine gave me this advice “Just eat it while you are sitting on the toilet, that way you still get to enjoy it.” This advice made me laugh a lot and I did contemplate it for about a second until my brain kicked in. You see, just needing to open my bowels wasn’t the only side effect I had with being lactose intolerant. There was cramping, sweating, sometimes vomiting and gas, lots of gas. So once you have weighed all of that up eating ice cream became less appealing.
This time round I have a milder intolerance to dairy. Thankfully dairy milk chocolate is still on the menu, even if ice cream, milk and yoghurt are not. Unfortunately this time round I seem to have more of an issue with IBS as there is a lot of days where my body just seems to hate all food and drink that’s put in it. Those are the days where I shy away from company as I smell like some kind of bog monster, even Sam gives me disgusted looks.
I have tried cutting out certain foods from my diet and have found that kicking caffeine out has made a huge difference to both my tummy’s happiness but also to my health in general. Avoiding milk, uncooked cheese, cream, highly fatty foods, processed foods and high sugar value food helps too. This however doesn’t stop my stomach from just randomly deciding that it’s going to kick off. I went to the doctors about it and he checked that I wasn’t celiac or that there wasn’t something wrong with my bowels. After all the tests came back clear he was a little stumped with what to do. Rightly so he told me to just keep avoiding the foods that upset my stomach and to come back in a month if things hadn’t cleared up. I decided to have a chat with some of my social media spoonie friends and see if they had any good ideas/hints and tips that might help. As always they were really helpful and gave me loads of suggestions. I decided to try the peppermint tea suggestion first, mainly out of ease, and WOW did it work!
I went down to my local Holland and Barrett and bought some tea. I didn’t think I was going to be a fan as I imagined that peppermint tea would taste a bit like warm toothpaste. I was very happily surprised when I found out that I actually really liked it and after a few days of drinking it my tummy was a lot better.
I now have a stash of peppermint tea bags with me at all times and after trying a few brands I now buy Marks and Sparks as you get 20 tea bags for a pound. Mum would be proud!
I am slowly learning little tricks here and there which are really starting to help me cope with/manage my symptoms. I am so glad for the help I get from fellow spoonies and even though I’m not a great fan of social media it is really helping me to meet some amazingly strong people from all over the world.