5 Signs That a Diet Low in FODMAP Might Be Right for YouDave Smith
Have digestive problems taken over your life? You are afraid of flying, going out to dinner or even having sex, because you don’t know when that “I need a bath now” moment will come.
When stomach ache, gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhea is a frequent problem, it is time to see your doctor to look for the underlying cause. Many times, these symptoms are indicators of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). According to the American College of Gastroenterology, IBS is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders and affects approximately 20 percent of the population. It is so common that it represents 40 percent of all appointments with gastroenterologists.
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The good news is that research suggests that people with IBS can reduce, or in some cases eliminate, their digestive symptoms by following a diet low in FODMAP. FODMAPs are carbohydrates that may be more difficult to digest for some people with so-called “functional gastrointestinal disorders,” such as IBS. FODMAP means fermentables, oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. Some foods rich in FODMAP include wheat, onion, garlic, legumes, milk, honey, apples, dried fruits, some sugar substitutes and added fibers.
While everyone experiences IBS symptoms differently, here are 5 signs that a diet low in FODMAP may be right for you:
- You have become a bathroom detective. No matter where you are, your first line of business is to determine where the nearest bathroom is. Actually, you can plan your outdoor activities (hiking or jogging) around where you know there is a bathroom.
- You seem pregnant five months after a meal. Some people who suffer from IBS experience great swelling and bloating after eating. You may feel that you have gone from your normal size to five months of pregnancy.
- You are in the air exclusion zone. Your IBS symptoms may make you so nervous that you avoid traveling because you feel safer near your home, near your own bathroom. And if you must fly, you will choose your seat based on the proximity to the bathroom.
- You skip sex! Your IBS symptoms can be so severe or embarrassing that you avoid having sex for fear of gas or need to run to the bathroom once things get started in the bedroom.
- Eating “healthy” does not seem to help. You have tried to eat more fruits and vegetables, gluten free and adding more fiber to your diet, but you still have symptoms. This could be because many healthy foods, including certain fruits and vegetables, contain FODMAPS.
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By eliminating FODMAP-rich foods from your diet, you can reduce some or even all of your unpleasant symptoms. Because there are many foods rich in FODMAP, a compromise is needed and there is no place to cheat on this diet. However, this is only for the elimination phase that generally lasts two to six weeks.
After that, you can gradually reintroduce individual foods high in FODMAP into your diet, keeping only those that do not cause symptoms.
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