Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is considered a functional disorder, so there is no test for diagnosis. IBS includes a complex mixture of symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea and abdominal pain accompanied by periods of normal digestion. For this reason, it can be difficult to diagnose and treat but fortunately, a low FODMAP diet may provide relief for some.
Why low FODMAP might work
A low FODMAP diet limits foods containing hard to digest sugars. Some examples of high FODMAP foods includes apples, cashews, and beans. One study found that limiting high FODMAP foods improved symptoms in 3 out of 4 participants (2).
Low FODMAP basics
- Elimination phase: The first step is to eliminate high FODMAP foods from your diet. This is typically recommended for a 6-8 week period.
- Reintroduction phase: After the elimination period, you will begin to reintroduce foods in your diet one at time. During this phase, you will want to keep a food journal to track your diet and any symptoms you may be experiencing.
- Maintenance phase: Your food journal should help you identify which foods triggered any symptoms. You will likely want to remove these trigger foods from your diet. Work with a Registered Dietitian to ensure you’re addressing any gaps in your nutrition.
Before you get started
The low FODMAP diet may not be the right choice for everyone. Since a lot of foods are off limits on this diet, it may be hard to get all the nutrients your body needs. In some cases, supplementing with a high-quality multivitamin may help. Set up an appointment with a Registered Dietitian to see if this diet may be right for you.
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