Is IBS dictating your life? Are you tired of feeling like you live on Miralax or Imodium and want to start the low FODMAP diet, but don’t want do it alone?
Eathority guides you step-by-step through each phase of the low FODMAP diet. Together we will rule out dietary offenders and recalibrate your gut flora so you can live your life as symptom-free as possible.
The below packages are designed to ensure your long-term success and keep you feeling supported throughout the process.
FODMAPs is a two-syllable acronym that stands for:
FODMAPS are specific types of carbohydrates that can be poorly absorbed and cause digestive discomfort. Humans do not contain enzymes to breakdown most FODMAPs, or some of them pass through the intestinal tract quickly. As a result, some FODMAPs remain intact as they travel through the gut. They can be fermented by the bacteria along the way, putting off gas, or they can draw water into the gut. In someone with IBS, gut nerves can overreact to the presence of gas or excess water in the gut, resulting in intestinal issues such as diarrhea or excessive bloating and even constipation.
Side note: FOD rhymes with mod.
Oligosaccharides include two types of FODMAPs: fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS). These tend to create gas. Oligosaccharide-containing foods include the following:
- Wheat, rye, barley, onions, leek, shallots, white part of spring onion, garlic, legumes, lentils, artichokes, chicory, artichokes, inulin, cashews, chamomile or oolong tea
Disachharide refers to the lactose molecule. Lactose tends to create gas and may pull water into the gut. Lactose-containing foods include the following:
- Milk, evaporated milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, ricotta, custard and ice cream
Monosaccharide refers to the fructose molecule. Fructose may pull water into the gut, causing diarrhea. Fructose-containing foods include:
- Asparagus, honey, mango, watermelon, apples, pears, high fructose corn syrup, agave
Polyols include a few types of FODMAPS: sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol and xylitol. These can pull water into gut. Foods that contain polyols include:
- Apples, pears, apricots, nectarines, plums, cauliflower, sugar-free products
Currently, the diet is indicated for patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). People with these conditions are extremely sensitive to FODMAPs and experience significant, sometimes debilitating intestinal distress as a result of consuming them. Everyone has a FODMAP “bucket”, and some people’s buckets are smaller than others, especially those with IBS or SIBO. Smaller buckets can quickly overflow if too many FODMAPs are consumed. When an overflow occurs, a person may experience diarrhea, gas, bloating or constipation as a result of the gas emitted by bacteria as they ferment the FODMAPS.
I would not recommend this as a dietary pattern unless medically indicated. FODMAPs contain prebiotics, which are fibers that feed beneficial gut bacteria. Excluding FODMAPs for long periods of time reduces microbial diversity, which can have future health implications.
For those with IBS or SIBO, excluding FODMAPs for 2-6 weeks can help reduce symptoms. This period of exclusion is Phase I of the diet and lasts a minimum of 4 weeks to establish a baseline that is as symptom-free as possible. Phase I allows us to have a clean slate of sorts. This makes it easier to judge sensitivity to FODMAP tests that occur in Phase II.
Phase II entails reintroducing one FODMAP group at a time to figure out which FODMAP or FODMAPs cause intestinal distress. This stage of the diet can last 2.5-3 months depending on the number and combinations of FODMAPs an individual wants to trial. The goal of this phase is to figure out which specific FODMAP group and combination of FODMAP groups causes someone’s “bucket” to overflow.
Phase III is all about maintaining what I call a moderate FODMAP diet, meaning incorporating FODMAPs you can tolerate, avoiding major triggers and leading a life with significantly reduced symptoms.
Eathority does not recommend self-diagnosing. If you experience periods of prolonged diarrhea, gas, bloating or constipation, please get evaluated by a gastroenterologist. They will help rule out any serious medical issues.
The low FODMAP diet can be very daunting to tackle alone. Working with a registered dietitian reduces stress around the diet and makes you feel like you have a partner in the process. There are a lot of ins and outs to the diet, so working with a registered dietitian who has experience with the diet ensures you have the most up-to-date, evidence-based care.