The Low FODMAP Diet

The low FODMAP diet is the most effective therapy for the management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other associated dietary intolerances.

If you suffer from IBS, gluten, lactose or fructose intolerances and have struggled to manage your symptoms then it’s time to see what a low FODMAP diet can do for you.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a term given to a cluster of persistent digestive symptoms usually after Inflammatory Bowel Diseases such as Coeliacs, Chrons and Ulcerative Colitis have been excluded.

The cause and pathophysiology of IBS is poorly understood however, it has been well established that FODMAPs often trigger symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of IBS?
  • Change to bowel habits (diarrhoea, constipation or in combination)
  • Abdominal pain and discomfort
  • Excessive gas/flatulence/farting
  • Bloating and Abdominal distension (increased abdomen size, may be described as a ‘food baby’)
  • Reflux & Heartburn
  • Nausea (& Vomiting – however this is less common)
  • Feeling fatigued, weak, lethargic, ‘brain foggy’

It is important that if you experience any of these symptoms you consult with your Doctor/GP to rule out inflammatory bowel diseases or any other potential causes. Do not self diagnose.

If you suspect you are reacting to gluten it is important coeliac disease is first excluded. Diagnosing coeliacs accurately will require you to remain on a diet containing gluten (once you remove dietary gluten your intestine wall will begin to repair and a diagnosis will become difficult to make).

What are FODMAPs?

FODMAPs is an acronym describing five categories of poorly absorbed, highly fermentable short chain sugars/carbohydrates and sugar alcohols occuring naturally in many foods (and some added to processed foods).

FODMAPs are not absorbed in the small intestine and find themselves in the large intestine where they become bug-food for our gut bacteria, producing gas. Aside from producing gas FODMAPs also change the concentration and osmolarity of our large intestine causing water to be drawn back into our bowels.

So we can see from this, that FODMAPs may cause bloating, gas and uncomfortable/painful swelling in two ways:

  1. Gas from our gut bacteria digesting FODMAPs
  2. Water pressure due to a change in osmolarity [concentration] in our colon.

FODMAPs stands for:

Fermentable: Not digested and absorbed by our small intestine FODMAPs travel to our large intestine to be fermented by our gut bacteria.

Oligosaccharides: ‘Oligo’ means few and ‘saccharide’ means sugars. There are two oligosaccharide FODMAPs: Fructans and Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)

Disaccharide: Double sugars are disaccharides – Lactose is a disaccharide FODMAP

Monosaccharide: In the context of FODMAPs this is referring to ‘excess fructose’ – meaning there is more fructose in a food than there is glucose (this is a ratio).

Polyols: These are sugar alcohols and include – sorbitol, mannitol, maltitil and xylitol. (Isomalt and polydextrose act in similar ways). Sugar alcohols are not intoxicating alcohols!

Why a Low FODMAP Diet for IBS?

The Low FODMAP diet, pioneered by Dr Sue Shepherd PhD (a Sydney based Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian), is recognised internationally as the most effective diet for managing IBS symptoms. The low FODMAP diet is also useful for people who have not been formally diagnosed with IBS but suffer from one or all of the symptoms above.

The low FODMAP diet is an evidence-based diet therapy for IBS.

The low FODMAP dietary pattern has shown to be effective in 75% of IBS sufferers and continues to offer long term symptom relief.

 

What does the low FODMAP diet involve?

This is a two stage diet.

Stage One: identification and restriction of irritating high-FODMAP foods

Stage Two: Phasing in, testing and liberalisation of your diet. (We continue to restrict irritating FODMAPs and reintroduce those that are tolerated – we want a diet with as little restriction as possible after all!)

Why work with me?

I am well versed in the low FODMAP diet. Working with an appropriately qualified nutritionist or dietitian is important when undertaking an elimination diet to protect against nutrition deficiencies. There are many possible food components that may contribute to IBS and working with a qualified nutritionist/dietitian will enable you to identify your triggers efficiently.

Additionally, there is a wealth of information available on the internet and whilst it is likely to be well meaning, the internet is not always the best source for reliable, evidence-based information when it comes to our health and wellbeing.

When you chose to work with me, you can expect to receive; personalised advice, a report, recipes and meal plans to guide you step-by-step through phase one and two of the low FODMAP diet.

Ready to get a handle on your symptoms?

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Praise

Kind Words from Clients

“My daughter Ella has been seeing Jessica for Nutrition Advice over the last 6 months. This experience has been very educational for myself as well as Ella. Jessica is very knowledgeable and gave Ella and myself hands on exercises to do in the sessions as well as achievable exercise and nutriton  goals for Ella every week. Ella has related well with Jessica  and I have seen a great improvement in her eating habits and general well being since she has been attending these sessions.”

Clare, Auckland

“I really appreciate the insight and support you have provided over the last few months to help me achieve the weight loss, and regain energy levels, something I was beginning to accept has being apart of old age. Thank you very much!!”

Greg, Auckland

I always love hearing from clients, readers and my subscribers about your experiences! You can always send one through to me at: hello@bodybalancenutrition.co.nz

 

Will this be you?

Don't Be Shy

If you struggle with gas, bloating, difficult bathroom habits and irritable bowel….. book an appointment today to see what the low FODMAP diet can do for you!