Understanding FODMAPs to Manage IBS

Understanding FODMAPs to Manage IBS
FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates found in common foods identified as contributing to symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The term FODMAP is an acronym coined by a group of researchers at Monash University in Australia as a way to refer to these particular carbohydrates:
  • Fermentables
  • Oligosaccharides (comprised of fructans and galactans)
  • Disaccharides (milk sugar lactose)
  • Monosaccharides (fructose)
  • Polyols (sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, and maltitol)

What Makes a Carbohydrate a FODMAP?

FODMAPs are carbohydrates that are not well absorbed by the small intestine. In turn, they become available to be acted upon by bacteria that are within the large intestine and they can interact with gut bacteria and release gas. Also, FODMAPs can be osmotic, meaning that they increase the volume of water in stool.

It is thought that this increase in either gas or liquid, or both, contributes to IBS symptoms like pain, gas and bloating, and constipation and diarrhea.

Why You Should Follow a Low-FODMAP Diet.

A low-FODMAP diet is an excellent treatment for IBS. The diet requires the avoidance of any high-FODMAP foods for an elimination phase lasting between four to six weeks. At the end of this elimination phase, slowly introduce each FODMAP type back into the diet—one by one—to accurately pinpoint which FODMAPs are problematic.

Not every FODMAP type is a problem for every person who has IBS so the reintroduction process is extremely important. Reintroduction also more accurately identifies which FODMAPs are tolerable and which provoke IBS symptoms. 

Is the Low-FODMAP Diet for Me?

A low-FODMAP diet is for anyone who has IBS and is motivated to control their triggers. Preliminary research suggests that this diet is helpful for individuals who have celiac disease or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and who continue to experience unwanted digestive symptoms even when the primary condition is well-addressed medically.

Low-FODMAP Diet Effectiveness

Research has determined that a low-FODMAP diet can be very effective when followed under the supervision of an accredited naturopathic physician like Dr. Laura Brass. In clinical studies, three out of four of people with IBS experienced significant symptom relief when following the low-FODMAP diet.

Diet Duration

This diet is not intended for long-term use as many high-FODMAP foods are very good for overall health. Many are considered prebiotics, meaning that they enhance a healthy balance of gut bacteria. 

Schedule a Complimentary IBS Consultation from Dr. Laura Brass. Using video and set in the comfort of your own home, Dr. Brass can and will get the root cause of your IBS.

During your time together, Dr. Brass will provide a detailed assessment of your health concerns including a full review of:

• Your diet 
• Supplements/medications 
• Lifestyle 
• Medical history

At the end of the consultation Dr. Brass will tell you what factors she believes are likely causing your health condition, and what steps are needed to get you feeling better.

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