FODMAPs - what are they, and are they causing you problems?

FODMAPs- what is it?

Abdominal pain, gas, bloating, constipation… do any of these sound familiar? These symptoms may not just be the result after consuming a large meal. More and more people are presenting with gut related concerns and food intolerances which can affect your quality of life.

Where do FODMAPs fit in?

FODMAPs are found in everyday foods and refer to Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols, which are sugars that can often be poorly absorbed in the small intestine. FODMAPs are fermented by intestinal gut microflora resulting in gas production, which contributes to other IBS symptoms such as bloating, wind, abdominal pain and constipation. For most people these sugars don’t cause any problems but some of us don’t digest them well.

The Low FODMAP diet restricts High FODMAP foods (listed below) and was developed by a team of researchers to help reduce and manage these IBS symptoms with one study showing it to provide relief in 56% of patients with Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis (Gearry et al JCC 2008).  

Examples of some High FODMAP foods include:

 

How can a Dietitian help?

Education on the Low FODMAP diet takes time, and an experienced dietitian can provide individualised treatment specific to an individual’s symptoms. Patients can work together with a dietitian to develop meal plans, shopping guides and options when dining out. Reduction or removal of high FODMAP foods from the diet with slow re-introduction to suit each individual’s needs and symptoms, can be managed by a dietitian in the context of achieving a nutritionally adequate diet.


Paula has particular interests in weight management, diabetes, food allergies and intolerances (such as fructose/lactose intolerances and Coeliac Disease) and gastrointestinal disorders.Paula Christofakakis is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) at Lifecare Ashburton Sports Medicine. She provides expert dietetic advice to Camberwell, Oakleigh, Malvern East. 

More on Paula on our practitioners page