Information aboutAn information leaflet for patients andinterested members of the general publicprepared by the Digestive Health FoundationSECOND EDITION 2013Reviewed by: Dr Jaci Barrett, APD, Dept of Gastroenterology, Central Clinical School, Monash University, VICLaura Iannelli, BBiomedSci, MHumNutr, Deakin University, VIC Emma Halmos, BND, PGradDipBSc, APD Dept of Gastroenterology, Monash University, Melbourne VICLow FODMAP DietTo improve Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptom control RationaleIrritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder affecting one in seven adults. IBS is commonly characterised by GI symptoms such as bloating and distension, excess wind (flatulence), abdominal pain and altered bowel habits (diarrhoea and/or constipation).These symptoms can create anxiety and stress, interfere with busy schedules, and may compromise everyday life.The underlying pathology of IBS is not well understood and a number of factors may trigger symptoms. Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols (FODMAPs) are found in the foods we eat. FODMAPs are sugars that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and reach the large intestine where they produce gas and attract water. FODMAPs are found in everyday foods including specific dairy products, wheat and other grains, and fruits and vegetables.It’s important to remember FODMAPs are not the cause of IBS, but managing them in the diet provides an opportunity for reducing IBS symptoms. Studies have shown that ingesting FODMAPs exacerbates symptoms in most people with IBS, while dietary restriction of FODMAPs improves symptom control. However, if you are experiencing symptoms of IBS it is important not to ‘self-diagnose’. Symptoms of IBS can also be seen in other gastrointestinal diseases and disorders and may require medical rather than dietary management. Changing your diet can also mask underlying problems. It is vital that you seek medical advice before changing your diet. Your doctor can assess your symptoms and rule out any other gastrointestinal diseases or more suitable eating plans.Digestive Health Foundation
What is the Low FODMAP Diet?The Low FODMAP diet involves many dietary changes that are best reviewed in consultation with an accredited dietitian. However a brief overview and sample meal plan is shown below.What are FODMAPs?FODMAPs are a large group of dietary sugars found in many common foods such as specific dairy products, wheat and other grains, and fruits and vegetables.FODMAPs are found in many foods we commonly eat and is an acronym for: Fermentable Oligosaccharides – Fructans and galacto- oligosaccharides (GOS)Disaccharides – Lactose MonosaccharidesAnd – Fructose in excess of glucose Polyols– Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and IsomaltFODMAPs can be classified into two groups:• Those FODMAPs that are partly absorbed (fructose, lactose, polyols) • Those FODMAPs that are not absorbed in anyone (fructans and GOS)How do FODMAPs affect people with IBS?