The Low FODMAP diet; treating irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is experienced by approximately 30% of people at some point in their life. It accounts for up to 20% of all referrals to gastroenterologists. It is both a complex and multifaceted condition. Symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain and discomfort, constipation and/or diarrhoea, flatulence, urgency to defecate and a sense of incomplete evacuation.

Until recently, treatment for IBS was unsatisfactory. However a new approach to dietary relief of IBS symptoms is being implemented. Fortunately the dublin nutrition centre has travelled to Kings College London to undertake the necessary course to help people implement this novel ‘Low FODMAP’ diet.

So what is a low FODMAP diet? Food is made of many components including protein, fat and carbohydrates. Recent research has shown that some carbohydrates may contribute to IBS. The acronym ‘FODMAP; is used to describe a previously unrelated group of short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols. A low FODMAP diet that is tailored to you and your symptoms can help alleviate diarrhoea, bloating, pain, wind and constipation in 3 out of 4 people.

The science behind this diet makes a lot of sense. Basically these carbohydrates do not get absorbed in the small bowel thereby passing along the gut and into the large bowel untouched. When they pass through the small bowel they draw water into the bowel resulting in diarrhoea. When they make their way into large bowel, ‘good bacteria’ readily breakdown these carbohydrates creating gas and leading to distension. This potentially results in symptom induction like wind, bloating and altered stool consistency.

Although the FODMAP diet is considered by some to be complicated, we are trained to make it as easy as possible for people and help make sure a healthy and balanced diet is maintained throughout. If you are struggling with IBS we maybe able to help you, check out www.dnc.ie or call us at 01-6398852 or fill out our online contact us form