The FODMAP Diet
After trying out many different diets over the years to help control my IBS, my friend (who is a dietician) recommended the FODMAP diet to me. When I first read over the food list, I remember thinking – what on earth am I going to eat?! Luckily, I like to get creative in the kitchen and knew I’d manage to come up with some tasty creations whilst restricting what I’m eating.
The Low FODMAP diet was developed by researchers at Monash University, where research was carried out and it was found that following a FODMAP diet can help reduce the symptoms of IBS. Monash University have a great guide on their website and have lots of resources. The FODMAP diet doesn’t suit everyone with IBS. It is
not a fad diet and shouldn’t be attempted on your own. Please ensure you’ve had all the test to rule out any other conditions before a firm IBS diagnoses is made.
What is the FODMAP diet?
FODMAP is the collective abbreviation for a group of fermentable, poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates that provide fast food for bowel bacteria and may cause digestive discomfort.
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols. (good luck trying to explain that one to your mates!!)
These certain food componants cause the bowel to distend by drawing in more fluid and rapidly generating gas when they are fermented by bowel bacteria, in turn worsening your IBS symptoms.
(Source, Dr. Sue Shepard and Dr. Peter Gibson)
In simple terms a low-FODMAP diet is a diet that involves cutting out foods high in FODMAPS that are difficult for a sensitive gut to digest and as a result reducing your IBS symptoms.
It is highly recommended that you follow this diet with the help of a trained professional. I actually went private when starting this diet as there weren’t many FODMAP trained dieticians in Scotland at the time. You can ask your GP to be referred to a trained dietitian. It is essential to note, that the elimination stage should only be carried out for a few weeks. After, this stage it is important to reintroduce high FODMAP food whilst assessing your triggers. After a period of time, you should have a better understanding of what you can tolerate. I have linked an evidenced based beginners guide to following a FODMAP diet here.
Having seen many claims on the internet, I would like to point out that this diet is not a cure. It is only a means of reducing your symptoms. I still have bad days and have flare ups but overall my gurgling and pain has decreased.
Disclaimer : Everyone is different and this a diet that helped reduce my symptoms. The information and advice on my website is not intended to replace the services of trained health professionals or be a substitute for medical advice. Speak to your doctor and/or dietician in the first instance.