FODMAPS are groups of fermentable, short-chain carbohydrates that are either not absorbed, or very slowly absorbed in the small intestine. Although FODMAPs do not cause irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), they can trigger symptoms such as gas, bloating, changes in bowel habits, and pain in many people with IBS. Since these carbohydrates are slowly absorbed, some can pull water into the intestine leading to diarrhea, and others make it to the large intestine where they are fermented by bacteria, leading to gas, pain and bloating.
Research has found that a diet that temporarily restricts foods high in FODMAPs can improve functional symptoms (gas, pain, bloating, and bowel changes) in up to 75% of people with IBS. Emerging research has also shown a low FODMAP diet may help with related symptoms in people with endometriosis, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), IBD (crohns and ulcerative colitis) with IBS overlay, and other functional bowel disorders.
Examples of FODMAPS:
Lactose in dairy products
Excess fructose in apple, pear, mango, dried fruit, artichoke, asparagus, sugar snap peas, honey, high fructose corn syrup and fruit juice
Fructans and FOS in garlic; onion; leek; artichoke; cashews; pistachios; garlic/onion based marinades and sauces, and wheat/rye/barley based breakfast cereal, bread, biscuits and snack products
GOS in vegetables (beans, green peas, beetroot, butternut squash) and legumes (soya beans, mung beans, chickpeas, lupin and split peas)
Sugar polyols (mannitol and sorbitol) in sweet corn, pears, apples, blackberries and stone fruit, cauliflower, mushroom, snow peas and artificial sweeteners
What is the low FODMAP diet?
A low FODMAP diet temporarily limits foods high in FODMAPs for 2-6 weeks to give your digestive tract a rest and provide symptom relief. A systematic re-introduction phase then follows, introducing one subgroup of FODMAPs at a time, assessing tolerance and symptom response. Ultimately a personalized, modified version of the low-FODMAP diet is created, which hopefully limits only a couple of high FODMAP foods.
Why work with a registered dietitian?
A low FODMAP diet restricts foods rich in prebiotics and fiber, both of which are essential for our gut and overall health. If not implemented properly, the diet can be nutritionally inadequate and potentially damaging to our health. A FODMAP trained dietitian will guide you through the diet in the safest and best way possible, while also considering other factors (fiber intake, exercise, water, stress, fat intake, size of meals, amounts/types of FODMAPs consumed, and symptoms presented). The ultimate goal is to develop a personalized, long-term healthy diet that will minimize your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Does this sound familiar? You're scared to eat or attend social events (because you don't know how you're stomach will react), sick of looking pregnant (when you're not), and are just overall tired of dealing with IBS? You're not alone. I am an experienced dietitian who has helped many other people just like you find their digestive health and food freedom. Don't hesitate to book a complimentary consultation to learn more how I can help.