The Low FODMAP Diet

What is The Low FODMAP Diet?

The Low FODMAP Diet is the Gold Standard therapeutic diet used to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other functional gastro-intestinal disorders.

There are three phases of The Low FODMAP Diet including:
1. Elimination Phase - all high FODMAP foods are eliminated for 2-6 weeks to confirm or deny any FODMAP intolerance
2. Re-Challenge Phase - each FODMAP group are systemically re-introduced one at a time to determine which FODMAP groups are well tolerated and which are not.
3. Adapted FODMAP Phase - only the FODMAP groups that are well tolerated are gradually re-introduced into the diet to increase food variety, support gut health and reduce the restrictive nature of medical elimination diets.

What are FODMAPS?

FODMAPS are certain carbohydrates that can trigger digestive issues in people who are sensitive.

FODMAPS is an acronyn for:

F - fermentable, which means they are broken down
O - oligosaccharides, 'oligo' means few and 'saccharides' means sugars
D - disaccharides, 'di' means two and 'saccharides' means sugars
M - monosaccharides, 'mono' means one and 'saccharides' means sugars
A - and
P - polyols, these are sugar alcohols, referring to their chemical structure and are different to alcohol that you drink.

There are two types of oligosaccharides:
1. fructo-oligosaccharides, also known as fructans or FOS - found in onion, garlic, wheat, some fruit and vegetables
2. galacto-oligosaccharides, also known as galactans or GOS - found in legumes, peas, some nuts

Disaccharides are lactose, which is the sugar found in dairy products, such as milk, yoghurt, ice-cream and soft cheese.

Monosaccharides are fructose, when there's more fructose than glucose. Excess fructose can be found in honey, and some fruit and vegetables.

What are the symptoms of FODMAP intolerance?

  • Bloating
  • Abdominal distention
  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Excessive wind/gas
  • Altered bowel habits
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea and constipation

How does The Low FODMAP Diet work?

The Low FODMAP Diet works in two ways:
1. Some FODMAPS, such as fructose, polyols and lactose in those who are intolerant draw water into our intestines, and this can result in diarrhoea
2. Other FODMAPS, such as fructans and galactans, remain intact until they enter the large intenstine where they are fermented by the bacteria that live there. This process of breaking the FODMAPS down is food for our gut bacteria, and it creates gas and bubbles. In FODMAP sensitive people, their digestive system is overactive in its sensitivity signals and this results in symptoms such as bloating, excess wind, and pain.

Who should use The Low FODMAP Diet?

The diet is effective in 75% of Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers.

However, there is emerging research that The Low FODMAP Diet can be applied to help manage a range of other functional gastro-intestinal disorders such as:
- Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
- Pelvic Pain / Endometriosis
- Infant's with Colic

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