Every one of us suffering from IBS knows this: We have so called "trigger foods", that makes us run to the bathroom within minutes. And of course, we have all banished these foods from our diet. But there is more to diet than just suppressing a few ingredients. In fact, some diets are known to give a tremendous relief to a lot of IBS sufferers.
In this article, I will present the recent, very popular, low FODMAP diet.
Origin of the diet
This diet was created by Australian researchers, having found out that some foods created a lot of gas and bloating to IBS sufferers. It gained popularity over there, but remained almost unknown to most of us, until the book ibs: free at last went out in 2009. The diet rapidly gained popularity, and still is. Nowadays it's one of the most popular ways to deal with IBS.
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAPs stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides, and Polyols. Basically, it is a collection of foods that contain carbohydrates that can be difficult to digest. The theory is that these carbohydrates stay in the intestines, feeding the bacteria, which then produce gas and water, thus giving us poor IBS sufferers our bout of diarrhea and gas.
Currently, researchers are working on the exact benefits of a low-FODMAPs cure, there hypothesis being that they can drastically reduce symptoms for 75% of the sufferers. Not a small achievement.
There's a huge amount of lists of high and low fodmaps foods on the internet, that you'll find easily. I don't really see the point in writing a new one here. Here are a few links I like:
- the about.com page on fodmaps
- a nice PDF to print
- a huge fodmaps list from Cassandra Forsythe's blog
So, we're moving to the important point: Is it feasible to stick with such a diet? It may sound hard at first, living without bread sounding almost impossible to me. But I am still going to try it out for a month, see how it goes. Using l-glutamine has already helped me a lot, but I think switching to a FODMAP diet could lead me to almost symptom free IBS.
The good news is that, although you should get rid of all high FODMAP food at first (the elimination phase), you may reintroduce them one by one after a few weeks, to see what really troubles you, and what your threshold is. The idea behind this is that YOU should determine how much you want to limit your IBS symptoms.
On the next article, I'll introduce the specific carbohydrate diet, a very hard-to-follow, but allegedly very efficient diet. In fact, several people declare they were cured from IBS, or even Crohn's disease thanks to it...