I’m one of the lucky majority to benefit massively from being on the low FODMAP diet, and after 30 odd years of having an unhappy gut, and trying numerous diets and remedies, both medicinal and alternative, it’s been a very welcome change!
Have you heard of the low FODMAP diet? I’m hoping you’re nodding your head as I’m terrible at explaining it, but if not, here’s my attempt. The information page has some links to excellent websites which explain it far better, and in much more detail.
While many sugars, such as sucrose and glucose, are easily digested by our bodies, certain sugars, such as lactose and fructose, are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. In some people these undigested sugars can cause unpleasant symptoms when they reach the large intestine (such as excessive wind, cramping and diarrhoea or constipation), as they are fermented by the resident bacteria.
The low FODMAP diet firstly removes these potentially offending sugars in anything but low amounts for the short term elimination phase, which will hopefully see your symptoms reduced or disappear.
It’s uncommon for people to be intolerant to all the sugar groups that are tested, and these foods play an important role in creating and maintaining a healthy gut (they feed the good bacteria). So the next stage is to reintroduce each group one by one to test which specific foods you are intolerant to; the aim being to have as many of them in your diet as your gut will permit without it causing you discomfort.
The diet can take some getting your head around, but there’s no need for it to be bland, boring or unhealthy. I’ve enjoyed adapting old recipes and finding new ones on my FODMAP journey, and am always on the lookout for more ideas so please chime in if you have any!