New To The Low Fodmap Diet?
So, you might have IBS, and your doctor recommends that you try a low fodmap diet. He hands you a 1 page general guideline sheet and sends you home to play ‘fill in the blank with Google’.
Some of the information you find is useful, some of it might as well a different language with words you’ve never seen and definitely can’t pronounce. A lot of it conflicts with information on the last website you were just on.
What the heck is a low fodmap diet and how does it magically fix your gut issues?
It's pretty easy to break down. This diet is based on the belief that your GI issues (diarrhea, constipation, bloating gas and abdominal discomfort) are brought on by an undiscovered food sensitivity.
Now your goal is to eliminate all of the common irritants to reset your gut and reintroduce them to your newly healthy intestinal tract, thus eliminating your symptoms.
FODMAP foods are foods that are difficult for our bodies to break down and absorb. Instead of being broken down and absorbed in the digestion process, they keep traveling through our intestines and can wreak havoc. Gas and bloating can be caused by these foods when they begin to mix with the bacteria in our large intestines and the combination creates and releases a gas.
For example, are you familiar with that magical fruit? Beans are a common culprit and therefore considered a high fodmap food. Beans are not the only food that are high in fodmap. Any food that is considered a short chained carbohydrate is a candidate for malabsorption.
Foods that contain fructose and lactose are the common foods that contain these short chained carbohydrates.
Are these just junk foods that need to be eliminated like a normal diet?
Fructose and lactose are found in many natural and healthy foods. Apples, peaches, watermelon, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, cheese, yogurt, wheat, garlic, and onions are just a few of the healthy foods that are off-limits in a low fructose diet.
It's possible that health kick you’ve been on is the very trigger for your IBS.
Wait....does this mean that I have to give up ice cream and pizza in order to follow the low FODMAP diet?!
Well, yes and no. The low FODMAP diet only needs to be followed for 4-12 weeks (hallelujah!). BUT, in order for it to be effective, the diet must be followed to a T. The less strict you are with the diet, the less like your chances are of seeing results.
So, the idea is to determine which foods are high FODMAP and temporarily remove those from your diet. If you can do that for a few weeks, you may be giving your body the opportunity to heal and eliminate your IBS for good!