For some people, the unpleasant sensation of bloating can be far more frequent and persistent, as bloating is caused by – and is a characteristic of – many conditions. One of these conditions is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) which is brought on by certain foods and can often be painful. By following a low FODMAP diet, the chances of suffering with IBS is reduced along with stomach bloating and any pain in the abdomen.
What is FODMAP?
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.
These foods are short chain carbohydrates and sugar alcohols which are poorly absorbed by the body, resulting in abdominal pain and bloating.
FODMAPs occur in some foods naturally or as additives.
Examples of these kinds and foods and drinks include some vegetables and fruits, beans, lentils, wheat, dairy products, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.
Common high-FODMAP foods which should be avoided include:
In a study with the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, patients following a low-FODMAP diet and how it helps with IBS and bloating was investigated.
The study noted: “Emerging evidence indicates that the consumption of FODMAPs may result in symptoms in some patients with IBS.
“The present study aimed to determine whether a low FODMAP diet is effective for those with IBS.”
The study found that in total, more patients who followed a low FODMAP diet reported satisfaction with their symptoms response with 76 percent noting an improvement.
Significantly more patients who followed a low FODMAP diet reported improvements in bloating with 82 percent reporting less bloating and 85 percent less abdominal pain.
According to Harvard Health, the low-FODMAP diet is meant to be undertaken in three phases.
“In the first phase, all high-FODMAP foods are eliminated from the diet for an extended period of time, often four to six weeks,” explains the health body.
In phase two, you systematically reintroduce restricted foods, noting how well you tolerate increasing quantities of the foods you’re reintroducing, notes the health site.
“Phase three is the personalisation phase, in which you only avoid foods in quantities that cause symptoms,” it adds.