One of the most common causes of intestinal inflammation is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), affecting 10% of adults in the U.S. Since inflammation in the gut can cause systemic inflammation (a key driver of cancer), it’s one of the important factors I evaluate in my patients.
IBS symptoms may include:
What Are FODMAPs?
FODMAP stands for “Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols. These fermentable short-chain carbohydrates are prevalent in the diet.
—Oligosaccharides: fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)
—Polyols: sorbitol and mannitol
Researchers discovered that the small intestine does not absorb FODMAPs very well. They increase the amount of fluid in the bowel. They also create more gas. That’s because they are easily fermented by gut bacteria. The increased fluid and gas in the bowel leads to bloating and changes in the speed with which food is digested. This results in gas, pain and diarrhea. Eating less of these types of carbohydrates should decrease these symptoms.
Examples of High and Low FODMAP Foods
Low FODMAP Diet Can Improve GI Symptoms and Inflammation
Data from multiple studies have reported success in reducing these symptoms in 75% of individuals with IBS using a “Low FODMAP Diet.” Even in more severe inflammatory bowel conditions, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, this diet can be very effective:
A Low FODMAP Diet is a 3 step diet used to help manage symptoms.
The aims of the diet are to:
—Learn which foods and FODMAPs you tolerate, and which trigger your symptoms. Understanding this will help you to follow a less restrictive, more nutritionally balanced diet for the long term that only restricts foods that trigger your symptoms.
—Assess whether your symptoms are sensitive to FODMAPs. Not everyone will improve on a low FODMAP diet.
Check out this great video explanation of the Low FODMAP diet:
My favorite FODMAP website and app to help you with this diet: