Sabrina’s Story – IBS

I have met many people who have blogs and several more that do not.  No matter what, I wanted to make it easy for people to share their story, help spread awareness and give support for people living with irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis), celiac disease, diverticulitis, dysmotility, gastroparesis, intestinal lymphangiectasia, small bowel obstruction, whipple’s disease, and many more.  If you are interested in sharing your story, please send me at least 200 words, plus a photo and a short bio: colleen @ boncalme . com

Your Story: Sabrina Khan

sabrina khan fodmap lifeI’m not sure if it was the bulimia that led me to having IBS or if it was just something I developed over the years, but as far as I can remember I have had severe stomach issues, cramps, spams, altered bowel movement. The thing about ‘tummy troubles’ it is not severe enough to warrant sympathy, it’s just a case of here she goes again, but the reality for those of us that deal with it regularly is it really does reduce the quality of your life!!

Now the want for that ‘perfect’ body led me being a yo yo dieter all my life, this also led to the chronic bulimia, it just seemed that I was in a constant battle with self harm, pain and food.

Being from an Asian family where spicy heavy foods, fried samosas and pakoras, wheat laden chapattis late at night, and regular sugary treats are a way of life, it became a normal way of eating and living, no wander I soon started to pile on the pounds!!

When I became a student and went to university, my IBS, (though I didn’t know what it was at the time) and eating habits and as a result the bulimia became worse. Students are after all notorious for doing all nighters, then finishing of with a greasy laden chip shop/donner meal and just generally indulging on anything and everything!!

I am pretty sure (though I haven’t read any reports to formalize this) that the constant bouts of bulimia is what lead to led to the constant acid reflux and digestive issues I had. Eventually my pains got so bad, I had to go through the various tests the medical profession put you through, when they suspect something serious and nasty, thank god anything more serious wasn’t detected, however I was placed on some really heavy antacid tablets which I later found out were not so good for me either as they literally do suppress acid, but stomach acid is good as it is one of our main defenses against harmful bacteria that enter the body!! (ref Gutbliss – Dr Robynne Chutkan)

This really was a destructive way of living, I was eating, then panicking that the foods I was eating were going to make me fat, then I’d go into bulimia mode, it was constant, both psychological and emotional trauma, and my stomach flare ups, cramps, acid, Diarrhea got worse, I was just on a path of total destruction!!

Sabrina now
Sabrina now

Years later I was also advised I had high cholesterol and I was also at risk of getting diabetes as it ran in the family, could my health get even worse? Well it seems it could as I also went through a really scary time recently thinking on top of all this I had the cancer!!

This king of self-destructive body battle, carried on until the day I decided I was going to start weight training and work out with a personal trainer. I have to say this was one of the best decisions of my life in terms of health, feeling good in every sense of the word and becoming aware about how eating clean, carrying out a truly mind focusing exercise could change your life!!

When you are focused on getting your body to look a certain way then you have to learn to eat a certain way!!

I started eating a high protein, low carb diet (which I later realized was really the kind of approach to a FODMAP diet) eliminating lots of various carbohydrates that can cause digestive distress.

I started to eliminate the foods that do on a global scale create problems for lots of people, foods such as dairy, gluten, processed foods and sugars, I stopped eating foods with ingredients lists, my whole thinking and approach around food changed completely!!

I even became knowledgeable around the fact that some of the so-called ‘healthy’ foods were not so good for you after all, they were full of sugars, cheap oils and cheap processed fillers, this kind of knowledge and working so closely with a nutritional expert really made me into one and really did expand my thinking!

This kind of discipline became addictive, the more I worked out and ate clean, the better I looked & felt, the more I wanted to carry on eating and living this way!!

I became aware and focused on putting real foods in to my body…

I became aware of having to eat regular meals…

I became aware of eating little and often, and eating 4-5 times a day….

I became aware of not skipping meals…

I became aware of how to listen to my body and what it was telling me!!

This whole way of eating and living eventually became a ‘lifestyle’ change for me. I managed not only to lose weight and keep IT OFF. The WHOLE time I was training I wasn’t having the need to throw my food up as I knew the food I was putting in my body was good for me.

Also, after 20 years of constant IBS and digestive issues, my stomach healed too, I was not getting the constant cramps, the diarrhea. For the first time in along time I really did have a truly happy belly!!

Not only that, but I got rid of my cholesterol and have managed to ward off diabetes which is prevalent in Asian families and runs in mine!  In fact this whole experience changed my life so much I want to share it with others, I really am a big advocate of weights and eating clean I set up a web TV platform where I interview experts in the areas of health and wellness and listeners are free to come and ask live questions. You may want to check it out here:

Or you can check my FB site:

Or my Twitter site:

Please leave comments for Sabrina, thanks!  ~ Colleen


Published by


I'm Colleen Francioli, a certified nutritionist and author with a focus on helping people with IBS, other functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) and food intolerances. I once suffered from IBS and have since found life balance with the low-FODMAP diet, an elimination diet developed in Australia, proven to help relieve symptoms of IBS.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s