Those suffering with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) often have been living with unwanted symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, gas, and diarrhea or constipation for many years or even decades. The Low FODMAP Diet is a therapeutic diet used to help those suffering with IBS reduce and/or eliminate symptoms. The success of reducing symptoms is about 70%. However, the Low FODMAP diet is not a panacea and it might not be for everyone. It is important to meet with your physician and Registered Dietitian to rule out any other causes of these symptoms first as well as use the diet as one piece of the healing puzzle.
So what is a Low FODMAP diet?
FODMAPs are the sugars that are left undigested and therefore continue to ferment in the digestive system and create the symptoms of bloating, gas, pain, and diarrhea/constipation. These sugars include fructose (in certain fruits and honey), lactose (milk and milk products), sugar polyols (in some fruit and veggies and added as artificial sweeteners), fructans, (wheat, rye, onions, garlic) and galacto- oligosaccharides (legumes).
The Low FODMAP diet is very complex because it eliminate or greatly reduces these sugars in your diet for 2-8 weeks. It is very important to work with a registered dietitian that is skilled in Low FODMAPs so that you are able to follow it accurately and get the results you want. It is also important for the transition period when we reintroduce foods back into your diet to have the guidance and support of a registered dietitian.
The Low FODMAP Diet can be very confusing and I have found that the Monash University Low FODMAP Diet app for smartphones and booklet to be very helpful.
The booklet illustrates the foods that contain FODMAPs that should be limited or avoided and what FODMAPs they contain. The booklet also outlines the most important part! What can you eat?! The booklet also calculate fiber content of different foods, provides a sample menu, and recipe ideas.
On the app you can look up foods to determine if they contain FODMAPs, what FODMAPs, and what the serving size would be for that food. You can also log your meals, create a grocery list, learn about Low FODMAPs and filter FODMAPs for when you are reintroducing them to your diet.
The Monash University is leading the research on Low FODMAPs and has been an excellent resource for myself as a Registered Dietitian working with Low FODMAPs as well as my clients.
Need help determining if the Low FODMAP diet is for you? Looking to have a Registered Dietitian guide you through the process? Or are you looking to transition off Low FOMAPs? Dana Magee RD, LD, CLT can help you no matter what stage you are in. If you tried Low FODMAPs in the past without successfully getting rid of your symptoms Dana can help you figure out what the next step can be and how to achieve a life without symptoms! Contact us for an appointment with Dana here.
Dana uses her advanced training in functional nutrition and food sensitivities to help her clients love and trust food again as they heal from years of painful symptoms that have dominated their lives. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Food Sensitivities Survival Guide.