The digestive system is often taken for granted – that is, until we experience some distress. But there’s something about digestive difficulties that makes them hard to discuss in polite company – which leaves many of us suffering in silence. And the number of people suffering seems to be growing rapidly. If it’s not constipation, it’s diarrhea. Or bloating. Or gas. Or stomach aches. Or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Or all of the above. These complaints are sadly very common.
What’s worse is that, until now, it seemed as though there was no successful treatment for these symptoms. Not to say that treatments didn’t exist. A wide range of therapies have been used in an attempt to ease symptoms including medication, bulking agents and laxatives, and low fibre diets. However, most of these therapies have had limited success for patients.
Many of these traditional IBS therapies leave much to be desired. A diet based on supposedly easy to digest white breads and pastas does not have the characteristics of a healthy, nutrient dense diet that we know our bodies need. A diet fuelled by white carbohydrates would eventually cause a whole host of other issues such as obesity, diabetes and other types of chronic disease. I’m sure you would agree that relying on medication to alleviate symptoms on a daily basis is also not an ideal solution.
Most people with IBS, including myself, have long believed that symptoms were related to the consumption of certain foods. However, recommendations in this area have been conflicting and confusing and offered little relief for us IBS sufferers.
That was until an Australian research team developed a new dietary management approach – the low FODMAP diet. This team has produced strong evidence that a group of carbohydrates, named FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols) are problematic for those with IBS. In a study published in the journal, Gastroenterology, about three out of four people with IBS found that their symptoms improved immediately after beginning a low FODMAP diet.
Given these success rates, a low FODMAP approach is certainly a diet that people experiencing digestive distress should try… it worked for me after many therapies failed. After a lot of reading to understand the overwhelming amount of scientific terms, it is my goal to share my experience with you and help you navigate this diet by sharing resources and recipes to help you implement this lifestyle change.
The Low FODMAP Diet section of the site offers my explanation of the science behind the diet. I’ve also shared a handy list of foods that are FODMAP friendly and a list of foods that are not. In addition to resources on the diet itself, I’ve shared nutrition and lifestyle tips to help calm uneasy tummies and promote digestive health. And of course, all the recipes on this site are low in FODMAPS while also focusing on fresh, local and whole foods.