Anyone suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) will know all too well about the discomfort and inconvenience caused by IBS and IBD symptoms. These symptoms vary from person to person, but can include wind, bloating, constipation, loose bowels and abdominal pain.
The FODMAP diet has become a hot topic among IBS and IBD sufferers since it has been found that eating a diet low in FODMAPs can bring some relief to the symptoms.
So what are FODMAPs, and how can we avoid them in our diet to help alleviate symptoms of IBS and IBD? FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-Di Monosaccharides And Polyols. It certainly is a mouthful, but put simply, this is a name for a group of sugars that can be poorly absorbed in the gut of some people. If they are not absorbed efficiently in the gut, they can cause the following;
They may cause water to move into the bowel, causing diarrhoea.
They can enter the large intestine, where they will be fermented by the intestinal bacteria. This produces gas, which in turn leads to the symptoms of bloating and abdominal pain.
Below is a list of FODMAP sugars, and a few examples of the foods they are found in.
Fructans & Galactans
eg broccoli, legumes, wheat products
eg dairy products
eg Apples, pears, watermelon, honey
Sorbitol & Mannitol
eg avocado, cauliflower, artificial sweeteners
Please note, these are just examples of foods and each list is much more extensive.
Every individual is different, and will react to different FODMAPs and even different amounts of each FODMAP. For this reason, it is extremely important to speak to your Dietitian before you begin any form of low FODMAP diet. You and your Dietitian can assess your symptoms, tailor a low FODMAP diet to suit you, and then slowly re-introduce FODMAP foods in a structured manner to see which foods, and how much of these foods, you can tolerate before symptoms appear. This can be a long process, but it is one well worth the time and effort when you are suffering from such unpleasant symptoms.
Perth Diet Clinic has recently added to our Dietetic knowledge base regarding the use of low FODMAPs diets in the alleviation of IBS and IBD symptoms. In doing so, we have created a low FODMAP recipe book to make the dietary changes easier for our clients. If you think your symptoms may be caused by IBS or IBD, contact us and we will be happy to help you assess if low FODMAPs is for you.
Added to site on : Monday, 24 October 2011