You may need a low-FODMAP diet

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Bloating can be a painful and uncomfortable symptom of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Please first make sure that you exclude all other related issues by visiting your GP, doctor and/or gastroenterologist and get a diagnosis. If you do have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a low-FODMAP diet may alleviate symptoms and offer some comfort. Please beware that this is not a fad diet, a weight-loss diet or any other of panacea.

A low-FODMAP diet is a clinical diet that should only be followed under the supervision of a registered dietitian that has received this specialist training. The link between foods and digestive disorders or upset stomach is well recognised, and there is a good chance that FODMAPs – small carbohydrates in certain foods – are the culprit.

A low FODMAP diet, or FODMAP elimination diet, refers to a temporary eating pattern that has a very low amount of food compounds called FODMAPs – it stands for: Fermentable – meaning they are broken down (fermented) by bacteria in the large bowel; Oligosaccharides – “oligo” means “few” and “saccharide” means sugar. These molecules are made up of individual sugars joined together in a chain; Disaccharides – “di” means two. This is a double sugar molecule; Monosaccharides – “mono” means single. This is a single sugar molecule; and Polyols – these are sugar alcohols (however, they don’t lead to intoxication!) Those saccharides and polyols are short-chain carbohydrates that, if poorly digested, ferment in the lower part of your large intestine (bowel). This fermentation process draws in water and produces carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and/or methane gas that causes the intestine to stretch and expand. The result is strong pain, bloating, visible abdominal distension and other related symptoms.

What You'll Need

  • Speak to your doctor to understand more about Irritable Bowel Sydrome and how a low FODMAP diet can help.

What You'll Do

  • Go to your GP and ask for a diagnosis or exclusion of other diseases.
  • If a diagnosis of IBS is given, seek the opinion of a registered dietitian with training in low-FODMAP diet.
  • It’s likely you will require at least 3 weeks for the body to adjust and ‘reset’ when excluding FODMAP fodos.
  • Once the trigger FODMAPs have been identified, you will know what you can and cannot eat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always consult your doctor before trying any major dietary changes. You can also speak to a nutritionist who can advise more on what this diet entails.
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