Day 11 of Whole30 with IBS, symptoms worsening


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Hi, my husband and I are on day 11 of Whole30 - we started it to see if it makes any difference to his IBS symptoms. We have followed the basic Whole30 rules (not including elimination of high FODMAP foods) and have kept the rules by the book with absolutely no cheats. However, since starting, his typical symptoms of abdominal cramps and loose stools have significantly worsened. He is now having full-on diarrhea, not just loose stools and consistent cramping. He is really demotivated and demoralized, and considering giving up. We decided to give the Whole30 a go before seeking out a functional medicine doctor to see if it would make a positive difference to his symptoms, but now we are thinking we might need to go down that route before continuing with any elimination protocols. Wondering if anyone has any advice about continuing with the Whole30 and pushing through symptoms - is it normal for things to get worse before getting better for some people, or is this a big red flag? Is it wise to continue if things are actually getting worse? My only other thought was trying to cut out eggs completely and then maybe nightshades. Last year we tried the Low Fodmap approach for 2 weeks and it made no difference so his gastroenterologist told him to stop. Any advice/encouragement appreciated!

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This doesn't seem normal. Some digestive upset is not unusual, but this sounds much worse than that. Talking to a doctor is probably not a bad idea.

So, totally not medical advice, but just a few things that may help him feel better.

First, be sure he's drinking plenty of water, because diarrhea can lead to dehydration. It's also important that he get enough salt, to help with electrolytes. 

It's okay for him to take medicine for the diarrhea if he needs to, something like Imodium or similar anti-diarrheal medication. 

Is there anything that he's started eating during Whole30 he didn't eat before? Or anything he's eating a lot more of than he used to? If there's one or two things that stand out, eliminating or cutting back on those things may be a good place to start, rather than just picking something randomly.

Is he eating a mix of vegetables? Leafy greens are great, but it's good to also get starchy vegetables. There are different kinds of fiber, it's good to have a mix of both.

Until he gets the diarrhea under control, he might feel better with a fairly bland diet. Baked potato or sweet potato with a little olive or coconut oil and salt, chicken breast seasoned with salt and pepper, broth (could do a simple egg drop soup for some added protein), banana, unsweetened applesauce. Peppermint tea might be soothing. This would hopefully just be for a day or two, and then he could start adding back other foods, but hopefully it would help him feel better.

 

 

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Thanks for the tips - the only thing I can think of that he’s eating significantly more of is eggs so that’s why I thought we could try cutting those out next. The diarrhea isn’t acute but definitely a worsening of his normally loose stools. We’re eating a really good variety of veggies and meats so it’s hard to figure out what else could be causing it!

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