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Old 11-17-2008, 05:50 PM   #1
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Help! Diet restricted by Dr. trying to figure out what I can eat

I have reflux and was recently diagnosed with IBS. I'm also recouperating from fundoplication surgery. According to my GI doc, I should be on a high fiber diet, but I need to avoid the following foods:
  • meat and bread (for next couple months)
    dairy products
    raw fruits
    citrus drinks
    raw vegetables (especially salad) & cooked ones that promote gas
    greasy, fatty and fried food
    spicy foods (including garlic and onion)
    tomato based products
    chocolate
    caffeine drinks
    carbonation
With all that I have to avoid, I am struggling to find variety in the things that I CAN eat. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by MountainReader; 11-18-2008 at 08:11 PM.

 
Old 11-18-2008, 03:17 PM   #2
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Re: Help! Diet restricted by Dr. trying to figure out what I can eat

Oh you poor thing. I know how you feel. I've had so many medical problems and received so much dietary advice from, doctors and nutritionists and allergists and gastroenterologists over the years that there isn't ONE FOOD LEFT that I wasn't told not to eat, by SOMEONE. (Except maybe Pomegranate. I don't think anybody's mentioned Pomegranate. Or manioc.) I stand in front of the refrigerator/cupboards and stare, with all the various lists going through my mind...

One thought, before I get into the foods question... if your main problem is reflux, there is a new school of thought on the best reflux diet. It advocates... low-carb. Believe it or not. It doesn't even have to be strict Adkins low-carb; you can cheat. (Even eat a cookie now and then.) The theory is that Heartburn can be Cured (as you probably know, even if you don't have heartburn, you may have reflux) by avoiding high-carb foods. These foods encourage the overgrowth of certain microbes in the digestive tract, and their over-activity produces gas and other pressures that force the lower esophageal sphincter to open when it isn't supposed to. A low-carb diet reduces their population. Traditional thought has been that fats are the main trigger; that may not be true. I'm trying lo-carb right now because I have reflux-related cough, and it HAS helped that problem. <removed>

First thoughts on foods include dried fruits such as mango and papaya. (Although these ARE high in sugar, so I wouldn't include them if you try low-carb!) Perhaps tinned fruits (e.g. fruit cocktail) might be OK, since they've usually been cooked or "processed" to some extent? (Again, though, there's a potential sugar problem.)

I'm not sure what the "bread" restriction is all about. (Do you have a gluten sensitivity problem?) Depending on why "bread" is a no-no, you might experiment with alternative grains, such as millet, quinoa, kamut and spelt. And buckwheat, which isn't a wheat, but has a grain-like texture.

Are you allowed to stir-fry vegetables and fish in "good" oils such as sunflower or olive oil? If so, choose oils that are cold-pressed and heat resistant. Get yourself a wok. And stop by an Asian foods store.

I don't see nuts on the list; they are a good and filling food. An alternative to milk might be Almond Milk and possibly Soy or Rice Milk. I've learned to love them. (Rice and almond cheese, however, I haven't been able to develop a taste for.) Judging by your restrictions on raw foods (I've been there also, the allergist gave me THAT restriction), sounds like vegetable/rice/barley soups might be good.

Since you have to avoid onion and "spicy" foods, can you use dried spices such as cilantro, basil, thyme, dill, etc? They might help perk up a boring meal; I sprinkle them on fish and chicken. A sprinkle of tumeric or cumin might add flavor without being too spicy for your limitations.

Try carob products, honey, and molasses for your sweet tooth, as alternatives to chocolate.

A good thing to do would be to go to a decent health food store (some of the smaller family-run places really care about their customers), explain your dilemma and see what ideas they have. They should also have, for example, canned/cooked fruits and vegies without added sugar.

And if your doctor gave you this "avoids" list without offering any "alternatives" list, shame on him or her.

Last edited by mod-anon; 11-18-2008 at 10:12 PM. Reason: do not instruct members to do outside searches

 
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Old 11-18-2008, 08:45 PM   #3
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Re: Help! Diet restricted by Dr. trying to figure out what I can eat

Wendy,
I can completely relate with standing in front of the fridge or cabinet staring in and trying to figure out what I can eat.

I have had reflux for years. I've followed the anti-reflux diet for about 3 1/2 of those years. I was also trying to lose weight and followed a diet for eating a balanced diet with high fiber and good portions that tended to be low-carb. (Lost the weight, but gained it back on all the steroids I needed to treat some serious asthma.) I'll read up more on it to see if I can get more insight into the reflux/ low-carb connection.

My reflux was cough-varient. Unfortunately at the end of spring, it became so bad that it was constantly triggering my asthma. NOTHING worked. After 4 months of breathing problems, I ended up having a Nissen Fundoplication last month. I was on a liquid diet for 2 weeks. I was then cleared to eat "soft" foods. My surgeon warned against eating bread and meat for a while (read several months) since when you chew them, they don't break down completely. This can cause the food to get stuck when I swallow. I'm supposed to give my stomach months to heal first.

I've been drinking mostly soy milk and water for years now. Since the surgery I've added 100% fruit juice in moderation though. White grape and apple have been tolerable.

I think my biggest obstacle right now is learning to eat for IBS, something I developed when they were messing with my reflux meds all summer.

I really do need to prowl a health food store for choices. You have certainly given me some things to consider. I wish there was a good health food store closer than about 40 miles away though. Makes it more of a challenge, but I think it would be worth it.

Stir fry sounds really good. I can even tolerate a bit of rice. I have fish allergies though so that one is really out of the running.

I just got the results of my food allergy testing last night...negative. Good, but discouraging as I try to figure out why all of the sudden I developed so many problems digesting so many foods. I have so many other allergies that I have developed that I thought that might be a possibility.

Did you have any luck with the nutritionist? I have been considering asking for a referral because I really do want to stay healthy in all other areas as I try to get these issues under control.

Glad to hear your reflux is doing better. Thanks for the reply.

 
Old 12-01-2008, 03:03 PM   #4
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Re: Help! Diet restricted by Dr. trying to figure out what I can eat

Glad to hear your allergy tests were negative! One less thing to worry about. I've had many types of food allergy tests, and the most they seemed to do for me was cause confusion.

Regarding your question about nutritionists... I didn't find them very helpful. One was very old school and advocated a high-carbohydrate diet (following the old Food Pyramid). Between my food allergies and my own gut feeling (no pun intended!) that a carb-based diet is not the best diet for me, I didn't get much help from her. Her approach was to walk me through that pyramid, which I could have done on my own.

The other "nutritionist" was very pro-supplement. I am OK with that, but she was a bit too hard-sell, regarding the supplements she offered, for my liking.

I've found that the best way for me to understand nutrition was to do a lot of reading and searching on the Internet, and weigh different points of view against each other and against my own list of symptoms and issues. And I had to learn to not be afraid to make temporary dietary changes. I had to really talk myself into a low-carb diet, since I hate eating "dead critter". (It's a texture thing.) So instead of thinking about how much I really DON'T want to eat this way, I kept telling myself that it would be worth it for "research purposes", and if it helped I'd have another "tool" to put in my collection of "things that seem to work." But I didn't tell myself I'd have to eat that way forever if it helped.

It sounds like you too are in a fairly complicated situation due to your surgery and IBS issues, and obviously your doctor is the authority on your situation. I'm sorry to hear also that a health food store is so far away from you! I guess the best thing would be to do a lot of research ahead of time so you can make the most of any travel time.

Good luck...

 
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