For the next 8 weeks we are going to try the low FODMAP diet to help us better understand the difficulties, and benefits, from following the diet so we can help advise our patients with loads of practical ideas.
Introducing A New Evidence Based Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Over the last decade there has been some great advancements in the dietary treatment of IBS symptom management. A clinically researched restriction and reintroduction dietary approach called the low FODMAP diet originally developed at Monash University in Australia has consistently shown efficacy as a treatment for IBS.
FODMAPs – Fermentable, Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides and PolyolS are short chain carbohydrates (e.g. fructans, galacto-oligosaccharides, polyols, fructose and lactose) that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. Ingestion of FODMAPs leads to alterations in fluid content and bacterial fermentation in the colon triggering functional gut symptoms in susceptible individuals. Removing FODMAPs from the diet is effective in improving symptoms of people with functional gut disorders like IBS. The diet is effective when FODMAP-trained dietitians provide dietary advice.
The evidence suggests 50-80% of people with IBS experience a significant improvement in symptoms especially bloating and flatulence. Individuals with IBS-D (irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhoea predominant) or IBS-M (mixed symptoms of diarrhoea and constipation) often experience more benefit from a low FODMAP diet. The vast majority of symptom improvements are seen within 4 weeks on a low FODMAP diet. While some individuals will not experience any improvement and should seek further treatment options.
For more general information on the low FODMAP diet have a look at The best introductory videos & podcasts for FODMAPs & IBS on our resources tab.
Follow more links from our Best FODMAP Resources for information on Lists of Foods & Ingredients high and low in FODMAPs, Probiotics, Prebiotics, Vegan & Vegetarian, trustworthy websites and more….
How long does it take to complete the low FODMAP diet?
The low FODMAP diet is a 3 phase dietary treatment. Phase one is the low FODMAP restriction diet which you should follow for 4 weeks. Phase two is the reintroduction phasewhich takes about 10 weeks to complete and the third phase is the long term self management of IBS symptoms using a modified low FODMAP diet. You can read more about a modified low FODMAP diet here.It is important to complete phases one and two under the guidance of a dietitian.
If you are unable to do this then ensure you have the best available resources to help with these two phases:
- For the low FODMAP restriction diet: Purchase The Monash University low FODMAP App or the FoodMeastro ‘FODMAP by FM’ app
- For the reintroduction phase purchase the book ‘Re-challenging and Reintroducing FODMAPs A self-help guide to the entire reintroduction phase of the low FODMAP diet‘
We will be blogging about the following areas which should be really helpful for anyone who is thinking about following the diet, those who are currently on it, and those who may be advising patients with IBS:
– Information on IBS and FODMAPs and the latest research available
– Detailed information on Reintroducing FODMAPs
It should be a really interesting journey for us and a real eye opener into following a strict diet. There are foods which feel a little irreplaceable at the moment such as delicious artisan bread, restaurant food full of garlic and high FODMAP veggies and pulses which we eat a lot of! We will be giving you lots of tips on how to get through this, as well as letting you know how and where we slip up.
So to get you started with more information on the FODMAP approach you will find some really useful articles & information linked here.
- End of Week 1 on Low FODMAP diet
- End of Week 2 on the Low FODMAP Diet
- End of the 8 week Low FODMAP Diet
- Reintroducing FODMAPs
Good news! The first ever book dedicated to reintroducing FODMAPs is now available to purchase on Amazon. The book is titled ‘Re-challenging and Reintroducing FODMAPs – A self-help guide to the entire reintroduction phase of the low FODMAP diet’. Click on the logo for more details.