When is it time to reintroduce FODMAPS?
The structure of the gut treatment plan ‘Low FODMAP Diet App‘ developed in Melbourne, Australia by Monash University not only helps you eliminate bad foods, but also in the recovery by reintroducing foods into your diet through a systematic approach to a healthier lifestyle.
After a lot of trial and error, you have hopefully learnt to understand your FODMAP triggers, have eliminated high FODMAP food and successfully navigated stage one of the diet plan(the elimination stage). By now, you are feeling much better, have reduced the belly bloat and you are probably wondering when is the ideal time to reintroduce high FODMAP food back into your diet.
The truth is, there is no scientific answer because everyone who suffers from a GI disorder does so, differently.
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.
Here is 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!
- You have been seeing an accredited Dietitian to ensure your diet is nutritionally complete
- You have successfully alleviated symptoms for at least four weeks.
- You have taken the time to learn about low and high FODMAP foods, and you have a list of ones to avoid. Luckily there are many apps (such as the Monash University Low Fodmap) that you can use to help track your food intake and symptoms. Some sufferers may be able to eliminate foods immediately while others may have a bumpy ride trying to figure it out which is why it requires four weeks of consistency before striving for reintroduction.
- Your body has recovered and healed.
- Any digestive disorder can starve you of nutrients. Certain conditions can even damage the GI tract. The goal is to learn how to manage your diagnosis while also improving health.
- You understand FODMAP food intake.
- It is hard to look at broccoli and see anything negative about its existence where health is concerned. However, knowledge of the low FODMAP diet will teach you that it is on the list of avoidable foods. Sometimes, practice is an excellent teacher because this program introduces one FODMAP food group each week as you build your tolerance list. You are the deciding factor as to when it is time to add a new set of food. Many websites also promote FODMAP recipes that can make the transition more comfortable for you to adjust.
- You have a plan in place to deal with triggers of your condition.
- Research shows us that food, anxiety, and stress can bring on symptoms. If you are not yet sure of what triggers your symptoms, you may not be ready to reintroduce certain foods. With all meals, you will want to slowly introduce foods and keep track of the ones that disagree with you.
- You have done your homework on your condition, and you are confident in the treatment and recovery stages.
- Knowing you have a medical illness and knowing how to manage it is two different things. Learning to read labels, cooking FODMAP recipes, and choosing appropriate portion sizes should be a focus of your research before starting step two.
Stage three (the liberalisation phase) is much more comfortable because you learn to personalize your diet plan while also returning to a normal routine. If you experience a symptom, you are far more knowledgeable about identifying its cause and avoiding it in the future.
Dietitians or trained nutritionists can also be allies in helping you overcome your GI condition because of the complexity of illnesses and treatment plans. Ideally, you will want to work with someone before starting FODMAP so that you improve your health quickly. Without proper guidance, it is easy to make mistakes or consume food that goes against the FODMAP diet plan. Either way, your body will let you know if you are on the right track or not. Just take your time, investigate, and have a plan in place before reintroducing food.