Articles on: Your FoodMarble journey

Allan's Story

Many years ago, Allan began to experience increasingly persistent symptoms that ranged from bloating and abdominal pain to his most dreaded, diarrhoea. Struggling with these symptoms for more than 20 years has taken its toll on Allan's quality of life.

When Allan was heading into his forties, he grew increasingly concerned about his symptoms as he didn't understand what was causing them. He worried that they were an indicator of poor health, so he went to see his doctor who started by advising him on some of the obvious points. 'If you drink, quit alcohol; if you smoke, quit cigarettes; and clean up your diet.' - so, he did just that!

Allan kicked off a healthier lifestyle, giving up alcohol, coffee, gluten and he began eating what he considered a very healthy diet. He maintained this for a whole year, but unfortunately he was still highly symptomatic. And so, he returned to see his doctor for more invasive tests, including an endoscopy. This time, he was worried that there might be something more serious behind his symptoms, but they found nothing.

In a sense, Allan thought he should feel relieved, but his bothersome symptoms were knocking his confidence and now he wasn't sure where to turn to for help. He decided to take matters into his own hands and started researching online. This led him to an NHS-funded clinic for IBS sufferers where he learned about FODMAPs for the first time. When he visited the clinic, he was given a booklet outlining a long list of foods to exclude from his diet.

Allan started the low FODMAP program run by the clinic, but he found it tedious from the outset. He described it as 'long and complicated' and it led him to the belief that he may never again enjoy the foods he loved, as so many were listed in the 'problematic foods' category. Allan spent 4 years grappling with the low FODMAP diet; slowly reintroducing one problem food at a time and analysing his response. Through this method, Allan began to suspect he had an issue with onion and gluten, and so he removed these from his diet. Despite these changes, he still had a persistently sore stomach and experienced a gurgling gut. He knew he hadn't gotten to the bottom of his problems and he knew the low FODMAP diet wasn't a sustainable option for him.

During this period, Allan recalls the impact on his social life. Going out for dinner with his partner or joining friends for a dinner party were 'a big no no' because of the restrictions to his diet. Allan's frustration forced him to continue his search and now aware of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) though never diagnosed, he started searching keywords like IBS and this helped him to discover FoodMarble.

In July 2023, Allan purchased the FoodMarble AIRE 2 and 6-Week Discovery Plan and he embarked on the program. Within just a few weeks, Allan had his first 'aha' moment when he completed the lactose challenge and got a very high result. He had never before even considered lactose as an issue, but as soon as he had his result, the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place. Once Allan reduced the lactose in his diet, his day to day breath results decreased significantly, and his dietary changes helped to alleviate some of his symptoms. The second 'aha' moment was when he ran the sorbitol challenge and his results spiked for this FODMAP too. Allan's result for the fructose challenge was low, but interestingly he didn't get a spike like he would have expected in the inulin challenge.

Nowadays, Allan feels much more informed when it comes to his dietary choices. He's aware of the specific foods that lead to his symptoms and the amount of these that he can eat without triggering his symptoms. Having completed the program, he still uses his AIRE 2 regularly to monitor his fermentation levels as it helps to keep him in check. After 20 years struggling to get answers, within a few months of finding FoodMarble, Allan now feels enlightened and in control. If you're eager to discover what's triggering your digestive symptoms, read more about our food intolerance test kit here.

Updated on: 20/11/2023

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