The Low FODMAP Diet: What, Who, Why?

What is the low FODMAP diet?

The low FODMAP diet was developed by two Australian researchers at Monash University, Sue Shepherd and Peter Gibson in an effort to provide digestive relief to the 1 in 10 people that suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Symptoms from IBS include: gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.

FODMAP is an acronym created to label specific short-chain carbohydrates that are poorly digested and can contribute to gas, bloating and other digestive afflictions. The letters stand for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. In short, FODMAPs are types of sugar molecules and sugar alcohols that act as easy food for gut bacteria.  When gut bacteria consume these FODMAPs, they produce gas, resulting the digestive distress.

To better understand how the low FODMAP diet works, please see this informative video by Monash University:

Who should follow the low FODMAP diet?

The low FODMAP diet was designed to help minimize symptoms in individuals with medically diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). However, the low FODMAP diet has also been proven to help alleviate digestive symptoms from other digestive conditions, including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease (along with a strict gluten free diet).

In the case of celiac disease, some individuals continue to experience digestive symptoms despite following a strict gluten free diet. These individuals may also have IBS occurring along with celiac disease and would likely benefit from trying the low FODMAP diet in addition to the gluten free diet.

Why follow the low FODMAP diet?

With good compliance and support, individuals following the low FODMAP diet experience significant symptom relief.

To learn more about the low FODMAP diet, continue to follow the Modified Nutrition blog.

**Please note, following a low FODMAP diet can be challenging and was designed to be implemented with the help of a FODMAP knowledgeable Registered Dietitian.

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