Is the low FODMAP diet becoming the latest fad?

As you all know, I follow a modified low FODMAP diet to help control my IBS symptoms. This diet was a last resort for me after trying lots of different dietary methods in a bid to help control my gut health. I would like to add, aiming to improve my IBS is, and will probably always be an ongoing process. I will always seek ways of improving my IBS and not just dietary methods, until science comes up with magical cure one day!

Press coverage

There has bee quite a lot of press coverage recently on the low FODMAP diet. In some respects, I am so glad to see IBS being discussed and ways in with our symptoms can be reduced being highlighted. I am also glad to see the FODMAP diet becoming more of a recognised term, we all know how difficult this one is to explain to people who don’t know. For those of you who don’t know, I have written a post here.

However, my concern is, often inaccurate and irresponsible  messages regarding the low FODMAP diet are being displayed. My biggest bug bear being that the reintroduction phase is not always emphasised enough. This is a crucial part when following the diet. It should also only ever be followed with a trained professional and once a firm IBS diagnoses has been made. I worry that people will commence this diet on their own or without having all the tests to rule out any other health conditions.

long term effects

Jenna at A Balanced Belly wrote a post on the worrying concerns of the FODMAP diet becoming a fad here. Jenna has highlighted the point that limiting your foods can have a detrimental effect on your gut bacteria. More and more research is being carried out, highlighting the long term effects of cutting out high FODMAP foods and his it is effect on the gut microbiome.

I know when I initially started the diet, I saw a massive improvement in my symptoms. I was scared to reintroduce as I didn’t want to make myself ill again. My dietitian stressed that it was crucial to reintroduce and I reluctantly did so. If you can, try and find a time when you don’t have too many other things or other stresses going on in your life so you can monitor this stage in the best way possible – easier said than done, I know! You may find there was only a few food items that didn’t agree with you.

Social media

Whilst I love Instagram and the community that’s exists on there, I often see users recommending the FODMAP diet to others simply because it helps reduce bloating, users see/hear this and want to try the diet out. I think it’s so important to remember that IBS varies so much from person to person and what works for one person doesn’t always work for others. I myself have found myself vulnerable and have tried out different methods that claim to have “cured” their IBS. We all need to remember that there currently is no cure for IBS. Every individual is different and medical advise should be sought before making drastic changes to your diet. The FODMAP diet is certainly not for every IBS sufferet.

I am glad to see more coverage on the FODMAP diet so that life can becoming a little easier for people following it. Eating out may become more accessible, but I do think these messages should come with “warning messages”.

new fodmap friendly products

I personally think it’s great that FODMAP food products are becoming more accessible. We all live busy lives and being able to grab food that you can eat on the go can be great now and again. At the moment, I currently cook almost everything from scratch but I have tried out some FODMAP friendly products. You can see my review of FODY Foods here. The novelty of being able to eat food you may not normally be able to eat is nice. However, like anything else with this diet, there should me messages on the products stating what the diet is and that it should be followed with medical supervision. If you were to eat these products all the time, you would be missing out the reintroduction phase.

I think we all know that the “free from” section within supermarkets is expanding greatly. And whilst this is great for sufferers, my concern is that the low FODMAP label becomes more and more recognisable, and in turn encourages individuals to try this diet as they may have heard it improves gut problems.

As I’ve said throughout this article, before starting this diet, make sure you have a firm IBS diagnoses, the FODMAP diet isn’t the first stop to improve your IBS. Try out the other methods first. If you do find yourself down the FODMAP route, don’t start it without seeking help from a dietitian.



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1 Comment

  1. Lisa Sheehy

    March 2, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Hello wee Foddie!
    a lot of my nutrition clients were super confused about FODMAPS too so I made this easy to understand guide with pretty infographics!

    Hope it helps people x

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