The Best Diet for IBS Diarrhea?

If you’re here reading this, then you probably want to know which is the best diet for IBS diarrhea. Am I right? Well I want to share my experience, and my results, in the hope that you can get the same results I’m getting, and that many others have experienced with this way of eating.

I’ve lived for literally decades with chronic IBS diarrhea, and now – praise the lord – I don’t have that problem any more (or very occasionally at the time of writing this). When I look back, I always had gut issues, right from when I was a kid, and right now, I’m just a few months off my sixtieth birthday. So that’s a loooong time!

In my late teens and early twenties I had problems with diarrhea off and on. It was always made worse by stress, and anxiety or nerves. But it wasn’t too big a deal. I do remember however, that in my late teens when I was going out to the pub with friends, I’d not eat all day so that I wouldn’t have to worry about running to the loo. Because even back then, diarrhea and anxiety was a thing for me, and being anxious or nervous would set it off.

But by my LATE twenties, it was beginning to become much more of a problem. I had become really unhealthy. I had gained a lot of weight. I was depressed, and homesick having moved to Australia when I was twenty five. I had wicked digestive issues, bad hormonal problems and a whole lot more going on. But that’s all a long story and we’ll leave it for another day. Suffice it to say that I was struggling with a lot of things, and diarrhea was just one of those things.

At the time we were living in a small town in Queensland, Australia. I remember that often when we went to visit friends I’d be anxious, because we were going visiting and because I was worried about having to go to the loo ten times while I was there… I’d often have to get hubby to stop the car on the way and I’d scoot into the bush for a number two. I always had a roll of toilet paper in the car.

There were no public toilets on those dirt roads!

What was worse though, was that once we were there, I’d often end up having to go to the toilet multiple times. Sometimes again and again, just minutes apart. THAT made the anxiety worse, which of course made the diarrhea worse. There is truly nothing worse than being at someones house, especially people you don’t know very well, and having to go to the toilet five times in a hour. Then having to make excuses as to why…

I must have eaten something…

It was just really embarrassing, and incredibly stressful!

So when I was thirty years old, I made one of those life changing decisions. I got my shit together together. I quit smoking, and started exercising, and dropped a whopping 45kg – that’s 100 pounds – over 4 years. During that time the anxiety and diarrhea was a whole lot better.

And in my quest for good health, I gradually transitioned to a vegetarian diet. It wasn’t a conscious decision. It just kinda happened. I’d been heavily influenced by my vegetarian Dad while growing up, and so I had a powerful belief that meat was bad, and plants were the healthiest foods.

From Vegetarian to Vegan

Then I really stuffed up. When I was thirty five, I started eating a vegan diet…. I also moved to the city, got a stressful job and lifestyle, and once again everything turned to shit – literally. The weird thing was that somehow, I convinced myself that I was healthy during this time. I was still quite slim, and most of the health issues I’d had in my twenties were gone, or were a lot better. But my digestive system was a mess, and anxiety was high.

This was all on a ‘healthy’ diet of fruits, vegetables and grains…

I continued to eat a vegan diet for a couple of years before reintroducing cheese and eggs, gradually slipping back into a vegetarian diet. But from that point on, chronic diarrhea became a constant part of my life. There weren’t many days in the past two decades where I didn’t have multiple trips to the bathroom with the ‘trots’. In fact my average was probably 10-15 visits per day – often more – and I learned to manage it using homeopathic remedies, activated charcoal, bentonite clay – and starvation. In other words I would often just NOT eat when I had things to do or places to be. Especially if it was something that triggered my anxiety.

It helped… a little….

Decades of Chronic Diarrhea

Day to day, for decades, I managed my life around the diarrhea. Only taking jobs where I knew I’d have constant access to a toilet, making excuses for not doing fun things with friends, and bottling up all the stress and anxiety that this created, keeping it all inside of me.

Just as I did with other parts of my life, I didn’t talk about it to anyone. Not even my family. For some reason, I didn’t feel that there was any point in telling others what was going on. Instead I made excuses, and hid what was going on with me, pretending that it wasn’t a thing, and convincing myself, and others, that I was really healthy.

