When done correctly, the low FODMAP diet has been found to reduce the symptoms of bloating and pain in around 86% of people 

Heidi Staudacher. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics. 2011

Irritable bowel syndrome is a common gut disorder that affects one in seven adults. Everyone’s experience with IBS can however be very different. The most common symptoms include:

  • Stomach pains
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
These symptoms can be easy to ignore if they only happen once in a while but when you experience these at least once a week, they can start to have a knock-on effect on your quality of life.  You might start staying at home instead of going out with friends or you just can’t concentrate at work like you used to. This is the time to address your IBS once and for all.

There is lots of information on the internet about a low FODMAP diet encouraging you to do it yourself but research shows that you get much better results when this is done under the supervision of an experienced dietitian. The Gastroenterological Society of Australia recommends the reintroduction of FODMAPs should be guided and assessed by an Accredited Practising Dietitian (GESA 2013). The re-introduction phase can take several weeks so don’t waste this time and effort by not doing it properly.

We only use dietitians who have post graduate training or many years of experience using the low FODMAP diet and managing gastrointestinal disorders.  Every person’s symptoms and gut are different so applying the same strategy to everyone doesn’t work. It will work for a few but then the rest are left more confused than when they started.

Our gastrointestinal dietitians have post graduate training or many years of experience using the low FODMAP diet and managing gastrointestinal disorders. 

Before you start…

Before you jump into a low FODMAP diet there are some steps to follow to ensure that we are not masking another medical cause for your symptoms:

Step 1: Eliminate other possible medical causes with the help of your GP such as coeliac disease, inflammatory bowel disease,  bowel or ovarian cancer. Some IBS symptoms are also found in these conditions and should be ruled out first. Your GP may refer you to a gastroenterologist for further tests.

Step 2: Once an IBS diagnosis has been confirmed by your GP then see an experienced dietitian to see if there are some simple diet and lifestyle solutions that may help reduce your pain. We don’t want to put you through a low FODMAP diet if there is a simpler solution.

Step 3: Still experiencing pain and bloating then this is the stage that we would start a low FODMAP elimination diet to identify the foods that need to be removed from your diet initially to give you your quality of life back.

One of the most common mistakes people make is staying on the low FODMAP diet longer than they need. A low FODMAP diet is bad for gut health and should be followed only long enough to identify the foods you are reacting to. An experienced dietitian is the ideal health professional to guide this process.

Not sure if you have IBS?

We have been around long enough to remember when IBS wasn’t considered a medical condition at all!  But now there is so much good evidence about it’s diagnosis and treatment that there are internationally accepted criteria for diagnosing IBS (after other possible causes have been ruled out) which your GP will also use.

These criteria are called Rome IV. You should be able to tick them all off to support a diagnosis of IBS

Answer the questions here to put your symptoms to the test and see if you meet all criteria. This can then be used to show your GP and explain your symptoms.

What are FODMAPS?

FODMAPs is a term that is used to describe the range of carbohydrates and sugars which can cause bloating because they are poorly absorbed by the body. Undigested food sits in the intestine and is fermented by bacteria which leads to fluid secretin and gas production. For the vast majority of people, this doesn’t cause a problem but around 20% of the population who have IBS, this leads to pain, diarrhoea and/or constipation.  FODMAPS are found in everyday foods and are important for good gut and overall health.

Fermentable

Oligosaccharides: Fructans and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS)

Disaccharides: Lactose

Monosaccharides: Fructose in excess of glucose

And

Polyols: Sorbitol, Mannitol, Maltitol, Xylitol and Isomalt

The low FODMAP process

There are three important phases to a low FODMAP diet for IBS.

To get more helIBS, book an appointment with one of our dietitians below.

Aloysa Hourigan Dietitian

Aloysa Hourigan
Dietitian

Aloysa has over 20 years of experience as a Dietitian and has worked for Nutrition Australia and running her own private practice in Brisbane. In addition to her dietetic qualifications, Aloysa has a Graduate Diploma in Counselling from the Queensland University of Technology.

Having a counseling qualification alongside expertise in nutrition and food has led Aloysa to focus on the area of eating disorders and has a great deal of compassion and experience providing support for long-term recovery

Specialist areas:

Eating disorders

Gut disorders

Food intolerances

Tess Hartley
Dietitian

Tess is an Accredited Practising Dietitian who graduated from Griffith University and grew up in Queensland. Tess is passionate about working with people and building trusting relationships by providing accurate nutrition information that helps people reach their goals. Tess is great at making people feel at ease talking about their diet and health goals and is great at explaining how food and nutrition impact health.  Tess has an interest in:

IBS and other gastrointestinal conditions

Weight management

Endometriosis

Women's health

Chronic disease management

Home Enteral Nutrition (HEN)

Anna Darcy, Accredited Practising Dietitian

Anna D'Arcy
Co-Director

Anna is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and co-director of My Nutrition Clinic who has worked for over two decades in the development and delivery of weight management programmes for adults and children. Anna has a Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics along with a Masters in Public Health and has worked in both Australia and London (UK). 

 

Favourite nutrition areas:

Weight management

Bariatric surgery

Depression

Eating Disorders

Gut issues

Credentialed Eating Disorder Dietitian

 

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