New research by Staudacher et al (2011) has demonstrated the superiority of what’s known as the FODMAP diet at helping to provide relief for those suffering from IBS. The UK based study found that the FODMAP diet provided more effective symptom relief than standard dietary advice for this condition. Those on the FODMAP diet reported significantly less bloating, abdominal pain and gas.
Staudacher HM, Whelan K, Irving PM, Lomer MC (2011). Comparison of symptom response following advice for a diet low in fermentable carbohydrates (FODMAPs) versus standard dietary advice in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2011 Oct;24(5):487-95.
Fodmap stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides and Polyols.
These are all types of carbohydrate. Those with IBS may be particularly sensitive to the affects of these carbohydrates. Poor digestion and/or the fact that some of these carbohydrates are naturally resistant to digestion leads to fermentation of these carbohydrates, resulting in excess gas production. Those with IBS would seem to be particularly sensitive to the intestinal distention caused by the build up of these gases. Bloating and wind would be the key symptoms of this. Some of these carbohydrates may also lead to diarrhoea due to their indigestibility, this refers mainly to the polyol carbohydrates e.g. sorbitol. Polyols draw water into the colon area, stimulating the colon.
Here are some common examples of Carbs/foods fitting the different categories in the FODMAP diet:
Oligosaccharides: FOS (fructooligosaccharides) Onions, Beans
Disaccharides: Table sugar, lactose (milk sugar)
Monosaccharides: lactose (milk) fructose (e.g. many fruits and juices)
Polyols: sorbitol, maltitol, xylitol (all these sugars are present in many fruits and used as sweeteners in sweets, low carb chocolates)
An internet search will reveal extensive lists of the foods covered in the FODMAP diet, however the dietary changes advocated are a serious undertaking, and in my opinion necessitate the help of a suitable nutritionally qualified healthcare professional.
Category: Nuritional News