I looked healthy! I was eating a clean, unprocessed diet and exercising like a mad woman, and so I looked the picture of health most of the time. Until I didn’t.

Back to Eating Meat and LOTS of Plants!

I started eating meat again when I was about 43. I was trying to resolve some ongoing health problems, and nothing was really making any difference. However the meat DID make a big difference to my overall wellbeing! My legs suddenly felt like they had energy in the muscles, and I could run for the first time in my life. I also felt like I couldn’t get enough meat into my body for the first 6 months or so… But even then, with those clues, the majority of my diet continued to be based around plants, and I continued to transition in and out of a vegan, or often RAW vegan diet over the years.

Because RAW vegan is the ultimate healthy diet – right?

It just didn’t make me feel great… and it gave my digestive system a REALLY hard time. But it WAS healthy… Wasn’t it?

This was me aged fifty. Looking younger than my age, and looking healthy even though I still had chronic diarrhea and wild anxiety. We were traveling around Australia in a campervan when this photo was taken, and I was feeling blessed because no matter where we went, we had our toilet with us! When we went to peoples houses… In the supermarket carpark…

That was a weird kind of heaven right there….

But all good things must come to an end, and so did my traveling toilet.

A Move Back to New Zealand & a Moldy Building

We moved back to NZ when I was fifty one. I set up my current business as a natural health practitioner in a building with cheap rent – and lots of mold. The mold impacted my health badly… but I didn’t realise what was happening. Within 18 months of moving into the building, I had ballooned up to over 100kgs, my body was a mess and my anxiety and chronic diarrhea were worse than ever.

Four and a half years in the moldy building saw my immune system tank to almost non-existent, a chronic cough that wouldn’t quit (that’s what actually made me realise that the mold was making me sick), and me coming to the realisation that if I didn’t do something, I’d not be able to continue working. So I moved my business home, and began the process of trying to reclaim my health, strengthen my immune system and heal my body.

I was using whatever strategies I could find on a limited budget to try to create change in my body, and I did manage to get my immune system up and going again with the help of a good acupuncturist. I got rid of the chronic cough I’d developed from the mold, but the diarrhea was still there, and the anxiety. I also had no extra energy for exercise, and the excess weight wouldn’t budge no matter what I did.

I tried the raw vegan thing again. And the cooked vegan thing. A few times! But nothing helped.

My average trips to the toilet for number twos was probably about 20 visits a day. Sometimes more. And my OCD tendencies were a bit out of control. I had this daily ritual… In the morning before my first client, I’d stand in the pantry looking at the shelf with all our supplements on it, trying to decide what to take to ease the discomfort in both my mind and my ‘always uncomfortable’ bowel.

  • Activated charcoal – often 8 or more capsules a day.
  • Homeopathic IBS spray
  • Rescue remedy.
  • Slippery elm

Intermittent fasting! Once again, starving myself made it a bit less likely that I’d have to keep excusing myself to go to the toilet during a treatment…

The stress from all this was massive, but I kept myself looking cool as a cucumber on the outside. I’m good at that! It’s no wonder I couldn’t lose weight! The cortisol from the constant stress was breaking down my body, and aging me fast! It was undermining my health, and I actually wondered how long I could keep going like this.

Then other health issues began to kick in, probably due to the constant stress I was putting myself under. I’d already had vertigo off and on for a decade at this point, but then there was more…

  • Dizziness – not the vertigo but a different dizziness that occurred almost daily. A feeling that I was going to pass out
  • High blood glucose readings
  • Skin issues
  • Sleep issues
  • Blood pressure problems
  • High resting pulse rate and more…

I tried going vegan once again. I felt worse. They say it’s a sign of madness to keep doing the same thing again and again, and expect different results. Right?

Madness it was….

I knew I needed to do something. But what?

Best Diet for IBS Diarrhea

Introducing the Carnivore Diet

My daughter had mentioned the carnivore diet to me a few years prior. She’d been thinking about trying it. I dismissed it at the time as absolute madness. An all meat diet? You’ve got to be kidding!

My entire belief system revolved around a healthy diet being high plant based, and that’s how I ate. For decades.

