What is low FODMAP?

What is IBS?


The low FODMAP diet is an eating plan created for people who have been diagnosed with IBS to identify what food triggers cause their symptoms.  So do make sure you have been diagnosed with IBS before starting on this eating plan (always consult a doctor before embarking on these things anyway). So what is IBS?


IBS stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome and is a condition that affects 1 in 5 people in the UK – worldwide it’s estimated that 10-15% of the population has IBS. You can get it at any age but most people tend to first notice symptoms between the age of 20 and 30 – mine flared-up when I was 26. Women are twice as likely to get it as men and frustratingly the exact cause of IBS is not known which is why it makes it so hard to cure.

The most common symptoms of IBS are:

  • Feeling very tired
  • Indigestion
  • Bloating
  • Extreme weight gain or loss
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling sick, especially after eating
  • Problems with your bladder, such as needing to pass urine more often

Most of the above symptoms above tend to be more noticeable after eating but they do vary person to person. For me the big symptoms were lethargy, bloating, constipation and weight gain. There are many medical treatments that have been suggested to help with the symptoms like Antispasmodic medicine ie Buscopan or in extreme cases antidepressants.

These medicines simply mask the problems – they aren’t the cure. The low FODMAP diet, however, is the first kind of diet to have been have been discovered which helps identify the trigger foods that cause the above symptoms. Once these trigger foods have been identified then they can be removed and hopefully your IBS symptoms reduce significantly.

The low FODMAP diet doesn’t work for everyone, but studies do show that is has reduced IBS symptoms for 70% of sufferers, which is more successful than other methods adopted so far. So it might just work for you.

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