A low FODMAP diet is one treatment for people who have irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. There are several different types of IBS and many different causes. A low FODMAP diet helps about 15% of people with IBS but you do need to be assessed by a dietitian qualified in FODMAPs to be sure that this is the right approach for you.
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAPs are substances that are found in many of the foods we eat. FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Ployols.
Most people digest and absorb FODMAPs and have no problems. However, in some people, FODMAPs are poorly absorbed in the small bowel and move though to the large bowel where they are fermented by the bacteria that live there. When bacteria ferment or digest FODMAPs, they produce gas and other substances.These cause some of the symptoms of IBS such as bloating, changes in bowel movements such as diarrhoea and constipation, excess wind, abdominal distension and cramps.It is important to remember that these symptoms of IBS can have other causes as well.
FODMAPs are found in a wide range of foods from apples to onions, dairy foods, beans and lentils as well as certain sweeteners.
A low FODMAP diet is one of the most complicated diets to follow.FODMAPs are found in very wide range of foods and trying to cut out all FODMAPs on your own is very difficult to get right. FODMAP levels in foods can be different in different countries so you need to be careful about the information you find online about FODMAPs.
FODMAPs are in so many foods, that when you cut out FODMAPs, you can be at risk of eating a diet that is missing out on key nutrients, especially calcium. Studies show that the best results from a low FODMAP diet are seen when someone works with a dietitian who is trained in advising on a low FODMAP diet.Working with a dietitian also means that you can get advice on how to have a balanced diet that gives you all of the nutrients you need while you are cutting out FODMAPs.To find a dietitian who is trained in using a low FODMAPs diet go to www.sedi.ie or www.indi.ie.