The Sugar Tax Screwed Me Over

The Sugar Tax Screwed Me Over!

Ok, ok that might seem a little dramatic but hear me out. The new sugar tax introduced in the UK in April got a lot of kickback, some accused it of targeting lower-income households, others saw it as a side step from bigger issues that the government should be dealing with. But there was one thing that I didn’t see mentioned and it’s about poop…stay with me here.

So I’ve had IBS for years now as part of Fibromyalgia and it’s fine, I know what makes my stomach freak out (goodbye American Cheese) and I don’t eat it. I know how to manage cramps and most of the time I know my body and the signals well enough to try and help myself before it gets too bad. I’ve been living well and not had too much trouble for the past 2 years. But what does this have to do with the Sugar Tax?

When the tax came in it meant that in particular sugary drinks were put at a higher rate to curb obesity. Sounds good? Not really. Because of this a lot of places switched out to diet or sugar-free substitutes. These substitutes contain Aspartame. Back when I initially got diagnosed with IBS and was cutting out foods that made me ill diet drinks were the first thing to go. Now, because of the sugar tax,  whenever I want to go out with friends I have to be careful that full fat isn’t substituted.

Is it the biggest problem in the world? No, but it can ruin a good time. Not only do I have to check, I’m also paying more for a reason I can’t help. A recent example I found was when ordering Cocktails. As a money saving tactic pubs and bars have been using sugar-free alternatives and not making it clear. I absolutely dread having to try and explain to them why I do need full fat and can definitely tell when someone thinks I’m lying!

I completely understand what the logic behind the tax was, even though I do agree with critics that it will only impact those on a lower income, but that’s a whole different blog post. This is just something I’ve noticed and partially serves as a warning to those of you who might have more sensitive stomachs.

Do you have IBS, has the Sugar Tax been a pain for you too? Let me know in the comments below!

IBS Awareness Month 2017

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The month of April is for IBS awareness. IBS means Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the NHS website states that:

‘Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common, long-term condition of the digestive system. It can cause bouts of stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and/or constipation.’

So, it’s not the more pleasant thing to talk about it can be incredibly painful and frustrating waiting for a diagnosis. I had problems with my stomach for a large chunk of my childhood and teenage years. It got to the point that my Mum always had some of the medicine in the cupboard for a rough night. I dealt with it and got on with it.

Later, whilst I was in university I kept getting sick. I had weeks where I couldn’t eat and was weak. It was like a recurrent stomach bug but it always came back. After a lot of tests, scans and a hospital admission  I finally received my diagnoses of IBS.

It is from this I received advice from my doctor about my diet and, surprisingly, a lot of friends stepped forward to offer their stories, their diagnoses. With the help of some medications, I began to live with any ups and downs I have a normal life. I go to work, see friends and deal with it. I’m quite lucky in the fact that I can often get a sense that a flare-up is coming on a good day. If course there are days where I am in pain or bloated, where I curse my own body.

You get to learn about what your body and cannot take, what will make your bowels angry for me it’s alcohol, rich foods or a lot of fast food. I know that I can’t have too much of these things or sometimes any at all. I know that I need to have some clothes to wear that are loose fitting incase I am bloated.

It is possible to live life with IBS. Yes there are hiccups, I know to be careful whenever I got away and am not used to the food but as with any condition you live and learn.