Carena’s Low FODMAP Journey

Carena Lowenthal is a registered dietitian, certified health & wellness coach, and herself an IBS-sufferer. She works as Epicured’s concierge dietitian to make sure customers have an excellent experience using Epicured to manage digestive illnesses.

I was 22 years old and a dietetic intern at Albert Einstein Hospital in the Bronx. I was taking a patient’s medical history at the bedside when she said to me, “When are you expecting?” I looked at her shockingly, my reply, “expecting what?” I had no idea that my discomfort and apparent belly bloat had gotten me to this point. I thought it was normal that once in a while, I ate something that didn’t agree with me, and my belly went from ‘relatively’ flat to looking 6 months pregnant. And I also thought everyone had gas, like lots of gas was normal! I could never have anticipated what lay ahead. I went from here to a few years later with severe symptoms to a GI doctor, getting my first colonoscopy at age 25, to a diagnosis and medication. It wasn’t until many, many years later when I heard about the low FODMAP diet at a lecture at Mount Sinai, from the guru Kate Scarlata, that I realized I could control my symptoms with diet. And I was a Registered Dietitian.

I had my focus on diabetes, cancer, working with tube feeding and supplements, in and out of ICU’s. I really never took the time to heal myself. Fast forward to now. I’ve taken the time to find out what I can and cannot comfortably eat. I follow a low FODMAP diet 80% of the time. I know my limits and myself. I feel 100% better about my GI health, and Epicured has been a huge factor in this. I eat clean, balanced, appropriate portions of delicious food, fully prepared for many meals a week. Then I cook or eat out other meals, knowing what will work with my body. And the difference in how I feel is tremendous. I can wear the pants or dresses that show off my belly instead of hiding it. And after my last colonoscopy, I wanted to celebrate! I had a clean bill of health. I still don’t understand why my GI doctors hadn’t suggested earlier making changes to my diet. I also don’t understand why I didn’t make my own changes. But live and learn… now my goal is to educate others suffering from IBS or IBD with IBS symptoms to make the changes and choose health.

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