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The low FODMAP Diet for IBS relief

Angela Poch, CN

 

For decades people, like myself, have been plagued with varying bowl symptoms that are not specifically part of any one disease. They are given the Irritable Bowel Syndrome label and sent off told they need to eat more fiber and less fat. But researchers at Monash University in Australia pioneered a revolutionary new diet call the low FODMAP diet. I've been using this diet in full and in part under the guidance of a specialized dietitian who is certified in the low FODMAP diet. The results are astonishing. I'm basically symptom free as long as I don't have too much stress or cheat too much.

"The Low FODMAP diet was developed by researchers at Monash University. The Monash team, led by Professor Peter Gibson, provided the first evidence that a Low FODMAP diet improves IBS symptoms. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common functional gastrointestinal disorder affecting one in seven Australian adults and is also common in the USA, Europe and many Asian countries. IBS is characterized by chronic and relapsing symptoms; lower abdominal pain and discomfort, bloating, wind, distension and altered bowel habit (ranging from diarrhea to constipation) but with no abnormal pathology. The diagnosis of IBS should be made by a medical practitioner." Excerpt from http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/

"a low FODMAP diet should only be prescribed to patients with formally diagnosed IBS. A formal diagnosis of IBS is important to ensure that more insidious conditions with common symptoms (diverticulitis, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer) are ruled out. Health professionals should also note that a low FODMAP diet is not a lifetime diet. Rather, a strict low FODMAP diet should be followed for a period of only 2-6 weeks. Then, under the guidance of an experienced dietitian, FODMAP containing foods should be reintroduced to a level of acceptable tolerance." Excerpt from http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/certification/professional.html

So, what is a low FODMAP diet? It is a diet low in certain sugars. In fact FODMAP is an acronym for

  • Fermentable
  • Oligo-saccharides - found in; wheat, rye, onions and garlic; legumes/pulses
  • Disaccharides - Lactose found in; milk, soft cheese, yoghurts
  • Mono-saccharides- Fructose (in excess of glucose) found in honey, apples, high fructose corn syrups
  • Polyols - Eg. sorbitol, mannitol, found in some fruit and vegetables and used as artificial sweeteners.

Excerpt from http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/description.html

 

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