Celiac Disease Symptoms


Low FODMAPs for IBS and IBD

The FODMAPs diet was created by Sue Shepard in 1999 as a method for controlling symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by limiting the amount of “FODMAPs” consumed in one’s diet. While still a fairly new dietary approach among those in the health field, the Low FODMAPs diet has been published in international medical journals and is now accepted and recommended as one of the most effective dietary treatments of IBS. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, such as Crohn’s, have also showed significant improvement on a low FODMAPs diet.

What Are FODMAPs?

Low FODMAPs Diet DoctorFor those wondering exactly what “FODMAPs” are, these are molecules found in the foods we eat. The word FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. Basically, FODMAPs are a collection of molecules that can be poorly absorbed by some people, thus causing symptoms that often make up IBS including abdominal bloating and distension, excess wind (flatulence), abdominal pain, nausea, changes in bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation, or a combination of both), and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

In those with a compromised gastrointestinal or digestive system, FODMAPs can be extremely troublesome as these molecules are poorly absorbed in the small intestine of the digestive tract and often end up in the large intestine where they can act as food source to the bacteria that reside there. When these bacteria then digest or ferment these troublesome FODMAPS, symptoms of IBS often occur.

Fermentable The process by which gut bacteria degrade undigested carbohydrate to produce gases (hydrogen, methane and carbon dioxide
-Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) found in garlic, onions, and gluten
-Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) found in beans and peas
Disaccharides Lactose found in milk, soft cheeses and yogurt
Mono-saccharides Fructose found in high fructose corn syrup, honey, apples, pears and other fruits
Polyols Sugar alcohols (e.g. sorbitol, mannitol) found in some fruit and vegetables and used in many sugar free products

*Note: adapted from http://www.med.monash.edu/cecs/gastro/fodmap/

A FODMAPs diet limits foods that contain high levels of these fermentable
carbohydrates. The intake of FODMAPs should be gradual and strategic, meaning that each individual possesses his or her own “threshold of tolerance.” The greater the FODMAPs load, the more likely symptoms will begin to occur.

In conjunction with a low FODMAPs diet, I often follow specific gastrointestinal protocols involving the 5 R’s of Functional Medicine and additionally recommend supplementing with antimicrobials to knock down bacterial overgrowth and Magnesium Citrate to increase transit time.

For a complete list of FODMAP foods, please click HERE

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