  • Organic
  • Super-foods
  • Lots of greens, nuts, and seeds

I used plant ‘milks’ and grew sprouts, and I frowned at those who’s grocery trolleys were devoid of plants. I ate very little processed foods and cooked from scratch always. Almost nothing went into our meals that came in jars or packets.

A healthy diet right?

So why was I obese and my health still declining? In my desperation I decided to give the Keto diet another go. I’d played with it a couple of times over the years, but I decided to give it a proper go. It lasted two months and I dropped a bit of weight, but there were no miraculous changes in my health.

However during that time I was following Dr Mindy Pelz. She’s a Keto doctor on Youtube, and she interviewed Dr Paul Saladino about the carnivore diet. I thought ‘hmmm I’ve heard of this carnivore thing before…’ Paul’s story resonated and so I bought his book and decided to give this crazy meat diet a go. I committed to eating a carnivore diet for a month.

It was really hard! The shift in mindset that was required to stop buying fruits and vegetables, and to eat only animal products was tough. It took a bit of inner fortitude to move past my innate belief system and to actually do this.

But the initial changes that I experienced on this way of eating were FAST! They were immediate and profound, and couldn’t be ignored.

My Carnivore Diet Miracles

Things like the rough bits of skin on my hands, you know keretosis or ‘sun spots’ from the sun? They began disappearing within the first couple of weeks. The nose bleeds that I’d been getting every day also stopped within a very short time. The dizzy spells that I’d been having every day, sometimes multiple times a day, stopping within weeks.

And the diarrhea improved! Initially… Temporarily… Then it got worse.

But stay with me!

The diarrhea did get better for the first few weeks, and then it got worse. But that’s common. Even in those without chronic diarrhea, or gut issues. It’s because of the gut flora changing and the body is having to adapt. The carb loving bacteria are dying off, and your body is adjusting. So I thought that might be what that was. It usually lasts a couple of weeks…

But that wasn’t it in my case… and to be honest, I had bad diarrhea for months. About 9 months… But the other changes in my body made me KNOW that I was on the right track and so I kept going.

To be honest, there was nothing to go back to, and other things were getting better. So I stuck it out.

But I have to admit that the diarrhea was hard to deal with. It was less manageable than usual, and I had more than one ummm ‘accident’. It was incredibly stressful, and confusing, trying to work out why this was happening still, and why the diarrhea was so bad.

But it did come to an end. And I figured out a few things out on the way. At least some of the reasons in my case were oxalate dumping, and histamine intolerance, both of which I’m still working through 15 months into my carnivore journey.

But I no longer have diarrhea, and that is SUCH a blessing! To finally have a bowel that works normally almost all of the time, it truly is a miracle for me. All those months when things were really bad, I figure they were my test and my learning. And I’m learning so that my story can help guide others, and hopefully let them know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Because I see in the comments on my YouTube channel that there are many others out there, some worse than I was. And if that’s you, I so feel for you.

If you are suffering with chronic diarrhea and you’re looking for answers, I can highly recommend giving the carnivore diet a go. Even if it sounds mental, and even if your whole belief system revolves around plants being the best diet for humans, just as mine was.

You may or may not have months of diarrhea like I did when you start your carnivore journey, but if you allow your gut to heal, then you’ll have the healthy body, and the healthy bowel that you dream of.

It takes time to heal. Longer for some of us than others. But in my view it’s absolutely worth it. Because there’s nothing more soul destroying than bad health, and chronic diarrhea is not only inconvenient, but it’s a sign that your body is struggling, and it can create such stress and mental anguish, it can destroy your life.

Chronic diarrhea WILL take you down eventually because of nutritional deficiencies and stress. And if your gut is irritated, then eating fiber is basically like rubbing inflamed skin with steel wool. It’s never going to heal.

My body has struggled for decades because of what I was feeding it. Now I’m on a journey to rectify that. I’m convinced by the changes in my body that I’m on the best diet for IBS diarrhea. Understand that the longer you’ve been unwell, the longer (potentially) your body might take to heal. Be patient.

Food is what builds your body – cell by cell. Give it what it needs, not what you’ve been told it should have, or what you’ve become addicted to.

And always remember, one decision can literally change your life.

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