The diet work by cutting out a short chain of carbohydrates which include:
These are foods which are poorly absorbed in the gut and include simple and complex sugars which are found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, wheat and milk.
"Food is made from of many components, such as proteins, fats and carbohydrates (including sugars). Some carbohydrates (FODMAPs) do not get absorbed in the small intestine. They pass along the gut to the large intestine where there are billions of bacteria. The bacteria ferment FODMAPs which may result in gas production and symptoms such as wind and bloating. Diarrhoea and altered bowel habit can occur due to an osmotic effect which increases the amount of water in the large intestine making stops loose or liquid. Reducing the intake of FODMAPs has been shown to improve gut symptoms in most people with IBS-like symptoms." - Reducing Fermentable Carbohydrates the low FODMAP way
There are 3 stages to the low FODMAP diet:
- Stage 1 Restriction: In this stage, you reduce your FODMAP intake by avoiding foods that are high in FODMAPs for 4 to 8 weeks as this period is considered long enough to identify if symptoms will respond to a low FODMAP diet.
- Stage 2 Reintroduction: If your symptoms have improved following FODMAP restriction, it is important to reintroduce some high FODMAP foods. This will enable you to identify which FODMAPs you are most sensitive to, as well as how much of a high FODMAP food triggers your symptoms.
- Stage 3 Personalisation : The long term aim of a low FODMAP diet is to personalise your diet so you only avoid foods that trigger your symptoms and you return to as normal a diet as possible.
The Low FODMAP Diet has a traffic light system to help individual identify 'safe' foods, foods that can be eaten in small amount and foods to avoid.
To anyone with IBS that's affecting their daily living I'd defiantly recommend asking your GP to refer to you to see a dietician to trail a Low FODMAP diet.