Low FODMAP diets are often used to treat which condition?

With so many diets out there making promises to fix your health problems, you may think the low FODMAP diet is just another one of those diets. This diet is well-known for its gut-friendly properties that help reduce bloating, gas, and other digestive distress symptoms.  But does it work? Evidence-based research has been covering this diet for nearly a decade now and the results are promising. Research shows the low FODMAP diet is effective in relieving symptoms in those with a digestive condition known as irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. Let’s talk about what the low FODMAP diet is exactly and how it can help those with IBS and other related digestive conditions.

What is the low FODMAP diet?

A low FODMAP diet works to limit fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols in the diet. This may sound like scientific jargon, but simply means that this diet works to limit certain foods and drinks to help reduce inflammation, prevent excess water absorption in the intestines, and to reduce gas production in the colon.

The low FODMAP diet limits ingredients like lactose, fructose, and sugar alcohols, to name a few.  Common foods discouraged on the low FODMAP diet include garlic, onion, wheat, as well as high fructose fruits like apples, mangoes, and cherries. More information on the low FODMAP diet can be found on the Casa de Sante website.

What is IBS?

IBS affects between 7 and 15-percent of the general population, and it affect women twice as much as men. This condition is also diagnosed more in those below the age of 50 years of age. Common symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain and/or cramping, gas, and constipation and/or diarrhea.

Because of these symptoms, having IBS can greatly impact quality of life since this condition often involves a variety of food intolerances that can impact meal planning, social outings, and other food-related situations in life.

It is thought that these symptoms of IBS could arise from a variety of different factors. Along with food intolerances, the symptoms of this condition may stem from motility issues in the gut, an imbalanced gut microbiome in the gut, as well as low-grade inflammation.

Therefore, it is important that if a person identifies with any of these symptoms, that they talk with a qualified healthcare provider right away to see if these symptoms could stem from IBS or another digestive condition.

Low FODMAP diet and IBS

Research shows that those with irritable bowel syndrome seemed to benefit from following a low FODMAP diet.  One study shows that those who followed the diet had significantly less bloating and distension. Another study showed a reduction in abdominal pain and bloating in those with IBS following a low FODMAP diet as compared to a standard diet. One 2016 study actually found that up to 86-percent of those with irritable bowel syndrome that followed the diet had improvements in symptoms.

Take home message

If you have been diagnosed with IBS, or think you may have this condition, then the low FODMAP diet could help you. It will be beneficial to visit your healthcare provider, talk to them about your symptoms, and ask for a referral to a gastroenterologist in your area. This specialist can help you determine if you have IBS or other related digestive conditions. Once a diagnosis is made, then you can receive the proper treatment that will help you reduce symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.

In the meantime, visit the Casa de Sante website for more information on the low FODMAP diet and start making small changes today that could help lessen your symptoms in a big way.

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