Suffering from IBS? The Low FODMAPS Diet Can Help.
What is a FODMAP?
FODMAP is an acronym that stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. These are a group of sugars and fibers known as prebiotics, that promote the growth of gut microbes that are important for optimal gut health. Some high FODMAP foods include dairy products like yogurt and milk, wheat products like cereal and bread, beans as well as some fruits and vegetables. Although nutrients from these kinds of foods are typically beneficial, some people can be sensitive to FODMAPs, and consuming them can cause stomach pain and irritable bowel syndrome.
What is irritable bowel symptom (IBS)?
IBS presents itself with a number of gastrointestinal symptoms including bloating, gas, changes in bowel habits such as diarrhea, constipation or a combination of the two, and abdominal discomfort. About 35 million Americans suffer from IBS, but very few have been diagnosed.
What is a Low FODMAP diet?
The goal of the Low FODMAP diet is to alleviate or reduce IBS symptoms. It is a restrictive diet that should not be followed for a long period of time, but should be used as a tool for identifying which foods are causing discomfort and alleviating symptoms of IBS. The diet is made up of three phases, elimination, reintroduction and individualization. In the elimination phase, which can be two to eight weeks long, high FODMAP foods are eliminated from the diet, while low FODMAP foods should still be consumed. Low FODMAP foods include eggs, meat, almond milk, rice, quinoa, oats and some fruits and vegetables including eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, oranges, and strawberries. In the reintroduction phase, these high FODMAP foods are brought back into the diet, one at a time, to discover which are causing symptoms of IBS or discomfort. In the individualization phase, patients work with a dietitian to plan a safe and healthy long-term diet that avoids or limits the problematic foods.
Is a Low FODMAP Diet right for YOU?
Unfortunately, there is no diagnostic test for IBS—if you suspect you may have a FODMAP sensitivity or IBS, you should work with your doctor to rule out other digestive issues and a Registered Dietitian before beginning a FODMAP elimination diet.
The low FODMAP diet has been found to reduce symptoms of IBS in up to 86% of those who try it. In order to ensure success, it is critical to work with a doctor or dietitian.