Why FODMAP diet is important in IBS: Easy understanding

Last Updated on July 9, 2023 by Dr. Abadullah Sajid Bashir

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a gut disorder in which the patient is troubled by fluctuating symptoms like gas, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, constipation and person is unable to lead a normal life. The patient is struggling to get relief from said symptoms. Depending on the type of IBS such as IBS-C and IBS-D, the patient may prefer to use a diet that relieves symptoms. For IBS details Click Here.

What is a FODMAP diet?

A FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) is a term used to refer to certain foods that are important to the digestive system. These food items can go and do the fermentation process easily. As soon as the fermentation process takes place during the digestion of the food, more gas will be produced and excessive gas formation disturbs the digestive system. 

There are sugars in the FODMAP that are also called short chain sugars and can easily fermented, and allow for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) in the gut. Theses sugar can not absorb completely in digestive system. These sugars are monosaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides (different forms of carbohydrates).

So, here the question arises that “if these can be digested, then how do they create a problem for the system”.

The basic and understandable thing is that the gas that is produced during their digestion or fermentation process, as well as the cramping that is happening, makes the person disturbed and finds it difficult to lead a proper life. The gas, abdominal cramping etc. that is formed in the process of its digestion creates difficulties for the patient.

What are the types of FODMAP?

The FODMAP food is mainly divided into two categories

  • Low FODMAP Food
  • High FODMAP Food

Low FODMAP foods

Low food map are foods which are low in sugar, sugars that can be quickly fermented by bacteria are in low quantity which reduces cramping and also less gas etc. in the gut.

High FODMAP foods

High food map are those foods which contain high amount of such sugars and thus the fermenting bacteria of this food go through the process of digestion or fermentation quickly and as a result a lot of gas and crimping occur.

What is the role of FODMAP in IBS?

FODMAP term is known in various types of gut disorders but the most important one is IBS.
So keeping the same thing in mind, first of all the reasons of IBS symptoms should be put forward. For example, if the main reason is gas, then why is the process of gas formation finally happening?

The main reason for this is food, that is, some types of food produce gas and cramping, and some reduce it. It will be called an unfavorable diet, this is a high FODMAP diet.

On the other hand, foods that will show less symptoms, we will call it the low FODMAP, so the conclusion of this whole discussion is that the low FODMAP contains foods that are less fermented by gut bacteria, that’s why It reduces the symptoms of IBS. If the symptoms of IBS will be reduced, the patient will feel calmer.[1]gloshospitals.nhs.uk/media/documents/FODMAP_dietsheet_for_website.pdf[2]Role of FODMAPs in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Mansueto – 2015 – Nutrition in Clinical Practice – Wiley Online Library[3]The low-FODMAP diet for irritable bowel syndrome: Lights and shadows | Gastroenterología y Hepatología (English Edition) (elsevier.es)

Procedure to Check Low FODMAP in IBS

It is a matter of attention that you will keep different types of items in your diet in a particular category i.e. low FODMAP or high FODMAP. The method is as follows.

Step one

In the first step, first let your gut empty, that is, stop eating and drinking for the time being, so that your system is empty, then it is the turn of the second step.

Step two

In this step, the appropriate amount of this food is used, that is, the food that you want to check is it low FODMAP for you. After eating the appropriate amount, now wait for its effects on the system. But here it has to be kept in mind that only consume the food which you are checking and do not eat any additional thing.

Step Three

In step three, the results are noted, if this food is suitable for you, then its use is continued and if it is not suitable, then it is put in the category of high FODMAP and stop to consume it.

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Written By:

  • Abadullah Sajid Bashir

Reviewed By:

  • Dr. Muhammad Zubair Chaudhary
  • Syeda Noor-ul-Ain Naqvi

For Reviewer Detail Click Here

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