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The Low FODMAP diet: What is it and can it help my IBS?

By December 8, 2015FODMAP, Health, IBS

You may have heard about the Low FODMAP diet in the press, online, or through friends and family as it’s been creating quite a buzz! Unlike the faddy diets that promise much and deliver little, (I think most of us have tried these at some point!) the Low FODMAP diet is a new type of eating plan that may help control the symptoms associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

IBS is a long-term condition that can affect quality of life. It is relatively common with about 10-15% of the population suffering from IBS, and women are twice as likely to get it as men. Symptoms include bloating, constipation, diarrhea, tiredness, nausea and stomach pains. Although there is currently no cure for IBS, there is scientific research to show that the FODMAP diet may help to reduce symptoms by eliminating foods that people are particularly sensitive to.

The low FODMAP diet was developed at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and has quickly become the number one go-to diet for IBS sufferers across the world.

So what does FODMAP mean?

FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, and Mono-saccharides And Polyols. FODMAPs are poorly absorbed sugars or sugar alcohols i.e. carbohydrates, that are found in a variety of foods and drinks.

FODMAP carbohydrates may trigger gut symptoms in some people, so by following a low FODMAP diet, the aim is to eliminate these fermentable carbohydrates. Put simply, it’s an elimination diet to work out which foods are ‘trigger’ foods that result in unpleasant symptoms. Once you’ve worked out these trigger foods you can remove or at least reduce these in your diet to manage the associated symptoms of IBS. The Low FODMAP diet typically lasts between four to eight weeks during which time trigger foods should be identified.

Always get advice from a Healthcare Professional

It is recommended that before you make any changes to your diet to consult with your doctor or dietitian. Under the guidance of a registered healthcare professional, you may wish to keep a food journal to monitor and manage any symptoms you feel during the diet. A food journal will help you and your healthcare professional track any changes to your symptoms during the diet.

Have you tried the Low FODMAP Diet? How did you get on? We’d love to hear from you! Email [email protected]

the mySymptoms team

A multi-disciplinary team committed to helping sufferers of chronic conditions.

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