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What is 'FODMAP'

FODMAPs are fermentable components of certain carbohydrates found in the food we eat. They are incredibly beneficial to the health of our gut, but in some people, they can cause digestive discomfort and symptoms.

Read more to find out what is FODMAP...

What does FODMAP stand for?

FODMAP stands for Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols.

  • Fermentable – process in which bacteria in the gut ferment carbohydrates and produce gas as a byproduct
  • Oligosaccharides – fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides found in foods such as wheat, onion, garlic, legumes
  • Disaccharides – lactose found in dairy products such as milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese
  • Monosaccharides – fructose found in foods such as apples, honey, cheese
  • And
  • Polyols – sorbitol and mannitol found in artificial sweeteners and some fruit and vegetables

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Symptoms of high FODMAP consumption

Those who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) will feel the effects of high FODMAP consumption.

These fermentable carbohydrates cause symptoms such as bloating, gas, urgency, abdominal pain, discomfort and varied bowel habits such as constipation and diarrhoea or a combination of both when consumed in the wrong combinations, or amounts.

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How do high FODMAPs cause symptoms?

The presence of these carbohydrates in the digestive system can cause water to be dragged into the small intestine, leading to bloating and diarrhoea. Also, because they aren’t readily absorbed in the small intestine, they can travel into the large intestine where the bacteria ferment them, producing gas as a by product. This gas can lead to bloating, and expansion of the gut, causing pain in those with IBS.

People with IBS have highly sensitive intestines, meaning they may produce similar amounts of gas as someone without IBS, but they feel the effects of it.

There are different subgroups of foods that sit underneath these FODMAP categories and people with IBS may react to 1 or more of these subgroups.

How to reduce symptoms

To reduce FODMAP load in your diet and alleviate these symptoms, consult our Dietitian about trailing the diet, or take a look at The IBS Program and undergo the low FODMAP diet independently or with additional support. 

The Low FODMAP diet was developed as a tool to help people with IBS manage their diet and alleviate symptoms. If you need help with low FODMAP recipes, download our free meal plan below!

Follow @theibsprogram on Instagram for daily tips and tricks on the low FODMAP diet.

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