I offer a three-part low FODMAP diet program for the following digestive disorders:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
- Functional diarrhea
- Chronic abdominal bloating or distention
- Nonceliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS)
- Celiac disease with persistent gastrointestinal symptoms despite adherence to a gluten-free diet
- Inflammatory bowel disease with persistent gastrointestinal symptoms despite control of the underlying disease (“IBD with IBS overlay”)
What are FODMAPs?
FODMAPs are carbohydrates found in commonly eaten foods such as wheat bread and pasta, garlic, onions, milk, apples, watermelon and avocado.
FODMAPs are not properly absorbed by some people during the digestive process. Instead, they travel through the gastrointestinal tract drawing excess fluid into the small intestine and generating gas when they are fermented by bacteria in the large intestine. This leads to increased pressure on the intestinal walls, resulting in symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating and distension, excess gas, diarrhea and constipation.
FODMAP is an acronym that stands for:
Fermentable (fermentation is the process by which gut bacteria break down food).
Oligosaccharides (these are fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides found in foods such as wheat bread and pasta, beans, lentils, garlic and onions)
Disaccharides (lactose is the disaccharide found in milk and other dairy foods).
Monosaccharides (fructose is a monosaccharide found in excessive amounts in certain fruits, including apples and pears, as well as asparagus, honey and agave).
And (not a FODMAP, just a conjunction)!
Polyols (polyols are also referred to as "sugar alcohols." Sorbitol and mannitol are naturally-occurring polyols found in avocados, watermelon and stone fruits such as peaches and nectarines. Commercially produced polyols like xylitol, maltitol and isomalt are also added to many sugar-free gums, candies and low-carb products, as well as some dietary supplements and medications.
The low FODMAP diet has been shown to alleviate symptoms in up to 75% of people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and it is recommended by the American College of Gastroenterology for numerous other digestive disorders.
The low FODMAP diet can be difficult to understand, and even more difficult to implement in a safe and healthy manner. That’s why the folks who developed the diet at Monash University in Australia, as well as the American College of Gastroenterology, stress that it should be followed under the supervision of a knowledgeable dietitian.
Many people don’t realize that the Low FODMAP diet is a three-phase system, and they mistakenly stay in the first phase far too long. Not only is this unnecessarily restrictive, it also has the potential to be harmful.
My low FODMAP diet program consists of a session for each phase, with email communication in between. It is designed to help reveal your individual FODMAP trigger foods, i.e., the ones that reliably lead to digestive symptoms for you. These foods vary from person to person, and the best way to build your personal FODMAP profile is to follow a well-defined protocol.
During this phase, you will be avoiding high FODMAP foods until your symptoms are controlled. This typically takes 2 to 6 weeks.
During this phase, you will systematically reintroduce specific foods from one FODMAP group at a time to your diet. Each challenge takes approximately five days to complete, and the total duration varies depending on a number of factors that become evident during the process.
After we have revealed which FODMAP groups are responsible for your symptoms, it’s time to integrate everything you have learned into a sustainable, healthy and delicious new way of eating. In our last session together, I will help you map out this path forward with customized guidelines and reliable resources.