Posted 5/16/2011 10:27 PM (GMT -6)
IBS symptoms may be triggered and exacerbated by high FODMAP foods in your diet. *FODMAPs is an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are molecules found in food that can be poorly absorbed in the digestive tract by some people - they travel into the large intestine where they become food for bacteria in the bowel and there they ferment, often triggering or exacerbating IBS symptoms such as bloating, cramps, diarrhorea, etc.
*A FODMAP friendly (or Low FODMAP) diet will not cure IBS - it aims to reduce the symptoms of IBS, making it more manageable and life much pleasanter. *High FODMAP foods have a cumulative effect within your digestive system - it is often a 'build-up' of poorly digested FODMAP foods over a period of time that will trigger or exacerbate IBS symptoms. It also means that it is the quantity, combination, and 'spacing' of high FODMAP foods in your diet, rather than a specific food, that will cause problems. Furthermore, the physical effects (IBS symptoms) of eating problem food/s may not show up immediately after a particular meal - it may take days or weeks. In this case people often think it was, for example, the garlic or onion they had that night that caused bloating and cramps, when in fact it may have been the asparagus, mushroom and snow pea pasta, followed by apple pie that they ate 2 nights previously that actually triggered the symptoms. *A low FM diet is more about understanding and controlling the quantity, combination, and 'spacing' of high FM foods in your diet, rather than the total elimination of specific foods. *Reducing meal sizes, alcohol, fatty foods and caffeine in your diet are all likely to help reduce IBS symptoms. *Cutting food into smaller pieces, chewing well and eating slowly may also help. *Stress, anxiety and poor sleep are likely contributors to IBS symptoms.
I highly recommend you make an appointment with a reputable FODMAP aware dietitian for a personal assessment eg. Shepherd Works if you live in Melbourne or Adelaide (Australia). If you live in another state or overseas, I would suggest you contact Shepherd Works or Box Hill hospital - hopefully they can recommend a reputable dietitian or dietary practice near you. We are lucky enough to live close to Shepherd Works, Monash University & Box Hill Hospital (in Australia), the world leaders in this research.
My daughter (22) is having great success on the low FODMAP diet - she had IBS symptoms for a number of years and they were steadily getting worse to the point of being debilitating. She is now about 8 weeks into the FODMAP program and her IBS symptoms have significantly reduced. For more info go to www.facebook/glutenfreeguerrillas then click on Discussions - the topic FODMAP diet posted by Valda Davis should appear. This should be a good starting point for you to find out more about FODMAPs and IBS.