Low FODMAP Diet Helps Those with IBS

Although there’s no absolute cure for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), being aware of which foods your gut is sensitive to can go a long way in helping you control its symptoms and reduce the impact it has on your life. Shocking data reveals that a large portion of the population suffers from conditions that arise due to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This implies that thousands of people are experiencing distension, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, a noisy abdomen, excessive wind, fatigue, and nausea.

Although it is believed that stress, stomach viruses, and an abnormal equilibrium of bowel bacteria are potential triggers of IBS, it is assumed the key underlying trigger is food intolerance. Owing to the fact that drug therapy for IBS is by and large ineffective, a dietary management plan that is low in naturally occurring sugars, referred to as FODMAPs, is establishing itself as a valuable cure for people affected by IBS. However, it may not work for all the patients.

The low FODMAP diet was developed by nutritionist Dr. Sue Shepherd and gastroenterologist Professor Peter Gibson, who works at Monash University and the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. People who have followed the diet have experienced alleviation of their symptoms. FODMAPs is the easy-to-use acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, and Monosaccharides, and Polyols. These are all indigestible sugars that are present naturally in foods.

Since these dietary sugars may not be absorbed effectively by the body, they elevate the water content in the gut and generate an overload of gas, triggering the symptoms of IBS. The rationale behind the unpleasant and uncomfortable symptoms some people experience while others don’t lies in their gut sensitivity. People who fall prey to an irritable bowel possess hypersensitivity in the gut, where a slight, normal physiological distension can be felt and causes bowel habits, pain, or bloating.

The low FODMAP diet follows a fairly simple philosophy. It is suggested that all FODMAPs must be strictly avoided for at least a couple of months. As soon as the symptoms are relieved, gradually one FODMAP group can be reintroduced at a time to learn how much can be tolerated. Food groups in the low FODMAP diet are:

Grains
· To be avoided: regular pasta, several, cereals, multi-grain and white breads, corn thins
· Substitutes: rice noodles and rice, water crackers, gluten-free cereals and breads, oats

Fruit
· To be avoided: mangoes, apples, pears, watermelon, blackberries, apricots
· Substitutes: blueberries, oranges, bananas, tomatoes, grapes, cantaloupe

Vegetables
· To be avoided: sugar snap peas, avocado, cauliflower, mushrooms, snow peas
· Substitutes: carrot, cucumber, green bean, broccoli, sweet potato, bok choy, olives

Dairy Products
· To be avoided: ice cream, custard, cream, cottage cheese
· Substances: butter, rice milk, lactose-free milk, brie, soy yogurt, margarine

Sweeteners
· To be avoided: high fructose corn syrup, honey
· Substitutes: golden syrup, maple syrup

A low FODMAP diet is also observed to be accommodating for a number of symptoms in people with inflammatory bowel disease, for instance ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Even though it doesn’t cure the primary disease or inflammation, a low FODMAP diet is successful at relieving symptoms caused by an IBS-triggered sensitivity.

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