Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common functional gastrointestinal disorder affecting one in seven adults. Its symptoms can be improved with a low FODMAP diet and your lifestyle.
IBS is commonly characterized by GI symptoms such as bloating and distension, excess wind ( flatulence), abdominal pain and altered bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation)
These symptoms can create anxiety and stress, interfere with the busy schedule, and may trigger symptoms.
Fermented Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols (FODMAPs) are found in the foods we eat. FODMAPs are sugar that is poorly absorbed in the small intestine and reach the large intestine where they produce gas and attract water.
FODMAPs are found in everyday foods including specific dairy products, wheat, and other grains and fruits and vegetables.
It is important to remember that FODMAPs are not causing IBS but managing them in the diet provides an opportunity for reducing IBS symptoms.
Studies have shown that ingesting FODMAPs exacerbates symptoms in most people with IBS, while dietary restriction of FODMAPs improves symptoms control.
What is the low FODMAPs diet?
The low FODMAP diet involves many dietary changes that are the best reviewed in consultation with an accredited dietician. However, a brief overview and sample meal plan is shown below
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAPs are a large group of dietary sugars found in many common foods such as specific dairy products, wheat, and other grains, fruits and vegetables.
FODMAPs are found in many foods we commonly eat and is an acronym for :
|Oligosaccharides: Fructans and Galacto Oligosaccharides|
|Monosaccharaides: Fructose excess in Glucose|
|Polyols: Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt|
|FODSMAPs can be classified into 2 groups:|
|Those FODMAPs that are partly absorbed ( Fructose, Lactose, Polyols)|
|Those FODMAPs that are not absorbed ( Fructans and GOS)|
How DO FODMAPs affect people with IBS?
FODMAPs are small in size and will, therefore, have an osmotic effect (draw fluid) in the gut that results in increased delivery of water through the bowel.
FODMAPs are also poorly absorbed in the small intestine. They continue along the digestive tract to the large intestine where they are fermented by bacteria in the large intestine, which produces gas. The gas production can lead to the wind (flatulence), bloating, discomfort, and abdominal pain, In addition, the large intestinal gas and increased water delivery can alter motility or movement which may contribute to diarrhea or constipation.
DOES FODMAPs affect everybody??
While FODMAPs are poorly absorbed in all people, those with the specific gut disorder such as IBS are thought to experience the uncomfortable symptoms due to the gut being unusually sensitive. Distension or “stretch” in the large intestine from gas or water can trigger symptoms.
REDUCE FOODS HIGH IN FODMAPs
|Honey||White Peaches||Condensed Milk||Legumes||Blackberries|
|Mango||Garlic||Dairy desserts||Kidney beans||Peaches|
LOW FODMAP FOOD TIPS
- Choose colorful fruits low in FODMAPs such as strawberries, banana, blueberries, grapes, rockmelon, pineapple, orange, kiwifruit.
- Select vegetables such as spinach, carrots, capsicum, eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes.
- Purchase wheat and rye free, all-purpose flour blends that are free of soy.
- Select low lactose dairy foods.
- Select a variety of meat, fish, and poultry and oils.
- Choose nuts and seeds low in FODMAPs such as walnuts, almonds, peanuts, sesame seeds.
The low FODMAP diet is somewhat restrictive but can provide adequate nutrients with careful planning. Your dietician can ensure that restricted foods are replaced with suitable alternatives. Your dietician can also advise on the need and suitability of vitamin and mineral supplements.
One of the most important things to remember when you follow a low FODMAP diet is that FODMAPs are natural prebiotics i.e. they encourage the growth of good bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Studies have shown that ingestion of fructans and GOS can encourage the growth of good bacteria such as bifidobacteria. The long term consequences of low FODMAP diet needs to be considered.
Is this a lifetime diet??
No. This diet is usually recommended for 206 weeks at a time. Progress should be assessed by an accredited dietician. They will help and advise which foods can be gradually re-introduced into your specific diet.
LOW FODMAP DIET SAMPLE MEAL PLAN
- Spelled Toast
- Cereal( Oats, porridge, cornflakes)
- Poached eggs
- Lactose-free Yogurt
- Lactose-free milk tea/coffee
- Spelled sandwich with fillings ( Ham/Tuna/Cheese/Egg/Salad)
- Homemade soup with Low FODMAP vegetables.
- Fresh salads with lemon juice.
- Lactose-free yogurt
- Grilled chicken
- Mashed sweet potato, carrots, green beans.
- Baked potatoes with skin, grated carrot.
- Gluten free pasta
- Two rice cakes spread with peanut butter.
- Banana, kiwifruit
- Lactose-free milk
This is the sample plan meal but it is not universal, before taking any meal plan to consult to your Dr. and dietician then start any foods.
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