From the age of 15, I had gut issues and IBS-D, which resulted in eliminating many food groups and having a very restricted diet. Safe to say I was always anxious about travelling or eating out!
In 2018, I became the illest I’ve ever been. My mouth turned white, I had mouth ulcers, lost lots of weight and had no energy. My stomach wasn’t happy with any food. No doctor could tell me what was happening. I saw a private GU consultant who told me I could possibly have Crohn’s due to some erosions found during a colonoscopy, but wanted to keep monitoring me. In the meantime I was on meal replacement shakes and lots of Imodium… I was pretty miserable!
Things got a little better after some surgery, but a year or so later my symptoms were really bad again – high cal protectin and the bathroom became my prison. To mitigate my symptoms I resolved to long periods of fasting. My consultant had put me on a bland diet – plain, low fibre food.
I was frustrated that my GU consultant didn’t seem to give me any guidance so I started to do some research. I had requested to see a dietitian and in the meantime I stumbled across Dr Megan Rossi’s Instagram and read up on IBS and IBD. I decided to order the book ‘Eat Yourself Healthy’. I figured it couldn’t get any worse so I may as well try it out even though the book went against everything my consultant told me to do diet-wise.
In parallel to implementing the teachings from the book, I requested a SeHCAT scan to test for BAM, something no one had mentioned to me before and my GP said I’d have to go private for as they didn’t know what it was. 2 weeks into trying the plant focused diet, using the recipes from the book, my symptoms significantly improved. By the time I had my intro meeting with the dietitian I was already feeling a lot better and eating more variety of foods than I had in a very long time. My dietitian was great and recommended I keep following Dr Rossi’s advise and followed up when my results of the scan came back.
My test results came back positive for BAM. I’ve been able to adjust the fat content of my diet and avoided having to take the medication full time, with the guidance of my dietician. I can just take medication for holidays or when I’m out and don’t have as much control of the food. I now no longer take daily Imodium – I rarely take it at all!
Since then I’ve focused on plant variety and fibre. I used to think my diet was healthy as I would rarely eat processed food or takeaways but I never really focused on fibre or variety of plants. I’m now taking a much more individualised approach to diet and understanding how my body reacts to different foods.
This has given me a whole new perspective that has changed my life.
I can’t thank you enough!