Are you sick of going out for meals with friends because every time you do, it results in abdominal pain, cramping, you become gassy and perhaps even irritable? It’s mighty uncomfortable and is perhaps a sign that you are suffering from irritable bowel or leaky gut syndrome.
The good news? There are effective ways to beat the belly bloat without having to deprive yourself of the foods you love.
What is FODMAP?
Fermentable – fermented by bacteria in the large bowel
Oligo(few)-saccharides(sugar) joined in a chain, are in some vegetables, wheat, and rye.
Di(two)-saccharides double sugar molecule are in lactose containing products.
Mono(one)-saccharides is a single sugar molecule containing fructose and is found in some fruits, juices, and honey.
Polyols(sugar alcohols) are in fruits and vegetables that contain mannitol and sorbitol.
FODMAP, in simple terms, is a collection of short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols naturally in foods and food additives. When foods and/or drinks high in FODMAPs are consumed they can be poorly absorbed, thus causing gas, abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and/or diarrhoea.
The low FODMAP diet is an effective way of monitoring and understanding what portion sizes your body can handle in order to keep IBS controlled. It’s not about deprivation, it’s not about cutting all the tasty foods out of your diet, it’s simply minimising their intake and allowing your gut to heal before you reintroduce them little by little back into your diet and monitoring your body’s reactions to them.
The three stages of this plan are elimination, reintroduction, and liberisation/personalisation.
Phase #1: ELIMINATION = 8 week high FODMAP elimination
Phase #2: REINTRODUCTION = Dietitian reviews food diary’s and identifies your triggers
Phase #3: LIBERISATION (freedom!) = Long term self management of symptoms
Following a low FODMAP diet and refraining from specific food consumption aids in giving the body time to heal. However, a long-term continuation on a low FODMAP diet can have an adverse effect on your body, so you will want to reintroduce high FODMAP foods at some point in your treatment plan because of the nutritional value of some of the foods on the top scoring FODMAP food list.
Click here for a list of indicators that you are ready to reintroduce FODMAPs back into your diet, leading to the liberalization stage & saying bye bye to the belly bloat! Want more? Learn when to reintroduce FODMAPs here