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The Diet That Changed My Life with IBS and Improved My Thyroid Symptoms


I’ve struggled with a lot of health issues over the years. I have IBS, Hashimoto’s, and had three different major surgeries in the past 10 years that left me left feeling weak, stressed out and depressed. My IBS, especially, was affecting my work, mood, exercise habits, and my relationship with food. My life felt out of control, and I didn’t know what to do about it. I knew something had to change.

That’s when I started researching natural ways to feel better — without big pharma drugs. I knew there had to be a way to help myself. After trying a lot of different approaches, I found the Low-FODMAP diet, along with other lifestyle changes, to be the most healing. Now my diet consists of a lot of fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, olive and coconut oil. But I am very aware of my body, and if something like onion  (a FODMAP) or caffeine  (a gut irritant which can impact the absorption of the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine and contributes to estrogen dominance) causes me problems, I cut out the troublesome food. It’s not worth the bloating, irritation, moodiness or pain I’ll feel later. I also don’t eat any partially hydrogenated, modified or processed food. Figuring out what foods to eat or avoid has completely changed my life; I still can’t believe how those choices make such a notable difference in my energy, mental strength and overall health!

Exercising is also a big part of my life, but the way I approach that has also shifted. I used to be an avid runner. I ran the Boston Marathon, and completed a couple other half marathons and 5ks (best time 20:32!). But nowadays, I go a little easier. I walk, swim, practice yoga and Pilates. I definitely believe in moderation and stretching.

Through my experience with health problems, as well as my journey to feeling better, I started a blog and became a Certified Nutritional Consultant. I have dedicated myself to helping others — specifically those struggling with IBS, IBD, Celiac disease, or other autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s — find new and better ways to care for themselves. That may mean eating differently, incorporating natural remedies, or practicing meditation and various types of exercise. I believe in a holistic approach and think it’s important to take care of all the different parts of the body — psychological, physical and social. I definitely consider myself a food and wellness advocate.

While I may not have had the best luck with my health, I am very grateful for the health I do have. I am lucky to have such a supportive family, especially my mother. I owe my love of eating healthy food, especially fruit and vegetables, to her. Unfortunately, my beautiful mother died in 2014 at age 66. But my blog and website are dedicated to her legacy and to my son who was conceived not long after she passed. Just as she impacted my life in such a big way, I hope to follow in her footsteps and inspire and encourage others to live their best, most healthful lives.


Want more? You might also like:

Gone Gluten-Free? A Dietitian Reveals 9 Essential Nutrients You May Be Missing

10 Surefire Diet Tips For Relieving Endometriosis Pain

When an IBS Attack Strikes, These Solutions May Just Save Your Gut

My Doctors Said They Couldn’t Help My IBS and Leaky Gut, So I Helped Myself. Here’s How


Note: PLEASE consult with  your doctor before making any changes to your diet or medications. The material on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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4 thoughts on “The Diet That Changed My Life with IBS and Improved My Thyroid Symptoms

  1. Jackie Murphy

    Please help!! Recently diagnosed with adrenal failure and hashi’s. Diagnosed with hypothyroid when I was 18, almost 20 years ago. Similar to you I have had multiple surgeries, on my spine 6 and 7 years ago. Feeling like I am watching life instead of participating. Zero energy. Doctor has me on a ton of supplements and testosterone pellets. Vitamin D is still very low but hopefully that will be improved soon with the supplements. Did an 8 day elimination diet that left me constipated and severely bloated. Doctor said he thinks it’s Sibo but was surprised with the results of the elimination diet. I eat pretty well but realized some of my staples are maybe not so great for my gut, hummus, edamame, peanut butter… The most difficult part about changing my eating habits is that I don’t really know where to start with what to eat. Can you send me a rough menu of what you were eating, particularly with snacks? Oh, I also was a runner. Finished my first marathon in June. Running was so helpful for my mind but can’t seem to get back to it. The last time I ran was early October, doing some indoor cycling but it doesn’t feel the same 🙁 Any advise would be greatly appreciated!!! Thank you for writing this and sharing your story!! It’s nice to feel like I am not alone in this!!

  2. Anne Soldevila

    I would like more information on Colleen’s complete regimen for her IBS and Hashimoto’s. I have both of these conditions and was told to go gluten-free. I need to know if that is what I need to do or go the low-FODMAP route. What other lifestyle changes has she made? Thank you

  3. Marci Jones

    I would love more info on this diet, I have had my thyroid removed & have IBS as well. I don’t feel well a lot of the time & would like to change my diet.


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