FODMAPs Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

FODMAPs Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

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FODMAPs Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

If you suffer from IBS, have you heard of the low-FODMAP diet for relieving the associated symptoms?

FODMAP is an acronym for:
” Fermentable Oligosaccharides
” Disaccharides
” Monosaccharides
” and Polyols

How Do FODMAPs Impact Irritable Bowel Syndrome

FODMAPs are sugars, found in the foods we eat, that may not be easy for some people to absorb. Poorly digested food that travels to the large intestine can ferment in the bowel and cause digestive stress.

Common FODMAPs found in some foods include most fruit and vegetables, nuts, cow’s milk, legumes, artificial sweeteners and cereals. It is these foods, and similar others, that are believed to trigger symptoms of IBS.

It is now estimated that over 12% of the world population are sufferers of this condition. Of these, two thirds report that food is a contributing factor to their symptoms.


A low FODMAP diet is not designed to be permanent. It is a temporary highly restrictive diet that lasts for several weeks. It identifies foods in the diet that trigger episodes of IBS. It restricts then slowly reintroduces FODMAP foods to the diet.

This diet restricts all FODMAP food from your diet at once, making it much more efficient than removing them one by one. When all FODMAPs are removed from the diet the gut is able to heal. Good bacteria are then able to correct any imbalances in the gut.

How the FODMAP Diet Works

For a period of three to eight weeks, you go through the elimination phase. The length of time depends on how you respond. However, a minimum of three weeks is recommended so that your body has ample time, free of FODMAPs to adjust to more normalized gut flora ratios. During this phase all FODMAP food is eliminated from your diet.

Reintroduction Phase

After the elimination phase it is time to reintroduce FODMAP food back into your diet. This is done gradually by introducing food types one at a time. This allows you to see what food triggers unwanted symptoms.

For example, add the fructose type of foods (a sugar found in fruit and some vegetables) to your diet, for one week. If this results in you not having any IBS symptoms, you are ready to add another food type to your diet for one week.

This could be lactose (a sugar found in dairy food). This process continues until you find out what food triggers your symptoms. This process allows you to eliminate the problem causing foods from your diet.

Because of food elimination, it is vital to ensure that important nutrients are not lacking in your diet. It is best to have assistance from and experienced dietitian to ensure your intake of vitamins is adequate.

The ultimate goal of a low FODMAP diet is to achieve a balance. High FODMAP foods that cause symptoms can be replaced by high FODMAP foods that you are able to tolerate.

Individual FODMAP tolerance varies from person to person. Many find their diet does not have to be as strict as before. They are able to consume eliminated food occasionally but in smaller quantities.

Confirmed Results

In regulated studies involving irritable bowel syndrome patients and control groups of similar people without IBS, FODMAP restricted diets have proven to reduce overall IBS symptoms by 50%.

Up to 75% of study participants across many studies recorded an improvement in their symptoms.

Noticeable improvements are observed one week after implementing the diet. Improvements were seen for bloating, abdominal pain, wind, and stool consistency.

FODMAPs Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
FODMAPs Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

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