A cappuccino with a heart in it

Personal update #3: Fewer complaints and eating more varied

In my previous update at the end of June, I told you that I have switched dieticians and now follow a different diet to reduce my SIBO complaints.

My complaints were not going so well and I hoped that this approach would make a difference.

Today I can give you a positive update because I really notice improvement already!

I am very happy with the approach of my dietitian Jacqueline Gerrits and in this update, I will tell you more about how things have gone over the past 1.5 months.

A different approach

Jacqueline’s approach is very positive. My body has become deficient in different nutrients due to the many years of eating restrictively and being “stuck” in the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet.

Because of this my intestines can’t handle as much and my complaints have gotten worse in the past 2 years. In the treatment I’m following now, we focus on strengthening my body by providing it with the right “building materials”.

The building materials help to repair my intestines so that my body will soon be able to handle more different types of food without complaints.

Jacqueline has prepared a personal food list for me and from this I choose the things I eat. She categorized the foods in this list.

Some products contain many good building materials for my body. So it’s extra good when I eat them. Other products contain a normal amount of building materials, it is also good that I eat them regularly.

Peaches laying together

In addition, there are products that contain fewer building materials, but that are just delicious to add to my meals. I can take those too, but rather less often.

Finally, there are products on the list that I should avoid for now. They put me a step back in my recovery process.

Again, I think this is a positive approach. In principle, nothing is forbidden, but I do get a very good idea of which products are extra good for my body and which add less to my healing process.

The advice is also to alternate between foods so that my body gets nutrients from as many different foods as possible.

In addition, we help my body in this process with a number of supplements, including vitamins and minerals. To supplement the deficiencies my body currently has.

Testing new foods

My dietician also challenges me to test products that are not low FODMAP. I still find this a little scary, because after so many years of strict low FODMAP eating I am not used to that.

But what’s the worst that could happen? That I get some more complaints for a while. My body needs time to get used to those foods again.

I still often take a supplement that helps my body to break down the FODMAPs, when I test these types of products. For example, quatrase forte from Intoleran.

Recently I have eaten plums, blackberries, hummus, wheat bread, wheat pasta, and some onion in small quantities.

In small amounts and in combination with supplements that went very well. An improvement for me, because when I used to try these foods before they always gave me complaints. Even when I used supplements.

It makes me super excited. I thoroughly enjoyed a simple hummus sandwich, as I haven’t been able to eat that in years.

I’m discovering all kinds of food that are new to me after all these years and that’s actually a lot of fun.

Hummus on a plate

How is it going now?

It feels a bit like “too much information” to share my complaints in detail here on the blog, but maybe that information will help you so I’ll just do it.

My main complaints over the past few years have been that my stools were not normal. You’ve probably seen a bristol stool chart before.

Types 3 and 4 are considered normal stools. I’ve had almost all variants, except for types 3 and 4.

My biggest issue was that I had to go to the toilet very often during the day and since about 2 years I also suffered from floating stools.

Which may indicate that the digestion is not good or that there is too much fat in the stool.

I also had a lot of bloating and flatulence. After every meal, I blew up and got complaints. Basically just all day long.

With my dietitian, the focus is now on ensuring that my stools move toward type 4. Then the stools are normal and that shows that my body is recovering.

I was super happy to notice that things have really improved in the last 2 weeks. The bloating is greatly reduced.

Normally I had complaints after everything I ate. Right now, I still occasionally have a bloated feeling. But it became so much less that I almost feel normal.

A person holding toilet paper

Recently when I was at work, I had a flat stomach after lunch for the entire afternoon. For people without IBS this is probably quite normal.

But for me, this was something I haven’t felt for over 10 years and that felt fantastic!

No tight pants and an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach after eating.

There is also an improvement in the stool. It’s really not where it needs to be yet, but it’s improving.

For example, it is very special if I only go to the toilet once a day. And that has happened several times in the last few weeks. So that’s a huge improvement.

So much for talking about poop 😉

I am really very happy that I already notice so much improvement due to, in my opinion, no radical adjustments at all. And I am very curious how this will continue in the coming weeks.

Somebody holding her hands around her belly

What’s next?

For the next weeks, the plan is that I continue eating how I do now. I continue taking my vitamins, minerals, and other supplements.

Next to that, I will slowly add more food to my diet to see how my body reacts to that.

I will keep you updated on how this is going!

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  • Leslie Kelly says:

    Karlijn, Thank you so much for sharing your progress with this difficult GI Journey. Trust me, all of us who suffer from the often debilitating symptoms of IBS think about poop constantly and talk about poop daily (at least with family members and close friends), so no need to mince words here! Following your blog has been extremely helpful and encouraging. I’m excited for you that you are making positive progress with your new dietician and I hope it continues. Please DO keep us posted!


    • Karlijn says:

      Hi Leslie, yes that is definitely true 😉 I am happy to hear that you found my blogs helpful. I will keep sharing about how things are going

  • Joanne says:

    So glad to hear of your successes, may they continue!
    Recently I had greatly increased gut turmoil and am scheduled for breath testing in a couple weeks.
    I have started gut hypnotherapy with Nerva and think that has been very helpful.
    Adding new foods sounds wonderful!

  • Ilona says:

    So kind, for all info! And I understand how stressful all it is if intestinal problems!

  • Christine says:

    Hi Karlijn
    Thanks very much for sharing your experiences of treatment by your dietician, getting you back to varied eating and better control of symptoms. This account is very similar to my own, having tried the low Fodmap diet for a long time and getting no better. I now have a qualified dietician who understands Sibo (unlike a lot of medical doctors who deny it exists!). I am working on healing my gut through supplements and gradually increasing the range of foods I am eating. Before, it was always about denial. I look forward to your next progress report. Best wishes, Christine

  • Amy Ross says:

    Karlijn I’m so happy for you. It must be a wonderful feeling of a non- bloated stomach. God bless. Amy

  • Amy Ross says:

    Thank you for all your recipes & blogs, very helpful!

  • Beth says:

    Congratulations, Karlijn!! I‘m so pleased to hear that you‘re achieving positive results. Wishing you continued success on this journey!

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