FODMAP’s are a collection of short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols found in foods naturally or as food additives. The acronym stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols1.
According to the research, a diet low in FODMAPs (“a Low FODMAP Diet”) has been scientifically proven2, and is now used internationally, as the most effective dietary therapy for:
- People with irritable bowel syndrome
- Patients with inflammatory bowel disease who have ongoing Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms despite IBD being in remission (quiescent disease)
- GI symptomatic patients with IBD (where disease is in remission)
- Patients with coeliac disease who have ongoing GI symptoms despite following a strict gluten free diet
- Ileostomates with high output
- People with non-coeliac gluten intolerance
As it is a complex diet to follow and involves cutting out a large range of foods in the initial stages of the diet (lasting 2-6 weeks) before reintroducing them to assess tolerance and symptom triggers. As such it is really important to get advice from a trained doctor or dietitian on both the diet and the structured re-introduction phase. Just as important, continuing the full low FODMAP diet for extended periods is not recommended as it could lead to a decrease in the levels of good bacteria in the colon and possibly nutritional deficiencies if appropriate substitutions are not made for foods that have been cut out.