Embarrassing digestive problems like bloating, wind, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and constipation are common symptoms if you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). They affects as many as one in five of us on a daily basis. Learn about the FODMAP Diet or commonly mistaken as FOODMAP.
The Low FODMAP Diet
A diet called the Low FODMAP diet might be able to help you. Researchers have found that some foods contain a group of fermentable carbohydrates. These cause symptoms such as bloating, wind, abdominal pain, diarrhoea or nausea in IBS patients. The term FODMAP stands for;
Examples of culprit foods include onion, garlic, beans, pulses, honey and plums.
A scientifically researched diet with good results
Research has shown that 3 out of 4 IBS sufferers benefit from following the Low FODMAP diet. The diet was developed by researchers at Monash University, Australia, and has since become available in the UK, Europe, the United States and Asia. In the last 18 months FODMAP accredited dietitians have launched the concept in South Africa. The diet is not a fad diet and has been well researched over the last decade. It is fast becoming a key treatment strategy for anyone suffering from IBS.
FODMAP Diet: Not a diet for life
The diet involves a strict elimination of these fermentable carbohydrates for approximately 6 to 8 weeks. This is followed by a gradual reintroduction of key high FODMAP foods. Reintroduction is an essential part of the diet to work out what your key trigger foods are and how much of these you can consume without symptoms. Everyone is different and trigger foods do vary between individuals so it helps to do the reintroduction in a precise and thorough manner.
It’s best to seek guidance from a FODMAP dietitian
For the best results research has shown that the diet should be done under the supervision of a FODMAP trained dietitian. Unfortunately, much of the FODMAP information found on the internet is inaccurate. People who do not seek properly qualified FODMAP specialists or those who try to do it themselves often do not get the outcome they expect from the diet. The diet is also complex and nutritionally important foods are eliminated. A FODMAP specialist dietitian can tailor the diet to meet your individual nutritional needs, suggest suitable low FODMAP alternatives and provide the support needed to ensure the elimination and reintroduction phases are done correctly.
Please see a doctor if you have possible IBS
If you suspect you may have IBS, please visit a GP or gastroenterologist for a diagnosis. Many of the symptoms overlap with other gastrointestinal conditions such as coeliac disease so it is important that these conditions are excluded before you try the low FODMAP diet
For more information about the low FODMAP diet, please contact EatFit Dietitians.