If you suffer from IBS in your daily life, you should start flying the Australian flag. Whether you consider it a country or a continent, it has discovered a diet which can ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. It is known as the low-FODMAP diet for IBS.
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a gastrointestinal disorder. Those with IBS often deal with gas, bloating, diarrhea, and cramps. Many IBS sufferers struggle to find relief.
Ten to fifteen percent of the adult population in the US have IBS, and it is the most common disorder gastroenterologists like Digestive Health Services diagnose and treat.
Some Facts About IBS
- There is no cure for irritable bowel syndrome
- Triggers can include food, certain medications, and stressful situations
- It does not put you at a higher risk for developing colitis, Crohn’s disease, or colon cancer
- There is no known cause for IBS
Relief With the Low-FODMAP Diet
FODMAP stands for: Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, And Polyols. Breaking it down, this means:
- Oligosaccharides: fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)
- Disaccharides: lactose
- Monosaccharides: fructose
- Polyols: sorbitol and mannitol
Australian researchers found that the small intestine does not handle (digest) or absorb these substances. Instead, they increase fluid in the bowels and create more gas. More fluid and gas leads to bloating and it changes how quickly food is digested. The result is gas, pain, and diarrhea. They suggest if you eat less of these carbs, it will reduce the symptoms of IBS.
Refrain from eating lactose contained in milk, ice cream, puddings, ricotta and cottage cheese. Many people are lactose intolerant.
Eat less of fructose found in many sweeteners.
Don’t eat fructans, which are found in wheat and rye, veggies like artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts, broccoli, garlic and onions.
Avoid chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, and soy.
Polyols are in certain fruits, vegetables, and sweeteners.
Find a comprehensive FODMAP chart here.
Following a low-FODMAP diet is best done in consultation with Digestive Health Services or a dietician familiar with the diet. It necessitates three steps: restriction, reintroduction, and personalization.