Published August 22, 2012
You may have heard of a low FODMAP diet, and wondered, not just whether it might be right for you, but also wondered what in the world it is.
FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.
Well, perhaps that definition doesn't clarify things much.
That name contains a list of indigestible sugars that are found in many foods. Some people will experience IBS symptoms from these foods because their guts are sensitive to them.
Many foods that should be avoided or reduced in a low FODMAP diet are certain fruits, sweeteners, grains, vegetables and milk products.
According to Emedicine.net, a diet low in FODMAPs can bring some relief to many people who have irritable bowel syndrome reducing symptoms.
The diet is not considered a cure but it can ease the pain, gas, bloating and other IBS symptoms.
If you've been seen by a doctor and have been found not to have other conditions such as celiac disease, ovarian cancer and inflammatory bowel disease, you might want to consider a low FODMAP diet.
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These carbohydrates ferment in the digestive process because they're not broken down sufficiently or absorbed in the small intestine. They then remain in an undigested state as they move through the bowel. Colonic bacteria ferment.
The unhappy result is bacterial overgrowth, bloating and gas.
Women going through menopause may be prone to increased bloating and gas, according to Dr. Christiane Northrup. Many women will find themselves unable to tolerate many foods they'd been able to eat without problems all their lives.
For some, a low FODMAP diet might be an answer.
Webmd.com recommended that you eliminate all foods containing lactose, fructose, fructans, sugar alcohols and galactans for a week or two to determine whether or not a low FODMAPS diet is for you. You may find relief comes with a matter of days.
To determine which if any of those initially eliminated foods are alright for you, reintroduce one at a time. This way you will be able to discover which foods are problems for you and which are acceptable.
A gluten-free diet is often a good idea since wheat contains fructans.
A low FODMAP diet has been developed at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. It was successful in a placebo-controlled trial. Researchers deemed this diet as being more successful in controlling IBS symptoms than other alternatives.
This diet entails eliminating FODMAP foods for eight weeks. This allows time for the gut to recover from symptoms.
Research from King's College, London, England also approved the diet. It has been used at Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London.