Brisbane based dietician, Jocelyn Hunter Clarke
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The low FODMAP diet

Who may benefit from a low FODMAP diet?

A low FODMAP diet trial is now considered first line therapy for individuals with medically diagnosed IBS.

How do I start a low FODMAP diet?

If you plan to trial a low FODMAP diet it is vital you seek guidance from a dietitian  with experience in this area. Individuals who trial the diet without supervision are often  far more restrictive with foods than is necessary. With expert guidance the diet is nutritionally sound however ongoing strict adherence to the diet is discouraged because of the potential issue with regard to the loss of prebiotic effect of these foods and there is some concern this may impact on long term gut health.

Is the low FODMAP diet very restrictive?

The diet is not overly restrictive and individuals are usually pleasantly surprised at the range of allowed foods.  It includes foods across all food groups including a wide range of fruits, vegetables, lactose free dairy, wholegrain foods and protein foods including many vegetarian alternatives. It is important to note that the low FODMAP diet is designed as a short term trial followed by the re-introduction of foods to test tolerance levels. The long term goal is an individualised diet which is the least restrictive necessary for symptom management.

 

Low FODMAP

What are FODMAP’s?

FODMAP’s refers to a group of fermentable carbohydrates including  Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mon-saccharides & Polyols. These particular carbohydrates are often incompletely digested and this means they continue on to the large intestine. When the bacteria in the large intestine get access to these foods they use them as an energy source. This is not harmful , in fact the FODMAPs  are prebiotics which nourish the gut microbiome  (bacteria) and contribute to long term gut health.  However individuals with IBS have sensitive intestines and because of this the following may occur

  • The fermentation of FODMAPs by bacteria in the large intestine results in rapid gas production and can trigger bloating & abdominal discomfort
  • Rapid gas production from this fermentation can impede movement through the bowel and trigger constipation
  • Increased water delivery into the bowel due osmotic effect of the FODMAP’s can trigger diarrhoea, abdominal pain or discomfort

For expert dietitian advice, please book an appointment with Jocelyn Hunter Clarke on 0419 673 797 or click below

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