Irritable Bowel Syndrome & Low FODMAP Diet
100% Symptom Relief of IBS Symptoms
Mairi Huntly, Cambridge Dietitian
Based on Data from 2015 to 2017
What Is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), is one of a group of conditions called functional bowel disorders, which are the most common gut conditions.
Suffers of IBS can experience a wide range of symptoms, including:
- abdominal pain and discomfort
- bloating or distension
- change in bowel habit (diarrhoea and/or constipation)
- wind or flatulence
- unsatisfied defecation (incomplete emptying)
- an urgency to open bowels
Although IBS is not life-threatening, the symptoms can affect your quality of life. Through working with many clients with IBS, I am passionate to help you overcome your symptoms so you can gain control of your life.
In all clinic appointments, I provide a non-judgemental service where the client can relax, be taken seriously and get the most out of the service.
How Do You Get a Diagnosis?
Your GP will look for the ‘ABC’ of IBS – abdominal pain or discomfort, bloating and changes in bowel habits which you have suffered from for at least 6 months. It is essential to rule out Coeliac disease as the symptoms can be very similar. This involves a simple blood test and it is important that you are still including wheat in your diet.
Does diet affect symptoms?
Various dietary factors have been proposed to be important triggers for IBS symptoms, including alcohol, caffeine, and fatty foods. Recent research has shown that some short-chain carbohydrates may contribute to IBS symptoms. These carbohydrates are:
Oligo-saccharides (fructans & galacto-oligosaccharides)
Polyols (sugar alcohols)
Understanding the Low FODMAP Diet
FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. They pass along the gut into the large intestine where there are billions of bacteria.
The bacteria ferment FODMAPs which leads to gas production and symptoms such as pain, bloating, distension, and wind.
Diarrhoea and an altered bowel habit can occur due to an increased water delivery into the intestine caused by an osmotic effect of some of the FODMAPs.
The low FODMAP diet involves restricting the intake of FODMAPs for a period of 2 to 6 weeks to resolve symptoms. 50 to 76% of people with IBS get symptom relief after following the low FODMAP diet.
The low FODMAP diet may sound complicated but I will explain at your consultation and provide you with easy to understand information and guidance. I have completed the official 3-day course run by University Kings College London and the online course by Monash University. I have also developed the low FODMAP course for the British Dietetic Association so you can be reassured that you are in safe hands.
After the initial restriction phase, I will explain how you challenge with different FODMAPs to identify your trigger foods and again I will provide you with written information. Once you have completed all the reintroductions of the high FODMAP foods, you will be able to reintroduce the foods that you tolerated.
The video below by Monash University gives a very helpful explanation about why FODMAPs contribute to symptoms.
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