Why do you have to be on the FODMAP diet for 6-8 weeks?

Hello, despite fantastic advice from people I am struggling big time on this FODMAP diet. It is now Day 8 and I have now discovered I am unable to eat eggs (at least I think it is egg yolks). I can't eat anything containing hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (ie the bread products), gluten, bacon or cheese. And the pasta substitutes are not on either. I am living off crisps! Does anybody know why it takes 6-8 weeks before you can start to re-introduce other foods? I can't seem to discover the answer to this. I don't know that I can last much longer on this very restrictive diet let alone 8 weeks!

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  • I haven't eaten shop bread or pasta for years. If crisps are OK can you eat potatoes ? Can you eat any vegetables and meat or fish? Have you had some advice from a dietician?

    If your guts have been damaged they will need time to heal, so I guess thats why 6-8 weeks is suggested.

  • Hello Penel. Yes I can eat potatoes; yes I can eat meat, fish and vegetables but the veg are restricted; and yes this is being monitored by a dietician. I am interested in your comment about the gut taking this long to heal. I am under the impression that this diet has been constructed around IBS not gluten intolerance. I don't know if there are compromises with this approach. Maybe others will know.

  • Hi urban girl

    Have you looked on the IBS site on HealthUnlocked?

  • It takes time for the gut to adjust. You have to be totally symptom free before any testing of foods can begin.

    I'd check your information again. I suspect you are eating something you shouldn't as eggs are fine on the diet.

    Also not all wheat free bread is ok. Again check your booklets.

    You might take a few weeks to notice a difference, it's too early after only 8 days to tell. And if you've eaten something by accident U shouldn't then it can take a few days for symptoms to go again.

    You appear to be having issues with food that should be fine, I suspect U might be looking at things too much.

    Use the information your accredited fodmap dietician has provided, stick to the rules and be patient. If after 8 weeks U have no improvement,

    then the diet isn't for U. It isn't sadly a fix all for all IBSers.

  • Thanks Kestria. I haven't eaten any bread and the sensitivity to egg yolk is something new to me. I started to have problems with cheese and bacon since I went gluten free last December probably because they contain potassium nitrate. On a gluten free diet my symptoms disappeared anyway but the dietician wants to be sure that I eliminate foods I am sensitive to which may have nothing to do with gluten. I am curious about the science behind the time necessary to stay on the diet.

  • I was told you leave it that amount of time to see if you do experience a significant improvement in your symptoms, and to allow time for your gut to adjust (and I suspect to allow time for any slip ups to clear your system too).

    Perhaps you just need some ideas on snacks and meals to vary things? That's certainly where I struggled. How about stir frys with rice noodles and some of the suitable veg, have you also looked in health food shops for pasta- they might have something you can try? I've been snacking more on nuts, seeds and homemade biscuits/cake web I have the time to make them.

    You need to be experienced and used to the diet before the re-introductions start, as I found the planning of these quite complex (and also bear in mind that even if you discover something is suitable, you still cut it out again before moving onto the next trial).

  • Flip flop, thank you. I just explained to Kestria that my symptoms went by not eating gluten but I have discovered I am sensitive to other food since eliminating gluten. What seems to have happened is that I discovered an intolerance on the allowed FODMAPs. You are right I do need the advice on snacks and meals. I will go and have a look around the shops today. Unfortunately I have never liked stir fry! I think that it is important to get used to the diet before re-introducing other food.

  • Cheese could be a problem from the lactose side of things. Try going without it for a week then start eating the other things (bacon, egg) the same way you introduce other foods in the end... 40g on first day, 80g on second, 160g on third, noting reactions.

    Why can't you have GF bread and pasta? That's allowed on FODMAPs - is there some other reason?

    Try making homemade soups - roast a chicken on Sunday, make an onionless stock (carrot, parsnip, potato, chicken bones, herbs (whatever you've got), water). Cook that for about 2 hours. Then use the stock to make soups, veg risotto, gravy, etc.

    Mashed potato is a good filler - try meat/ mash/ allowed veg. Make a spag bog (with no onions and tomato limit!) and have with rice noodles.

    How about trying the Lactofree yoghurts or Alpro yoghurts? It's only the lactose you're avoiding (and some of the fruit flavours, sorry!)

    Make a meal from rice, chorizo and fried allowed veg mixed together. Try Tesco Lightly Salted rice cakes or Corn Thins with pate. Random slices of cucumber instead of crisps? Pine nuts? Almonds?

    I ended up making batches of food and freezing it in tiny pots, so I had a selection of interesting things to eat and I didn't get bored.

    I feel for you right now, but things do get easier, and when you know what to avoid life will be so much better and it will all seem worth it. :)

  • Hello Sassy - I can't eat the gluten free bread because it contains hydroxypropylmethylcellulose which I am sensitive to. I have not eaten cheese for about a month, nor bacon, because they probably contain potassium nitrate which I am also sensitive to. I have yet to find other products which contain potassium nitrate but I suspect chorizo does. We are investigating our farmers market products today to see how the suppliers produce bacon and cheese so fingers crossed. The yoghurts are good I have them with fruit and gluten free oats for breakfast. And I like the suggestions of rice noodles and spag bol, corn thins etc thank you for those good ideas. We are eating a lot of roast dinners! I am so surprised that I have become sensitive to so many foods at such a late stage in my life. Apart from having problems with bread and pastry since I was in my early 20s I had always been able to eat what I wanted until about 2 years ago. Because of the foods that I am sensitive to I think that an elimination is essential for me. Maybe I can start introducing earlier than 6 weeks. I have contacted the dietician for advice. I do feel so much better not eating gluten or the foods I react to. But if I could eat onions and garlic a FODMAP diet would be a bit more tolerable! It is hard being creative with FODMAP stuff. BTW do you know why it is 6-8 weeks before introductions can be made?

  • Hi Urban girl, they actually recommend 6 to 8 weeks on the FODMAP diet or until symptom control is achieved eg you feel better and this is for IBS.

    Here's a link about foods to avoid and foods that you should be OK with:

    cassandraforsythe.com/blog/...

    Rather than eat salty crisps I'd have thought that mashed potatoes or baked potatoes would be much more filling and healthier. And if you look at the list of alternatives to grains there is amaranth and quinoa which are both very nutritious. So I'd make a list of what you can eat and focus on that and good luck.

  • Ps in the foods that are OK list, it is aimed at people with IBS so obviously you will have to avoid the gluten containing ones but the vast majority are gluten free.

  • Urban girl you might find it useful to print off a couple of our posted Infographics showing FODMAP foods. They are handy to have at hand whilst shopping.

    pinterest.com/gfguerrillas/...

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