Low FODMAPs Diet

Last week live on KVOA, I spoke about probiotics and prebiotics and how certain foods can help manage IBS and digestive complaints. In this TV segment I mentioned that IBS is often misdiagnosed and that may people with IBS have an intolerance to one or multiple foods.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), lactose intolerance and celiac disease have symptoms very similar to IBS. The prevalence of celiac disease is four times greater and SIBO is 40-80% more common in people with IBS.  Other conditions that also present with symptoms similar to the complaints found in IBS are inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, gall bladder disease, and gastrointestinal cancers.  Since your symptoms may be related to one of these conditions, consideration of all these must be evaluated before treating IBS.  Without ruling out these related conditions you may forever be treating the wrong condition.

For those that actually do have IBS, following a low FODMAPs diet may alleviate the symptoms of IBS. FODMAPs stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, and monosaccharides and polyls, which are components of foods that in certain individuals trigger the symptoms of IBS.

This is a diet that limits, but does not eliminate, foods that contain:

  • Lactose, such as milk and yogurt
  • Fructose, such as certain fruits and sweeteners
  • Fructans, such as wheat bread
  • Galactans, such as beans and lentils
  • Sugar alcohols (polyols),such as sugar-free foods and gums

These compounds in food are poorly absorbed, highly osmotic and rapidly fermented by gut bacteria, leading to increased water and gas in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which then leads to GI tract distention that causes changes in GI motility, bloating, discomfort and gas.

By reducing FODMAPs, most people see an improvement within days. It’s truly amazing. When your digestive woes are minimized, your energy, mood and overall quality of life flourishes.

As you might imagine, a low FODMAP diet is restricted and quite rigorous, so please don’t eliminate without a systematic challenge. A trial elimination diet is followed by a systemic challenge using specific foods that are high in each of the food components. This allows for an assessment of your tolerance for each food component so that you are able to liberalize your diet as much as possible without triggering IBS symptoms. This elimination diet and systemic food challenge  is best implemented will a knowledgeable dietitian. First, I will help you rule out other conditions related to IBS. Then, I will walk you through the process of identifying foods that are high FODMAPs, which need to be eliminated for 6 weeks, I will help you create menus and shopping lists for foods that are low in FODMAPs and guide you through the systemic challenge. If you are looking for more information online, I would recommend the two following experts:

Material on this blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual, and is not a substitute for personalized nutrition or health advice or healthcare. Never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical care because of something you have read or accessed through this website.