This article is part of the FODMAP toolkit: Your complete guide to going low-FODMAP. Full print ready version available for purchase, details here.
Dietitians with expertise in gastrointestinal nutrition and many doctors now recommend a low-FODMAP diet as a cornerstone of their treatment for people with IBS. Two recent studies found 72 to 86 per cent of IBS patients had fewer symptoms on a low-FODMAP diet. One study also provided more evidence of the effect on gut bacteria, with the low-FODMAP diet increasing the richness and diversity of one type of bacteria. The other study, which followed people over 18 months, found most had successfully reintroduced FODMAP foods.
You might benefit from a low-FODMAP diet if
• You’ve been diagnosed with IBS by your doctor
• You have symptoms of IBS and no other medical cause has been found
• You’ve been diagnosed with bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
Always make sure you’ve seen your doctor before starting a low-FODMAP diet. Why? The low-FODMAP diet is very low in gluten. As symptoms of IBS are very similar to coeliac disease (an autoimmune condition causing a gluten allergy), it’s important to get tested for coeliac disease before reducing gluten in your diet. There also may be other reasons for your symptoms that your doctor needs to check for.