FODMAPS diet IBS: Find Your Balance

FODMAPs Diet IBS

FODMAPS diet IBS:

What on earth is the FODMAPs diet IBS treatment?? It sounds like quite a mouth full doesn’t it?

I was really confused at first too, but with a good bit of research and trying it myself, it makes perfect sense.

In simple terms, this is a diet focused on cutting back/cutting out specific types of carbohydrates.  

You’re probably wondering why cut specific carbs?

The idea is that these carbohydrates are more difficult to digest, trigger symptoms and can also cause bacterial overgrowth in the digestive tract.

These are all great reasons to go for this temporary diet.  Yes, it’s somewhat temporary, which I’ll explain in depth later on.

This diet is great for newly diagnosed IBS patients or someone who feels like they’re out of options when it comes to IBS.

This diet is not meant as a permanent change, it is a two-phase diet.

The first-phase low FODMAP diet is typically followed for around 4-6 weeks and helps determine the foods that cause you IBS symptoms (or other GI illness symptoms).


What Does It Stand For?

theibsnetwork.org explains that “The term FODMAPS is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.”  These particular carbohydrates are difficult to digest and do not absorb well.

Yeah that all sounds like a foreign language to me, but that is why we just call it a FODMAPs diet IBS treatment.

Health care professionals believe that you may experience symptoms from one or all of these carbs and this diet will help determine just that.

Your body will work twice as hard to digest these carbs, yuck!

Also, many people believe that bacterial overgrowth is one of the root causes of illnesses such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

But for most people, this diet isn’t a cure or a fix-all solution.

I’ll be honest, if your illnesses stem from a motility issue in the gut, this diet might not do anything for you.

Although, the diet may help reduce gas and bloating.

The diet has two phases including: cutting out all FODMAP carbs and re-introducing each group of carbs back into your diet exclusively to determine sensitivities.

Usually one food item is re-introduced at a time and it can take a couple days to get a reaction from that food.

The reintroduction period can be slow.


How Does The Diet Work?

As I mentioned earlier, this is a two phase diet.

The first and beginning phase is what is known as the elimination phase.

During this time, you will completely cut out the specific carbs that this diet asks you to cut out.

This is the more strict part of the diet and typically lasts anywhere from 3-8  weeks.

To best determine the time frame you should use, consult your doctor.

Spending too little time in this phase will not allow the body to begin adjusting and healing, you will have a tough time determining triggers.

Phase two can easily become more lengthy than phase one.

Phase two is all about re-introducing the eliminated foods back into your diet one at a time.

One week you may re-introduce one type of food and see if you’re body has a reaction, and the next a new food.

You don’t want to re-introduce multiple types of food in at once or for too little time.

Doing so will not allow you to accurately determine triggers.

Keeping a food journal during the entire process is encouraged.


FODMAPs Diet IBSThe Problem Is Growing

The very informative website, AboutIBS.org states that “Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects up to one in five Americans.”.

Is that not ridiculous?  What happened?

When I was a kid, you never heard about this stuff, especially effecting so many people. 

I can’t say I’m surprised though, it feels like every other person I meet, I can bond with over IBS.

Western medicine is not helping our problem, but simply treating symptoms with pills.

Our diet plays a huge role in our health and well-being.

I’ve done a lot of research on foods an ingredients since having IBS and the things that the FDA approves and allows in our foods, drinks and even beauty products is insane.

I personally don’t rely on their standards to pick out what I’ll consume or use.

I cannot recommend this temporary diet enough.  This is going to be extremely helpful in determining trigger foods.

Those foods equal doom.

Seriously though, the cramping and discomfort is game over for you and your plans.

You owe it to yourself to give this diet a try, talk with your doctor about getting you started on this informative diet.


Where To Begin?

There are several books out there explaining the IBS FODMAP diet in detail, including the Complete Low-FODMAP Diet book on amazon, my favorite low FODMAP resource.

It’s my favorite because it makes my life easier.  Having a resource in-hand is what I prefer.

You can also consult a nutritionist/dietitian to plan out your diet so that you are eating healthy as well as cutting back on those high FODMAP foods that can trigger IBS symptoms.

Their guidance will make this process easier and less overwhelming.  The professionals know what to look for when it comes to food sensitivities or even allergies.

Also, ibsdiets.org provides helpful high and low FODMAP lists here.  

The high listed foods are the foods you should be avoiding and/or cutting back on.  

The low FODMAP list is what you want to focus on eating in your diet during the first phase.

This list provides well-balanced food groups with different options for each.

It’s nice to have a diet that is not extremely limited, but effective.

I feel like many people are scared to utilize this diet because they think they’ll be severely limited on foods.

That’s just not the case.

I went through this diet myself, it wasn’t bad at all (that’s saying a lot, I’m picky!).

Not only did I get through phase one just fine, phase two taught me about triggers I didn’t know I had.

Below are my top three picks for low FODMAP diet resources.

The Complete Low-FODMAP Diet: A Revolutionary Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive DisordersThe Complete Low-FODMAP Diet: A Revolutionary Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive DisordersThe Low-FODMAP Cookbook: 100 Delicious, Gut-Friendly Recipes for IBS and other Digestive DisordersThe Low-FODMAP Cookbook: 100 Delicious, Gut-Friendly Recipes for IBS and other Digestive DisordersThe Everything Guide To The Low-FODMAP Diet: A Healthy Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive DisordersThe Everything Guide To The Low-FODMAP Diet: A Healthy Plan for Managing IBS and Other Digestive Disorders

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Is This A Lifetime Commitment?

FODMAPs Diet IBSThe FODMAPS diet IBS treatment is not necessarily needed for the rest of your life.

After determining triggers in phase two, you may eat a modified low FODMAP diet, meaning you’ll somewhat follow the diet, but catered to your personal needs.

As we age, our symptoms can change, strengthen or diminish based on stress levels, what we consume, our environment, etc.

I can tolerate more foods now than I could even a few years ago (Yay!).

Once successfully getting your symptoms under control, you can begin slowly re-introducing some of the high FODMAP foods back into your diet and see how your body reacts to them.


Not The Diet For You?

Low fodmaps diet ibs edition! Perfect diet for easing yucky IBS symptoms.

Photo Credit 1: By jk1991 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo Credit 2: By Ohmega1982 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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3 Comments

  1. I checked out the foods to avoid, that is a long list. I do suffer from IBS. I do think it is due to some on that list. I already can’t eat somethings I should avoid due to health reasons Onion and garlic.

    I checked out the good food list and is long to. Very detailed.

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