A low FODMAP diet can help manage your IBS

 19 Feb 2021

Loading up on certain foods everyday can cause symptoms such as bloating, gas and diarrhoea

A low FODMAP diet cuts out many common foods that cause IBS symptoms such as gas, bloating and diarrhoea. The principle behind the diet is to give the gut a chance to heal, especially if you have digestive problems like IBS or SIBO.


What is FODMAP

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that are poorly digested by the body. They ferment in the large intestine (bowel) during digestion, drawing in water and producing carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and methane gas that causes the intestine to expand. This causes GI (Gastro Intestinal) symptoms such as bloating and pain that are common in disorders like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)

FODMAPs are in some foods naturally or as additives. They include

  • fructose (in fruits and vegetables)
  • fructans (like fructose, found in some vegetables and grains)
  • lactose (dairy)
  • galactans (legumes)
  • polyols (artificial sweeteners)

In some cases a portion of the food is fine but loading up on certain foods and eating every day, particularly starches and sugars (such as bread, potatoes and cereals) can cause symptoms.

Combine this with a typical person’s everyday lifestyle that includes stress, busyness and poor sleep and this can lead to feel symptoms like:

  • Gas
  • Pain
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal distention
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea (like IBS symptoms)
  • A feeling of fullness after eating or drinking only a small amount of food or liquid.

Following a low FODMAP diet can be quite restrictive as it aims to eliminate certain foods for a period of weeks, it gradually introduces foods and it’s important to keep a food and drinks journal to document triggers.


Where to start to try a low FODMAP diet?


Even though my programs meals plans are not 100% FODMAP, many, if not all, of my clients feel much less bloated and lighter after just 14 days. Following my 4 Week Starter Program will help you experience relief from mild digestive symptoms by:


1. Creating meals from scratch – reducing, to eventually eliminating, chemical foods/ additives/ preservatives from our daily intake.


2. Introducing variety – Following my meal plans involves introducing a variety of food and not eating the same thing every day. A lot of healthy foods are FODMAPs for some people as we simply eat too much of them with common examples being bread, bread based products, cereals, snacks and potatoes. By simply eating a variety of meals and snacks and trying new foods, this tends to reduce symptoms (such as bloating and gas) in many cases as other digestive enzymes are engaged therefore allowing other natural foods to heal the gut and GI (Gastro Intestinal) digestive tract.


3. Portion size – A portion size for nuts is a handful but when you eat above this portion, and any recommended portion, then you can experience symptoms such as pain, bloating or gas. Keeping to a portion size for all your meals will reduce these symptoms after eating.


You may not have the severity of symptoms to be diagnosed with SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth) or IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) - but in many cases we can experience mild precursor symptoms that if left unchecked can create more serious problems in future.


Making small changes to eat more natural whole foods can create a healthier you both inside as well as outside. If you want personalised weekly coaching and tailored meal plans, you can also take part in my 4 Week Starter Program, click here for more details.