The Food Diary in the Wild: Karly's post-gastroenteritis IBS issues

Karly struggled with gut issues after a terrible bout of gastroenteritis. After being referred by her GP to a gastroenterologist and a gynaecologist and tests coming back clear, it was time for Karly to focus on her diet…

“I bought my food diary after hearing about it on the Our Tiny Tribe YouTube channel. I had been struggling with stomach issue for about 8 years all leading from a really bad bout of gastroenteritis. I had started by coming off gluten and dairy at first but I wasn’t really tracking my foods and didn’t really think about any other possible triggers. I eventually went back onto eating dairy but stayed away from gluten. Things improved for a while but eventually they started to get worse. I started to get really bad cramping during exercise and really bad bloating and cramping throughout the month. I was pretty much uncomfortable every time I ate and I was always tired.

I went to my GP who referred me both to a gastroenterologist and a gynaecologist as I was having other issues alongside my other symptoms that made her unsure exactly what was the cause. After bouts of test and exploratory surgery all came back clear.

It was around this time I had watched the YouTube video that led me to The Food Diary Co. It seemed like a really good option and better than a normal notebook as it had all the relevant sections to document everything you needed.

I decided to give it a try while waiting to be referred to a dietician so I could be fully prepared for my first appointment.

It was really great to be able to monitor everything and really made me focus on what my symptoms were and when I got them

I could also note down any additional things that may have influenced them like stress or things I had drank (which I had never thought about).

When I finally went to the dietician the diary was a great insight for them into exactly where I was at. It was all clearly laid out so they were able to give me a plan suited to me based on what I had been eating. I was put on the LOW FODMAP elimination diet which has majorly reduced my symptoms and I can now use the diary to help monitor my trigger foods during the reintroduction phase. I am still a work in progress as the reintroduction phase can take some time but it has given me the resource I needed to track my food and symptoms in a more productive way so that I can more clearly see what exactly is effecting me, whether it be certain foods or if it could be linked to a stressful day.

If you are considering getting a diary I would highly recommend it as it has been a great resource for me.

It is very easy to navigate and makes it easy to remember to document things that you might not think to mention like sleep and what you drink in a day. If you are waiting to see a specialist it will be a really helpful thing to bring with you to your first appointment and really speed up the process in getting the right guidance and help you need.”

-Karly H, London (@KarlyH26)

Thank you so much to Karly for sharing her story with us on the blog! If her story rings bells with you, and you think a diary may be able to help you in similar ways, here’s where you can get it!

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