The Diet Merry Go Round

Merry go round at Buchart Gardens, Victoria, BC
Merry go round at Buchart Gardens, Victoria, BC

Try this diet, no that diet, no this other diet.

Low-carb, no-carb, specific carb. High fiber, insoluble fiber, soluble fiber.

If I had a nickel for every “diet-as-a-cure” I’ve been told about, or heard about, or read about, I’d be in a different income tax bracket.

It seems like everyone has an opinion on what foods are “helpful”, and “harmful” for whatever chronic illness ails you.  From websites to books to friends and professionals, I’ve been offered the following “diets.”

Because I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, as well as fibromyalgia, a well meaning friend put me in touch with a friend of hers who had conquered her Crohn’s Disease issues by being on the Specific Carbohydrate diet.

After I spoke with this individual,  I suspected that it would be very difficult (i.e. restrictive) and expensive to be on it.   Another friend with digestive issues who tried this diet for 6 months [with little change in symptoms] confirmed my suspicions.

The Elimination Diet – I was instructed by a naturopath to give up gluten and dairy for three weeks, after which I could re-introduce them, but supplement with digestive enzymes.   Other than the negative effects of being extremely hungry and bitchy for the entire three weeks, it did nothing.  Not even weight loss!

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet was suggested to me by a fitness professional recently. While some recommendations may help fibromyalgia, certain foods on it, in quantities as recommended, could trigger an IBS attack for me.

And so it goes – a diet that may help one chronic illness could trigger a flare in another.

And, as someone who struggles with “disordered eating”, a dialogue about diets for whatever reason is probably not the healthiest for me.

Easy to say, hard to do? You bet. *written for a “Patients for a Moment blog carnival in 2011 where the theme was “easy to say, hard to do.”