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A vegan diet and IBS - is it doable?

(17 Posts)
RhodaCamel Wed 01-Jan-20 19:36:16

I have wanted to go vegan for a long time but have had IBS for over 20 years and worry that a vegan diet would exacerbate my symptoms. I suffer from IBS mixed so can swing from one extreme to the other and unfortunately have symptoms most days despite being on a low fodmap diet for the condition. High fibre foods, diary, too much bread and gluten can all set it off.
I keep reading stories of people trying a vegan diet and ending up with upset tums and digestive issues even when they had no previous issues.
Is a vegan diet possible with such digestive woes and what could I eat which is less likely to trigger an episode?
Should I ‘ease’ myself into a more plant based way of eating?

CamVegOut Wed 01-Jan-20 19:43:20

I would look on fb forum. I don't have ibs but find when I eat junk my digestion is messed up but when wfpb my digestion is much better even though it is obviously high in fibre.

lljkk Wed 01-Jan-20 19:57:12

What can you safely eat now? Are potatoes ok?
I don't know what low fibre vegan foods are high in iron, but maybe you could get around that with vitamin supplements.

RhodaCamel Wed 01-Jan-20 20:10:30

CamVegOut Thanks, I’ll check out fb groups.
lljkk I’m fine with potatoes.

lljkk Wed 01-Jan-20 20:39:09

I seem to recall potatoes are nutritionally complete, except they don't have iron. So I'd start with them as staples & add back in other things compatible with what you know doesn't aggravate you & are also vegan.

I was surprised you said fodmap, coz I thought people on IBS had to have low fibre diets, and this isn't a low fibre list.

RhodaCamel Wed 01-Jan-20 20:45:27

Thanks lljkk I already take an iron supplement so should be ok. I think fibre is a bit hit and miss with IBS sufferers but the low fodmap diet is the only one recommended by hospitals and dieticians.

CamVegOut Wed 01-Jan-20 22:15:47

The happy pear do an online course (lo fodmap vegan) I think

SuePerb Thu 02-Jan-20 00:40:58

I couldn't eat a vegan diet OP - couldn't eat any pulses and quite a few veg also aggravated me. I don't think tofu agreed with me either!

I have heard that if you persevere, your gut can get used to eating things, but it didn't really happen for me. I'm getting more intolerant (of food) with age though.

RhodaCamel Thu 02-Jan-20 08:54:27

CamVegOut thanks I’ll look out for that.
SuePerb I think that may be the case with me, I have such a sensitive digestive system which is getting worse with age!

madcatladyforever Thu 02-Jan-20 08:59:34

My son has IBS and is vegan. He doesn't eat excessive roughage or junk food and has more or less given up alcohol and it's ok as long as he doesn't eat great big meals, little and often are all his IBS can cope with.
He eats fortified cereals for the vit B12, quite a lot of nuts too and nut milks.
He's never eaten meat as we've been vegetarian all his life, he decided to go vegan last year. His father had IBS and I think it runs in his family as both paternal aunts have it too.
He is a marathon runner, cyclist and is very fit.

Downunderduchess Thu 02-Jan-20 09:02:13

It takes time to adjust in terms of your digestion, bowel etc. It was a horrible few months but now the only thing I have is bad wind. But I always had that I think! You have to find what works for you, maybe transition slowly. I have very low iron but cannot take supplements so I struggle with that.

SuePerb Thu 02-Jan-20 13:19:54

I just can't eat any pulses at all, nuts, loads of veg (had mushrooms yesterday which really disagreed with me), tofu, wheat even. I did try for a few weeks last year and the pain and bloating never lessened. I''m better on a meat /chicken/fish and salad diet really. Pity because like you I would like to be vegan for health and environmental purposes.

RhodaCamel Thu 02-Jan-20 19:57:14

Downunderduchess I have to take iron supplements and had a terrible time finding one which suited my sensitive gut. I now take Spatone which has stabilised my levels, have you tried that? It doesn’t give me any tummy issues.
SuePerb I am the same, meat, fish and salad seem to suit me but I hate eating animals and would be much more contented eating plants but unfortunately my digestive system seems to have other ideas!
madcatladyforever I may try eating very small portions of vegan food and see how it goes.

Downunderduchess Fri 03-Jan-20 04:53:52

RhodaCamel I can’t take them as they may interact with one of my medications. I’m trying to focus on eating iron rich food, hard though getting enough.

slipperywhensparticus Fri 03-Jan-20 05:10:15

Avoid soya if your sensitive from bitter experience it will make your life way worse

Slow introduction is the key switch out a meal at a time see how you go

BF888 Sat 04-Jan-20 23:13:49

You can have a healthy vegan diet or unhealthy vegan diet. I would just thoroughly research and maybe call upon the help of a nutritionist. I have digestive issues and meat was really hard for me digest. I’ve found it has helped me not eating it. I’m dairy intolerant and have been since the supermarket only had a couple of options, so I’m in the habit where I don’t have too much processed food, which I think why it works. So many of the vegan meals in the supermarkets aren’t suitable for digestive issues. I can read the ingredient list and begin to cramp 😂 as another poster said avoid soya, and for me personally i can’t tolerate any funghi based product.

If you do it right you will feel the benefits and your symptoms 🤞🏼 Would also improve. It’s worth me noting that i had advice on improving my gut health which was also beneficial.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Tue 07-Jan-20 21:19:15

Definitely worth looking at the happy gut course from the happy pear

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