What are FODMAPs?
“FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are complex carbohydrate molecules, and when these carbohydrates are poorly absorbed in the small intestine increased water can be drawn into the gut. This can result in diarrhoea in some people, whilst for others, the FODMAPs travel to the large intestine where they are fermented by bacteria, producing gas. This gas can lead to symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including bloating, constipation, flatulence, pain and nausea.”
Common foods high in FODMAPS include: garlic, onion, apples, milk, mushrooms, bread and chickpeas (among a lot of others).
Who may benefit from a low-FODMAP diet?
People suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms such as: cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, wind, constipation and diarrhea; may find relief by reducing the amount of foods they eat that are high in FODMAPs.
“Research indicates that following a low FODMAP diet is the most effective way of managing IBS, with 3 in four people finding an improvement in symptoms.”
How can you follow a low-FODMAP diet?
“Following” a low-FODMAP diet requires supervision and guidance from a qualified Accredited Practicing Dietitian – as FODMAP intolerances can affect people differently and therefore each person will require an individualised treatment approach.
There are two phases to the FODMAP diet:
1st – An “elimination” phase
Eliminating high FODMAP food groups until symptoms are relieved
2nd – A “re-introduction” phase
This is where FODMAP foods are re-introduced in different combinations and in different amounts. Your symptoms are closely monitored to pinpoint which specific foods trigger reactions from you which helps to determine the amount and types of FODMAPS your body can handle.
The strict elimination phase is not meant to be followed long-term. It is merely used as a tool to narrow down which foods cause you trouble and which you may need to limit or completely avoid.
Seeing an Accredited Practicing Dietitian to navigate this diet with you is VITAL. Dietitians have the knowledge about which foods are high in FODMAPs and can carefully plan the “food challenge” stage as foods must be introduced in a very client-specific way.
If you have IBS, and want to learn more about a return to a normal way of life, check in with our Dietitians at Better Health Nutrition and Fitness!
This information has been extracted from the following information sources. To find out more information you can access these websites: