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What Are FODMAPs?

It's believed 15-20% of the population has Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and many have found little help for their bloating, gas, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea. Now, more and more research shows that a diet low in some types of FODMAP foods may help bring relief. In studies, up to 75% of IBS sufferers have been helped with a low FODMAP diet.

FODMAPs stands for Fermentable, Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides And Polyols. These are a type of carbohydrates that are naturally occurring in a variety of healthy foods. For some people, these carbohydrates don't get absorbed the way they should, and become food for the bacteria living in the intestines. The bacteria give off gas as they ferment the food particles, which can lead to many IBS symptoms. These unabsorbed particles are also osmotically active, which means they pull water into the intestines which can lead to diarrhea.

As a registered dietitian who specializes in the low FODMAP diet approach, I can help you determine which FODMAP foods, and how much of them, you can tolerate. The goal will be to provide you symptom relief, with the least restrictive diet possible.

Comparison of symptom response following advice for a diet low in fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs) versus standard dietary advice in patients with irritable bowel syndrome - J Hum Nutr Diet. 2011 Oct;24(5):487-95.

Evidence-based dietary management of functional gastrointestinal symptoms: The FODMAP approach - J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Feb;25(2):252-8

Dietary triggers of abdominal symptoms in patients with irritable bowel syndrome: randomized placebo-controlled evidence - Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 Jul;6(7):765-71.