What is the low FODMAP diet?

“FODMAPS” have definitely become a buzzword in the past few years. Packaged foods are starting to include “low FODMAP” labels and there are now dedicated shopping sites for low FODMAP foods. But is a low FODMAP diet for everyone?

What is the low FODMAP diet?

The low FODMAP diet is strictly a diet for those who are suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). IBS affects many Australians and the gut symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea or a combination.

There are many types of other illnesses with these symptoms so it is important to be formally diagnosed with IBS from your GP or gastroenterologist before proceeding with the low FODMAP diet

“FODMAPS” is an acronym for certain types of carbohydrates found in many types of foods. In people with IBS, these types of carbohydrates remain undigested in the small bowel and this is the catalyst for many undesirable gut related symptoms.

There is unfortunately no cure for IBS, however we know that by under the guidance of a dietitian, the low FODMAP diet can help people manage their symptoms without compromising nutritional adequacy. The low FODMAP diet is a 3 phase diet, and is not long term so you can control your symptoms in as little as 4 – 6 weeks!

The 3 phases of the low FODMAP diet

1) Restriction

For two weeks, you are asked to replace your intake of high FODMAP foods with low FODMAP foods to ensure you gut is ready to tackle phase 2.

2) Reintroduction

In phase 2, at your own pace you reintroduce specific portions of certain high FODMAP foods into your diet. This will allow you to understand if the specific type of carbohydrate is the culprit of your symptoms and your tolerance level. This step is repeated for each FODMAP subgroups.

3) Personalisation

Now you know which type of foods you can tolerate without any symptoms and which types of foods you may be able to eat in certain amounts! HOORAY!

Did you know that I have completed the Monash University IBS course for Dietitian’s!

Before you make your appointment with me, please complete a 3 day food and symptom diary so we can begin the low FODMAP diet and get you on your way to symptom relief.

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