FODMAP Diet: What you Need to Know

The FODMAP diet may be something you’ve heard about from a friend, or even read on the internet. FODMAP diet is a low-fat diet that does not contain certain sugars, which can cause intestinal distress. This diet is intended to assist people suffering from IBS (IBS) or small intestinal bacterial overload (SIBO). It helps them identify which foods cause symptoms and which foods help.

“The low FODMAP eating plan is temporary and very restrictive,” states Johns Hopkins gastroenterologist Hazel Galon Veloso. “It is always a good idea to consult your doctor before you start a new diet. But, especially because it eliminates so many food items, it’s not something anyone should stick to for too long.” This is a quick process that will help you determine which foods are problematic for you.

What is FODMAP?

FODMAP is for fermentable oligosaccharides (disaccharides), monosaccharides (polyols), which are short-chain sugars that the small intestine does not absorb well. After eating these foods, some people experience stomach upset. These symptoms include:

  • Cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Stomach bloating
  • Flatulence and gas

What is the Low FODMAP Diet?

A three-step elimination diet called Low FODMAP.

  1. You must first stop eating certain foods (high FODMAP food).
  2. Then, slowly reintroduce them so you can see which ones are problematic.
  3. You can identify foods that trigger symptoms and avoid them or limit them, while still enjoying your life worry-free.

Veloso says, “We recommend that you only follow the elimination portion for two to six weeks.” This will reduce your symptoms, and if SIBO is present, it may help lower abnormally high intestinal bacteria levels. You can then add one high FODMAP food to your diet every three days to check if you have any symptoms. Avoid long-term consumption of high FODMAP foods if you experience symptoms.

What foods can I eat while following the FODMAP diet

Different foods can cause symptoms.

It is important to avoid high FODMAP foods, which can aggravate the stomach, such as:

  • Dairy-based milk and yogurt, as well as ice cream
  • Products made from wheat, such as bread, cereals and crackers
  • Lentils and beans
  • Artichokes and asparagus, as well as onions, garlic, and other vegetables are all acceptable.
  • Certain fruits such as peaches, cherries, pears, and cherries are good choices.

Instead, focus your meals on low FODMAP foods like:

  • Eggs and meat
  • Cheeses like cheddar, Camembert, brie and feta are all good options.
  • Almond milk
  • Oats, quinoa, and rice are all grains.
  • Vegetables such as eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, and zucchini
  • Grapes, oranges and blueberries, as well as other fruits such the strawberries, blueberries, grapes, and pineapple

Ask your doctor for a complete list of FODMAP foods.

It is up to you.

Low FODMAP diets are part of the treatment for IBS and SIBO. It has been shown to reduce symptoms in as many as 86% of patients.

It can be difficult to follow a diet during the initial, most restrictive phase. A doctor or dietitian can help you ensure that you are following the correct diet and maintain proper nutrition.

Veloso says that anyone who is overweight should not attempt this alone. The low FODMAP diet doesn’t promote weight loss. However, it can help you lose weight because it eliminates many foods. Losing more weight can prove dangerous for someone already at a low weight.

How a doctor can help

SIBO symptoms and IBS can be affected by changes in diet. However, doctors may also recommend other treatments. Small intestinal bacteria can be quickly reduced by taking antibiotics. Laxatives and low dose antidepressants can help relieve symptoms of IBS.

Combining dietary changes, medication and stress management techniques can often be the best option. Find out how to work with your doctor to find the SIBO or IBS treatment that works for you.

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