FODMAP advice

I've been trying a low FODMAP diet for about 5 weeks now, to try to help alleviate IBS symptoms I've posted about before. Basically I have 5-15 bowel movements a day and never feel comfortable.

The diet so far has made no difference. In fact, it's worse in some ways. Before, I would have fairly normal movements in the morning at least, whereas now all my movements are very dark and lumpy poos.

Two questions for any with knowledge of FODMAP. One, how likely is it that having noticed no improvement after 5 weeks, I'm likely to see it after 6 weeks, or 3 months, or 6 months? I know it could take that long, but not sure I can face it with no improvement!

Also, what can I add back into my diet that will address the constipation but still be low-FODMAP?

Help please!

9 Replies

  • Have you been keeping any sort of food diary? I'd be interested to know what foods you have substituted for your usual foods in case they have made things worse. For instance, I used a lot of soy-based yogurt but in the end I think this ended up making things worse.

    In terms of constipation, my dietician recommended linseeds - they absorb water (thus bulking up your stools) and give beneficial bacteria a useful food source.

    I've heard it said that sometimes it can take 12 weeks to notice an improvement from the low FODMAP diet. I'm not sure how much I believe that but I have heard more stories about people who were on the low FODMAP diet without the aid of a dietician who later realised they'd been doing it all wring. In other words, it is possible that the diet may not be working for you because, without you realising it, you aren't omitting all the right foods..

  • Thanks. Main substitution has been almond milk and gluten free bread. Everything else I've just eliminated. I think I will talk to a dietician...

  • I don't understand why it would make you worse so as above perhaps there is something you are not quite understNding about how to do it.  I know it took over three months to really see much difference for myself and having been on it for nearly 4 years now with many adjustments in between I am now more or less normal.  

    Have you gone gluten free and dairy free as well and where are you getting your food list from?

  • I'm following the Monash version, so not sure whether that is totally gluten free or not, but I tried gluten free once before and that didn't work. No totally dairy free as cheese still allowed. I'll keep trying!

  • FODMAP does not suit all 

    Some of its green light foods are absolute irritants for me

    It needs to be adapted as I am sure the University team realized  so a dietician could help

  • If you have constipation take magnesium citrate it oxide about 600 - 800mg at night before bed with lots of water. This worked for me. The fodmap did not cure my constipation.

  • Hi as others have said Fodmap not for everyone, you would be best to see what plays you up and what doesn't . It won't be an overnight thing, it may take for ever. I found meat played me up so now I am a Pescatarian , also some fruits, it's really trial and error, everyone is different. Good Luck.

  • Hi

    The FODMAP diet doesn't agree with me either - too many berries, and other things which set me off. Tackling constipation is trial and error. For instance how much roughage is too much or too little? Unless you're celiac normal wholemeal bread is a good bulking agent.

    Best wishes

  • You could try eating more resistant starch, which is a long-chain starch that is poorly absorbed but forms food for bacteria in the colon that produce butyrate, which is very important for colon health.

    Resistant starch is different from the short-chain polysaccharides (another word for starch) that are targeted by the FODMAP diet. Resistant starch is highest in unripe bananas, and cooked and cooled rice and potatoes. However, bananas are potentially a grey area on the FODMAP diet - I see different reports about whether they should be limited or not - so that leaves you mainly with the cooked and cooled potato and rice.

    Personally, I have noticed that when I eat certain foods, mainly potatoes and pulses, then it really helps with the "quality" of my bowel movements - for want of a better way of putting it! Pulses are out on the FODMAP diet, but the potato benefit could well be from the resistant starch.

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