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Feeling Bloated? The Low FODMAP Diet Might Help

Nina Ghamrawi, MS, RD, CDE
August 12, 2023
December 8, 2023

Are you tired of feeling bloated, gassy, and uncomfortable after meals? For many people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the culprit may be certain types of carbohydrates known as FODMAPs.

The low FODMAP diet is a dietary approach that has been shown to alleviate symptoms of IBS and help you feel your best. Get ready to say goodbye to digestive distress and hello to a happier gut! In this article, we'll cover the basics you need to know.

What Is The Low FODMAP Diet?

The low FODMAP diet is typically recommended after other potential causes of symptoms have been ruled out, and the patient has been diagnosed with IBS. This diet involves eliminating certain types of short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols). These are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and can ferment in the large intestine, causing symptoms such as bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. Basically, these carbohydrates are all eliminated from the diet temporarily. One-by-one, they are slowly added back to the diet to see which are causing symptoms.

Here are the 5 classes of carbohydrates that are removed from the diet:

  1. Fructose: Found in fruits, honey, and some sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup.
  2. Lactose: Found in milk and dairy products.
  3. Fructans: Found in wheat, onions, garlic, and some other vegetables.
  4. Galactans: Found in legumes such as lentils, beans, and chickpeas.
  5. Polyols: Found in some fruits and vegetables, as well as some artificial sweeteners.

During the elimination phase, high FODMAP foods are eliminated for a period of 2-6 weeks to see if they are contributing to symptoms. The goal is to then reintroduce these foods in a systematic way to identify which specific types of FODMAPs are triggering symptoms, and then create a personalized diet plan that includes a variety of low FODMAP foods and limited amounts of high FODMAP foods that are well tolerated.

There are 3 phases of the Low FODMAP diet:

  1. Elimination phase: The first phase involves eliminating high FODMAP foods for 2-6 weeks. This includes avoiding foods like wheat, onions, garlic, certain fruits, and artificial sweeteners.
  2. Reintroduction phase: The second phase involves gradually reintroducing FODMAP foods to identify which specific types of FODMAPs trigger symptoms. This is done by testing one FODMAP group at a time and monitoring symptoms.
  3. Personalization phase: The third phase involves creating a personalized, long-term diet plan that includes a variety of low FODMAP foods and limited amounts of high FODMAP foods that are well tolerated.
Dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms? Give the Low FODMAP diet a try!

By avoiding certain types of carbohydrates and then gradually reintroducing them, you can identify which foods trigger symptoms and, with the help of a Dietitian, create a one-of-a-kind diet plan that's tailored to your unique needs. You can learn to manage your symptoms, improve your gut health, and live life to the fullest. So stop suffering! Ask your doctor about a referral to our Medical Nutrition Therapy program so you can give FODMAP a try and transform your digestive health and overall well-being today!

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