FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. The term fodmap is an acronym;
Fermentable (broken down by bacteria in the large bowel)
Oligosaccharides (including fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides) I.e;
- Spring onion (white part)
Disaccharides (including lactose) I.e;
- Natural yogurt
- Soft cheeses
Monosaccharides (including fructose) I.e;
Polyols (including sorbitol, xylitol, and mannitol) I.e;
- Stone fruits
- Chewing gum
What happens when FODMAPs are consumed?
Fodmaps pull more water into your gut, which can cause more gas to be produced. This results in bloating, cramping and abdominal distension, which as a result can lead to diarrhoea and constipation.
Is the low fodmap diet for me?
If you have digestive symptoms such as excess gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea/constipation it would be worth visiting your GP to be properly evaluated by a health care professional first.
Doctors and dieticians will start you with the ‘elimination’ or restriction phase, which is recommended to only be followers for 2-6 weeks. Your progress should then be reviewed, to which your dietician will advise you on what foods (and how much of each) can gradually be reintroduced into your diet, and how you react to these foods.
As a result of following the above process the overall goal is to be able to return to your usual eating habits, restricting a number of high fodmap foods that need to be avoided.
Please be aware the low fodmap diet is not for life, and it does require a lot of patience, however if done properly it can make a massive difference, for me following the diet has had a massive positive impact on my life.