Put simply, FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates (sugars) that are not properly absorbed in the gut. When FODMAPs reach the small intestine, they move slowly, attracting water. Once in the colon, FODMAPs are fermented by gut bacteria, resulting in gas formation. The extra gas and water cause the intestinal wall to stretch and expand. Because people with IBS have highly sensitive guts, stretching of the gut wall causes exaggerated sensations of pain and discomfort. FODMAPs occur naturally in many foods and food additives.
What Happens When You Consume FODMAPs?
FODMAPs are found in a variety of foods, and most people eat foods high in FODMAPs on a daily basis without experiencing problems. When FODMAPs are eaten, the gut bacteria use the FODMAPs as a fuel source to survive. The bacteria quickly ferment the FODMAPs, producing gas in the process.
These processes occur in all people (with and without an irritable stomach / irritable bowel). The difference is that people with IBS may have problems with motility (the speed at which intestinal contents move through the intestines) and/or a highly sensitive gut wall. The extra water and gas in the intestines causes the intestinal wall to stretch, leading to the usual symptoms of pain, bloating, bloating, nausea, gas, and digestive problems (diarrhea, constipation, or both).
What are FODMAPs included in?
As previously mentioned, FODMAPs are found in a wide variety of foods such as garlic, onions, fruits, vegetables, breads, grains, nuts, legumes and confectionery. It is impossible to guess the FODMAP content of a food. Instead, careful laboratory analysis is required to understand the FODMAP content of foods. The Monash University team is an expert on such measurements. Food FODMAP information is published through their app, the Monash University FODMAP Diet App. The app uses a simple traffic light rating system to indicate if a food is low, medium or high FODMAP and in what amounts it is safe to consume.