- Heather Woodruff
What is the Low FODMAP Diet & Will it Help my IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
If you google IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) diets you, more than likely, will come across the Low FODMAP diet. But what the heck is it, does it work and is it the best diet for your chronic tummy trouble?
WHAT IS IT?
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides Disaccharides and polyols. In normal people language… this means fermentable carbs/sugars and some foods contain higher amounts in them than others. These fermentable carbs are naturally occurring in foods such as; onions, garlic, wheat, dairy, honey, legumes, etc. You can look up a full high FODMAP food list at www.ibsdiets.org
WHY THIS DIET FOR IBS?
A healthy digestive tract should have no problem managing high FODMAP foods but for those with IBS and other chronic tummy inflammation like gas, bloating abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, etc they have been shown to sometimes (not always) aggravate symptoms.
I want to be clear that high FODMAP foods do not cause IBS but can make symptoms worse, so going on a low FODMAP diet is one way you can potentially calm down the inflammation in your gut decreasing your amount and severity of IBS flare ups.
DOES IT WORK?
There is some pretty solid randomized, controlled trials (aka: research) that does find that restricting foods containing FODMAPs can improve overall IBS symptoms (abdominal pain, bloating) and quality of life. I have also spoken to many digestively compromised tribe members who have found great relief from following a low FODMAP diet. I have also spoken to many who found absolutely no difference to their symptoms when following this diet. This goes to show just how unique our bellies and bodies truly are.
Again, I would like to point out that if you can't tolerate high FODMAP foods this is a sign you are in much need of some digestive healing. Simply avoiding all high FODMAP foods now and forever is really not getting to the root cause of your gut imbalance.
HOW TO USE IT
The mistake commonly made is that sometimes people will go on a very strict low FODMAP diet, find lots of symptom relief and stay on it long term without trying to reintroduce any foods or gut healing protocols. This means that in order to keep you digestive issues in check you need to be on this restrictive diet forever.
I don’t know about you, but that’s simply not ok with me.
When I work with my private clients we spend our first few weeks together finding a way of eating that decreases gut inflammation as much as possible. We confirm your unique gut triggers with absolute certainty (so you are not unnecessarily restricting foods) and get you in the least restrictive diet possible while keeping your belly blissed. This may mean a version or pieces of the low FODMAPs diet but rarely 100%. Everyone is uniquely special and so are our beautiful tummies.
Then we add add in powerful gut healing foods to heal the gut once and for all and get you to a good place where in the future you can start slowly reintroducing those gut triggers! This is the key component that gets missed in a lot of digestive health programs.
If you would like to explore the FODMAP diet more I would highly recommend checking out monashfodmap.com or my FREE 3 Day Meal Plan for IBS Flare – Ups which is also easily adaptable to be FODMAP friendly.