A FODMAP diet is intended for people with medically diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome. Unless a doctor has diagnosed your gastrointestinal symptoms, you should not follow this diet. There are many conditions with symptoms similar to irritable bowel syndrome, such as B. celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, endometriosis and colon cancer. You should not diagnose yourself with irritable bowel syndrome. Instead, see a doctor who will assess your symptoms, perform any necessary tests to rule out other conditions, and provide you with a clear diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome before beginning this diet.
Benefits of a low FODMAP diet
Monash University researchers developed the concept of FODMAPs and demonstrated the effectiveness of a low-FODMAP diet. Monash research shows that three out of four sufferers experience a dramatic improvement in symptoms when they follow a low-FODMAP diet. Other research groups from around the world have since shown similar results. For this reason, a low FODMAP diet is now considered the treatment of choice for people diagnosed with IBS.
A low FODMAP diet has been shown to:
- Reduce pain, spasms and discomfort
- Reduce bloating and gas
- improve digestion (less diarrhea or constipation)
- improve quality of life
These benefits usually show up within 2-6 weeks of starting the low FODMAP diet.
Of course, dieting doesn't cure irritable bowel syndrome, it just helps sufferers live better with their condition.
A low FODMAP diet also does not improve the symptoms of ALL sufferers. In fact, one in four people affected finds that their symptoms do not improve with the diet. In these individuals, other nutritional therapies may be required in addition to or as a substitute for a low FODMAP diet. Other therapies you may consider include stress reduction, gut-focused hypnotherapy, over-the-counter/prescription medications (eg, laxatives), or fiber supplements. Talk to your doctor about what other therapies you can try.